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SMS Client Reminders - a simple guide

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Client Name mode

Important: The following instructions are for Client Name mode. For instructions on using Direct Input mode click here or you can learn about the two modes.

1. Create your account

If you've already created an account you can skip this step.

To use the SMS Client Reminders service you need an account (to enable secure access to your data and settings). Opening an account is easy - just set up a Free Trial (make sure you select the Client Name input mode). Make sure you select the right country (as this affects how the phone numbers you enter are imported). You'll get emailed a confirmation code - enter the code and your account will be activated.

2. Enter your client contact data

To send reminders we obviously need a name and mobile phone number. The easiest way to do that is to import the info from the program you use to email or an address book, but you can import a file from any source (or create one from scratch, as long as it formatted in the required way).

Tip: We'll never ever sell or distribute mobile phone numbers or email addresses.

  1. From your dashboard click on the Clients button
  2. Click the Import button
  3. You have three basic options to input the data
    1. If you want to import data from an email program such as Outlook or GMail click the Show me how link - details of the process to output a CSV file will be displayed so follow those
    2. If you want to create your own contacts CSV file you can do so in any spreadsheet program such as Excel or OpenOffice Calc. Three column names are recognized - Name (client's first and last name or unique id), Mobile Phone (client's mobile number) and Email (client's email address)
    3. You can enter contacts manually by returning to the main Clients page and selecting the +Add link
  4. Once your data is input it's vital to check it for accuracy and edit any errors
  5. Remember it's important that you have permission to use the contact details and you'll be asked to confirm this
  6. Click Save to store the contacts data - if any issues are identified correct them and try again

Groups. On the Clients page you might notice the Groups link. Groups allow you to define a unique group name and link it to two or more of your contacts. Then, when an appointment includes the group name all the associated contacts are contacted. If you're running a group this provides an ideal solution and avoids having to mention each client by name in the appointment text.
Tip: You don't have to use names to identify clients/patients in your appointments calendar. If you prefer you can use a patient number, customer id or any other unique identifier. The only requirement is that it can be used to uniquely identify the client.

And remember, you must include the client name (or id) in the text of your appointment (title, summary or description). This is so we can identify the right clients from your appointments data. For example if your client is recorded as Melinda Carlisle your appointment should have an event title or description containing the phrase Melinda Carlisle.

3. Enter your appointments data

Adding appointments data is easy. The recommended option is to link to an online calendar. This way, when you enter a client's name (or a group name) for a given appointment an appropriate reminder will be sent. There are three options:

  1. Link to a calendar (recommended)
    1. From the dashboard, click the + Appointments button and the Link to calendar tab (if not already selected)
    2. Click on the link that shows the guides describing how to link to a calendar and follow the instructions
    3. If you don't have a calendar there are also instructions on how to create one - it's simple and free
    4. The key thing is the calendar application you use should be able to provide a unique url/link (web address) to share your data - this is the url that needs to be entered in the Calendar iCalendar url text box.
    5. When you've pasted in the url click Save the url will be tested to make sure it's a valid calendar
    6. That's it! Now, when you add a client/patient name as an appointment in your chosen calendar app a reminder will be sent according to your settings
    7. Important: to begin with, the setting Manually verify reminders is turned on. This means any reminders generated from your calendar(s) need to be manually signed-off before being sent. A link inviting you to manually verify the reminders will be displayed. Once you're happy everything is working correctly you can turn off 'Manually verify reminders' in Settings > Advanced.
  2. Upload a file containing appointments data
    1. From the dashboard, click the + Appointments button and the Add manually tab (if not already selected)
    2. Just export an iCalendar (ICS) file or create a CSV file and click on the Import file link
    3. Choose the file, click Upload and it will import your data
    4. Obviously, you'll have to go through this process periodically to ensure the data is up to date
    5. Don't worry about duplicate appointments - the system will ignore these and also work out if any appointments data has changed or been deleted
    6. If importing appointments from a CSV file it needs three columns called Name, Date and Time
    7. Tip: When uploading a CSV file you'll need to click Save to commit the data (this is not necessary if you uploaded an iCalendar file)
  3. Add appointments manually
    1. If you prefer you can enter appointments yourself via the app itself
    2. From the dashboard, click the Add Appointments button and the Add manually tab
    3. Enter the date, time and select the client
    4. Click Save to store the appointment

Tip: If you're uneasy about the idea of 'sharing' your calendar then don't be. The single purpose is to scan for relevant appointments data and create reminders accordingly - it won't ever be used for a different purpose. Only those with the unique url have 'read-only' access to your calendar and the link is effectively impossible to guess.

When first using the app we recommend you check appointment data is being imported correctly.

4. Review reminders and define your settings

You can almost use SMS Client Reminders "out of the box" but it's worth spending a little time configuring it to meet your requirements.

  1. Click on the Settings tab
  2. There are many things you can configure. The key things to consider are
    • The input mode (Client Name mode or Direct Input mode)
    • How far in advance you want to send reminders
    • The content of the reminder messages
    • Sending more than one type of message (using the Templates feature)
    • The return email address (if a client wants to reply to an email or SMS text the message will be sent to this email address)
    • If clients can confirm an appointment by replying to the text
    • Whether you want to manually verify reminders before they are sent (not applicable if you enter appointments manually)
    • Whether to send updates or cancellation messages should an appointment time change
  3. Click Save to save the settings

You can review past or upcoming reminders at any time by clicking on the Reminders tab. Use the filters to show the reminders you are interested in.

5. Select a plan

SMS Client Reminders offers several monthly plans to suit a range of organizations. Each monthly plan gives you a certain number of credits, and it's important you have enough credits to cover the number of appointments that will sent out. You can upgrade, downgrade or cancel at any time.

  1. From the dashboard click on Upgrade plan (or Change if you are already on a plan) from the 'Your plan' box
  2. Check the details and click Next
  3. If you already have a PayPal account, enter the details
  4. If you don't have a PayPal account, select the Pay using your credit or debit card link and you can then create a account - it's free, safe and secure
  5. Once logged in to PayPal, confirm the subscription details
  6. When payment has been verified (usually instantly) your account will be updated
  7. On the thank you screen, return to the dashboard. A message should appear saying the account details have been updated - if not refresh the page in a few minutes time
  8. If you have upgraded or downgraded your account you need to cancel the previous subscription - this can only be done inside PayPal - see instructions

Tip: Don't forget you can cancel at any time via the Cancel link on the main dashboard.

SMS Client Reminders has been designed to offer the best automated reminders software and keep things as simple as possible. By following this guide you should now be set up and ready to see the benefits. If you have any questions see the FAQ in the first instance.

Watch a video showing how to set up reminders...

© 2023 SMS Client Reminders. Version 2.6