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Direct Input mode
Important: The following instructions are for Direct Input mode. For instructions on using Client Name 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 service you need to set up an account (to enable secure access to your data and settings).
Opening an account is easy - just set up a Free Trial (Important: make sure you select the Direct Input mode).
Also make sure you select the right country (as this affects how the phone numbers you enter are imported).
You'll then get emailed a confirmation code - enter the code and your account will be activated.
2. Enter phone numbers in your appointments data
Setting up reminders for appointments is easy.
With Direct Input mode if you enter a phone number in the appointment text an appropriate reminder will be sent (as long as the phone number is formatted correctly).
Tip: If your phone numbers include the country code they must be in E.164 format which starts with a + (plus) symbol followed by the country code (e.g. for US +18465556783). If not including the country code the number must be in a standard format as if calling from within the country (e.g. for US 846-555-6783).
There are three options for entering Appointments:
- Link to a calendar (recommended)
- From the dashboard, click the + Appointments button and the Link to calendar tab (if not already selected)
- Click on the link that shows the guides describing how to link to a calendar and follow the appropriate instructions
- If you don't have a calendar there are also instructions on how to create one in Google Calendar - it's simple and free
- 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.
- When you've pasted in the url click Save the url will be tested to make sure it's a valid calendar
- 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
- 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.
- Upload a file
- From the dashboard, click the + Appointments button and the Add manually tab (if not already selected)
- Just export an iCalendar (ICS) file or create a CSV file and click on the Import file link
- Choose the file, click Upload and it will import your data
- Obviously, you'll have to go through this process periodically to ensure the data is up to date
- Don't worry about duplicate appointments - the system will ignore these and also work out if any appointments data has changed or been deleted
- If importing appointments from a CSV file it needs three columns called Phone, Date and Time
- 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)
- Add manually
- Alternatively you can enter appointments yourself from your account
- From the dashboard, click the + Appointments button and the Add manually tab
- Enter the date, time and phone number of the client
- Click Save to store the appointment
Important: Reminders will be sent to any phone number listed in appointment text. To ensure you don't send reminders by accident we recommend storing your client appointments in a separate calendar.
3. 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.
- Click on the Settings tab
- 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
- Whether you want to set up message templates (to send more than one type of message)
- 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
- 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.
4. Select a plan
SMS Client Reminders offers different 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.
- From the dashboard click on Upgrade plan (or Change if you are already on a plan) from the 'Your plan' box
- Check the details and click Next
- If you already have a PayPal account, enter the details
- 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
- Once logged in to PayPal, confirm the subscription details
- When payment has been verified (usually instantly) your account will be updated
- 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
- 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: 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 go.
If you have any questions see the FAQ in the first instance as someone has probably been wondering the same thing!