Set up email appointment reminders

Send automated email reminders to your patients!

Emily avatar
Written by Emily
Updated over a week ago

If you want to send emails to your patients to remind them of their upcoming appointments, Cliniko can help! 

You'll first want to create unique reminder templates that will match all your different appointment appointment types. A pilates class might not have the same sort of cancellation policy as an initial physiotherapy session, for example. 

You'll also want to link your templates to your appointment types—this will ensure that each appointment sends out the right type of reminder.

In this article, we'll walk you through:

Step one: create email reminder templates

Head to Settings, and then Appointment reminders:

Select New email template:

On the next page, you'll have to set up a template name, a reminder period and time, and whether or not you want to skip weekends:

Understanding email reminder templates

The email reminder template will have fields for the email subject, and the email content:

The email subject is pretty self-explanatory—this is what the subject line will say when it's delivered to a patient's inbox!

The email content can be modified to your liking. Cliniko gives you some default text, but you can edit it to your heart's content! 💕 

Understanding the content editor

When you're crafting the content for your appointment reminders, we recommend you take advantage of "placeholders"—these are the menu items in all capital letters across the top of the content editor:

What the placeholders do is "pull" applicable content in to the reminder. For example, using the Patient.FirstName  placeholder will automatically result in the reminder showing the first name of the patient that gets it. Cliniko is pretty smart, and it knows who has an appointment, and when, and where—so the placeholders simply tell Cliniko which information to put in the reminders!

You're also able to click the View sample button at the bottom of the editor to get a general idea of what your reminders will look like.

Once you've saved your template, you'll see a list outlining what you have in your appointment reminder settings:

The names of the reminder templates listed above are just examples—you can name your template whatever you'd like. For example, in the above, "Follow-up" and "Standard" are terms set by the clinic. "Follow-up" means a reminder for a follow-up (return) appointment, and "Standard" means a reminder for a standard appointment. Your clinic will likely have its own needs for naming conventions!

Within that list, you'll be able to see the number of appointment types that are associated with that template—and this leads us onto the second half of of the set-up process, which is linking your templates to your appointment types!

Step two: link email reminder templates to appointment types

Now that your templates are set up, you'll be able to link them to each appointment type. To do this, head to Settings, and then Appointment types:

Select the relevant appointment type from your list:

Below the "colour picker" on the appointment type page, you'll see the option to select a template for reminders or confirmations. Select Appointment reminder email:

The options that show up will be based on the templates you set up in step one:

If you don't see what you're after, we recommend double-checking that the template has indeed been set up as an email reminder template, and not a reminder SMS or confirmation email template.

There are a few things to keep in mind with email reminders!

  • If None is selected, it means no email reminder will be sent whatsoever for this appointment type.

  • Patients will only get email reminders if they have an email address on file, and don't have a custom communication preference set up to specifically not receive email reminders.

An important note regarding reminders

In order to ensure that reminders get sent, you'll want to make sure that reminders are turned on for each business location. In order to double-check this, head to Settings, and then Business information:

Make sure that that Send appointment reminders for appointments at this business is turned to On:

That will ensure that the reminders are enabled for the relevant business!

If you want to also send your patients SMS reminders of their upcoming appointments, you can set those up! You can learn how to do that here.

If you have any questions on any of this, our friendly support team is here to help! 🤗

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