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Appointment Confirmations and Reminders

How to set up automated SMS and emails for appointment confirmations and reminders

Jessica Magri avatar
Written by Jessica Magri
Updated over a week ago

To set up automated confirmations and reminders for your practice, you must have a role assigned to you that gives you access to the SMS and Email Templates tab in Settings. For more information on roles, see here.

In this article:

Create a new confirmation or reminder template

You can create a new confirmation or reminder template from the Settings page:

1. Go to the SMS and email templates tab.

2. Click New in the top right-hand corner.

3. Fill out the General information section:

If you are creating a Reminder, type the number of hours in advance that you want the reminder to be sent for.

4. Enter the content for the email or SMS. You can directly type in the text editor, or click on the Tags to insert customised information, such as a patient's last name.

5. Tick Active at the top of the screen to make the confirmation or reminder available to use.

6. Click Save.

Your created confirmation or reminder will appear in the SMS and email templates tab. To use the confirmation or reminder template for bookings, you must now activate it for your practice.

7. You can now add a hyperlink to your emails if you would like to, this can be done by clicking the hyperlink button as circled and the placeholder in the "Email message content" will appear:

Kindly paste your link where it says "" and free type the text you want your patient to see in the section where it says "YourLinkTextHere", it should look similar to the example below:

Using the example above, this is what your patient will see in the email they receive. They will see the words "test click" which they will click and that will lead them to the URL you inserted above:

It is very important not to remove any of the brackets or other characters used and only replace exactly as specified above.

Activate a confirmation or reminder template

A confirmation or reminder template must be activated from the Settings page for your practice to be able to use it.

1. Go to the SMS and email templates tab.

2. Click the more options icon next to the template you want to activate.

3. Select Make active.

You can deactivate a confirmation or reminder template at any time by following the same steps as above, and selecting Make inactive in more options.

Link a new product to a confirmation or reminder

Make sure your practice have first activated the confirmation or reminder before you attempt to do this.

1. Go to the Products page.

2. Click New in the top left-hand corner of the page.

3. Create the new product as you normally would. For more information on creating new products see here.

4. Scroll down to the Confirmation and Cancellation messages and the Reminders section, and use the dropdown menus to choose the confirmations and reminders you want activated for that product.

5. Click Save at the top of the screen.

When you now book an appointment with that product, your configured confirmations and reminders will be automatically sent out to the patient.

Edit a confirmation or reminder template

You can edit a confirmation or reminder template at any time from the Settings page:

1. Go to the SMS and email templates tab.

2. Select the confirmation or reminder template that you want to edit.

3. Make the edits you want. Note: there may be some restrictions to the edits you can make with templates marked as a system template.

4. When you have made the edits you want, click Save at the top of the screen.

SMS Sender Name

You can set the name that will appear on SMS messages sent by your practice, from the Settings page:

1. Go to the General tab.

2. Scroll down to the SMS settings section.

3. Type the name you want to appear on SMS messages into the SMS sender name box. Note: Names must be between 3-11 characters long, and have no spaces.

4. Click Save at the top of the page.

All SMS messages sent by your practice will now have the configured text as their sender name.

Note: If no sender name is set up, the sender name will default to 'NOTICE'.

SMS Pricing

From 01 May 2022, there will be a fee for sending SMS messages with Semble.

Charges will be calculated in segments, with each segment costing 5p (GBP). On average one message is made up of 2.5 segments, giving an average cost of 15p.

When you send an SMS message containing more than 160 characters, the message is split into smaller messages. Large messages are split into 153 character segments, sent individually, then re-assembled by the recipient’s device. For example, if you send a message that is 161 characters, then two segments will need to be sent: one segment of 153 characters, and one segment of 8 characters.

Note: If you include any non-GSM characters (such as Chinese script) in SMS messages, those messages will be limited to 70 characters. UCS-2 messages of more than 70 characters will be split into 67 character segments. For more information, visit the Twilio website here.


How can you minimise the length of your SMSs and therefore your SMS costs?

The number of parts of an SMS message depends on the encoding and the length of the message. There are two main types of encoding: GSM and Unicode. GSM encoding can fit up to 160 characters in one part, while Unicode encoding can fit up to 70 characters in one part. GSM encoding supports a limited set of characters, while Unicode encoding supports a wider range of characters, such as emojis and symbols. Semble will always use GSM encoding unless the message contains special characters.If your message exceeds the limit of one part, it will be split into multiple parts and sent separately. This will increase the cost of your SMS message. To reduce the size and cost of your SMS message, you can try the following tips:

  • Avoid using characters that require Unicode encoding, such as emojis, symbols, or non-Latin alphabets which would force the use of Unicode encoding.

  • Use abbreviations, acronyms, or short forms to convey your message in fewer words.

  • Use links or attachments to share additional information, instead of including it in the message body.

  • Use fewer place holders in your templates to avoid lengthening your message.

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