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12 Best Dental Appointment Reminder Templates To Prevent No-Shows

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At a busy dentist’s office, just one no-show appointment can throw off your entire day. Your dental staff wastes precious time they could have spent with another patient, plus you lose out on revenue.

Text and email appointment reminders are an effective way to reduce no-show patients. However, figuring out exactly what to say can be tricky. You’ll want to send a reminder that’s concise, informative, and reflects the brand of your dental practice.

With a little practice, you can craft the perfect dental reminder message to help your patients come into the office more consistently. We’ve rounded up some helpful templates for dental text and email reminders, as well as some tips for writing your own.

Why You Should Be Sending Text and Email Appointment Reminders

If you’re not sending text and email appointment reminders to your patients already, now is the time to start. Not only are they helpful for keeping your schedule full, but these appointment reminders also create a better patient experience overall. Here’s why sending reminders should be part of your scheduling system:

1. Prevent No-Show Appointments (Saving Time and Money)

No-show appointments are not only frustrating, but they can also cost your dental office a significant amount of money over time. When patients don’t show, your staff will have to spend time tracking them down and potentially rescheduling rather than focusing on patients who did show up for their appointments.

In fact, reminders can reduce no-show appointments by up to 80 percent. For most appointment-based businesses, this means an increase in revenue of 12% – 28%.

2. Remind Patients The Way They Want (Digitally)

Many of today’s patients prefer digital appointment reminders via text message or email rather than talking over the phone. Studies have shown that text messaging is the preferred method of healthcare communication and that 95% of patients access their personal text messages every day.

Checking a text message is quick and easy compared to a phone call, so it doesn’t feel like as much work for a patient to follow up. Since many people keep their smartphones with them throughout the day, it’s highly likely that the patient will see the message quickly. Sending digital reminders enhances the overall patient experience, and makes it easier to keep them coming back for future appointments.

3. Give Patients Enough Time to Cancel

Life can be very busy these days, so it’s understandable that patients will occasionally need to cancel appointments. You’ll want to make sure that if patients do need to cancel, you’ll be able to fill that appointment slot and avoid losing revenue.

Make sure to send reminders a few days prior to the appointment and allow patients the opportunity to request to cancel or reschedule (if you choose). Reminder messages make it very easy for patients to communicate with you directly, and they give you enough notice to make schedule changes.

4. Prevent Late Patients

When a patient shows up late to an appointment, it can throw off the schedule for the entire day afterward (especially if you’re working with a small team). Sometimes patients misremember the time of their appointment, especially if they scheduled it months ago. Reminder texts or emails will let them know exactly when they need to be there. If you are able to help them add the appointment to their own calendar, this is an even better solution.

5. Make Things Easier for Front Desk Staff

Your front desk staff likely spends hours each week on appointment management to keep your schedule fully booked. Sending out text and email reminders drastically shortens the appointment management process, allowing your staff more time to spend on critical tasks like billing or managing inventory. Using an appointment reminder app can also make appointment management less stressful for your team, since there are fewer steps that need to be performed manually. This can help with employee morale and retention.

General Tips For Sending Text and Email Appointment Reminders

Today’s patients receive a high volume of text messages and emails every day. Your appointment reminders will need to stand out in order to make an impact.

Here are some general tips for sending text and email appointment reminders:

1. Be Clear and Concise

When writing your appointment reminders, keep things brief and to the point. Readers should know exactly what the message is about within a few seconds of opening it. They shouldn’t have to scroll far (if at all) to find the appointment time, office location, or other key pieces of information. Every sentence in the appointment reminder should provide value.

Many people have short attention spans, especially when it comes to smartphone and internet usage. As a result, many people won’t read past the first few lines of an email. Text message reminders should generally be kept to 320 characters or less, while email reminders should be kept to about 120 words or less.

2. Personalize Your Messaging

Grab your patient’s attention by starting off the reminder message with a personalized greeting that includes their name. This doesn’t have to be overly complicated — something as simple as “Hi, Stephanie” will work.

This personal touch indicates that you care about your patients and builds a strong rapport with them. It will also increase the odds that a patient will open the message in the first place. Personalized messaging immediately signals to your patients that the message isn’t spam and they should pay attention.

3. Keep Reminders HIPAA-Compliant

All communications with your patients should be HIPAA-compliant, which includes your text and email reminders. HIPAA regulations can be confusing when it comes to digital communication. Technology changes quickly, and it often takes time for HIPAA regulations to respond to the capabilities of new communication tools.

To start, you’ll want to remind patients not to send any sensitive information (treatment details, health status, conditions, etc.) to you via text or email in response to an appointment reminder message.

Additionally, you should make sure to only include essential information in the message, such as the date, time, and location of their appointment. Refrain from including the reason for the appointment, detailed prescription information, or test results. If your office uses a HIPAA-compliant online portal for patient information, consider including a secure link in your message where patients can access more detailed information about their treatment.

4. Give Patients the Option to Respond

Consider giving your patients the option to respond directly to your appointment reminders if they need to cancel or reschedule their appointment. This encourages patients to communicate in advance, rather than simply not showing up. It gives your team time to refill that appointment slot and keeps your schedule full. While all reply instructions are optional with GoReminders, it’s an easy way to stay on top of rapidly changing appointments.

5. Include No-Show Policy Information

Charging no-show fees is an effective way to motivate patients to show up to their appointments or reschedule in an appropriate time frame. However, it’s important to make sure your patients are aware of no-show fees to avoid confusion. If applicable, include a note mentioning any no-show fees or other consequences of missing the appointment. Be sure to keep things concise.

6. Give Patients the Option to Opt Out of Reminders

While many patients prefer to receive reminders via email or text, others might find one or the other intrusive or annoying. To accommodate everyone’s preferences, make sure all of your patients have the option to opt out of reminders at any time. Not only does this keep your patients happy, but it also ensures that you remain HIPAA-compliant.

7. Automate Your Reminders

Manually writing and sending every appointment reminder can be incredibly time-consuming. To make this process more efficient, use a platform like GoReminders to automate your messages for each appointment. GoReminders allows you to create custom appointment reminder templates with specific tags, which fill in the patient’s appointment details automatically.

Text Message Appointment Reminder Ideas

If you’re not sure what to say in your appointment reminder text messages, feel free to use these templates to help you get started. If you want patients to reply to your reminders, make sure to include clear reply instructions as part of the messages.

Setting up automatic appointment reminders is easy with GoReminders. GoReminders gives you the option to automatically add reply settings to each message. Each text message can end with “Reply C to confirm, X to cancel, R to reschedule,” depending on what preference you select in your settings. In emails, these options are replaced with buttons. If you enable these, you don’t always have to type out those reply instructions when creating a template (unless you want to write in alternative instructions).

The following templates make use of GoReminders native template tags, identified in {{curly brackets}}. When you create a new message template in GoReminders using these tags, the software automatically fills in the brackets with relevant information from the appointment.

Simple Text Reminders

Here is an example of a text reminder you could use for just about any occasion for your dental practice:

Hi, {{First Name}}. This is a reminder for your appointment with (Your Business Name) on {{Date}} at {{Time}} at {{Location}}. Reply “C” to confirm.

Sequence Text Reminders

Sending multiple reminders for your appointments can be very helpful, especially if your office schedules appointments far in advance. Here’s an example of a clear, simple sequence you can send to your patients:

One Week Out

Hello, {{First Name}}. {{Staff Name}} from (Your Business Name) is looking forward to seeing you next week. Your appointment is scheduled for {{Date}} at {{Time}} at {{Location}}. Reply “C” to confirm.

One Day Out

Hi {{First Name}}, just a reminder that you’re scheduled to see {{Staff Name}} at {{Time}} tomorrow at {{Location}}. See You there! – (Your Business Name)

GoReminders gives users the option to automate message sequences. This allows your patients to receive multiple reminders in the week leading up to their appointment. To schedule a sequence, you can pair multiple templates together and set your preferred messaging intervals. You can also use message sequences to schedule follow-up messages after the appointment is over.

Friendly or Casual Reminder Templates

Depending on how your dental practice operates (and your customer base), you may decide to take a more friendly or casual approach. Especially if you’re talking to a first time patient, a casual tone can make them feel more comfortable with attending their first visit. If you have multiple office locations, be sure to note which location they should come to for the appointment.

Hey there {{First Name}}! It’s (Your Business Name) here. We’re excited to see you for your appointment at {{Time}} on {{Date}} at {{Location}}. See you there! Reply “C” to confirm.

 

{{First Name}}, it’s almost time for your appointment with (Your Business Name)! Just a reminder: you’re scheduled to see {{Staff Name}} on {{Date}} at {{Time}} at {{Location}}.

First-Time Appointment Reminder

For first-time appointments, patients may need to bring certain documents or forms. Including this information in your text message is an easy way to give them a heads-up.

Hi {{First Name}}. Your appointment with (Your Business Name) is scheduled for {{Date}} at {{Time}} at {{Location}}. Please arrive 15 minutes early to fill out intake forms and remember to bring your insurance card. Reply “C” to confirm. Reply to this message with questions.

Schedule Next Appointment Reminder

Send these messages to patients after their appointment to remind them to schedule their next appointment, or to remind them it’s time for their annual checkup. With GoReminders, you can create a custom booking form and share it via a social media post, link, or QR code. The {{Booking Link}} template tag allows you to easily insert your booking link into any of your reminder templates.

Hi {{First Name}}, thanks for coming in today! We recommend booking a follow-up appointment every three months. Give us a call or book your next appointment here: {{Booking Link}}

– (Your Business Name)

 

Hi {{First Name}}! It’s almost time for your annual checkup with (Your Business Name) Give us a call or schedule your next appointment here: {{Booking Link}}

Reschedule Appointment Text

While appointment reminders do a lot to decrease no-shows, sometimes it still happens. If a patient misses an appointment or has indicated that they would like to reschedule an upcoming one, use one of these text messages to prompt them to reschedule. In the message, include a link to your online scheduling platform so patients can reschedule quickly and easily.

That said, there is no way to automate a missed appointment message for no-shows with GoReminders. To re-target a no-show customer with a template, you can create a missed appointment message template in your reminder settings. From there, you’ll need to create a placeholder appointment (i.e. a fake one) for the no-show customer, and set the start time just a few hours in the future. Then, you can select that missed appointment template and save the placeholder appointment. While you can simply write out a custom direct message instead, this method will automate your rescheduling message with customized information in just a few easy steps.

Here’s a template you might use:

Hi {{First Name}}, (Your Business Name) here. We missed you at your appointment today. Give us a call at (Your Business Phone Number) or click here to reschedule: {{Booking Link}}.

In GoReminders, you can choose how your patients are able to reschedule their appointments. You can allow them to re-book instantly (without approval) or have them pick three available time slots for your approval. If you choose the second option, you’ll get a notification about the patient’s request. From there, you have complete control over how you handle the situation. If you want, you can then send out a follow-up message to help them reschedule. However, you won’t be able to use template tags with these messages. You’ll need to send them a custom direct message. Here’s how you might write that:

Hi (Customer Name), we’ve received your request to reschedule an appointment. Please choose an available date and time, here: (Booking Link).

Request Reviews or Feedback

Patient reviews and feedback can be immensely helpful to your business. You can easily set up follow-up messages to send out after an appointment that request reviews from patients. Use this template to request feedback and encourage patients to leave a review after their appointment:

Hi {{First Name}}, thanks for your recent appointment with (Your Business Name)! We’d love to hear more about your experience with {{Staff Name}} on {{Date}}. You can leave a review here: {{Review Link}}

GoReminders review automation gives you greater control over how you publish customer feedback. With review automation set up, positive reviews can automatically be published to your Google My Business page. Negative reviews can be sent to you directly (not automatically broadcasted across the internet).

From the reviews settings, you can create response options that indicate a positive or negative experience, such as “Great” or “Not Great.” Once a customer replies to this message or selects one of these options, you can customize the page they see next. A “Great” response might include a button that leads them to your Google My Business page, while a “Not Great” response might prompt them to give feedback in a text box which will be sent directly to you. While template tags don’t apply with this function, here’s some verbiage you might use for review generation:

Hello! Thanks for your recent appointment with (Your Business Name). How was your experience?

If Positive: Great! We’re glad to hear you had a good appointment. Please consider leaving us a review.

If Negative: We’re sorry you had a poor experience with us. Please tell us more about what happened and how we can make it up to you.

Email Appointment Reminder Ideas and Tips

Text message reminders can easily be repurposed as email appointment reminders. However, you’ll want to make a few changes to make it more appropriate for email. For example, you can use paragraph format for your email messages, and you’ll also be able to use longer sentences. When writing emails, you’ll want to avoid using abbreviations as you might do in a text message. You’ll also want to include your company logo to make your email look professional and visually appealing.

GoReminders allows you to add your logo automatically once you upload your brand’s image files. For example, you can create a custom branded signature for each email you send out. Aside from that, response options (confirm, cancel, reschedule) in emails will appear as buttons, rather than a prompt encouraging recipients to reply by typing a letter.

Final Thoughts

Using text and email reminders is an easy way to keep your patients in the loop and minimize no-show appointments. Using an automated system makes it easy to send out personalized text and email reminders for every patient at times when your messages will make the most impact.

By using the templates above with GoReminders template tags, you can easily create personalized reminders without all the effort. Simply create your appointment and select your message sequence. GoReminders will automatically send out your reminders according to templates you create. Setup only takes 30 seconds. Then you’re ready to start creating the perfect appointment reminders for your clients.

Ready to automate your appointment reminder text messages and reduce no-show appointments at your dental office? Try GoReminders risk-free with our 30-day moneyback guarantee!

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