SMS / text messages

everyone loves getting a text

How does it work?

You ask for a mobile phone number from your customer when they book with you (by specifying at least one item on your booking form as being a mobile phone number). Then you set the text to be used for the confirmation and/or the reminder messages. You don't have to upgrade to use SMS. We charge for credits separately. Just click on 'dashboard' > 'your account'  > 'buy credits'.

Why Do You Need It?

No-shows can be a real hassle and a big cost to small businesses. Our customers tell us they have been able to reduce accidentally missed appointments by using this feature. Research has shown 95% of people are likely to look at a text message within 15 minutes of receiving them, while they take longer to get round to looking at their email.

How to use this feature

In order to send SMS/texts, you need to have credits. These are charged separately to our other upgrade options (no credits are bundled with an upgrade, and you don't need to upgrade to buy credits).

The charge for SMS is £0.05 (approximately $0.08) per credit.

The number of credits needed for each message depends on your message length. Shorter messages (less than 160 characters) will take up only one credit. A longer message will take two or more credits.

Please note - if your message includes even one character outside the standard (latin) alphabet it can trigger an encoding which essentially doubles the length of your message.

You can buy credits in any quantity that you wish, with discounts for larger purchases. Just click on 'dashboard' > 'your account' > 'buy credits' and enter the number you would like to buy.

You can also view your messages on the Your Account page > "view messages". Each message is listed as Sent and Delivered so you know exactly who has received the message and when. The number of credits used for each message will also be shown there.

SMS To You

You may wish to get an SMS alert yourself when a new booking is made. Just go to 'afterwards' > 'sms to you' and check the box.

You need to enter your mobile number in international format. This means a number starting with a plus and your country code. Don't included the zero from the start of your regular number.

For example, a number in North America would look something like +12223334444. Another example: a mobile number of 07890 111 222 in the UK (where the country code is 44) would need to be entered as +447890111222.

Enter the text of the message you would like to send in the other box.

You can include some of our mail merge fields, like those shown above. This could give you an alert like this:

SMS To User

There are two SMS messages you can send to the user. The 'confirmation' message is sent immediately after the booking is made. It is also managed on the 'afterwards' tab. The other would be the reminder message (see below).

For both of these, you need to make sure you are collecting your customers' mobile phone numbers in the booking form. Add an item to the form of type 'phone number' and check the box to mark it as a mobile phone.

Make sure you specify which country is assumed for the numbers supplied, or allow people to set the country themselves. They do not need to enter their number in international format.

The text of the message that is sent can again include any mail merge fields you need, including information entered on the booking form.

Which could produce a result for the person making a booking like this:

SMS Reminders

SMS reminders work just the same way and are sent to the same number gathered on the booking form as described above. The only difference is the timing. You specify this alongside the message to send on the 'reminders' > 'sms' tab.

Remember, unlike the confirmation message, your user will have their mind on something else when the message comes through. It is recommended that you include your organisation name prominently so they know exactly who is getting in touch with them.

Managing your messages

When you send a text message to someone who has booked you, they can reply to that text message and you will receive an email with their response.

From there you can delete the booking using the link at the bottom of the email. Or you can click on the underlined "the most recent booking" which will take you to the booking details in your YCBM account.

Reduce no-shows by sending text message reminders a few hours before each appointment. And get instantly notified when someone makes a new booking.