How To Write a Friendly Reminder Message [with samples]
Updated: Oct 1, 2019
Sending reminder messages are a great way to keep your attendees in the loop, but many people send completely ineffective reminders. The reminders they send either don't catch their recipient's attention or, if sending email reminders, they end up in their recipient's spam box.
When scheduling appointments, it's important that you make the most of the reminder messages you send, because it could mean the difference between your attendee showing up or no showing.
Keep Your Message Personal
Any message you write in order to remind your attendee must begin with their name. This is the first step to catching their attention, if you sound like just another promotional email, they won't bother reading the message.
Chances are, because you're sending them a reminder, you've probably met before so you should know their name. If you don't, then learn it. This is how you make your impersonal message begin to sound personal. On top of that, not only do you want to include their name, you also don't want to make it sound too "automated."
If you're writing one message to send automatically, the best way to ensure that your message doesn't read like a robot is to act like you're writing to one person. If you try to write it to everyone, you're going to feel like you're being pulled in different directions and that'll show in your writing.
On the other hand, if you send reminders by hand, the best way to make an email sound personal is by changing up some of the wording you may use. For example, if you were to be sending a message by email, typically you may use words like "Hi" or "Hello." Those words are commonly used when writing automated messages. Try using "Hey" or "How's it going" to give your message some character.
The question then becomes, what channel is more personal, email or text messaging? More on this down below.
Get Straight to The Point (the actual reminder)
The more you ramble on about something other than the actual reminder, the higher the chance your recipient will completely miss the point of your message. You only have three seconds to capture your recipient's attention, so use your time wisely.
When you're sending a message with the intention to remind someone of something, focus on that goal. Don't stray off in some other direction.
It's also important to mention that a reminder email or text message shouldn't be super long. Your main and only goal should be to remind your recipient of an upcoming appointment and to potentially get a response confirming they got your message.
When writing the actual message, keep this question in the back of your mind. This should help you stay on course.
Is this of any benefit to my recipient?
Don't Be Too Pushy
The key to writing a friendly reminder is to come off VERY conversational. At the end of the day, you're writing a reminder to refresh their memory about an upcoming appointment, so I wouldn't imagine that your message should be very authoritative.
When you're wanting to sound friendly, you need to remember that you're writing to another person. They may not even need your reminder, so you can think of it as a helping hand just in case they did.
One thing to mention is that you should NEVER write a reminder that assumes they've forgotten about the appointment, because chances are, they haven't. You should simply be writing this to help.
Include Important Details About The Appointment Within The Message
Now, after that section of me basically saying not to include a ton of information in your reminder message, here's some information that would help your recipient. Remember, the goal of this reminder is to refresh the memory of your recipient so they have all the information they need to show up on time.
Things you could include in the reminder:
You're going to want to include the time and date of the upcoming appointment.
If you have attendees coming to a physical location, you will want to remind them of the address.
To give them some more information about the appointment, you could as include a small description of what will be happening during the appointment.
Of course, depending on the type of appointment you've scheduled, the reminder could contain more information. But, I highly urge you to really think about the last question I mentioned ("Is this of any benefit to my recipient?") because you want to avoid wasting your their time.
Keep Your Reminder Message Out of The Spam Filter
If you're sending reminder messages using email, then there are some things you need to watch for. One of the largest reasons why your recipients may not receive your email is due to the spam filter. The spam filter is what protects our inboxes from endless useless emails that we want nothing to do with.
But, unfortunately, the spam filter sometimes plays for the wrong team. Our emails that are trying to inform our members, attendees, or recipients sometimes end up in the grasp of the spam box, potentially never to be seen again.
So, how do you ensure that your reminder message isn't shot into a blackhole? Well, there are some things you can do to give it's best chance of seeing daylight.
Make Your Subject Line Relevant To The Reminder
First off, when you are constructing a subject line for your reminder message, be sure to make it relevant to what you are talking about. Nobody likes receiving an email with a Clickbait-y subject line.
If you are sending emails with a subject line that has nothing to do with the reminder and you are doing it with the sole purpose of getting your recipient to open the email, then STOP. STOP NOW! That is a one way ticket to the spam box.
Not only are you harming the email you sent, but if you do it enough, Google will begin to view your email address as a spammy address. That means, your emails going forward will be carefully watched for outgoing spam and suspicious emails. You don't want that.
Here are just a few examples of sneaky subject lines:
Did I leave my jacket at your place? You instantly think this is from a friend or relative when you read the subject line. This is extremely misleading.
RE: CURRENTLY IN OFFICE This is especially sneaky because it makes it look like the email is both an ongoing conversation and an important workplace matter.
Urgent – Update your information. Only use the word "urgent" if it's actually urgent. Plus, if the recipient isn't actually going to be updating their information, then don't add that in the subject line.
Thanks for your order! If you're not actually notifying someone of a recent purchase then DO NOT use this as a way to get someone to click on your email.
These examples came from a post by Litmus.
Basically, the key takeaway for subject lines is to keep them relevant. Plus, this is against the CAN-SPAM act, so put simply, it's illegal.
Make sure your "From" information is accurate
When sending email reminders to recipients, be sure to use the correct "From" information. Sure, when writing your message by hand, you could easily make a mistake by mistyping your email address or name. But, that's not exactly what I'm talking about.
I'm talking about Email Spoofing, this is where you make your email look like it came from someone else. For example, if you made your email look like it came from Bill Gates himself, that would be a cold hard example of Email Spoofing.
Which, by the way, is also illegal under the CAN-SPAM act.
Ensure That You Quickly Establish a Connection With Your Recipient
This is an easy one to cover when writing an email. If you touch back to what I was saying near the beginning of the post, I said you needed to keep your message personal. This can be done by using your recipient's first name near the top of the message, this instantly grabs their attention, so you can share the message you're wanted to get across.
You're probably wondering how the heck this helps to avoid the spam box. In short, Google tracks how people are interacting with your emails over time.
If people click on your email and immediately delete it, Google will notice and continue to watch your emails over time to see if the results continue.
On the other hand, if people click on your email and respond to it, Google also takes note and may help ensure that your emails show up in your recipient's inbox going forward.
The point is, you want to make sure your emails are relevant to your recipient so they don't delete it the second they get it. Typically, if you are sending a reminder message to someone who already knows and recognizes your name and business, this shouldn't be a problem.
Avoid Spam Trigger Words
Google and other email services take a lot into consideration when determining if an email is spam or not. One consideration is the wording they use within the message. While these words in and of itself won't get your email flagged for spam. It is important to watch how you use them in context.
Here are a list of words to watch out for:
cancel at any time
check or money order
for only ($)
free or toll-free
this is not spam
If you'd like to see more words to watch-out for, check out these Spam Trigger Words by Hubspot.
If you're still concerned that your emails may get flagged, there's a tool called ISnotSPAM that can help check the status of your emails before sending them to recipients.
When Should You Send Your Reminder
The time that you send your reminders can vary based on many variables (ie. what time the appointment starts, what time-zone your attendees are in, etc.), but finding the right time to do this isn't incredibly complicated. The question really is, when you think your attendee will most likely see it?
As a rule of thumb, if the appointment starts in the morning, it may be best to send the reminder the night before (between 5 or 7 PM). If you were to send the reminder the day of, you run the risk of sending the message while they're still sleeping.
As a safe bet, I'd recommend always sending the reminder the night before if the appointment start before 11 AM. Otherwise, if the appointment starts later in the day (12:00 PM +), you could send the reminder the day of and be ok.
But, at the end of the day, you need to see what works best for you. If you find that sending appointment reminders at a certain time works better, then stick with it.
Which Is Better For Sending Reminder Messages, Email or Text?
Let me answer it this way. What would you respond to first, an email or a text message? Different people may answer this differently. Most of us, I'd imagine, would respond to a text message first. That's where our family and friends are.
If you were to insert your reminder in with your recipient's family and friends, you have a higher likelihood of being seen. On the other hand, if you are talking to a group of people that are always on their email, then send reminders with email.
Unfortunately, there is no set in stone answer. It really comes down to who you're sending messages to.
In most cases, text message reminders will probably be the most effective way of reminding your recipient. But, sending email reminders is not an unproductive path to follow.
Copy and Paste Reminder Email Sample
I just wanted to shoot you a quick reminder about our appointment coming up this Sunday. I look forward to meeting you!
Just to freshen some things up, here are the details again:
Time: This Sunday at 11:00 AM
My shop address: 1066 Henery Street, Valley Centre, KS
Details: You needed your oil changed in your 2014 Ford Fusion SE
Copy and Paste Reminder Text Message Sample
I just wanted to send you a quick reminder about your oil change this Sunday at 11:00 AM. I look forward to meeting you, let me know if you've got any questions.
Wrapping Things Up
The main thing to remember is to keep it simple. You're writing a message with the purpose to remind your recipient, not to overload them with information. Also, in an act of desperation to get your recipient to open the message, don't use spammy tactics to fulfill that goal. It will only come back to bite you later.
But seriously, keep your emails simple and send them at appropriate times. Don't send your attendee a message at 5:00 AM in the morning, that won't help you at all (unless they're early risers I guess...).