We’ll show you how to write the perfect appointment confirmation email to reduce no shows and explain their importance.
Why you need to send an appointment confirmation email
We’ve all been in a situation where we haven’t received an email confirmation but the payment for a product or service has been taken. The result? We lose trust in the company and begin to panic that our order isn’t processed. We weigh up whether to submit another booking, but then that could risk parting with more cash! In the end, you may have to ring the customer service line to confirm that your appointment has been set. There’s nothing worse than turning up for a meeting to find that you’re not on the records.
No business owner wants their customers to go through this ordeal. The simple step of sending an appointment confirmation email is the solution. We’ll explain why:
Customers expect them
Every company is taking advantage of confirmation emails. Can you remember the last time you booked something and didn’t have a notification ping through straight away? Confirmation emails should be an automatic response to a booking and customers expect them. If you fall behind the way the world is moving, you’ll simply be left behind.
Offers peace of mind
Without a confirmation email, people may question whether you’re a legitimate business. This can cause anxiety if online payments have been taken as customers may think they have been a victim of hacking or online theft.
A confirmation email that includes trust signals like your logo, information about the services they have just paid for, and links to your website will offer peace of mind to those warier about online safety.
No-shows are a business's worst nightmare. They’re a waste of time, money and resources. If only the customer had cancelled their appointment, there may have been a chance for a paying customer to take the slot.
But how can you expect someone to cancel their appointment if they forgot that they booked it! Confirmation emails and reminder notifications can keep your appointment in the front of customers’ minds. Reinforcing the date, time and location will encourage people to double-check their diaries for clashing events, reducing no-shows and late cancellations.
Improves your company image
In a consumer’s mind, a confirmation email equals trust in your business. You’ll come across as a professional company that knows what they’re doing. This is also the perfect place to strengthen brand awareness and shout about your values and USPs.
The more detail you include in your confirmation email, the more credible you become. As customers can connect with your brand and what it stands for, you may increase sales via word-of-mouth - especially if your service was great too! Bear in mind that your tone of voice should remain consistent in the email and match the image you’re trying to portray on other channels like your website and social media.
Makes it easy for customers to cancel/reschedule their appointment
If a customer decides to cancel or reschedule their appointment, the confirmation email is a resource they can turn to. Include information about how long a customer has to cancel, and whether any fees will be incurred. With BookingLive, you can include a link that will allow customers to reschedule or cancel their appointment in a few clicks.
Removing the need to ring the reception desk during office hours will make customers very happy; we all love convenience and if we can do something from our smartphone, we will.
Things to include in an appointment confirmation email
Now that we’ve established why you need to send appointment confirmation emails, we’ll talk you through what to write.
The basic information you need to include is:
- The product/service that has been purchased
- The quantity of tickets if necessary
- The date and time of the appointment
- Who the appointment is with if necessary
- Amount paid or to be paid - including method of payment
- Location - address or online meeting link
We’ll go into more detail about the things to include in an appointment confirmation email.
Clear and concise subject line
Confirmation emails should be clear and concise. Customers need to quickly find information about their booking so the email needs to stand out against the noise of their inbox. They shouldn’t be distracted by long subject lines or emojis. This isn’t the time to be creative and play on words with catchy phrases - you can experiment with this when it comes to your email marketing campaigns.
Include the words ‘appointment confirmation’ along with a reference number or unique ID. This will make it easier for the customer to locate the email at a later date.
The purpose of a confirmation email is to confirm details about a booking. So include all information you feel is relevant and convey it. The main booking details you should cover are:
- Greeting - Address the customer by their first name to add a personal touch. This can be automated for you with BookingLive.
- Date and time - This should be in bold and contrasting colours to other information in the email to really make it pop. The date and time is arguably the most important detail, so don’t let them blend into the background.
- Service/appointment information - Name and summary of the service including how long the service should take and who the appointment is with.
- Location - Include a link to a map or meeting link if the appointment is virtual.
- Payment summary - In case of discrepancies later down the line, include a receipt of payment with a breakdown of costs, the payment method and time of purchase.
- How to reschedule/cancel the appointment - Outline your policy and explain how a customer can reschedule or cancel. Be clear about the terms and conditions to minimise any issues later on.
- Thank you - Just like the personal greeting, signing off the email with a thank you message will make a bigger difference than you may expect. Thanking customers for their booking is professional and is another added detail that competitors may have missed.
Give your customers as many ways to contact you as possible. You never know when a phone line may go down or a customer’s WiFi will lag, so cover all bases. Alongside a telephone number and your opening hours, include links to your website and social media profiles. This can drive more traffic to your profiles to boost brand awareness and build your following. Giving customers the chance to connect with your company will help create a loyal base, leading to more long term sales.
Add to calendar button
A handy way to reduce no-shows is to include an add to calendar button in the email confirmation. It’s likely that the email will soon be hidden beneath hundreds more emails so you need to take the appointment away from the inbox.
Allowing customers to add the booking to their personal calendar with the click of a button will make both parties happy. Clients can have a clear view of their schedule and companies can reduce no-shows and bring in more revenue.
Use a professional email address
You could put all the effort into writing an appointment confirmation email to reduce no-shows, to find that no one has opened it! If you send the email from an address that doesn’t match your brand and it looks unprofessional, customers may perceive it to be spam. Would you trust an email address that you don’t recognise?
Send confirmation emails from an address that is clear and professional. Maybe even highlight the address on your website. If you can, avoid a no-reply email address as they can hinder communications and confuse customers.
How to take your appointment confirmation emails to the next level
Now you know the essential things to include in your appointment confirmation email, we’ll cover some extra steps you can take to reduce no-shows further.
Send the email at the right time
Send the confirmation email as soon as the booking has been processed. This should be immediate. You don’t want customers questioning your business and they need instant reassurance that their appointment is secured.
As well as the initial email, it’s a good idea to send a reminder email 24 hours before the appointment. This will get your booking back on a customer’s radar and still gives them time to cancel or reschedule.
The last thing you want is for your email to be flagged as spam. Make sure you follow any rules from the mail provider to prevent this from happening.
Don’t turn it into a sales pitch
A customer has paid for your service, great! It’s clear that they’re interested in what you have to offer. If your service meets their expectations, they may even book again. Don’t put this early relationship at risk by up-selling in the confirmation email.
Focusing too much on your other services before they’ve even experienced their first one can come across as pushy. Customers may lose trust in you and your brand may be viewed as sales-centric rather than customer-centric.
There’s plenty of time to upsell once you’ve established a stronger relationship so don’t jump on the sales speak straight away.
Make the email easy to read
A confirmation email is made to be convenient. The core information should be easy to read by making use of good design. Whether that means using different colours, font sizes, or grouping information into separate boxes - play around with different ideas until you’re happy with the layout. Show a group of people the test email and ask for feedback. Were they able to quickly find the most important information about the booking?
Test the email on multiple devices
You could design the perfect email for desktop but it may not translate well on mobile. Your carefully crafted message may not even be legible on smaller screens. The size and formatting of images and text may change depending on the device, so test your email template out on desktop, mobile and tablets.
Use BookingLive to send automated confirmation emails and reminders
Now you can go away and create a template for the perfect confirmation email based on the information we’ve given you. You can input this on your online booking system and BookingLive will automatically fill in the basic fields such as customer name, payment method, service type and location. With our Zoom integration, we can even generate an online meeting link and attach it to the booking confirmation.
BookingLive will automatically send an email confirmation once a customer has made a booking. This allows users to view confirmation immediately and you don’t have to keep on top of managing bookings. Better still, BookingLive sends reminder notifications 2 and 24 hours ahead of the appointment to reduce no-shows.
If you want to cover all bases, you can set up SMS reminders too. This will be an added cost for Enterprise customers. If you use our small business system, this feature will only be available with the Twillo integration via Zapier. You can find out more about our pricing here.
If someone chooses to reschedule or cancel, BookingLive will update the data in real-time so you always know what’s going on. The online booking system allows you to manage employee schedules and access detailed reports. This helps you understand which services are most popular and what times of day employees are at their busiest.
We offer a leading booking and scheduling solution for small businesses and larger enterprises. If you’d like to chat with our expert team to learn more, call 0800 1310 342 or email email@example.com. We also offer demos of the booking system and you can sign up for an account here.