How to set up automated marketing and appointment messages

Grow your business, brand and provide a delightful client experience with these automated marketing and appointment messaging tools. It’s easy to set up automated message rules for appointment reminders, follow ups (to share aftercare instructions and request reviews), and rebooking reminders, which will save you time and keep your salon busy. Timely offers these options in both and SMS/text messaging formats. 

Automated marketing and messaging is a stress-free way to market your business and will help you look organised and professional. We've outlined all of these tools below.

The types of automated marketing messages you can send depends on the package that you chose for your business, from the image below you can see that the 'Basic' and 'Build' package do not include automated marketing. 

To find out more about managing SMS limits click here. To find out about automated marketing laws in the EU/UK click here.

The Six Types of Automated Messages:

Scroll down after reviewing the different message options to find how-to steps on setting each of these up.

Follow up messages: Deliver an exceptional client experience with follow up messages. Use these to send thank yous to clients after a treatment. A thank you message should be short and sweet (SMS if the perfect channel for this). Thank you messages help build client relationships and lift your brand.

Referral request: Gain new clients entirely by word of mouth referrals. Setting up an automated follow up SMS message to encourage referrals is a quick and easy way to keep clients coming through the door. You can even track referrals in Timely. 

Review requests: Use automated follow up messaging to improve brand awareness, credibility and SEO search rankings by requesting reviews from your loyal clients. Timely offers flexible options so you can get reviews from your preferred channels, i.e. Facebook, Google, Yelp - just add the link to your message and watch your brand grow. Tip: looking to shorten your links and save message characters? Try a link shortener tool, like bit.ly.

Aftercare instructions: A great client experience continues after they’ve left the salon. You can set-up automatic aftercare messages by service, so if you’re offering services like IPL, dental work or body art, you might need to follow up an appointment with some important information. This could be aftercare instructions, post-treatment advice or some tips on how to maintain their new tattoo. 

Share guides and documents: Add a link to your message. Great for sharing guides, sending detailed aftercare instructions or a map to your location

Reconnect/rebooking messages: Automatically Reconnect and entice clients you’ve not seen or heard from for a while. Sending them a message lets your client know you care and want to see them again. Almost everyone has a smartphone, so an SMS that buzzes in your client’s pocket is sure to grab their attention. You can increase the chances of a rebooking by including a sweetener like 10% off if they rebook. You could even throw in a nice add-on to get them rushing back through the door. Everyone loves free stuff!


1

Create a new follow-up message

Before you start, you will need to make sure that you have Two-way Messaging enabled. This allows customers to reply to SMS messages and is a requirement for setting up an SMS follow-up. Our How to turn on SMS replies and confirmations (two-way SMS) guide steps you through that process. 

To create a new follow-up message, head to  Setup > Customer messages in the main menu:

Click the  Add new message button in the top right corner:

At the top of the page, you will see a list of customer message types. Choose Follow-up from the options: 

2

Select the type of message you'd like to send

You can choose to send the follow-up message via  SMS or  Email. You have the option to customise both SMS and email messages to suit your requirements, as well as create unique follow-up messages for specific services. 

Select which type of message you'd like to send under the Send this as an email or SMS heading:


3

Set the rules for this specific message

You can then choose when, and under what circumstances, you'd like the message to be sent.
  1. Choose how long after the customer's booking you'd like the message to be sent: 
  2. Decide what bookings/services the message will be sent for. You can send this after all bookings by choosing the Any service option. Or only send this to Selected services.
  3. When you choose Selected services a window will pop up which allows you to select which services you'd like this message to be sent for: 

  4. Click Save once you've selected all appropriate services. To change the services included, click the View/change services link: 
  5. You can choose what Booking status the appointment must be set to. If this isn't checked, then follow-up messages will be sent to all booking statuses (except for Cancelled and Did not show bookings).
  6. If you'd prefer, you can choose to only Send to customers with no previous appointments. If this is checked, customers who have visited you before won't receive this message.
  7. If this is a welcome message, or you only need to share this information once, then you can check the box next to Send to each customer once only:

4

Customise your message

You have full control over what information is included in both SMS and email messages: 
 

Follow-up Email messages

When you set up an email message, you can include a link to an external website or document that is hosted online. This will be displayed as a button, which customers can click to take them directly to your chosen site. 

  1. Enter a Subject and your own Custom text message, or adjust the one we've suggested to suit your business:
  2. To include a link, check the box next to Add a button linking to a site of your choosing:
  3. Enter the link (URL) in the field provided and choose the Label for the button
  4. View a Preview of your message below: 

Need some inspiration? Here are a couple of ways in which you can use that button:

  • Link to a review website like Yelp, Facebook, Google Maps etc.
  • Connect this to your business Facebook so customers can "Like" your page.
  • Link directly to a form, or detailed after-care instructions hosted on your website.
  • Create a link that allows the customer to reply to an email address

Follow-up SMS messages

You can determine what information is included in the SMS message using the placeholder tags on the left-hand side.

Make sure you include your business name, so customers know who they are receiving a message from. You are restricted to 160 characters, so you may need to get a little creative!

Our  How to customise the SMS templates has some more information about how you can set up, or amend your SMS templates.

If you'd like to include a link in this message, then you may like to use a URL shortener like  Bitly (https://bitly.com/) or Google (https://goo.gl/). 

We also like this handy tool that allows you to view the content of a shortened link, before clicking:  https://www.websiteplanet.com/webtools/redirected/


5

Name and save your message

  1. Give your follow-up message a name: 
  2. Click Save to create your new message.
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