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This guide applies to:

  • Basic Edition
  • Plus Edition
  • Pro Edition
  • Business Edition

Introduction

Simply Schedule Appointments uses the Twilio API for handling SMS Notifications.

Twilio is a service that lets you send SMS messages (at a very low price per message). This means you’re 100% in control of your customers’ data & privacy. Your SMS reminders won’t pass through our servers and you can keep your site independent.


Set up your Twilio account and phone number

You’ll need to first set up an account with Twilio so that you can send SMS through SSA.

Create an account on Twilio. Head over to their site and click the Sign Up button. (If you’ve already got an account, skip this and just log in).

You’ll want to be sure to purchase a phone number from Twilio, under Phone Numbers > Manage > Buy a number. This is the number you’ll use to send SMS reminders to yourself or your customers.

Buying and activating a Twilio phone number

Enable and Setup SMS Notifications

Now we’ll need to enable the SMS feature. Go to Settings > Notifications and click the toggle in the SMS settings box to turn this feature on. Click on Edit Settings, and here you can enter the information from the Twilio Dashboard.

You’ll need three bits of info from your Twilio account, all of which should be visible on your Twilio Dashboard:

  • Account SID
  • Auth Token
  • and your Twilio phone number
Enabling the SMS feature.

Send a Test Message

To confirm that your Twilio account information is correct, you can send yourself a test message. Under the Send a test message section, type in your phone number and click Send.

If your Twilio account is still in trial mode, you’ll only be able to send texts to numbers that you’ve verified in your Twilio account.

Screen shot of the field and button used to send a test SMS message
Try sending a test SMS message to confirm your Twilio settings are correct

Update the Admin Phone in General Settings

If you’d like to send yourself text reminders and notifications about appointments, you’ll need to enter an admin phone number. Go to Settings > General to enter your own phone number.

Enter your admin phone number to text yourself reminders

Add the Phone Number Field to Appointment Types

To send SMS notifications, reminders, and follow-ups to your customers, you’ll need to ask them for a phone number in the booking form.

Edit your appointment types, and in the Customer Information section, be sure to add a field with the type Phone number. You can bulk edit your appointment types to speed up this process!

We’re automatically checking for phone number fields and upgrading those from single-line text fields to phone number fields where we can. So you might find that some of your appointment types already have phone number type fields.

Editing my Appointment Type to Include the Phone Number field

Setup an SMS Notification

Setting up an SMS notification is similar to an Email Notification. Except some fields will vary.

In SSA, go to Settings > Notifications and +Add a New Notification.

Adding a new SMS Notification

Name Field for Organizing Notifications

This is to help admins keep track of the notifications.

If you plan to create a lot of customized notifications, we recommend creating a naming system to help you edit them in the future. Keep these things in mind while naming:

  • Include a quick note about who is receiving the notification (Admin, Customer or someone else?)
  • The appointment type connected to the notification (All or a only one?)
Choosing a name for the notification

Choose the Type

After setting up your SSA with Twilio, a new option to choose a type of notification will appear.

There are two buttons for selecting a Type: Email or SMS. Choose SMS.

Choose the notification type

Send To Either Admin or Customer

Next, select who this SMS notification is going to send to – Admin or Customer.

If you haven’t set up an admin phone number in the General Settings, you’ll only see the Customer phone number option here.

Choose who to send the SMS notification to

Triggers to Send Notifications at Specific Times or Events

Each notification has a trigger for sending. You can set up different notifications for different events. The triggers are:

  • Booked: Sent when a customer finishes booking
  • Edited: Sent when an admin or customer edits the information from the Booking Form (name, email address, etc)
  • Canceled: Sent when the admin or customer cancels the appointment.
  • Time of Appointment: Send at a specific time before or after the time of appointment.
Triggers for this notification

Tie Notifications to Appointment Types

The list here only shows Appointment Types that have a Phone Number field. Check off the Appointment Types that you want to be tied to this notification.

If you don’t see any, make sure to go back to your Appointment Types and add in a Phone Number field in the Customer Information tab.

Appointment Types with a phone number field listed

Message to Send Through SMS

The message field uses Twig Code Templates to insert appointment information. Click the Tt (text) icon at the top-right corner of the Message field to insert Twig Code Tokens automatically.

And make sure to keep an eye on the Live Preview box below the message box to make sure there are no errors.

Here’s a guide to help you write personalized messages using the Twig Code Templates: Writing Your Own Notification Subject and Message. Or, easily start with one of our default Messages: Default Notification Messages

All of the twig code templates highlighted

Booking Appointments with SMS Field

Customers will be able to opt-in to receiving text messages. If there’s an SMS notification tied to their selected appointment type, they’ll see a checkbox under the phone number field.

Opt-in checkbox for SMS notifications


Still stuck?

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