How to Create Great Custom SMS Reminders

For reminders to be effective you want them to include as much pertinent and accurate information about the appointment to be included as possible. You also don’t want to sound too formal. Something that looks like it’s actually typed by the business owner or staff member usually gets the best response… versus something that sounds like it came from a computer. Use the guide below to see how to build a custom message that matches your business!

First, Let’s take a look at an example:

Hi {{ }}, just confirming our appointment for {{ startTime |date:"l"}} at {{ startTime |date:"h:i a"}}.

Looking forward to seeing you! - {{ business }}

This reads as:

Hi (customer first name), just confirming our appointment for (day of the week) at (time of appointment).

Looking forward to seeing you! – (your business name)

Friendly? Yes!.
Informal? Yes!
Pertinent & Relevant? Yes!

Here is a quick reference to some important short codes:

{{ }} 
{{ business }} 
{{ }}

These reference the exact starting time and date:

{{ startTime |date:"l"}},
{{ startTime |date:"h:i a"}}

If you would like the end time instead use this:

{{ endTime |date:"h:i a"}}

Advanced Date Configuration

As seen above, dates and times use this format: {{ value|date:” ” }}. Inside the quotation marks you can change the characters to match the output you are looking for using the characters in the table below:

For example: {{ value|date:"D d M Y" }}

Using this above for an appointment on Tuesday May 28, 2019, the output will be the string ‘Tues 28 May 2019’.

CharacterDescriptionExample Output
dDay of the month, 2 digits with leading zeros.'01' to '31'
jDay of the month without leading zeros.'1' to '31'
Day of the week with 3 letters.
‘Sun’ to ‘Sat’
lFull day of the week‘Sunday’ to ‘Saturday’
SEnglish ordinal suffix for day of the month, 2 characters.'st''nd''rd' or 'th'
Day of the week, digits without leading zeros.
'0' (Sunday) to '6' (Saturday)
zDay of the year.0' to ‘365'
WWeek number of year, with weeks starting on Monday.‘1’ to ’53’
mMonth, 2 digits with leading zeros.'01' to '12'
nMonth without leading zeros.'1' to '12'
MMonth with 3 letters.'Jan' to ‘Dec’
Month, with 3 lowercase letters.
'jan' to ‘dec’
EMonth, locale specific alternative representation usually used for long date representation.'listopada' (for Polish locale, as opposed to 'Listopad')
FFull month name.‘January’ to ‘December’
NMonth abbreviation in Associated Press style. Proprietary extension.'Jan.''Feb.''March''May'
tNumber of days in the given month.28 to 31
yYear, 2 digits.'99'
YYear, 4 digits.'1999'
LBoolean for whether it’s a leap year.'True‘ or 'False'
oISO-8601 week-numbering year, corresponding to the ISO-8601 week number (W) which uses leap weeks. See Y for the more common year format.'1999'
gHour, 12-hour format without leading zeros.'1' to '12'
Hour, 24-hour format without leading zeros.
'0' to '23'
hHour, 12-hour format. 
'01' to '12'
Hour, 24-hour format.
'00' to '23'
iMinutes.'00' to '59'
sSeconds, 2 digits with leading zeros.'00' to '59'
uMicroseconds.000000 to 999999
a'a.m.' or 'p.m.' 'a.m.' or 'p.m.' 
A'AM' or 'PM'.'AM' or 'PM'
fTime, in 12-hour hours and minutes, with minutes left off if they’re zero. '1''1:30'
Time, in 12-hour hours, minutes and ‘a.m.’/’p.m.’, with minutes left off if they’re zero and the special-case strings ‘midnight’ and ‘noon’ if appropriate.
'1 a.m.''1:30 p.m.',
eTimezone name. Could be in any format, or might return an empty string, depending on the datetime.'''GMT''-500''US/Eastern', etc.
Daylight Savings Time, whether it’s in effect or not.
'1' or '0'
ODifference to Greenwich time in hours.'+0200'
TLocal timezone.'EST''MDT'
ZTime zone offset in seconds. The offset for timezones west of UTC is always negative, and for those east of UTC is always positive.-43200 to 43200
cISO 8601 format.
or 2008-01-02T10:30:00.000123 if the datetime is naive
RFC 5322 formatted date.
'Thu, 21 Dec 2000 16:01:07 +0200'
Seconds since the Unix Epoch (January 1 1970 00:00:00 UTC).

Want to learn more? Make sure to check out our YouTube Channel, other helpful guides and more how-to guides!

Updated on January 20, 2021

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