Here are some tips on how to set up scheduled or recurring email reminders that help clients/customers remember necessary appointments, service calls, check-ups, etc.
Providing reminders is good business practice when clients/customers require periodic service, for example dental, vehicle, heating, and septic system service calls.
Here are a few low-cost low-overhead solutions. Please comment if you have found other solutions.
Solution 1: Remind Yourself
Remind YOURSELF about a recurring event, at which time you can remind the customer/client. Google Calendar, Memo to Me, and Zoho are in this category.
Google Calendar (for Gmail users) allows recurring reminders to yourself; it’s free and it’s easy to set up – highly recommended! (‘Guests’ can be added to receive news of ‘the event’, but the guest must be a Gmail user, and the wording of reminders is not tailored to business use.)
Memo to Me offers simple recurring reminders to yourself (the Platinum version offers recurring emails to others; the interface is a bit antiquated).
Solution 2: Scheduled and Recurring Emails
Schedule a one-time or recurring email to a customer/client, reminding them of their next appointment.
Email clients such as Thunderbird and Outlook can be configured to send scheduled and recurring emails using various addons. Send Later is a popular Thunderbird addon that places scheduled emails in the Drafts folder. Add the customer/client’s name in the Subject Line, and cc yourself on the email.
Letter Me Later is a nice online scheduler, with options for scheduled and recurring emails (free subscription for 30 emails/month; upgrade to $19.95/year). There is even a trick to use this service with your email client.
Send Recurring offers a simple and effective interface for recurring (but not scheduled) emails. The Free plan will schedule up to 100 emails ($4.99/mo for up to 500 emails, etc.).
Boomerang and RightInBox (for Gmail users) are browser extensions that allow Gmail scheduling. Free versions are limited to approximately 10 scheduled emails per month. Paid subscriptions (approximately $5/month) offer unlimited scheduled emails. Boomerang Pro offers recurring emails (to Gmail users) for $14.95 per month.
Streak is a Customer Relations Management Chrome extension for Gmail users, offering a full site of management options, including scheduled (but not recurring) emails. (Currently free). The system is a bit complex, but powerful.
Solution 3: Periodic Newsletters
Send a seasonal email to a group list.
Mail merge options in email clients will send email to a group (e.g, Thunderbird Mail Merge). The emails can be personalized using the mail merge fields.
The Newsletter WordPress plugin allows a customized audience, as well as attachment of relevant blog posts that serve as reminders. Create audience lists for each season.
Email list providers (aWeber, Constant Contact, etc.) can be used to send email to a list; the list can be segmented.
Invoice Dude – An Online Invoice System – offers free recurring invoices.