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Customizing notifications and reminders

Email and SMS messages that are generated as part of the registration and booking process can be customized or replaced by your own messages. Reminder and follow-up messages can be similarly customized. Almost all messages can contain so-called “auto text”, which are “magic words” that are automatically replaced by some dynamic value when the message is generated. Text that is shown on-screen during the booking process can also be customized but with a slightly different syntax, see the section on Customizing on-screen messages.

Custom email notifications and reminders

Under Configure > Process you can choose to confirm appointments by email and/or send users an email reminder some time prior to their appointment. By default, the email confirmation contains the following information:

Dear Name,

This message is confirmation that your reservation* was created.

Details of the new reservation*:

  …details of the appointment…

You can access the schedule at:
https://www.supersaas.com/schedule/account_name/schedule_name?day=…

Please do not reply to this message, it was automatically generated and replies will not be read
* The term “reservation” can be changed via Configure > Process

Booking confirmations and reminders can be changed via Configure > Layout, while the text of registration confirmations can be entered via Layout Settings. If you would like to add some text to this message or replace it with your own text altogether.

Dynamic messages using autotext

Autotext are “magic words” that are automatically replaced by some dynamic value when the message is generated. This allows you, for example, to address users by name or make the message language-dependent. An auto text word is simply a word preceded by a $, i.e. $name. In the table below you find the auto text strings that can be used in messages shown on the website.

Auto text strings for use in email messages and SMS-reminders
The word……will be replaced with
$nameThe name of the person to whom the mail is addressed, if available
$dearWrites out "Dear $name," unless $name is not known
$loginThe login name of the creator (blank if administrator or not logged in)
$subjectThe rest of this line will be used as the subject line of the email, it may contain other magic words
$urlA link that points to the schedule at the date of the reservation
$modurlA link that contains a token which allows modification of this reservation without logging in
$actionDescribes what action triggered this email. E.g.: “Your booking was $action” → “Your booking was created”
$detailsLists the booking details, useful if those had been removed by the $replace command below
$replaceRemoves all the system-generated text, only your text will be shown
$nourlRemoves just the URL from the system pre-generated text
$idThe object’s ID, this is useful to quickly look it up in the supervisor interface
$slot_idThe ID of the slot that this object belongs to (capacity schedule only)
$form_idThe ID of the form if this object has a form attached
$start
$finish
$created
The start time, finish time and creation date for this booking.
Use $start_time or $finish_time to show only the time
$previous_startIf the appointment was updated, this shows the start time before the update
$lengthThe duration of the appointment displayed as H:MM or DD:HH:MM
$icalThe booking will be attached to the notification as an iCalendar file
$formIf a form is connected to this object it will be attached as an HTML file
$pricePrice of the appointment. For repeating appointments it’s the price of the first one
$resourcesThe names of connected resources (service schedule only)
$field_1
$field_2
Displays the value of custom fields defined on the configuration screen, Process tab
$field_1a
$field_2a
Displays the value of custom fields defined on the Access Control page
$if "action"The rest of the sentence is only printed if action matches the current action. To apply the condition to multiple lines enclose them in curly brackets. See below for a list of possible actions
$else {message}The $else clause can only follow an $if clause. The message must be enclosed in curly brackets and will only be displayed if the preceding $if condition is not true.
$title
$location
$quantity
$description
The title, location, description and quantity booked (capacity schedule only). For multi-resource schedules $description contains the resource name

Normally, your custom text is appended to the email generated by the system. However, if you use the string $replace anywhere in the message, then your text will replace the system message entirely.

Note that the field to adjust the text of appointment confirmations controls all possible email confirmations, not just new booking confirmations. To customize the text for a specific confirmation, you would need to use the conditional $if statement as explained below.

The commands can also be chained. The next code snippet would only replace the title when a new appointment is created, and otherwise leave the default title:

$if "created" {$subject You have a new appointment on $start}

Permissible values after the $if statement are: created, changed, deleted, approved, refunded, placed_on_the_waiting_list, changed_on_the_waiting_list, removed_from_the_waiting_list or placed (placed means it moved from the waiting list to become a regular appointment). You can also use a language identifier like EN or ES to only display a message if a person has selected that particular language on the calendar.

$if "ES" {Gracias} $else {Thank you}
Another use of auto text is to provide your clients with a direct link to a screen where they can edit their appointment. You could add this text to email notifications:
To change your appointment online go to:
$modurl

The $modurl code will generate a link that contains a token that can allows the visitor of that link to modify or delete the appointment without the need to log in. This is especially useful if you allow people to create appointments without logging in because this way you can allow them to change their own appointments afterwards. You can read more on this in our blog about customizing emails.

Note that emails are sent in plain text, so it’s not possible to add HTML code in email notifications.

Setting the “From” address

By default, email notifications from your account are sent with noreply@supersaas.com in the "From:" field of the message. It’s a good idea to change this field to reassure your users that the message comes from you and to ensure that replies get back to you. You can change this setting on the Layout Settings screen. It lets you either add a “Reply-to” header or change the “From” header to your own address.

Changing the “From” address to your own would ensure that your account name is displayed in the email and that replies get sent back to you. However this option comes with the important proviso that the notifications have a higher risk of being marked as spam because we cannot sign them. In order to comply with internet standards aimed at preventing spam, a Resent-From: SuperSaaS header will be added, unless you add our mail server in the SPF record of your DNS. Some email clients make the Resent-From header visible to the recipient.

The “Reply-to” header, on the other hand, will still send with noreply@supersaas.com in the “From” field, but most email clients will display your account name as the sender and will also send back replies to you. Because our mail server will cryptographically sign the message if it has supersaas.com in the “From” field it has a very high chance of passing all spam filters.

As an aside, any links mentioned in email messages will show supersaas.com unless you set up a custom domain and link it to your account.

Some email domains are configured with a so-called SPF record. This record signals to other mail servers that they should only accept email from a sender listed in that SPF record. If you set the “From” address to your own email then our system will check for the existence of such an SPF record in the DNS for your domain. If the record exists it needs to specify that it allows our mail server to send email. If you have the ability to modify the SPF record of your domain you can add this to the SPF record to ensure it allows sending from our servers: include:spf.supersaas.com
If you want to use your own “From” Address and your mail domain is configured in a way that does not to allow a third party to send on your behalf, then you can also send email via your own server. Using your own server can be useful if you want to prevent any reference to SuperSaaS showing up in the mail headers and also allows you to cryptographically sign the message to improve deliverability.

Custom SMS messages

On the SMS Gateway page you can customize the default SMS-reminder’s textual content. The same auto text codes used to customize email messages can be used to customize SMS-reminders sent to your customers. Note that this does not affect SMS-notifications that are sent to you to inform you about new or updated bookings.

The default reminder content is:
Reminder: <appointment title> on <date and time>
The first inserted field will show the appointment title and the second one shows the date and time of the appointment. For example, provided you have not modified the message, a reminder for a yoga class would look something like this:
Reminder: Yoga (Briana) on 10/10/2019 18:00

More information on configuring SMS confirmations can be found in the confirmation and reminder documentation.