System SMS

Kathryn Hamilton
Kathryn Hamilton
  • Updated

Overview: What are we talking about?

Gingr sends a variety of system-generated SMS (text messages) to your customers, each of which can be turned on or off by your business, and have customizable templates. These communications can include reservation and appointment communications, receipts, and report cards. This article will cover how to configure your app to send system-generated SMS. 


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Helpful Hints: Before you begin

  • Important! It is extremely important that you review every SMS template in your app and understand all settings before turning on your Global SMS settings. Gingr is not liable for any erroneous information in your templates or unintended sending of SMS due to improperly configured settings. If you are unsure of what any SMS template does, please reach out to our support team.

  • Only users in the Admin user group can configure System SMS settings and templates. It is not possible to create additional System SMS templates.

  • You must configure your permissions to allow users in your app to send certain SMS:
    • Navigate to Left-hand Navigation Menu: Reports & More » Groups.
    • For users to send manually triggered SMS (such as Ready for Pickup and Report Cards), the "Can Send SMS" user permission must be turned on for the user group they are in. 
    • If you have 2-way SMS enabled, for users to receive in-app notifications for incoming text messages, the user must have the "Notification: Incoming SMS" user permission turned on.

  • You can use the Owner's Communications tab to review all SMS communications with a select customer. Navigate to the Owner's profile, click the Communications tab, and optionally filter or sort the results to find what you need. For more information please see our Overview of the Owner Communications Tab

  • Important! Our messaging provider, Twilio, enforces strict guidelines for SMS content. Twilio prohibits sending messages related to illegal substances, including terms like CBD, Cannabis, or Kratom. Messages containing prohibited words will be automatically censored with asterisks (*), both within your app and for the message recipient. Violating these guidelines may lead to the immediate blocking of all messages from your SMS number. Refer to Twilio's Acceptable Use Policy and Forbidden Message Categories for more details.

How to: Configure System-wide SMS Settings

There are a couple of System SMS settings that affect all locations in your app. These settings can be found by navigating to Left-hand Navigation: Admin » System SMS.
 
At the top of the page you can see the phone number that your app sends messages from:
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There are two System-wide SMS settings to review. To change the status of a system-wide setting, click the toggle to move the setting into the desired position. Changing the position of a setting immediately changes the function of the setting.

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The system-wide SMS settings include: 
Setting Description Helpful Hint
Global SMS on The master switch for sending SMS from your app. No SMS will send if this setting is not enabled. To prevent SMS from leaving your app before configuration is complete, keep this setting disabled until you've customized all SMS templates.
Send Employee Schedule Publish SMS If enabled, employee users will receive an SMS when an employee schedule is published. This setting requires that your app utilize Employee Scheduling. Visit this article to learn more.

 

How to: Understand SMS Template Types

There are several SMS templates that can be sent from Gingr either automatically or at-will by a user with the appropriate group permissions. These templates can be customized by navigating to Left-hand Navigation: Admin » System SMS

 

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Templates that send automatically can be enabled or disabled by changing the template's Status setting. If an automated template is disabled, the template will not be triggered to send to customers. Templates that are sent at-will by a user do not have a Status setting, and require a user to manually send the template to a customer. 

Below you will find a field guide that contains all of the System SMS templates, their behavior, and which variables are allowed to be used on the template.

Template Behavior Allowed Variables
New Reservation SMS Triggered automatically by creating a new reservation or accepting a reservation request. {animal_name} {start_date} {action_url}

New Appointment SMS

Triggered automatically by creating a new appointment. {start_date} 

Check Out SMS

Triggered automatically by checking out a reservation. {animal_name} {start_date} {action_url} 

Reservation Reminder SMS

Triggered automatically at a set number of minutes before a reservation's start time. This is configured for each reservation type from Admin » Reservation Types and Services Configuration. See more information on setting this up below.  {animal_name} {reservation_type} {start_date} {cancel_url} 

Group Class Enrollment SMS

Triggered automatically when a pet is enrolled in a group class. {animal_name} {class_name} {first_class_start} 

Check In SMS

Triggered automatically when the pet is checked in. {animal_name} {reservation_type} {start_date} 

Confirmation Request SMS

Sent at will from the Unconfirmed section of the dashboard to request confirmation from an unconfirmed reservation. {animal_name} {start_date} {action_url} 

Ready for Pick Up SMS

Sent at will by clicking the Ready For Pickup SMS button on the dashboard. {animal_name} 

Report Card SMS

Sent at will from the Report Cards page. {animal_name} {report_card_title} {action_url}
Gingr PreCheck Triggered automatically at a set number of minutes before a reservation's start time. This is configured for each Gingr PreCheck form under Admin » Gingr PreCheck.  {animal_name} {start_date} {action_url} {location_name} {first_name} {reservation_type} {services} {estimate_url} {total_cost} {reservation_dropoff_times} {start_date} {location_name} {location_phone} {location_email} {reservation_type_custom_text} {services_custom_text}
PreCheck Form Reminder Triggered manually from the Admin » Gingr PreCheck page if a user selects the Send to Future Reservations function to any clients within the selected date range that have not yet filled out the Gingr PreCheck form. {animal_name} {start_date} {action_url} {location_name} {first_name} {reservation_type} {services} {estimate_url} {total_cost} {reservation_dropoff_times} {start_date} {location_name} {location_phone} {location_email} {reservation_type_custom_text} {services_custom_text}
PreCheck Form Edited SMS Triggered automatically if the Gingr PreCheck form is edited after an Owner has filled it out, but before they've been checked in.  {animal_name} {start_date} {action_url} {location_name} {first_name} {reservation_type} {services} {estimate_url} {total_cost} {reservation_dropoff_times} {start_date} {location_name} {location_phone} {location_email} {reservation_type_custom_text} {services_custom_text}
New Wait List SMS Triggered automatically when a reservation is added to the waitlist. {animal_name}{start_date}
Unread Notifications SMS Triggered automatically if an employee user has unread notifications. {subject}, {action_url}
Password Reset SMS  Sent at will when a customer or employee clicks the Forgot Your Password link on the login page.  {action_url}

 

 

How to: Customize System SMS Templates

System SMS templates can be managed by Admin users to customize the verbiage to your facilities needs. To edit a System SMS template, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Left-hand Navigation: Admin » System SMS.
  2. Click the Edit icon to edit the template. 

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  3. Customize the template:
    Status: This setting determines if the automated SMS will send automatically.
    Body: Enter up to 145 characters of text, optionally including placeholder variables that will substitute animal, owner, or reservation-specific information. See the section below for more information about variables. 

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  4. Save your changes. 

How to: Understand SMS Variables

The following placeholder variables can be used in System SMS templates. On the Edit view of each template, you will find a list of each variable that can be used on that specific SMS template. Not all variables can be used on each template.

Variable Translates As Helpful Hint
{animal_name} The animal's name.   
{start_date} The start date and time of the reservation. 

If the start date of the appointment is 12:00AM for a slot-based appointment, the start time will not display in this variable.

Slot-based appointments can be optionally assigned a specific start time when booked from the redesigned New Appointment page. For more information see our article on Understanding Slot-based Appointments

{reservation_type} The name of the reservation type.   
{action_url} A link to perform a specific action, this action can be different per SMS Template.
  • New Reservation SMS: a link for the customer to view their reservation details.
  • Report Card SMS: a link for the customer to view their animal's report card.
  • Checkout SMS: a link for customer to view reservation's receipt and report cards.
  • Confirmation Request SMS: a link for the customer to confirm their reservation.
  • Password Reset SMS: a link for the customer or employee to update their password.
  • Unread Notifications SMS: a link for employee to login to Gingr.
 
{cancel_url} A link that the customer can use to cancel their reservation.  
{subject} The subject of the unread notification that the employee user being emailed about.   
{class_name} The name of the group class.  
{first_class_start} The first class date and start time of the group class.

If you use Series classes then this will populate with the first class date in the series.

If you use Open Enrollment Classes then this will populate the first date of the class so be mindful of using this variable if you do both types of group classes or if your open enrollment class spans across many dates. 

{report_card_title} Displays the custom name of Report Cards in your app. This is configured in Left-hand Navigation: Admin » Report Card Settings » Display report cards as.
{reservation_dropoff_times}
A free-text field to indicate specific drop-off times set by reservation type. This is configured in Left-hand Navigation: Admin » Reservation Types & Services Configuration.

 

 

How to: Set up Reminder SMS

Reminder SMS allows you to remind your customers about an upcoming booking automatically by triggering an SMS message about the booking a certain number of minutes before their reservation is expected to start. 

Once you have you Reminder SMS template set up and enabled, you will want to update the settings under the Reservation Types that you would like Gingr to send this for and tell Gingr when you want these messages to send. 

Helpful Hint!: You can enable both a Reminder SMS and a Reminder Email for each reservation type if you wish. This allows you to send reminders with two different delivery methods, and at two different times if you would like. 

  1. Navigate to Left-hand Navigation: Admin » Reservation Types and Services Configuration.
  2. Select the applicable Booking Category
  3. Select the Reservation Type that you would like to enable Reminder SMS for
  4. Click 'Edit Settings' 
  5. Select the 'Communication Options' Settings
  6. Enter a number in minutes (greater than 120) prior to the start of the booking where the pet parent should receive an SMS reminder in the "SMS Reminder Minutes Before Start" field. 
  7. Click save at the bottom of the side window.

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How to: Configure International SMS Options

It is possible to use the SMS features in Gingr if your facility resides outside of North America by using integration with a third-party company called Esendex. This integration does cost money, but is not charged through your Gingr subscription.  Please visit this page to read more about Esendex and its pricing.

If you would like to utilize this integration, follow these steps:

  1. Visit this page to create a Esendex account and optionally schedule a demo with one of their representatives: https://esendex.us/register 
  2. Once you have received an API Key and Country Code from Esendex, please submit a ticket to support@gingrapp.com with those two pieces of information to our support team for assistance with completing this integration.

How to: View SMS History 

There are several ways in which you can view SMS history. From the Owner Profile, you can access a tab with all the customer email and SMS communications in one place. If you are signed up for 2-Way texting (an additional Subscription Add-on) then you will also have access to a complete SMS conversation history. Finally, some but not all outgoing System SMS show in the "Outgoing Email Log." 

Owner Communications Tab

In order to see a record of all communications with a customer, navigate to the Owner's profile and then click the Communications Tab. You will see a list of outgoing and incoming messages. Outgoing text messages and call records are listed on this tab. From this tab, you can also send SMS (if you have 2-Way texting enabled), send emails, create call records, add the customer to marketing campaigns, and more. Click each row to view details of the communication.  

For more information please see our article on the Owner Communications Tab

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2-Way SMS

With 2-Way SMS enabled, your customers can reply to text messages sent from Gingr and you can respond with a custom message. All System, Marketing, and custom SMS will be listed in the SMS conversations section. You can select any customer at any time to send them a custom text message. Incoming text notifications are visible from anywhere in the app, and you can type up a custom response to send immediately to your customer. 

You can sign up by navigating to Left-hand Navigation: Admin » Manage Gingr Subscription and clicking Enable next to the Two-Way Texting (SMS) or All-in-One Multimedia Texting Bundle. The All-in-One bundle also includes the ability to send and receive images, videos, and files as well as a subscription to the SMS Marketing feature. 

For more information please see our article on 2-Way SMS

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Outgoing Email Log (Includes some SMS)

From Left-hand Navigation: Admin » Reports & More » History, you will see a button for the Outgoing Email Log. Out of the System SMS Templates, only Reminder SMS are recorded here. If you need to access any other records please do so from the Owner Communications Tab or the 2-Way SMS chat window. 

Note: Reservation Reminder SMS and Marketing SMS will also show in the main History list. 

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Pricing for Additional SMS Functionality:

There are additional SMS Features available on Gingr that are an add-on to the system SMS functionality. These include 2-Way SMS, Marketing SMS, and a bundle that also includes Multi-media Messaging, Canned SMS, and SMS Auto-Replies. Please see our articles on 2-Way SMS, SMS Marketing Campaigns, SMS Canned Responses, and SMS Auto-Replies for more information. 

Navigate to Left-hand Navigation: Admin » Manage Gingr Subscription and click Enable on the add-on you would like to subscribe to. Your billing period begins on the day that you enable this feature. 

The following is the pricing structure for these additional features:

2-Way SMS:

Includes 2-way SMS capability. There is an annual charge as well as metered usage charges. Metered usage is per incoming text. For metered charges (see tiers below), a “SMS” is up to 160 characters. A SMS longer than 160 characters will count as multiple messages. This number resets each monthly billing cycle.

  • $165/subdomain/year
  • $0.00/incoming SMS for 0-500 messages received per month
  • $0.04/incoming SMS received over 500 per month
     

Marketing SMS:

Includes Marketing SMS capability. There is an annual charge as well as metered usage charges. Metered usage is per outgoing text. For metered charges (see tiers below), a “SMS” is up to 160 characters. A SMS longer than 160 characters will count as multiple messages.  This number resets each monthly billing cycle.

  • $135/location/year
  • $0.00/outgoing SMS for 0-500 messages sent per month
  • $0.04/outgoing SMS sent over 500 per month
     

All-in-One Multimedia Messaging Bundle:

Includes:

  • 2-Way SMS
  • SMS Marketing
  • Multi-Media Messaging
  • Canned SMS Templates
  • Auto-Reply SMS

There is an annual charge as well as metered usage charges. 2-Way SMS is per incoming text. Marketing SMS is per outgoing text. For metered charges (see tiers below), a “SMS” is up to 160 characters. A SMS longer than 160 characters will count as multiple messages. This number resets each monthly billing cycle. The following pricing structure is for 2-Way and Marketing SMS COMBINED:

  • $225/subdomain/year
  • $0.00/SMS for 0-1000 sent or received per month
  • $0.04/SMS for 1001-2000 sent or received per month
  • $0.03/SMS for 2001-3000 sent or received per month
  • $0.02/SMS for 3000+ sent or received per month

If you were previously signed up for 2-way SMS and/or Marketing SMS, upon signing up for the All-in-One Bundle our system will provide a pro-rated credit to your next invoice (regular subscription or messaging bundle, whichever comes first). Metered usage numbers will reset with the upgrade, but usage costs will not get reimbursed if you upgrade mid-month. Please reach out to our support team if you have questions. 

 

 

FAQ: Check this out!

What guidelines must I follow to avoid message filtering?

Our messaging service provider, Twilio, enforces an Acceptable Use Policy and Messaging Policy that explicitly disallow the transmission of any content that is unlawful, harmful, unwelcome, inappropriate, objectionable, confirmed to be criminal, misinformation, or that poses a potential risk to the public, even if such content may be legally permissible. Additionally, any usage that violates local laws in the recipient’s jurisdiction is also not allowed.

Referencing Cannabis, CBD, or Kratom is not allowed due to federal laws that prohibit their sale. Twilio defines a cannabis message as any communication pertaining to the marketing or sale of cannabis products.If you fail to comply with Twilio’s Acceptable Use Policy or Messaging Policy your messages may be blocked and your account may be suspended or terminated.

For more information about preventing your messages from being filtered and how to remain compliant, see this article: How do I prevent my Twilio messages from being filtered (blocked)?, and reach out to our support team if you have additional questions.

 

 

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