How to build a high ticket sales funnel with online scheduling

Wondering how online scheduling can help you attract more prospects and convert qualified leads into paying customers? If so you’re in luck — this article will reveal three core concepts:

  1. How to advertise your sales calls to attract qualified prospects
  2. Where to position you scheduler in the sales funnel for high impact
  3. How to write booking confirmation and reminder emails that convert

If this sounds like something you could use help with, then we invite you to join our most successful teams and start optimizing your sales funnel today.

More than a scheduler — it’s a growth tool for marketing

As we reach the end of 2019, it’s good to know that back-and-forth emails are almost behind us. Working professionals can now create and share links to an online booking page that reflects their scheduled availability. These booking pages have made it easier than ever for people to schedule meetings.

However, many companies lack a comprehensive strategy for coordinating the booking page with their marketing team. Administrators often overlook that the booking pages are a growth tool as much as they are a logistical solution. If you have only been thinking of Appointlet as a scheduling optimization tool, you’ve been missing out on a major piece of the puzzle.

In this guide, I’m going to show you precisely how marketing teams are building their high-performance sales scheduling funnels.

The six essential steps in your high-ticket sales funnel
  1. You show a targeted ad on your preferred platform (Google, Facebook, etc)
  2. Your ad goes to a landing page that requests their email address. The thank you page displays a “book now” button for a sales demo
  3. The prospect’s email address is entered into a drip marketing campaign with a booking link at the end of each message
  4. Prospects schedule a time and receive email notifications to keep them engaged as the meeting approaches
  5. On the call, your sales team tells them about the service in detail and drives them toward a purchasing decision
  6. Customers are passed from the sales team to a success manager who can provide support services and ensure that you retain their business

This approach to sales scheduling has been tested and proven to convert well for companies that aim upmarket. Sounds like a fit and ready to dive in? Let’s do this…

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The Setup (Phase 1)

The landing page should reiterate your trade — you offer a downloadable asset in exchange for their email address. Make email capture the focal point of your lander, with supporting imagery and text. This ensures that you can retain contact with them, even if they’re in a rush and don’t have time to go further at the moment. Once you have their email, you can present the option to schedule a sales call immediately and continue to present the option through your email marketing drip campaign.

Step 1: Facebook and Google ads

The wording and design of your advertisement should be tuned around your value proposition. In this scenario, you offer a free digital asset that begins to solve a core problem, while still leaving something to be desired. The asset should be a taste of what’s to come when they buy into your company’s services. If you already know who your ideal customers are and have a great product that meets their needs, it will be easier to write the ads.

Facebook ad example courtesy of AdEspresso

The screenshot above showcases what a Facebook ad might look like for one of these free digital assets. The value proposition (improved creativity) is identified and the imagery is visually stimulating, but the ad fails to speak to the target’s feelings of frustration that the free ebook will solve.

Your ad copy should accomplish the following pre-requisites:

  • Quick and accurate identification of the problem your audience has
  • Expose the full impact and repercussions of their failure to solve it
  • Offer to share a free, downloadable asset that will help them out

Here are some of the biggest mistakes made by digital marketers:

  1. Not writing enough ad copy. If you have a real solution, people won’t mind reading to learn more about it.
  2. You need to do more than passively mention the free asset in your advertising copy. Let the reader know exactly what it is and how it will solve their problems.
  3. Be careful of assuming your audience has more awareness than they do. Try to avoid using industry terminology unless you are certain that they will already be familiar with the concepts.
  4. If your copy addresses the person conversationally, be sure that it feels relatable. Try reading the content out loud for a sanity check. How does it sound?
  5. Don’t use a dull image that people are going to scroll past. Use high quality images that catch their eye and get them to pause!

Good ads attract the right people because they convey a feeling that resonates with that target market. You want to have qualified prospects to work with later on. Failure to find the right product market fit and convey it through your ad copy will make it difficult to convert leads to customers, no matter how talented your sales reps are.

Step 2: The advertised landing page

We created this lander to demonstrate the email capture page

The prospect should be able to flow through your sales funnel effortlessly. For this reason, when designing your landing page, you should think about keeping content to a minimum and driving them toward the email field as quickly as possible. Here are the essentials:

  • The lander should function as an opt-in page with a visually engaging design. The email collection form field can be framed in a few sentences that reiterate the value proposition of the digital asset.
  • When the prospect submits their email, redirect them to a thank you page with the same visual design. Confirm that the email was received and present them with a Book Now button linked to your sales demo.

This will be the first time your prospect has had the chance to schedule a demo with your sales team. They might jump on the opportunity or wait for the digital asset to see how you deliver on the promised value. If your content is good, people will stay engaged, read your email campaigns, and eventually book a sales demo.

Remember, your landing page should be a simple opt-in page. Don’t turn the lander into a full length article. That’s what the downloadable asset is for.

Step 3: Email Campaign with booking links

Generic example of customer email with a booking link

You will need an email campaign service to collect prospects’ email addresses and deliver a drip campaign. If you don’t have one already, we recommend Mailchimp, but there are a lot of options out there. The first message in the sequence should be configured to fire off immediately with a link to the downloadable asset. Here are some suggestions on what to include in that initial email:

  1. Take advantage of the email real estate to do more than deliver the asset. Engage your prospect with some compelling thoughts and offer further assistance with a live phone call or web conference.
  2. Use a clear call to action with a direct link to your booking page. Don’t refer to the sales demo as a “sales demo”. Keep the language geared towards resolving their needs. The link might say “Schedule your [solution] call” and highlight the solution you’ll be providing.
  3. It goes without saying that the email should include your downloadable asset. Be sure to use formats that everyone will be able to access, like a .pdf or .csv file.
  4. Work with your marketing team to create an email sequence that continues to engage the prospect over the coming weeks. Continue inviting them to schedule a sales call.

Summary: Your prospect opens the email to access their downloadable asset, but you should focused on driving them towards scheduling a sales demo.

The Booking Page (Phase 2)

Let clients book a time to meet with you
Example of a time picker on the booking page

The booking page presents your prospect with a time picker that’s configured to reflect your team members’ availability. After choosing a time, they fill out a custom form with the information that you request prior to the call. We allow them to review all of the information before confirming. When they do complete the booking, you have the option of redirecting them to a landing page, to thank them and offer additional learning resources. We do provide a default thank you page in-app, if you prefer that user experience.

When the booking is completed, a calendar event is automatically created for your sales representative, including their booking form data. Appointlet will send confirmation emails to both parties. If your team uses web conferencing tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting or Google Hangouts, each calendar event will include a custom URL. These same links are provided to your prospect. Appointlet translates the time zones for both parties automatically, so you both show up at the right place and time!

Do you want to distribute your sales calls evenly across the team? Check out our pooled availability feature to combine your teams availability on a single booking page. We’ll make sure reps are never double booked and meetings are distributed as fairly as possible.

Want to pass your prospect’s booking data into a CRM? If you are using a major CRM like Salesforce or Hubspot, odds are that we can integrate with it. Our Zapier integration has been used by many organizations to take better meeting notes. If you want a more comprehensive look at how to configure your Sales CRM to respond to bookings, see this Appointlet blog article:

Closing the Deal (Phase 3)

Once your prospect has locked in their meeting time, all of your focus should be on carrying them through to completion. Appointlet will help them out by providing confirmation and reminder emails, including an .ics file that they can use to generate a calendar event. Gmail recognizes these files and paints a calendar event suggestion as part of the confirmation email, which they can add with the click of a button.

Step 4: Confirmation and Reminder emails

Appointlet lets you write custom confirmation and reminder emails based on the kind of meetings that you’re holding. Confirmation messages go out immediately, but you can control when and how many reminders you send out. It’s generally a good idea to remind prospects of the meeting twice; one day in advance and a second time, one hour in advance, as shown above.

Step 5: The Sales Call

Once the sales funnel is set up correctly, you can count on it delivering qualified prospects to your sales team. Not only are they showing up to talk to you, but they’ve decided to do so based on value that they already received. This means that they have a legitimate interest in your services. At this point, the primary goal should be to listen to the prospect and translate your company’s solution into their language.

At the end of each sales call, your representatives should have a place to take notes and keep track of progress. You may end up having several meeting types for sales calls, ranging from initial demos to longform discovery calls. Eventually, for the leads that convert into paying customers, you will want to have some way to log the stages of their journey.

This is why we recommend setting up a CRM (customer relationship management) solution that’s compatible with Zapier. With a CRM in place, you can pass the booking data from these sales demos into a centralized database. Later, as the meetings happen, your sales rep will have a place to take detailed notes and account managers will have an easy way to review customer history.

Step 6: Customer Success and Retention

Congrats — your sales team has started converting leads into customers!

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Now you need to make sure you keep them around. High ticket customers typically have dedicated customer success managers. These staff can live in the same Appointlet account and simply be assigned to a different set of meetings types. For example, you may set up quarterly business reviews as a service. With direct meeting links, your team can bypass the sales funnel content we’ve discussed and invite customers directly to a meeting with their CSM.

I hope that this has been an enlightening foray into the fundamentals of a high ticket sales funnel. If you want to learn more about Appointlet, sign up for a free 15-day trial and contact us with any questions you have about your scheduling scenario. Text support is available Monday through Friday during business hours. We look forward to connecting and doing what we can to get you on board!

 

Take better meeting notes with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution

Ever been in a meeting without a notepad and assumed that you would remember all the details, only to forget some key piece of information later on? Maybe you took good notes but lost the slip of paper. It can be embarrassing to follow up with customers and ask the same thing twice. That’s why Customer Relationship Management tools have become so popular in the digital era. It’s easier than ever to keep track of client history and grow their accounts over time.

A successful meeting starts long before the actual event. Scheduling the engagement should be a breeze. In order to keep the back and forth emails to a minimum, it’s best to use an online booking page. Not only will it speed up the process, but you can use custom form fields to collect the information you need and pass it to your CRM of choice. 

What is a CRM and how does it work?

If you’re discovering CRMs for the first time, don’t sweat it. You can think of them as a digital rolodex. Every time you meet with someone, you can attach notes to their customer history. Collecting this information makes it easier for your team to get caught up on account history and provide quick, accurate support. Even if you are a solo entrepreneur, a tool like this will help as you grow your client base.

So what does a CRM look like and how does it connect to Appointlet? It depends on which app you go for and what kind of features you need. In this article we will review two free CRM solutions (Hubspot and Zenkit) that are compatible with Zapier’s free plan, so you can start experimenting right away at no extra cost.

Supporting customers through the full lifecycle

Hubspot’s flywheel – A model of the customer lifecycle

The image above, called a flywheel, depicts a customer’s journey through your brand. To read the graphic, begin at the top and move clockwise. You can see that, as people are attracted to your company, they read your marketing materials and begin to engage. Your sales and customer support agents work with the client to make sure they’re delighted with their experience. Near the top left of the flywheel, we see those happy customers referring strangers to your company. In this way, the flywheel is a model of long-term, sustained growth.

With your online scheduling app, you can create custom meeting types that target the different phases of growth. For example, you might offer a free sales demo to new arrivals. Later in their lifecycle, a consultation or support call is optional. Each meeting you schedule can present the customer with a new set of form fields, in order to learn more about them and their needs. All of that booking data can be added to your CRM’s customer records.

CRM Example #1: Hubspot’s Contact List

Hubspot is one of the most popular free CRMs on the market. They have a broad feature set, which can be a little intimidating at first, but valuable long term if your company needs a reliable, scalable solution. If you are just getting started and want an entry level alternative, we recommend scrolling past this section and trying Zenkit first.

To get started with Hubspot, you will need the following set up:

  1. Set up an Appointlet booking page
  2. Register for a free Zapier and Hubspot account
  3. Configure Zapier to pass your booking data to Hubspot’s contact list
Connect your Zapier account to Hubspot

Any time a booking comes through Appointlet, Zapier will listen and evaluate the attendee’s details. If no customer record exists, a new one will be created. Otherwise, the contact’s details will be updated using the form response data. You can view an example of the the Hubspot contact list here:

CRM Example #2: Zenkit Contacts and To-Do Lists

We recommend Zenkit as an alternative to Hubspot. Their interface is clean and easy to navigate, making it more approachable for new users. As you can see in the screenshot below, their contact list is arranged in a vertical list. Whenever bookings come through and Zapier generates a new contact, you can add information like meeting notes and a photo to make the contacts more easily recognizable at a glance.

Screenshot of Zenkit’s CRM for organizing your contact list

We love how Zenkit includes a broad feature set for companies to use in tandem with their CRM. For example, you can ask Zapier to pass your booking data into one of Zenkit’s to-do lists. The drag-and-drop kanban board design allows your team to track meetings alongside their other tasks. As bookings take place and are completed, you can take notes and advance the cards along your board until they reached a finished state.

Want full instructions for the full Zapier / Zenkit CRM configuration?

You can visit https://zapier.com/apps/appointlet/integrations/zenkit to access our shared integration page. If you don’t have Appointlet and Zenkit accounts already, you will need to start with these steps:

  1. Set up an Appointlet booking page
  2. Register for a free Zapier and Zenkit account
  3. In Zenkit, create a new collection dedicated to your contact list
  4. Set up an Appointlet “New Booking” trigger
  5. Set up a Zenkit “Find or Create item” action to locate your list
  6. Pull in the data fields that you need from your Appointlet booking
  7. You can see in the example below that we pull in data like email, full name, and phone number

When you have tested your trigger and action to confirm that they work, go ahead and turn on the Zap. To test that the integration works, you can go to your Appointlet account and create a test booking. It should take less than a minute for the new contact list item to show up. If you’re having issues with setting up your Zap, they do offer a support team to answer specific configuration questions.

Access your booking data from within Appointlet

Appointlet already provides some powerful tools for reviewing your booking data. If you’re looking for improved customer data visibility, it’s a good idea to start by understanding what’s available within your scheduling tool. If you don’t already have an Appointlet account, you can sign up for free to try it today.

When you share a link to your booking page, the client is presented with a series of times to choose from, representing the team’s scheduled availability. To complete the booking, they will fill out form fields that you present to them, as shown in the simple intake form example below:

Demo of an Appointlet booking page

Each time someone books with you, their form data is registered on your Booking Dashboard. This user interface is easy to scroll through and navigate, so you can look at any past or future booking. If you want to review a limited set of bookings, you can modify the date range and use search filters. If you prefer to look at this information in a spreadsheet, we offer CSV data exports as well.

An in-app view of the booking details

Whether you stay with Appointlet’s built-in booking dashboard or introduce a CRM, the end goal is the same; you want improved customer data visibility. As your customer volume grows, it’s important to track individual people and their journey with the company. By monitoring their account details and setting up automation, you can offer proactive support at just the right moments. Targeted meeting types for the different flywheel phases will be the best way to ensure successful meetings for everyone.

 

Schedule meetings FAST on live chat, social media, SMS and Email

Scheduling with live chat tools like Intercom and Chatra

How do you talk to your customers? Let’s put aside your brand identity and tone of voice for now. I want to know specifically what tools you use to speak with people as they move through the customer journey.

Companies offer phone and/or email support with varying degrees of success. Long wait times can create friction for customers, especially when support fails to resolve their issue. In contrast, current research shows that 92% of customers enjoy instant messaging experiences, due to the fast response times. Quick support helps people feel more confident in a product.

We use Intercom to respond quickly to customers.

Example of the live chat service at Appointlet, powered by Intercom

Years of daily interactions with our customers has taught us how valuable the live chat tool can be. That’s why we went ahead and created a Chrome extension and Firefox extension, ensuring that your team has convenient access to booking links in every live chat context.

Identifying your live chat toolset

Live chat can take place in a variety of locations, including but not limited to your website. Other options include social media, SMS and email. We will walk you through each of these options and offer some tips on how to use the browser extension.

Live chat apps that live on your website

Live chat apps tend to be used in two ways; public-facing websites and user-facing web apps. The tool is usually located at the bottom right corner of a site and stands out as a unique page element, so it’s easy for site visitors to spot and engage with. I mentioned Intercom earlier as our service provider, however there are a number of other solutions out there.

Chatra provides a simplified live chat solution that I personally found easy to set up and install on a website in just a few minutes. For small businesses that don’t need all the bells and whistles, Chatra is a good option to explore.

Customer’s View: See the live chat button located at bottom right, powered by Chatra.

When visitors navigate through your website, the chat icon persists. They can open the chat tool and send your team a message. Any time they do, your support agents are notified via the Chatra dashboard. The chat tool makes it possible to answer questions and maintain conversation in real time.

As visitors go through your sales qualification process, you may want to offer product demos or consultations. Whenever the support agent decides it’s time to book a meeting, they can grab a link from the browser extension as showed in the image below:

The Support Team’s View: Using our Chrome and Firefox extension with Chatra

Once your support agent sends the booking link, the site visitor simply clicks it to open your Appointlet scheduler. Everything else is automated. If you’re wondering what Chatra’s live chat interface looks like from the visitor’s perspective, we’ve created this sandbox agency account as a demonstration:

Satisfied Customer: Quick response time and an easy-to-schedule sales demo

The image above shows the Chatra dialogue from a site visitor’s perspective. Now that they have scheduled a meeting, they will receive email notifications to help them show up on time. Your own team members will also receive an event in their email calendar, with the option for email notifications. This ensures that meeting details are easily accessible to both parties.

Direct messages on social media

Social media is another powerful way to promote your brand. Not only can it be used to drive traffic to your site, but with the right content you can attract public conversation. Keep an eye on social media channels to make sure you’re not missing any prospects.

The comment section of a social media post can be the perfect place to speak with your audience. If someone needs extra help, it’s good to send a direct message and let them know to look out for it. This keeps down clutter, helps with privacy, and segues nicely into a meeting invitation. Here’s an example of what the Appointlet browser extension could look like inside of Twitter:

Share a direct message with your meeting link

SMS support for mobile users

Can you think of a way that most people “live chat” every day?

That’s right, it’s our phones. If your company is going to offer live SMS support, be sure to set up a web app service like Twilio. This will keep your messaging centralized in a single, easy-to-access location. Typing is easier on a keyboard than a mobile device. Plus you can easily grab a link from Appointlet and drop it into the text message. Our mobile responsive design makes it easy for leads and customers to schedule meetings from their smart phones.

The mobile user’s booking page interface.

Sharing your links in an email

Email might not seem like a live chat environment, but who hasn’t used it to fire off some quick messages back and forth? If your team is using email to dialogue with leads and customers, they can click the Appointlet browser extension to grab meeting links as needed:

Appointlet lets you match these fast-paced live chat environments with an easy-to-book scheduler. You can count on this reducing scheduling friction and keeping your customers satisfied through the full lifecycle. We hope that you’ll take a moment to install one of the browser extensions on your computer and try it for yourself.

You can download Appointlet‚Äôs Chrome extension and Firefox extension for free and use it with our free plan, available on our landing page.

 

How to grow your mailing list with sales demos

Use online scheduling to collect contact info and pass it to a mailing list

Looking for new ways to engage your audience and grow your mailing list? Whether signups are slow or campaigns have been underperforming, one of the best ways to boost subscriptions is with a customer-first approach.

I’ve seen way too many websites ask visitors for contact info without offering anything in return. Don’t be one of those websites. If you want people to share their email with you, be prepared to offer up some clear value in exchange. Remember, the more value you offer up front, the more information you can request over time.

Using gated content to attract subscribers

We’ve all seen a generic web form like the one above. The header reads “subscribe to my mailing list” and it promises updates on “cool new stuff”. Visitors have no idea what to expect, so there’s little reason to subscribe. This passive approach to marketing is not likely to yield the kind of results that you’re looking for.

Many successful companies solve this issue by producing quality digital content and sharing it online for free. It acts as digital marketing material, attracting people to their site and encouraging new subscriptions in exchange for access. Hubspot uses gated content in precisely this way. Their ebooks and definitive guides are written with SEO in mind, to rank at the top of search engine results. People coming from Google are eager to fill out Hubspot’s subscription form, just to access the free educational resources.

Example of gated content from Hubspot’s Ebooks

Again, the key to growing your list is delivering real value. Hubspot has invested heavily in data-driven articles with real industry knowledge, because that’s what their audience wants. A lot of this content is considered evergreen, meaning that it could live on the website for years and continue to bring a steady flow of traffic. In this way, the material both attracts people to the site and also engages them through subscription.

Sales demos can drive subscriptions

We’ve covered the value of gated marketing content, but I want to point out a second approach to web forms that many companies neglect. This technique can have measurable, positive impact on your subscription rate, but will require that you offer some form of direct personal connection to your visitors. This is almost always handled by free consultations and sales demos.

Does your company have a dedicated sales team? If yes, how are they currently scheduling demos and consultations? If you have a registration form on your website, does that form data currently get passed into a mailing list or CRM? If the answer was yes to all three, then you’re looking good!

If you’re not familiar with online scheduling, we’ve created this landing page of a sales demo at a make-believe company so you can try it yourself.

Incentivize deeper visitor engagement with a free consultation

Many companies land somewhere in the middle, between having no public registration available for sales demos and having a fully integrated data flow into a mailing list management service.

If you are still in the process of setting up a sales demo registration form, we recommend you start by identifying your ideal customer persona. What are the key indicators that your product will be a good fit for your lead? It’s standard to request a name, email and phone number on your registration form. What other key information can you request, to help determine the lead’s qualification for a sales call?

For example, a small to medium sized software business might ask to know the applicant’s company size, to evaluate product market fit. They might not be ready to accommodate massive enterprise operations, so a company size of 1,000+ could be disqualified. Your company should identify its key lead qualification metrics and use the booking form to collect it from applicants.

By offering your time in exchange for the visitor’s information, you make a clear value proposition. That generosity is likely to attract a range of applicants, some of whom will not be qualified. Fortunately, you can turn on manual confirmation, allowing your sales team to choose which calls they accept or decline.

Additionally, all of your booking data can be configured to flow directly into your mailing list. This way you can retain contact with everyone who reaches out. Even if a lead is initially disqualified by the sales team, they can stay engaged with newsletters, promotional offers, etc. They also have the option to unsubscribe at any time.

Connecting Appointlet to Mailchimp with Zapier

Setting up a scheduler and connecting it to an mail list manager is actually quite simple. The solution we offer in this article uses a booking page hosted by Appointlet, a free mailing list from Mailchimp, and a free Zapier account.

Note: If you use an alternative mailing list manager, check Zapier’s collection to see if the application is supported.

Here is a quick step-by-step overview of how the solution is configured:

Step 1) Sign up for a free trial of Appointlet. Configure your account so that the booking page displays your correct availability.

Step 2) Use Appointlet’s embed script to share a “book now” button on your website.

Note: You can collect all form data via the booking page we provide. However, if you prefer to collect some info in advance, you can pass that data into appointlet to pre-populate the form.

Step 3) Sign up for a free Mailchimp account if you don’t have one already. Create a new campaign and test with at least one subscriber to confirm that it’s working.

Step 4) Sign up for a free Zapier account and use it to connect Appointlet to Mailchimp. You can set up a simple two-step zap as shown in the following screenshot:

When a visitor makes a new booking, their contact info is sent to Mailchimp in Zapier

When someone books a time on your website, Zapier will pass the booking data to Mailchimp with instructions to Create (Add/Update) a Subscriber in your list of choice. Once you turn this Zap on, the data transfer will be automated and you can watch the mailing list grow. In case you were wondering, here is what the mailing list interface looks like over at Mailchimp:

Eyeballs + Engagement = Success

You’ve got mail!

Now that you have some good techniques for growing your mailing list, make sure that the email campaigns themselves are worth reading! Run A/B tests on your email titles and measure their performance. Keep trying things out and see what sticks. Ask yourself, “If this showed up in my inbox, would I open it?”

You can count on high quality email campaign content delivering a return. A study from 2018 showed that 98.4% of people checked their email at least once per day and 33% checked it constantly. Having enjoyed a strong, positive first impression from your ebooks or sales demos, subscribers are more likely to listen when you send them a message.

Interested in the idea but still want to learn more? Check out this article on How to Connect Zapier to Appointlet or visit our website directly.

 

Appointlet for Chrome

Have you ever wished that it was easier to access your booking links?  

If so, you’re in luck. We’ve just published this extension for Google Chrome, granting you instant access to your meeting links! ūüéČ

Grab and share booking links in no time
When reaching out to a customer in Chrome, you can now use the extension to generate and copy a booking to your clipboard. Paste the link into your message and you’re good to go!


Easy to install and configure
To install the chrome extension, visit the Chrome App Webstore and hit Add to Chrome. Once you’ve added the extension to your browser and logged in, you can select access your booking links by selecting an organization and member from the dropdown menu. 

If you prefer to see all available meeting types, you can keep “Any” selected in the member dropdown:

Save changes and you will be presented with a meeting type selection screen. Pick the one that you want and we’ll copy the URL to your clipboard.

 

How to Position your “Book Now” button on a website to maximize engagement

It takes a lot to drive visitors to your website. People who do arrive reportedly spend 6-8 seconds deciding whether to stick around, so it’s critical that you create a strong positive impression while inside that window. This article will cover two of the best ways to maximize engagement with Call To Action buttons.

What is a Call To Action?

Nobody wants to read an essay when they arrive at your website. The imagery on your page will speak to them instantly and a value judgment will be made. After that, you have a few seconds to hit them with words that identify their problems and provide a solution. If they can’t take immediate action to solve that problem with the click of a button, they’ll probably give up and go elsewhere.

A call to action button can solve this problem if it’s well implemented.

The Front and Center Approach

This screenshot comes from an Appointlet demo for an imaginary digital agency. The call to action button has several features that make it effective:

  1. Color: Relative to the orange and gray hues of the background image, the blue call to action provides enough contrast to make it POP.
  2. Wording: The language includes a verb (request) and an incentive (free consultation).
  3. Size: Both the width of the button and its word length are short relative to the header and sub-header.
  4. Clickable: When you click on the button, the solution immediately appears as an Appointlet booking page
  5. Repeats at the bottom of the page: For visitors who scroll down the page to learn more, you want to be sure to reiterate the call to action at the bottom.

When visitors click on the button, the scheduler will pop up, lowering the opacity of your landing page without navigating away. Here is what it looks like visually:

You can click here to view this demo site in real time and test it for yourself.

The Sidebar Form Approach

This second screenshot is also an Appointlet demo (located here), however you’ll notice that the landing page is formatted in a different way. With a series of form fields, you can collect data and pass it to Appointlet using form pre-population so users don’t have to enter their information twice.

  1. Sidebar Form: The header and sub-header are positioned off to one side, making space for a short vertical form.
  2. Repeat Color Themes: At the top of the form, we’ve highlighted the words Sign Up and Your in orange. The same color is attributed to the CTA button at the bottom of the form.
  3. Wording: Again we find an action (Sign up) but this time the reader is given an imperative. When should I do it? Now!
  4. Readable + Clickable: The first call to action is simply a form header, but it primes the reader for the clickable CTA button at the bottom.

This final example presents a slight variation on the sidebar form. It makes use of the incentive approach (free demo), but the language is less urgent. A single sentence of help text is presented under the form’s header, explaining what an attendee will get from the demo. The words “book my demo” give the visitor ownership, in contrast to “book a demo”.

How to generate an Appointlet CTA

If you’re new to Appointlet or have never used our sharing tool, you may be wondering how to make this approach work for your team. Fortunately, setting up a CTA button is incredibly easy. All you need to do is log in to your Appointlet account, click on the share tool, and select the website tab:

Hit the blue copy button to copy to your clipboard. You can paste the code snippet directly into your website’s html and you’ll be good to go. That’s all there is to it!

To learn more about how to set up these two examples using the same content management system that we used, see this article on connecting Appointlet to Unbounce.

 

Optimize your Lead Nurturing Process with Appointlet

People say talk is cheap, but when it comes to lead nurturing, the cost of conversations with prospects can add up quickly. Fortunately there are plenty of ways to automate the onboarding process, saving your sales team time and lowering your customer acquisition costs.¬† We’ll be focusing on the value of automated scheduling as part of a comprehensive sales strategy.

What is lead generation and nurturing?

The sales pipeline begins with a stream of potential customers discovering your content. As they progress through your onboarding funnel, some percentage of people will drop off when they realize that your services don’t meet their needs. Others will blow past the warning signs and attempt to set up an account. To ensure that you dedicate the appropriate amount of resources to each lead, you will need to develop a lead scoring metric and automate as much of the process as possible while maintaining a human touch.

Lead generation represents the top of your sales funnel, whereas lead nurturing refers to the stages of education, support, and encouragement that ultimately lead to conversion. Not all leads represent the same value to your company, which is why lead scoring is so essential.

The Basics of Lead Scoring

Imagine you are a sales rep at a car dealership. Two customers enter simultaneously, competing for your attention. One of them comes in wearing no shirt and appears to be intoxicated, while the other rolls up in an expensive car and has offered to pay in cash. In marketing terms, the customer with cash in hand would be given a higher lead score, due to their confidence in your product and their readiness to purchase. The intoxicated, shirtless prospect would still be engaged, however they would be assigned a lower priority status.

Lead Scoring tends to be more nuanced than the scenario just described. Most companies are assessing their leads based on several variables. How interested are they in your product(s), are they a fit for your business, and how much potential revenue does their account represent? Returning to the car dealership analogy, if you swap out the intoxicated shirtless person with someone fully dressed and with cash in hand, their difference in lead scores could be based on other factors, like the cost of the vehicles that they are inquiring about.

Your sales team will need to identify the critical variables that define the potential value and eligibility of your leads. Once those variables are defined, they can be arranged into classes ranging from highest to lowest priority. If you are using a customer support portal like Intercom, you can query stored customer data to automate the evaluation of explicit lead scoring data. Further down the funnel, you may need to collect implicit data to gauge their level of interest.

Using Appointlet to Refine the Lead Nurturing Process

Armed with well defined lead scoring categories and an automated solution for evaluating prospects, you can begin focusing on sales calls. Prospects often want to speak with a representative to ask clarifying questions and ensure that your services are a good fit for them. Due to the high cost of sales calls, it’s important that you allocate a budget and determine your bandwidth for high-touch support.

The very act of booking a call can be incredibly time consuming. Manually coordinating a time to speak with customers is a time sink, as you will often send multiple emails back and forth before locking in a time that works. You can automate this process with Appointlet by creating meeting types for each class of leads.

In the sales demo shown above, we have created three meeting types that correspond to three levels of the lead nurturing funnel. Low scoring leads are eligible for a ten minute call, while medium scores receive a thirty minute call. A lead who is almost ready to buy and just needs that final push to gain confidence could be booked for a Two Hour Discovery Session.

Using Pooled Availability, Manual Confirmation, and Private Meetings

The value of Appointlet in the lead nurturing process doesn’t end with automated booking. We provide additional features that will give your sales lead account executive even more control.

Pooled Availability¬†is a valuable feature for sales teams, as your prospects typically have no preference regarding who they speak to. They simply want to talk with a representative. By pooling the availability of your staff, they will be assigned to sales calls based on a “round robin” approach. Appointlet will no longer ask the lead to choose a representative, effectively simplifying the booking process.

Manual Confirmation is a good way to ensure that leads don’t book more than their allotted amount. For example, if someone had a 30 minute call and then decided that they have some follow up questions, they might attempt to schedule another 30 minute call. Manually confirmed meeting types allow you to decline those booking requests and send a follow up message to the lead explaining your policy.

Private Meeting Types¬†are a setting that give you more control over the visibility of the meeting types you offer. If you don’t want low-scoring leads to know that you offer longer sessions to more qualified candidates, private sessions will ensure that they cannot see the alternative options. Instead, candidates will only see the meeting types that you’ve linked them to directly.

How Will You Choose to Engage Leads?

Now that you understand what lead nurturing is and how Appointlet can help you to automate the booking process for sales calls, it’s your turn to come up with solutions. What would be the ideal configuration for your Appointlet account to handle your various lead categories?

 

Email Etiquette: What to say when sharing your Booking Link

Scheduling a time to meet with clients can be frustrating, due to the high volume of back-and-forth emails required. Appointlet solves this problem with an automated, customer-friendly booking page. You can now communicate your availability with a single hyperlink, so it’s important that your email is well written and easy to understand.

Tip #1: Know your audience

When reaching out to a customer with a booking link, it’s important to have a grasp on their expectations ahead of time. Here are a few customer types that require extra care:

  • Low-Tech clients: For clients who struggle with using computers, the idea of a scheduling tool may be foreign. Don’t be afraid to add a sentence or two letting them know what to expect from your booking page.
  • High-touch clients: Customers who pay top dollar for your services may be surprised to see the automated scheduling solution. Preface the booking link with a warm and friendly tone of voice. Be sure to communicate that the booking tool will save them time.
  • Customer Support:¬†When sending your booking link to a customer who’s expecting support, it may be helpful to add a few sentences with an initial diagnosis. Let them know that you will be going into greater detail during your scheduled meeting.
  • Sales Prospects: This booking invitation represents an important stage in the conversion funnel, so your email copy should continue to educate and drive the prospect towards your end goal.

Tip #2: The essential elements

Regardless of who you are speaking with, these core features should always be present in your booking email:

  1. Email subject: Keep the email subject simple and to the point, with a length of 2-7 words indicating the type of meeting to be scheduled.
  2. Opening:¬†Be polite and professional. An opening like “Dear [name]” is appropriate for formal emails. Consider a time-based alternative like “Good morning [name]” or even “Hi [name]” for a casual professional tone.
  3. Opening Paragraph: The message should open with a clear value proposition identifying the purpose of the appointment. Even if you spoke with them recently, it never hurts to offer a brief explanation.
  4. Booking Link Preface (Optional): If you determine that the client / recipient may be unfamiliar with scheduling automation, you can let them know how it works and why you use Appointlet. Keep it to one or two sentences.
  5. Booking Link: Use Appointlet’s share feature (instructions here) to provide them with the appropriate booking link.
  6. Closing: Offer a final statement and closing remark. The formality of the closing remark depends on your client.

Booking Email Demo for Design Agency

Here is an example of an email template that could be used for most use cases:

Subject: Book a time for our brand consultation

Opening: Hi Melissa,

Opening Paragraph: It was great speaking with you this afternoon. I would like to propose a one hour discovery call, at which time we can further unpack [Company]’s marketing goals.

Booking Link Preface: To schedule a time with me, please click the link below and find a time that works for you:

Booking Link: http://company-name.appointlet.com/s/12345

Closing: If you have any questions prior to booking, just reply to this email and let me know!

Warm regards,

Mark Johnson, Sr Brand Consultant

Company Name

Tip #3: Timing is of the essence

Having invested time into preparing the booking page and email templates, it would be a shame to rush the final step in this process. Here are a couple of important considerations for timing your email:

  • The best time to send a booking email is after a conversation. You are fresh in the client’s mind and the message will provide continuity. Prepare the email ahead of time to avoid delays.
  • Find out what their work schedule is. Once you know, you can avoid the end caps. People who work a standard Monday – Friday shift tend to be most responsive to booking emails midweek and midday.
  • Avoid public holidays and vacations. It can be helpful to ask clients for their vacation schedule in advance. Take note of their availability to ensure that the messages don’t get lost in their inbox.
 

Help Desks: Be lazy and productive at the same time with Autofilled Forms

Organizations often set up help desk representatives to schedule meetings on behalf of their clients. If the help desk’s browser has autofill turned off, they will have to enter client information manually each time they book. What a drag!

With autofill turned on, your booking data will be stored and accessible. The next time that customer books with your organization, you’ll be presented with a dropdown list of options as soon as you start typing.

In this example, five previous bookings were made with email addresses where “test” was the opening word. I only need to type the letter “t” to be presented with all of my prior attendee email addresses.

Access and Turn on Autofill in Google Chrome

To access Chrome’s auto-fill setting, open the browser and type in this URL: chrome://settings/autofill

You will see the following screen. Simply toggle the feature on:

Turning on Autofill in Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer

These other browsers seem to have better documentation for their autofill features. We will provide links to each browser’s knowledge base article here to ensure that you get the most up-to-date information.

Firefox – Saving Web Form Entries

Safari – Change Autofill Preferences

Internet Explorer 11 – Fill out Web Forms

 

It’s a party: Invite unlimited admin users for FREE!

It’s a new year – what better way to celebrate it than with your friends and coworkers? With Appointlet’s Team Access feature, account owners can invite an unlimited number of users for free. Woohoo!

Once you’ve invited users to your account, they will be able to log in to the dashboard. With the modify settings property, you can control their access to organization settings. By turning booking emails on, the user will receive all booking confirmation emails that come through the organization.

Advantages to Inviting Admin Users

  1. Access the bookings dashboard to find out who has been booked across the organization. Option to confirm, decline, and cancel bookings.
  2. Harness Appointlet’s CSV data export feature to generate usage reports for business development.
  3. Help other team members create, configure, or clean up their profiles.
  4. Manage the services dashboard and make updates as needed.
  5. Access the share feature and generate custom booking page links.

Make sure you prepare!

A party is all fun and games until someone gets hurt. If you’re going to invite people to your organization, be sure they are trained on how to use it. Like a drunk person knocking things over at your party, admin users have the ability to edit and delete content. Prevent that from happening by walking them through the software ahead of time!

If you want to train up your new admin users but don’t have time to do it yourself, consider sending them to this Appointlet Quick Start video tutorial series. It will cover all the basics and familiarize them with how to perform all the core actions in the app.

Already have an account and ready to invite your new users? Here’s a knowledge based article covering the Team Access modal and how to use it.