Play Blueprint: Schedule Appointment Online

This article applies to:

Why Run It: To collect leads through having an initial appointment, consult, or phone call

Who It's For: Business owners, operators, and salespeople to handle and automate internal and external appointment setting.  This play CAN be built to “do it all” – collect leads, convert clients, and create fans – based on how you choose to design and execute it

Implementation time: 20-30min

Play Snapshot

Building a campaign to schedule appointments online is a “no-brainer” for nearly ANY business.  Placing appointment scheduling online allows you and your team to work internally – with suppliers and stakeholders – and externally – with prospects and clients in a professional and consistent manner that virtually eliminates missed opportunities and poor communications.  Even more critically, automating the scheduling of appointments alleviates challenges with time zones, business hours, and your personal schedule.  

There are two primary scenarios within this play, and while the process is the same, let’s look at some examples of why scheduling appointments online is such a perfect play:  

Internal Appointments:  Does your business require a tangible “hand-off” from Sales to Fulfillment?  What about meetings with stakeholders or partners?  By automating the appointment scheduling process, you and your team will be easier to get in touch with and you won’t find yourself sneaking out to have a Zoom call at your daughter’s recital.  

External Appointments:  Systemizing appointment setting is an incredibly easy “call to action” for converting leads and creating fans.   You can include a link to the Booking Form  in emails or even other landing pages to capture prospects and clients when they are ready.  It’s really the perfect “sales” tool that doesn’t look “salesy.”

Remember this – both of these scenarios are important, but you may find one is more suitable for your business model or team.  What can’t be denied is how much easier this simple play makes it to generate sales, manage your business, and move the needle in multiple arenas of your operations.  The key to successfully executing this play is to create the proper follow up once an appointment is scheduled.  

Running this play consists of deciding the types of appointment you’ll need, creating the landing page, and then integrating the landing page with the booking form.  From there, you’ll want to create the follow up sequence.  

Pro Tip: One size doesn’t fit all!  It’s far smarter and more efficient to run this play in multiple unique ways than to simply build one online appointment scheduler for any and all appointments.  Some simple examples might be for internal appointments with team members and stakeholders and another for external usage by prospects and clients.   These appointments will all be scheduled on your calendar, but could originate in several places. 

Play Components:

1. Booking Page

Your booking page should clearly set expectations for everything surrounding the appointment with you: what do contacts need to do to prepare beforehand, what can they expect during, and what are next steps after it's over? Setting expectations goes a long way in impressing potential customers and keeping current customers happy. Add automation into that equation, and you can be sure that you'll deliver what you say you're going to - on time, every time. 

2. Booking Form

Your booking form should be short and sweet. Collect the obvious like name, email, and phone number if you need that throughout your sales process. Also consider if there are any questions that can help the appointment be successful, but also help you to segment the contact into the correct sales journey for them. For example, if you are a fitness coach who specializes in a few different areas, ask them what they are trying to achieve with their fitness goals? This allows you to speak to how you excel in that particular area during the appointment, but also allows you to send the appropriate nurture sequence before the appointment, and follow up with some targeted resources as well. Using a custom field with a drop down of a limited number of choices allows you to group contacts based on a set number of things, rather than trying to collect data from an open text field that will be nearly impossible to sort. 

Best Practice: your booking form should contain only the information that's necessary - too much and it can actually deter people from filling it out. Get their birthdate later!

3. Confirmation + Reminders

Confirming the appointment immediately allows your potential customer to feel like their job is done. After that, it's on you to decide what other information or nurture they will need leading up to the appointment. At least one reminder about a day or a couple hours before is standard, but you can also add in a little bit of education about you, your business, or your expertise if time allows. This increases the chance that the appointment will be a successful one. 

Below is your action plan that breaks down the tactics and tasks of each step -- and details the assets, and content you'll need to execute this play like a pro.

In order to use Appointments in Keap, you need to connect your Google or Outlook calendar so that your availability is automatically synced to your booking form. This is a great time to consolidate and organize your personal and business calendars, especially if you’ve been using more than one. The result is a link or the embed code you’ll use when you create the Booking Page.  You’ll want to go ahead and copy it and keep it somewhere for the next step. 

Checkpoints to Launch

Setup and connect your calendar
Create your appointment type

You can use the landing page builder inside Keap, or build this page directly on your website. Either way, you'll want to set clear expectations in the copy for what to expect during the appointment with you. Make it extra clear what the goal of the appointment is, and a good rule of thumb here to keep copy to a minimum.  The expectation is there’s only really one thing that can be done on this page, and that’s to schedule an appointment.  You’ll surely use your business logo and branding colors, but “less is more” in this case.  Just want to get the appointment scheduled!  

Checkpoints to Launch:

Write your landing page copy
Design your landing page + insert copy
Embed your appointment form
Publish and test form

Confirmation and follow up is critical. Don’t overthink it either, a simple email is all that’s needed to confirm the appointment.  Depending on what media you might be using, your message should also include any links for the appointment, such as Zoom.  If you can include an "Add to Calendar" link, that goes a long way in ensuring that the contact shows up to the appointment. Reminders a day or two before, as well as an hour or so before, really increase the chances that your potential customer won't miss the appointment.

Checkpoints to Launch:

Write the copy for your confirmation email, and any reminder emails that you will use
Setup the confirmation and reminder emails in either an Easy or Advanced Automation and insert your copy
Test the automation and make sure the emails look how you want

 Go To Advanced Automation Template [coming soon]

Success Metrics

Primary Metric: # of Appointments

Apply a tag to a contact after you meet with them, that way you can track how many appointments were actually attended, rather than just those that were booked. You can do this in a few different ways:
  • add the tag manually immediately after the appointment
  • use the tag to kick off your sales pipeline
  • use an internal form to take other notes about the appointment, and apply a tag when submitted to kick off your next play

[ COMING SOON: Tutorials for the best way to measure this metric ]

Common Next Plays

  • Sales pipeline
  • Nurture Sequence
  • Special Offer [Broadcast]
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