30 Appointment Scheduling Tools, Hacks & Best Practices That Every Marketer, Agency and Entrepreneur Needs In Their Toolkit

Let’s face it -- scheduling appointments (manually, that is!) kind of sucks.

NOBODY likes going back and forth with their client and suggesting timings for a call, consultation or appointment.

Would 25th Jan work for you?

I can’t do 25th Jan, but how about 4th or 5th Feb?

“Sorry, I already have a full schedule on both of those days - are you free in the week following that?”

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Now, here’s the good news:

It’s 2019, and we’ve got a TON of technology at our fingertips. This includes tools and software that will automatically schedule appointments, and do all the heavy lifting for you.

In this article, we’ll walk you through:

  • The importance of scheduling appointments
  • Who should use an online tool to schedule appointments
  • Best tools for marketers, agencies and entrepreneurs who need to schedule appointments
  • Best practices when it comes to scheduling appointments, and
  • Nifty hacks to help you skyrocket your number of appointments

By the time you get to the end of the article, you’ll be a friggin’ WIZARD at scheduling appointments 😎

Alright, let’s get into it!

What’s the deal with appointment scheduling?

First things first… why is appointment scheduling even important?

Well, depending on how you go about things, scheduling an appointment can either be a painful, long drawn out process, OR it could be easy and fuss-free.

Obviously, you’re striving for the latter, which results in a win-win that benefits both you AND your customer.

Now, from your POV, automating your appointment scheduling helps save time and energy.

Consider this: statistics show that sales reps spend with the rest of their time goes to miscellaneous activities such as administrative and service tasks.

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While there aren’t any similar studies done with marketers, consultants, or entrepreneurs, we can bet that the breakdown of your work week is pretty similar to what we see here.

Chances are that -- like sales reps -- you spend your time on "busywork" such as scheduling appointments manually. Obviously, this takes away from how much effort you spend on revenue-generating activities.

Say you’re an entrepreneur, for instance. Your wet dream might be to sit down and block out a 4-hour stretch to focus on refining your business strategy…

But because you’re running around answering customer enquiries and fighting fires all day, strategy often gets left by the wayside.

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Look, we get it: most entrepreneurs are a slave to their email inboxes and mobile phones, because they can’t bear a thought of a lead going down the drain if they don’t reply quickly enough.

What’s the solution? Simple -- use an appointment scheduling tool to eliminate your need to reply instantly.

Once your lead decides they want to meet you, they can use the tool and set up an appointment at their own convenience (instead of asking you to make the arrangements on your end).

This means you don’t have to be at your lead’s beck and call!

awesome sam didier GIF by Jerology

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Alright, now to look at things from your customer’s POV: apart from freeing up your time, an appointment scheduling tool also increases customer satisfaction.

Consider this: research shows that 42% of patients say they would like to schedule their doctor’s appointments online (versus calling in to do this).

On top of that, a whopping 71% of survey respondents indicate that they would book ALL their medical appointments online given the option:

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Basically, by utilizing an appointment scheduling tool, you’re allowing your customers to schedule appointments using their preferred method.

This results in a TON of benefits for you, including:

  • A higher conversion rate (because more people are booking appointments with you)
  • A higher retention rate (↑ customer satisfaction = ↑ likelihood of a customer staying with you for the long run)
  • Bonus “cool” points (because you’ve got this technology, you’ll look like a real thought leader in your space!)

Who should use an online tool to schedule appointments?

The answer is… everyone who has to schedule appointments on a regular basis!

If you’re a marketer, entrepreneur, or agency, this probably applies to you.

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If you run or work in some sort of medical practice, this DEFINITELY applies to you.

Think about it: if you’re a doctor, your revenue generated each month is directly tied to the number of patients you see… and the number of patients you see is, in turn, tied to how efficiently you can schedule your appointments.

Plus, there’s the fact that your competitors are probably already offering online appointment scheduling:

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You don’t want to give your patients reason to switch healthcare providers, do you?

Last but not least, entrepreneurs or businesses catering to a younger crowd are likely to benefit from using an online tool to schedule appointments as well.

According to statistics, 25 to 34 year olds use online scheduling the most, and they also show the highest preference for using online appointment scheduling.

Alright, let’s move onto discussing the best tools that you can use to schedule appointments online!

Best tools for marketers, agencies and entrepreneurs who need to schedule appointments

There’s a plethora of appointment scheduling tools out there -- and if you haven’t used any of these tools before, the sheer variety might be a tad overwhelming.

To help you along, we’ve done the dirty work, and compiled a list of the 15 most popular appointment scheduling tools for you to choose from.

With each tool, we walk you through the tool’s features, its cheapest paid tier, and what type of company the tool is best suited for.

Read on to find your dream tool! 👇

#1: Cogsworth

Call us biased, but we think that Cogsworth is by far the best appointment scheduling tool out there ;)

Take a look at our full list of features:

  • Set buffers between appointments
  • Translate into your language
  • Create recurring appointments
  • Send reminders to clients
  • Automatic time-zone detection
  • Custom staff working hours
  • Custom locations and services
  • Custom form builder
  • Accept payments

In a nutshell, Cogsworth comes with ALL the functionality you need to design a beautiful, elegant booking page for your customers.

Our tool embeds directly into your website, and you can sync it to your Google or Outlook calendar to make sure you stay on top of all your appointments.

Here’s the icing on top of the cake: Cogsworth costs just $49 per YEAR, which means that it’s the most cost-effective tool on the list.

Pretty sweet, huh?

Cheapest paid tier: $99/year.

Best for: Companies who want a low-cost, rigorous appointment scheduling tool that they can customize to fit their needs.

#2: Calendly

You might have heard of Calendly before -- this is one of the best-known appointment scheduling tools out there.

On the bright side, Calendly is pretty straightforward to use.

All you have to do is input your availability preferences and embed your Calendly link on your website, and when someone schedules an appointment with you, an event will be added to your calendar.

However, note that Calendly doesn’t support custom colors, translation, language customization, custom notification intervals, custom date formatting, or recurring appointments, ALL of which are possible on Cogsworth.

Read this article for a full comparison of Cogsworth vs Calendly.

Cheapest paid tier: $96/user/year.

Best for: Companies who are looking for a basic appointment scheduling tool, instead of a tool that comes with a full suite of features.

#3: GenBook

Genbook is an online appointment scheduling tool that caters to health, wellness, beauty, and professional local service providers.

All in all, Genbook is one of the more robust scheduling tools out there -- like Cogsworth, it allows you to accept payments online, and you can also use the tool to set up email and SMS reminders for your clients.

However, GenBook still falls short in some areas. For instance, it doesn’t support booking time increments, multiple durations, custom questions, translations, language customizations, etc.

On top of that, GenBook’s basic plan is priced at a whopping $39 per MONTH, which is significantly higher than Cogsworth’s $49 per YEAR.

Read this article for a full comparison of Cogsworth vs GenBook.

Cheapest paid tier: $468/year.

Best for: Companies who have too much money on their hands. Just kidding… but not really 🙈

#4: BookingBug

BookingBug bills itself as a customer journey management tool that “catalyzes digital-physical customer journeys”.

Apart from its appointment scheduling tool, the company also offers an event management system and smart queue management solutions.

Now, BookingBug comes with plenty of bells and whistles, including automated reminders and customizable PDF tickets. It even comes with a special feature to help you smooth out capacity and create more effective employee utilization.

One huge turn-off, though, is that BookingBug costs upwards of $2,000/year, making it the most expensive appointment scheduling tool in the market by far.

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Read this article for a full comparison of Cogsworth vs BookingBug.

Cheapest paid tier: $2,000/year.

Best for: Large scale companies who want to focus on organizational efficiency, and have the resources to pay for pricey tools.

#5: Book Like A Boss

Book Like A Boss is an easy-to-use platform; this allows entrepreneurs to set up a booking page to sell digital products, set up consultations and meetings, and get paid.

Out of all the appointment scheduling tools in the market, Book Like A Boss is definitely one of the front-runners, with nifty features such as:

  • Booking and reminder emails
  • Coupon codes
  • Time zone detection
  • Availability settings

That said, Book Like A Boss doesn’t support custom questions (which come in handy for customers who want to get in touch).

On top of that, there’s no Recurring Bookings feature on Book Like A Boss -- and if you own a medical practice or a similar business where clients tend to come in for appointments on a regular basis, this means you’re leaving money on the table.

Read this article for a full comparison of Cogsworth vs Book Like A Boss.

Cheapest paid tier: $90/year.

Best for: Entrepreneurs selling digital products. Not suitable for companies in healthcare industries (or anyone who finds the acronym “BLAB” nauseating 😜)

#6: Shore Scheduling

Shore is one of the newer entrants in the appointment scheduling space, and its modern design and clean UI makes it stand out from the crowd.

Functionality wise, Shore also comes with a good set of features.

Its Basic Plan, for instance, comes with appointment reminders and a customer management software. You can also add a Booking button to your Google Maps listing, Google Search listing, or Instagram profile, so that customers searching for your business can book an appointment with a single click.

Also worthy of note: Shore is one of the few appointment scheduling tools (apart from Cogsworth!) that supports recurring bookings -- so they’ve got that going for them 👍

Unlike Cogsworth, however, Shore does not support booking time increments, multiple durations and language customization, which makes it less flexible of a tool.

Read this article for a full comparison of Cogsworth vs Shore Scheduling.

Cheapest paid tier: $348/year.

Best for: Companies who get plenty of recurring bookings, and companies who rely on social media to drive traffic and bookings.

#7: Setmore

Appointment scheduling and payments platform Setmore offers a Free plan that’s pretty well-publicized -- but this plan comes with too many limitations to be a decent option for anyone who’s looking to schedule appointments regularly.

Why do we say so?

Well, there are various factors that come into play here -- but for us, the biggest deal breaker is that users of the Free plan don’t get a 2-way calendar sync.

This means that you’ll have to toggle between your Setmore calendar and your personal calendar everyday, and keep an eye on both calendars to make sure you’re aware of upcoming appointments.

Interestingly, Setmore is one of the only online scheduling tools with “Live Booking”, which is a built-in live call answering service.

This “Live Booking” feature is available only in the US and Canada; for US$89 per month, it gives you access to a team of receptionists who answer calls and help customers book an appointment.

Like many of the tools we’ve discussed, Setmore doesn’t support booking time increments, multiple durations, custom questions, and more.

Read this article for a full comparison of Cogsworth vs Setmore.

Cheapest paid tier: $300/year. Additional $89/month chargeable for Live Booking.

Best for: Companies who serve a diverse mix of customers (some who prefer to book online, some who prefer to call in).

#8: Rezdy

Rezdy is an online booking tool that caters specifically to tour operators and activity providers.

If you’re in the tourism space, Rezdy is a great tool to help you streamline your workflow and get more bookings.

The tool integrates with various tourism sites such as TripAdvisor to allow users to showcase reviews on their booking page. If you’re using Rezdy, you can also tap on its extensive partner network to promote your tourism-related offerings.

When we turn our attention to non tourism-specific features, however, Rezdy is a little lacking. For instance, there’s no Google, Office 365 or Outlook sync, and the tool doesn’t support time buffers or custom questions.

Read this article for a full comparison of Cogsworth vs Rezdy.

Cheapest paid tier: $576/year.

Best for: Companies in the tourism space, and/or companies that manage multiple bookings.

#9: Coubic

Coubic is a Tokyo-based scheduling app, and we hear that it was originally created to automate yoga and other small class bookings.

Now, unless you’re serving the Japanese market, we don’t recommend using this app. While Coubic has made an effort to cater to international users, it still isn’t 100% user-friendly.

If you click into Coubic’s “About Us” page on its website, for instance, the entire page is in Japanese. While you can access the app in English, the UI is buggy and reverts to Japanese frequently.

On top of that, there’s also the stiff price tag ($588/year) to contend with.

Read this article for a full comparison of Cogsworth vs Coubic.

Cheapest paid tier: $588/year.

Best for: Companies serving the Japanese market.

Cheapest paid tier: $1608/year.

Best for: Companies who don’t mind paying through the nose for a fully integrated system.

#10: MindBody

MindBody is an online booking software that’s used by health, gym and beauty vendors from around the globe.

We’d actually class this tool as a web and marketing system, as opposed to an appointment scheduling tool. More specifically: MindBody doesn’t just offer online booking -- its other features include Point Of Sale, staff resources, automation, and more.

One particularly useful thing you can do with MindBody is to allow clients to join a waitlist for a class, program or event. If someone cancels, the MindBody system will automatically add the next client on the waitlist to the event.

Because MindBody comes packed with so many features, it’s pretty complex -- and it’ll take some time for you to set up the system and familiarize yourself with it.

Also, these nifty features don’t come cheap -- a basic plan at MindBody will set you back by $1,920 per year at the very least.

Read this article for a full comparison of Cogsworth vs MindBody.

Cheapest paid tier: $1,920/year.

Best for: Companies in the health, gym or beauty space. Again, the tool doesn't come cheap, so don’t sign up unless you’re willing to splash out! 💸

#11: Vcita

Depending on which plan you sign up for, you can either use Vcita as a standalone appointment scheduling tool, or an all-in-one management app.

Now, at first glance, it looks like Vcita’s pricing page features three plans (Essentials, Business and Platinum) -- but look closer and you’ll see a link to a fourth and cheaper “Online Scheduling Plan” that’s available for $15/month.

If you sign up for this Online Scheduling Plan, you’re limited to scheduling meetings with up to 300 clients per month, with no extra bells and whistles.

For those who upgrade to the premium plans, this gives you added functionality, including coupons, email and SMS marketing, client routing automation, and more.

Now, what we don’t like about Vcita is that you’re forced to upgrade to serve more clients, and your costs can add up quickly. For unlimited booking with unlimited clients, you’ll have to sign up for the pricest plan -- Platinum -- which costs $948 per year when billed annually.

PSA: You’d be much better off with Cogsworth’s $49/year plan, which gives you unlimited bookings right off the bat 💪

Read this article for a full comparison of Cogsworth vs Vcita.

Cheapest paid tier: From $180/year.

Best for: Companies who are looking for an all-in-one marketing and sales tool that comes with an appointment scheduling function, plus added features.

#12: Doodle Scheduling

Doodle originated as a free group bookings tool -- to use the OG tool, you’d simply set up a meeting request, get participants to vote on a range of different dates/times, then select the best option from there.

Doodle has evolved quite a bit from its early days; it now offers 1:1 bookings on top of group bookings. That said, there are a few limitations to keep in mind.

First up: if you want to set up a 1:1 meeting, you’ll have to manually select a few timings to shoot across to your recipient -- this creates an extra step in your workflow.

Also, while Doodle offers a free plan, don’t get your hopes up -- this free plan comes with and doesn’t allow you access to the 1:1 booking feature, and the only way to unlock 1:1 booking is to pay for a premium plan.

Read this article for a full comparison of Cogsworth vs Doodle Scheduling.

Cheapest paid tier: $69/year.

Best for: Entrepreneurs whose schedules aren’t fixed.

If your free slots fluctuate quite a bit, then it makes sense for you to select timings to suggest to the clients you’re meeting.

Otherwise, you might as well utilize a tool that allows your clients to book a slot from your calendar (without requiring any prior input from you).

#13: ScheduleOnce

First things first: ScheduleOnce isn’t the most modern or user-friendly appointment scheduling solutions out there. The app’s design is a tad dated, and its UI could be a lot more intuitive.

However, in terms of functionality, ScheduleOnce does bring a lot of value to the table.

For instance, if you’re using Schedule Once, you have the options of using Automatic Booking or Booking With Approval.

ScheduleOnce is also one of the few appointment scheduling tools (apart from Cogsworth!) that supports both virtual and physical meeting location options.

Finally, with ScheduleOnce, customers can schedule a series of appointments in a single booking, pay for their appointments, and cancel/reschedule one or multiple sessions.

Unfortunately, ScheduleOnce falls short when it comes to supporting booking time increments, notice time, and custom notification intervals.

Read this article for a full comparison of Cogsworth vs ScheduleOnce.

Cheapest paid tier: $90/year.

Best for: Companies who want to allow their customers to schedule and manage multiple appointments easily.

#14: Appointy

Appointy has been around since around 2011 and thought they have tried to evolve their product it is still a fairly complex web of features and navigation that one has to weave in order to get setup.

They front end booking portal is extremely dated, redesign not-withstanding and employs account signup to guests trying to make appointments with Appointy customers.

The "booking portal" approach is what Appointy has gone for, trying to become an administrative home for scheduling for small businesses. This is definitely an esoteric approach that we daresay will not appeal to the majority of people.

With some fairly hectic pricing tiers, Appointy is definitely not the most affordable player in the space.

Read the full comparison of Cogsworth Vs Appointy.

Cheapest paid tier: $240 a year.

Best for: Small businesses who want more of a hub for coupons and payment administration.

#15: Appointment Plus

Appointment Plus has been around since 2001 and has clearly found a way to differentiate itself by offering an enterprise level product which. With no current ability to signup and trial the system, and instead only an option to book a consultation - it appears as though the pricing and self service nature of the product are not as straight forward as many other competitors.

Read the full comparison (as much as possible) of Cogsworth Vs Appointment Plus

#16: Flex Booker

FlexBooker seems to have been around as early as 2013 according to Archive.org – catering to the SMB market such as spa scheduling, doctor scheduling, lawyer scheduling etc. FlexBooker provides a clean and simple interface for appointment scheduling both in the backend and also in the front end – and does a better of job this than many of our competitors. Although again, the booking functionality looks very similar to that of Cronofy and may be infact the whitelabelling of that.

Cheapest tier appears to be $99

View the Cogsworth Vs Flexbooker comparison.

#17: TimeTap

TimeTap is a fairly mature appointment scheduling application, with the web.archive.org showing website versions as early as 2012. Catering to many industries of scheduling from fitness to enterprise scheduling, TimeTap does seem to be feature rich, and their backend administration has a nice walk through step by step process. However, the backend is symantically very difficult to parse and intuitively use. The front end booking app is really slow however and at the time of writing this article did not even work on their sample pages. The booking page also looks to be designed in a clunky way and looks like the skinned version on the cronofy booking system.

Overall the TimeTap scheduling can be an ok system once users learn how to use it and have a very specific set of requirements that they can provide.

Cheapest paid pricing tier appears to be $239

View the Cogsworth Vs TimeTap Comparison

#18: Fresha / Schedul


RECAP: 15 Best Tools To Schedule Your Appointments

Can’t remember what’s up? We’ve summed up all the information above in a nifty little table for your viewing pleasure:

As you can see, the cost of these tools vary a great deal -- if you’re on a tight budget, you’ll definitely want to go with a more cost effective tool (Cogsworth, Doodle, and TimeTrade) instead of forking over $2,000 per year for a tool such as BookingBug.

The good news? Paying less for a tool doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting less in terms of functionality.

For instance, Cogsworth is the most affordable tool on the list, but it still comes with all the features you need to put together a kickass booking page:

Scheduling appointments: best practices to follow

Alright -- that’s our appointment scheduling tools, done and dusted!

Now, as you decide which tool you want to use, keep in mind the following appointment scheduling best practices.

Some of the tools will make it easy for you to adhere to these best practices, but other tools might not be robust enough to do this.

Read on to find out more!

#1: Send reminders to your clients

Sending reminders to your clients works WONDERS in pushing down your number of no-shows.

Obviously, doing this manually is time-consuming and unrealistic, so make sure you choose a tool that allows you to automate reminders.

Cogsworth, for instance, allows you to trigger reminders to your clients via email and SMS.

When do you use which?

Email reminders are great for reaching out to younger clients, and SMS reminders will cater to your older customers who may not check their emails regularly.

#2: Accept payments online

If you’re not already allowing your clients to pay when they make their bookings, man, you’re really missing out.

First, when you accept payments with your bookings, this vastly increases the chances that your client will turn up for the appointment. (Again, you’re pushing down your no-show rate!)

Chow Yun Fat Yes GIF

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If you’re running a business where your customer pays on the spot  (eg: a clinic), you also cut down on processing time. After seeing the doctor and collecting their meds, your customer can leave immediately -- instead of waiting in line while you process their bill.

Last but not least, if you’re a consultant or a business that invoices your clients after your meeting, this helps you cut down on the time you spend chasing after payments.

Because your client has already paid upfront, you won’t need to send invoice after invoice (or reminder after reminder) telling them to cough up the money.

#3: Make sure clients have all the information that they need

Now, many business owners think that their job is simply to get their customer to book an appointment with them.

However, that’s only part of the picture. Your job doesn’t end once you make the sale -- you’ll also need to ensure that your customer’s post-sale journey is as smooth as possible.

How do you do this? For one thing, you should make sure your clients have all the information that they need. This includes:

  • Items to bring
  • Parking information
  • Who the client is meeting with
  • How the client can reschedule/cancel their meeting

Again, the most efficient way of going about this is to utilize an appointment scheduling tool that allows you to trigger a custom email or notification to your customers once they sign up.

You might even want to include a handy infographic in your email; this might look something along the lines of:

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Think about it this way: the more information you provide to your customers, the higher the chances of them arriving on time and well-prepared!

#4: Allow clients to fill out paperwork ahead of time

This might not be applicable for consultants or agencies -- but if you’re running a medical practice, and you need your clients to fill out a form or sign a waiver before they see their doctor, then consider allowing them to fill out paperwork ahead of time.

This makes the check-in process easier, and reduces the likelihood of a bottleneck forming at your check-in counter.

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Again, doing this manually doesn’t make sense, but you can automate the process using an appointment scheduling tool.

#5: Request for patients to arrive earlier

If it’s not possible to get your clients to fill out paperwork online, then take this into consideration and schedule their arrival time to be earlier than their actual appointment time.

For instance, if you schedule a patient to arrive at the clinic at 7.45am, this gives them 15 minutes to register and sort out any necessary paperwork, and they’ll be ready to see the doctor at 8am sharp.

Now, some companies will simply say something along the lines of: Please arrive 15 minutes ahead of your appointment time to complete registration.

However, your customer may or may not accede to your request, so it’s easier to just account for this on the back-end, and set the arrival time early instead.

#6: Set buffers between appointments

Yes, you want to maximize the number of clients you can see in a given day, but booking back-to-back appointments is a recipe for disaster.

Why do we say so? Well, if just ONE client comes late, this will disrupt your entire schedule, and all your other clients will have to wait.

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Even if your clients all arrive on time, having back-to-back appointments means that you have virtually no time to step away to get some coffee / go to the loo / collect your thoughts.

At the end of the day, you don’t want your clients to see you as someone who’s constantly frazzled or running late…

So use an appointment scheduling tool that allows for buffers, and give yourself time to catch your breath in between appointments!  

#7: A/B test your booking page

If you just want to set up a basic booking page, that’s pretty simple.

But if you want to optimize your booking page, that’s where things become more complicated.

What is the optimal number of steps to include in your booking process? Where on your website should you house your booking page? What’s the best Call To Action to use on your page?

The best way to find out is... to A/B test your booking page!

Now, if you’re new to A/B testing, be sure to read this guide from HubSpot before you get started.

Keep testing the different elements of your booking page (one at a time, of course), and fingers crossed, you’ll see your conversion rate increasing steadily as you go! 📈

Must-know hacks to skyrocket your number of appointments

Okay, you’re now acquainted with all the best practices to follow when scheduling appointments!

To wrap our guide up, we’ll walk you through 5 must-know hacks that will help you skyrocket your number of appointments.

#1: Include a link to your booking page on your social media profiles

According to statistics, 37% of clients who book appointments online learn of a product or service via social media.

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To capitalize on this, make sure you include a link to your booking page (and a Call To Action) on your social media profiles!

#2: Create recurring appointments for regular customers

Assuming you run a medical practice, where your patients come in regularly, make sure you allow them to set up recurring appointments.

As mentioned previously, you can do this with Cogsworth.

By doing this, you’re reducing the number of hoops that your patient has to jump through in order to see their doctor -- this gives you a nice boost in your number of appointments per patient.

#3: Send a Thank You email asking your customer to schedule the next appointment

If your appointment scheduling tool doesn’t support recurring bookings, here’s a great hack --  simply include a note in your follow-up email that says something along the lines of:

Thank you for your booking! The average waiting time to get a consultation at XYZ company is {insert time}, so we encourage customers to book ahead in order to reduce their wait.

If you’d like to book your next consultation in advance, please use this link: insert link.

Black Think About It GIF by Identity

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#4: Create a Facebook Messenger chatbot

To get more out of your appointment scheduling tool, create a Facebook Messenger chatbot to direct potential customers from your Facebook page to your booking page.

Now, this might sound tough to do, but don’t worry…

There are plenty of plug-and-play tools available, and you can get your Messenger chatbot up and running in less than an hour, even if you have ZERO coding skills.

Here, we’ll walk you how to do this with ManyChat.

Step 1: Sign into your Facebook account.

Step 2: Input your business information, then connect your Facebook page.

If you don’t already have a Facebook page for your company, you’ll have to head over to Facebook to get that set up, then come back and connect your page.

Step 3: Click on the first panel in your dashboard to set up your Greeting Text.

This is what your Greeting Text might look like:

Step 4: Navigate back to your dashboard, then click on the “Welcome Message” panel to set up your message.

Once you’ve decided on your message, you can use the “Add Button” and “Quick Reply” buttons below to configure how Facebook users can respond.

For instance, I can create a button that says “Help my feet!”, and trigger the button to open a website when it’s clicked.

Note: I’d insert a link to my Cogsworth booking page here, to allow my potential client to schedule an appointment to me.

If someone were to interact with my bot, here’s what they’d see:

Alternatively, you can also create a “conversation” -- this allows you to provide more information about your business before redirecting your consumer to your booking page.

To do this, click on “Quick reply”, type in your reply of choice, then select “Send message”...

Then continue building your conversation:

Again, that last response from the Facebook user (“Let me book a visit!”) should be linked to your Cogsworth booking page.

Step 5: Preview and publish.

Once you’re done, make sure you preview your chatbot to make sure everything’s functioning properly, then hit the “Publish” button to take your chatbot live.

Annnnnd you’re done! You’ve built your very first Facebook Messenger bot -- give yourself a pat on the back!

Pro-tip: We’d say that using a Facebook Messenger bot is one of the BEST things you can do to drive traffic to your bookings page.

Why do we say so? Well, chatbots are known to be great at driving conversions:

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If Snap Travel can make $1M in hotel bookings through their Messenger Bot, we don’t see why you can’t do the same!

#5: Experiment with a video pop-up

Finally, if you have any videos that you can use as promotional material, try using these in a pop-up on your landing page, and including a CTA that redirects users to your booking page.

If you’re not sure how this would work, here’s a real life example of how law firm Dell & Schaefer created a video pop-up to encourage leads to request for consultations...

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Once a lead clicked on “Request a Free Consultation”, they were redirected to a booking page where they could sign up.

The results? The pop-up performed at a 9.76% conversion rate, which is pretty dang impressive.

Again, you don’t need any coding experience to set up a pop-up video. Simply use a tool like OptiMonk, and you’ll be all set!

Quick aside: obviously, you can experiment with traditional (static!) pop-ups as well, but you’ll find that video pop-ups are a lot more compelling and effective.

A final word on appointment scheduling

Alright, you’ve made it all the way to the end of this bumper guide of 27 appointment scheduling tools, hacks and best practices… give yourself a pat on the back! ;)

Now, you might be tempted to just bookmark this article and save it for another day… but DON’T do this.

We both know that once you close this tab, chances are that you’ll forget about working on your appointment scheduling -- and you don’t want this to be the case!

To help you along, here’s an action plan that tells you exactly what you need to do, step by step:

  1. Choose an appointment scheduling tool (might we suggest Cogsworth?)
  2. Set up your calendar and embed it on your website
  3. Send out an email newsletter notifying your clients that you’re now offering online appointment booking 🎉
  4. Link to your booking page from your social media profiles and email signature
  5. Start tracking your bookings, so that you can A/B test your booking page and determine what helps you get more bookings

BONUS: Set up a Facebook Messenger bot to drive more traffic to your booking page, and set up a video pop-up to do the same.

It’s time to stop being a slave to your bookings… let technology work for you instead!