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10 Ways to Use Email and Online Appointment Scheduling to Turn Prospects into Customers

Everyone loves a good list, right? I’m going to assume you said “yes,” and dive right in.

This is a list for sales professionals of 10 proven ways to shorten the distance from lead to sale by using online appointment scheduling.

Since you’re reading this on the TimeTrade website, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that we have a lot of ideas about how businesses can deliver We’ve been expecting you service to their customers by taking advantage of appointment-driven personalization.

[Spoiler alert: The key to eliminating the calling, chasing and waiting that inevitably occurs when sales people try to reach prospects by phone is to use email—featuring a Click-to-Schedule link—to connect with them.]

  1. When they’re cold, warm them up with your content first.

We’re all eager to shorten the distance to the customer’s calendar. But asking for a date before you have properly introduced yourself could be a turnoff. If you’re trying to engage top-of-funnel leads who are not familiar with your company, warm them up with introductory content before asking for a one-on-one conversation. Give them a reason to want to talk to you first.

For example, thought-leadership pieces that position your company as an expert in your field make for great introductory content, as do customer case studies.

  1. Don’t let the hot leads go cold.

Once you’ve generated that initial interest, strike while the iron is hot. Following up within 24 hours dramatically increases the probability of getting the prospect to respond.

Adding a Click-to-Schedule link to your follow-up email will help you quickly identify the hottest leads and convert them into immediate sales conversations.

  1. Make it easy for them to say “Yes.”

A Click-to-Schedule link in your email makes it easy for your prospect to take the next step, knowing they can bypass the annoying and time-consuming ritual of back-and-forth email and phone messages just to find a mutually convenient time slot.

It’s all about making it as easy possible for the prospect to say yes to a meeting, so be mindful of how busy they are. You may want to experiment with different meeting durations, but a 15-minute introductory call seems to be the magic formula that many companies find yields the best response.

  1. Show them it’s about their time, not yours.

The language you use when asking for your prospect’s time can have a profound impact on how they perceive it.

Writing “Click here to find an open slot on my calendar” makes it all about you. Writing “Click here to find a time that works best for your schedule” says you care about their time. It’s a subtle change, yet one that increases the probability of response.

  1. Word your call to action clearly and simply.

A clear call to action will increase the number of meetings you get from your email. Use plain and simple words that make it easy for the customer to act. It’s possible the people you are emailing may not be familiar with online scheduling, so be sure to briefly explain what they should expect when they click on your link.

  1. Make your offer stand out.

Don’t bury your Click-to-Schedule call to action in the middle of a busy email. Here are four proven placement ideas that will make your offer more visible.

 In marketing emails:

  • When using Click-to-Schedule as the primary call to action in a marketing email, position it in a callout box that draws the reader’s attention.
  • When using it as a secondary call to action, carve out a clear section with the Click-to-Schedule link at the end of the email.

In sales emails:

  • Grab the recipient’s attention by keeping your intro brief and positioning the request near the top of the email.
  • Another strategy that works very well for sales emails is placing the Click-to-Schedule link in a P.S. line.
  1. Make it personal.

People buy from people they like. They want to have a conversation with a person, not an organization. It’s no surprise that emails with a friendly, personal tone get better response rates.

Including a personal introduction page in your Click-to-Schedule offer is a way to infuse your email with an added personal touch. It could be the difference that makes the customer want to take the next step.

Feel free to get creative with your personal introduction page. You can show your picture, describe your background, or even include a link to your own video message.

  1. Go for the email + voicemail one-two punch.

Most salespeople find voicemail ineffective. Many avoid leaving voice mail messages altogether, knowing that most prospects will not return these calls.

However, when combined with a Click-to-Schedule email, voicemail can be very effective. TimeTrade customers find that leaving a voicemail message that alerts the prospect to expect an email with a link to book a meeting dramatically increases open, click-through and schedule rates.

  1. Use it to say “I’m here for you.”

Online appointment booking also provides salespeople with an opportunity to strengthen and personalize their relationships with prospects and customers.

As a salesperson, including a Click-to-Schedule link in your email signature communicates that you are there to help and readily accessible.

  1. Get sales meetings booked while you sleep.

Online scheduling software can even work for you while you’re out of the office.

Simply add the Click-to-Schedule link to your default out-of-office message, and turn it on before the end of the workday (or when you go on vacation). This gives anyone who sends you a message, at any time of the day or night, an easy way to access your calendar immediately.

Seeing new meetings already on your calendar first thing in the morning or when you get back from a relaxing vacation will wake you up quicker than a double espresso.

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And there you have it, 10 ways sales pros can use email and online appointment scheduling to turn prospects into customers by capturing their interest at its peak.

Written by Kevin Flanagan

Kevin is director of content marketing for TimeTrade. He develops and curates the company’s public-facing information to enable customers and prospects to see the unique value TimeTrade solutions deliver to their businesses and teams. He also leads the company’s public relations program. In a high-technology career spanning three decades, Kevin has brought his communications and marketing expertise to a number of leading brands, including Verizon, PictureTel, Yankee Group, 3Com and Carbon Black. Before launching his tech career, Kevin honed his communications skills during 5 years as a radio news anchor and reporter. He earned a degree in English literature, but he credits his obsession with grammar, spelling and punctuation perfection to 12 years of daily drilling in parochial school.

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