Booking meetings to connect with potential customers is essential for sales, so is having a great, search engine optimized, easy-to-use website. Using Calendly for WordPress marries these two important points in the sales funnel to help turn your website visitors into meetings.
We’ve all been there: You try to schedule a phone call or virtual meeting with someone, and it takes several emails back and forth to find a time that works for everyone. It seems like an impossible task that sometimes leaves you without real confirmation! For businesses, this means potentially missing out on a sale.
But with Calendly, prospective customers can easily book an appointment directly from your WordPress site. The smooth integration between the two works for you by keeping the user focused on your website. Additionally, when you complete the one-time configuration, Calendly takes care of much of the administrative work, like email follow-ups and video conference links.
Here are five important things you need to know about using Calendly for WordPress, starting with the basics:
1. What exactly is Calendly?
This software tool is essentially an online scheduler that gathers information about your visitors, allows them to book time slots according to your schedule, and helps to avoid double-booking by keeping track of all your calendars.
But as you’ll see throughout this article, Calendly is much more than that.
( to be clear, Calendly is not a WordPress plugin. Calendly is a separate software that you can embed into your WordPress site.)
2. Who should use Calendly for WordPress?
Anyone and everyone should use Calendly!
Ok, jokes aside. Ideally, if your website is built on WordPress (custom-built or a purchased WordPress theme doesn’t matter) and you run a business where clients need to book appointments for meetings, product demos, or consultations, this is for you. If you know potential clients get through your sales funnel more efficiently with a phone call or meeting, instead of poking around on your website scouring for information, then you’ll definitely want to use Calendly for WordPress.
But let’s not limit its applications. There are dozens of ways people are using Calendly, especially with the current pandemic forcing many to do business virtually. Some are even finding creative ways to use it.
3. How does it work?
When you use Calendly for WordPress, you are setting up your website to work for you. Calendly allows your website visitors to book an appointment instantly. What better time to do this than at the peak of their interest?
Here’s a step-by-step guide:
First, sign up for a Calendly account and customize your profile with a photo of yourself and your company’s logo. This will give a personal feel to the scheduling form.
Next, connect your current calendars. Calendly connects with major online calendars such as Google Calendar, iCloud, Microsoft Outlook, and Exchange. Connecting your own calendar is the basis of Calendly’s availability feature. You can also customize your availability as needed to fit your own personal workflow.
Let’s say you want to book appointments throughout the day so your availability is usually wide open. But your spouse has added a parent-teacher conference to your family calendar for next week. No problem, Calendly has it handled by removing that time slot from your availability! As long as your family calendar is connected (along with any other essential calendars), it will never double book you. Don’t worry, it also keeps your personal calendars private from public view.
Then you will need to create meeting types. When creating a meeting option, there are many settings to choose from. You can select whether it is a virtual, phone, or in-person appointment, a one-on-one meeting or group meeting, select the allotted time for that meeting, add time buffers between meetings, choose how soon they can be booked, and even put a cap on how many meetings you can do each day. For example, a consultation with a potential client takes some time and research beforehand, so you only want to do a maximum of two of these per day, and you don’t want it to be booked last minute. With some easy configuration, Calendly can manage it all!
Once your availability is set, you’re almost ready to start accepting appointments. This is where using Calendly for WordPress can help you capture your website visitors.
4. How does Calendly for WordPress look on my website?
We know there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for your unique website. With Calendly, you have the freedom to choose how you want Calendly to appear on your website. The three choices they offer are listed below:
First is the In-Line Embed. With this option, you can embed the Calendly form onto any page on your WordPress website. For example, you can have a “Let’s Talk!” button on your website header. When clicked, the user is taken to a page with the Calendly form. You should also add a short description informing them what they will get from the appointment.
The second option is a pop-up widget that works much like a ChatBot. A small, customizable button sits in the bottom-right corner of the screen. When clicked, a Calendly lightbox appears, allowing the user to book without navigating to another page.
The third is a pop-up text which creates a custom text link. When clicked, Calendly pops up on the website. While this is the most flexible option, it may also be the least visible.
With a Calendly Pro plan, any one of these options can be customized to match your brand. You can change the background, button text, and button colors with just a few clicks. Since the plan comes with metrics, you may also want to A/B test the button text or descriptions to see which one gets more bookings.
5. Where on my website can I use these different options?
Once you know which of the above options you’d like for your website, you can decide where they appear.
For one, you can have a pop-up widget appear universally. This means the button will be visible in the lower right corner no matter which page the user is on. Or you can select a certain group of pages for it to pop up, like a products page.
For the In-Line Embed option, you can add the form directly onto any page or post. But if you decide to create a “Book an Appointment” page, make sure the user can easily find it. You might even consider placing a link to the page in the Navigation Bar so it is clearly visible.
Lastly, the text option is the most flexible. You can have it in a paragraph, a list, or in a product description.
6. BONUS: What are some other Calendly features I should consider?
Teams: Working with a team? Calendly can efficiently schedule with everyone in mind. The invitee can be scheduled based on which team member is available or choose which team member to meet with depending on their needs and preferences. Just one click from your WordPress site can get a meeting on the books with the right person.
Payment Collection: Some meetings will require full or partial payment, such as a business consultation. The customer can do that right in the Calendly for WordPress widget. Calendly easily integrates with PayPal and Stripe for easy payment collection without leaving your website.
Video Conferencing Integration: Calendly for WordPress creates a one-stop shop for your leads. Just by completing the form, the user sets an appointment and, if it’s a virtual meeting, gets the information ahead of time. This helps to eliminate a lot of administrative work like creating and sending out Zoom links in a separate email! Calendly integrates with popular video conferencing applications such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Join.Me, and Microsoft Teams.
Reminders and Cancellations: No-shows are rough. You’ve spent time and energy preparing for a consultation and are ready to win over a client. But they don’t show up. Well, this is another way Calendly for WordPress can help you out. Once they complete the form on your site, you pre-selected reminders will be scheduled to send out. This means no more follow-up emails for you to keep track of!
In a recent survey, 88% of Calendly’s users said meeting no-shows have decreased by using automated reminders. Just set up the reminder settings (you can choose email, text, or both) for the day before or the day of. You can even customize them to include any materials your invitee will need in advance.
Lastly, you can enter a cancellation policy and take advantage of the rescheduling feature. The policy will appear in every email or text message reminder the invitee receives and will provide a link to reschedule if you provide that option.
More Than Just an Online Scheduler
If you decide to use Calendly for WordPress, you won’t only get a great scheduling tool, but you will save time, money, and a lot of administrative work. Your website visitors can book time with you without having to copy and paste email addresses, wait for video conferencing links, or provide credit card information. Calendly helps them move right along in the sales process by providing a seamless customer service experience from your very own WordPress site.