Why Online Scheduling is Online Marketing

By Cassandra @ Setmore

Writer, editor and scheduling product expert at Setmore Appointments.

Online marketing holds a certain mystique that some may find daunting. Fortunately, just showing up is half the battle, and Setmore can help you have an impact while taking those first few steps. So you want to know how to market your business online?

John Hammond from the iconic scene in the movie Jurassic Park, in which he tells Dr. Grant, "I'll show you."

Lay of the land

First let’s visualize how customers get from Point A (needing to book an appointment for some service) to Point B (booking said appointment). In every case, it starts with a need: I need a haircut, I have a clogged drain, or maybe I have an interest in taking music lessons. The prospective customer goes through a behavioral flow that looks something like this:

(Point A) Search → Evaluation → Decision (Point B)

As we take a closer look at each step in the flow, put yourself in the mindset of a potential customer. What things are they thinking, what concerns do they have, and what will make them happy? This is a good exercise to do the next time you’re looking to buy something online, too.

Step 1 – Research

Most online research begins either by organic search (as in, I need something so I’ll Google it and see what turns up), or by clicking a paid advertisement (I’m on catfancy.com and I see a web ad for a service I want or need). Both of these avenues take me to the service provider’s website, which begins the next phase.

81% of consumers research products and services online before committing to a buy decision.

Step 2 –

Now that I’m on your website, I spend a couple minutes checking out your services, your rates, your customer reviews, and anything I find interesting on your social media pages.

60% of customers feel more positive about a company after reading content created by them.

Step 3 – Decision

Once I’m sure I want to be your customer, I’ll schedule an appointment. This is where Setmore comes into play. If the customer has a delightful experience, they might even post a review or social media update of their own.


71% of customers who have a positive interaction with companies over social media are more likely to recommend the company.

Let them eat funnel cake

In many circles (specifically those populated by besuited businessmen), this is referred to as a “sales funnel.” Call it what you want, the important part is that we start thinking about the customer’s experience at each step in the chain.

Online appointment scheduling is a key part of the marketing ecosystem because it’s where the rubber meets the road. It’s where your customer transitions from their evaluation phase, during which they’re combing your website and engaging with posts and pics and tweets about you, to the decision phase, where they book an appointment.

Ok we get it. Now what can we do with it?

It starts with your website. Woody Allen said, “80% of success is showing up,” and marketing is the same. When 81% of consumers do their research via web browser, it makes it very difficult for them to find you if you don’t have an online presence. Fortunately for you, Setmore is a multi-faceted puzzle piece. It integrates with your existing website, and it integrates with your Facebook page. If you don’t have either, you can even use your Setmore booking page URL as its own website. Voila, online presence achieved.

These are all *ahem* free capabilities. Here’s a few more to help boost engagement and snag a few more appointments from the evaluation phase:

Customer experiences begin sooner than you think

On the surface level, Setmore is a tool designed to support your business. But once we shimmy into a phone booth and put on our superhero outfit, you’ll see that our true purpose is empowering you to deliver amazing experiences.

If you absorb one thing from this blog post, let it be this: the experience starts even before your customers know who you are. A haircut appointment is more than 30 minutes in a chair with a skilled hand and a pair of scissors.

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15 Responses

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  • Thanks for the tips. I’ve never heard of Setmore but looking into it now!

  • Great job explaining how appointment-setting can also be part of online marketing. Will most definitely keep Setmore in mind for future clients and projects.

  • Thanks for sharing your post, I’ve really appreciated the information. Thank you.

  • Thank you for the tips. I will try it.

  • Really useful, thanks

  • Thank you for sharing this great post.

  • I take a payment at the time of booking the appointment. Can this be done online too?

    Is there a way to rotate between the staff service providers?

    • Hi Charles, yes you can take payments online through the booking page with Setmore Premium. Here’s a link to the support article on how to activate that.
      Also, can you clarify – where would you like to rotate between staff service providers? On the booking page, typically the customer will choose a staff member. If you would like the booking page to assign a staff member at random, you can do so by enabling the “skip the staff” feature – here’s a quick step-by-step guide.

  • Customers constantly tell me how much they love using “my” booking system compared with other clinics. No signing up required, no waiting for sign-up account confirmation emails, fumbling with captcha codes, or other nonsense. Clients pick a service and a date, pop in their name and email address and they’re booked. Simplicity wins every time!

  • I have the exact same Facebook redirect to my setmore booking page for android and Iphone but it doesn’t show on iphones??

  • Hi, in our case we sell soccer time in a soccer field. We have a problem with this, because if I decided to make public the link we don’t have security that this client will assist to the reserved hour by itself, so we don’t have a local payment service because setmore just use PayPal or strike and it doesn’t work to us because it doesn’t have support to Panama.

    At least that setmore develop a platform or create an option that if the client make a reservation on line, have a time lapse to pay for it and if he doesn’t pay the reservation will be delete automatically in this way the block hour will be available to other customers.

    • I’m also in need of this feature! Will be amazing!
      Also need more room to add text on “booking policy”

  • Thanks for posting and keeping an active blog. It’s much appreciated!