Ever since July 7th, 2007 (lovingly referred to by Vegas regulars as 07/07/07), I’ve always felt that this day has a sense of good luck about it.
But, luck is not the sort of thing you build your business on. Using luck as your guide can wind you up in some pretty treacherous places.
You can, however, use persuasion and different rhetorical techniques to “get lucky”. Playing around with the words and styling you use in your marketing and outreach emails can help you get more clients (and thus more appointments).
While I never use the term “got lucky” when I’ve got TimeTappers (our name for the users on our userbase) on the phone for an onboarding call, I will say that I feel really lucky when someone has not only signed up for our schedule software but also has enough vested interest to speak with me about how to get it set up to best match their needs.
I feel lucky because no matter how great our value proposition is, getting people to trust me with their time and to trust that I’m not going to spend the whole time selling to them is incredible. It allows me room to get people set up for success with our software and establish a relationship so that the TimeTapper feels comfortable asking questions down the road.
Any business that doesn’t feel lucky for that will see their comeuppance at some point down the road.
Once the appointment is made, all of the appointment emails (like the confirmation & reminder) will go out automatically. But it can be really hard to get people to actually book appointments with you just from asking them over an email. The good news is there are some tips and tricks that can help incentivize people to click your TimeTap link to schedule with you.
In this post I’ll share three separate email templates that have worked for me to get:
Responses (whether that’s a direct response or a scheduled appointment)
These templates are perfect to use if you have a listserv with members who are active (i.e. you see them opening & reading your newsletter) but haven’t necessarily taken action (or made an appointment). Feel free to steal them and bend them to your will.
Email Template #1: The Direct Ask
Humans are “good, moral creatures”, at least for the most part. We may all be inherently selfish, but for the most part I don’t believe anyone can do something repeatedly without being able to justify it along his/her own moral guidelines.
So yes, our individual behavior & choices have to fit within our own moral guidelines, but there is still the act of making a decision in the first place. While we rationalize the choices we make to fit our self-image, we would just as soon not make a decision.
That’s because we’re lazy creatures.
Okay, lazy isn’t the nicest word. It’d be nicer if we said we were “efficient” or something, but that would be putting a false spin on it. Humans are lazy in the sense that we don’t go looking for more work.
If having an appointment with you is not clearly essential to your client reaching one of their own goals, then even if you send them a nice link to your scheduler directly in an email, they still may not click it.
(I know, I know. It’s a few simple clicks. How did this ever get categorized as “work”? Geesh, this computer age).
Don’t be offended by this. It’s true for everyone (including you and me!) and it just means you have to lower the threshold to scheduling with you so they have fewer steps to take.
How do you lower the threshold? By proposing a specific appointment time in your email instead of suggesting they go to your scheduling page to book with you.
Instead of asking in your email “Are you available for an appointment anytime next week?” go ahead and throw something specific out there. Ask if they are available at 3:30pm EST on Wednesday, July 15th.
Even if that time doesn’t fit their schedule, it’s easier for people to say “no” to a specifically suggested time, and once they say “no” they are hooked into the conversation with you. And “good moral people” do not back out on conversations they’re having, right?
Giving people something to respond to has a much higher success rate than expecting people to do all the work to either find or propose a time on their own.
The Direct Ask Template
Here’s the specific language I use in my direct ask emails:
Now, obviously this is very catered to TimeTap, but you can tweak it to meet your own needs. Essentially you’ll want to swap out the pieces in the email above with the parts below:
I’ve tweaked this email a number of times and will often change up what I insert in positions #3 & #5 based on what I presume are the goals of the business I’m emailing. You can generally gleam those from a quick perusal of their website.
*You’ll also notice that I suggest making the suggested time 2 days out. This is because often people will think this is some kind of automated email that I’m sending. Thus, by putting the suggested time 2 days out, I can follow up the next day saying a quick “Hey there, just wanted to see if the time tomorrow is good for you. I’ve set up some specific things for us to go through during our time together.” This boosts appointment conversions even more.
Email Template #2: Familiarity & Flattery
Our support team here at TimeTap generally only reaches out to people that supply their business email addresses. This allows us to look through the business’s website for a short while before contacting the individual so we can send a more contextual response.
While looking through their websites, you’ll usually be able to find their Twitter or Facebook pages and can go like them/follow them on there as well.
The point of doing this research isn’t just to pre-qualify who we reach out to. It is part of the groundwork we lay for our entire relationship with our customer. By knowing a bit about their business, we can help frame our solution in light of what they offer, all while throwing a bit of flattery in the mix to.
Because people will engage when they’ve been flattered, especially when it is something they worked on.
In doing your research, find something that they have done that you either liked or agreed with.
Did you find a blog post they wrote? Tell them you liked what they said in that specific blog post.
Did you follow them on one of their social channels? Tell them you followed them and one of the items on their newsfeed you agreed with.
Did you think the color scheme they used on their website was particularly eye catching? Mention that.
There are two rules here:
Do not go overboard with the flattery. That seems un-genuine and everyone hates it when people are unauthentic
Actually be genuine. Don’t just say something nice to say something nice. Find something that you really enjoy that this person is putting out into the world. If you can’t find a single thing, then don’t email that person. Consider it part of your pre-qualifying process.
Put this tip into practice with the email template below.
The Familiarity & Flattery Template
Here is the email template I’ll send to clients when I’m establishing familiarity and making use of compliments to encourage them to schedule with me:
Now, to put this template to use for you, simply insert something for your business in the blanks in the following example:
I get a lot of responses from using this template, but like template number 1 above, I get even more if I remember to follow up if I haven’t heard from them.
Email Template #3: The Quickie
This template operates under the truism that less is more. Your clients will also think that it’s more realistic that you sent them an email specifically if the body of the email is shorter.
Place a limit on yourself of 300 characters in your email and create a sense of urgency.
I use this when I look at a TimeTappers web scheduler and notice something glaringly wrong. Maybe they have no duration on their services or maybe they have no services at all.
Once I mention what they’ve got wrong, it’s easy to suggest a really quick phone call to get it fixed. When on the phone call, I can suggest a few other things that they can do and try to set up a time for a longer meeting.
The Quickie Template
New signups on TimeTap generally have one goal in common: to make online booking as easy as possible for themselves and their clients. Thus, when there’s something glaringly wrong with what they’ve set up I can reach out to them with the following:
The nice thing about using this template for TimeTap is that there is pretty much always another feature that a user may want to use but doesn’t have set up yet. Thus, I can always take a look at someone’s account and give at least one suggestion. It may not be a big mistake, but a small improvement means a lot too.
If you want to use this template, simply replace the Insert notes in the template below with something related to your business:
Now that you’ve got the language for these three templates at your fingertips, I would really love to know what kind of success you see in using them.
Has one of the templates gotten you more response than another? What template is easier to send to your listserv or userbase? Share your experience and wisdom in the comments below!
And if you want your own web scheduler to direct clients to in order to make appointments online with your business, click the button below for you free TimeTap account: