It’s important that customers and co-workers can easily reach you, but simply putting your phone number in your email signature can lead to a never-ending cycle of missed calls. The solution is to use an online appointment scheduling tool, and to put that in your email signature. We’ll show you how to accomplish this with SuperSaaS.
We basically need to do two things:
1. Set up a suitable online schedule
2. Add a link or button to that schedule to your email signature
We’ll also discuss adding some more advanced features, like adding it to your Instagram or Facebook and automatically syncing to your Google Calendar, Zoom or Outlook.
Set up a suitable calendar for taking your meetings
For taking personal one-on-one meetings you probably want a simple “low-friction” process: just have people enter their preferred date and leave contact details. Look at this demo schedule we created:
- It does not ask for log in or registration, just contact details
- We embellished it a little bit by allowing the user to select a meeting length
- It uses the “widget” view that automatically adapts to mobile or desktop users
If you are setting this schedule up for yourself, you would probably want to add:
- Retrieve availability from your personal Google or Outlook, so you don’t have to keep the two in sync
- Add some text or a picture of yourself above the widget
- Send an email confirmation
Use the wizard to create a schedule
We start by creating a New Schedule from the dashboard. The schedule we chose here is a “Service” type schedule, but you could also pick a “Resource” type. We pick “No log in necessary” and give the schedule a name. Next, we define different meeting lengths to choose from. If every appointment has the same length, or if you would like to offer your user to pick a meeting length, then the “Resource” type schedule would be more suitable. Completing this step already gives you a basic schedule that you can try out.
Personalize your schedule
On the Supervise page, “Synchronize” tab, you can connect your schedule to a personal calendar in Google or Outlook, to ensure people do not book in places you already have something else planned. Furthermore, on the Configuration page, “Process” tab, you may want to add an email confirmation to be sent. You can change the content of that email on the “Layout” tab, a good thing to add to the bottom of the mail would be:
$nourl $modurl $ical
This incantation tells the system to replace the link to the calendar in the email, with one that users can use to modify their appointment. It also adds a so called iCalendar attachment that can be automatically read by their calendar program if they use one.
Add advanced options
There are a number of other options you may want to consider adding, for example:
- You can send a reminder email shortly before the meeting
- You can make the system create a Zoom meeting for each appointment and add a link to that in the mail
- You can send yourself a warning in Slack when a meeting changes or is about to start
We’ll not go over the settings of all those here. Most settings should be easy enough to discover and otherwise the search box on the documentation page would be the place to start looking.
Add a link or button to your email signature
Now that we have a place to send your customers to, we want to let them know about it. Of course, you can put the link to your schedule on your website or your social media. But often your customers will be reading an email from you when they decide want to connect, so putting a link in your email signature makes sense.
All email programs allow you to add a signature to your email, but they differ in details like whether they can store multiple different signatures for different occasions. Most of the time their functionality should be straightforward to figure out, and otherwise a quick Google should help you figure out advanced features.
The easiest thing is to copy and paste the link to your schedule in the signature, then we can build on that by making the link clickable, and finally you can style your link as a button that says “Book a meeting with me”. But I think most people will want to use the button so let’s start with that.
Create a styled button
We’ve added an interactive page on our site that will do most of the work for you, look at this Button generator. Make sure you are logged into the site, that way the button generator will show a button that links to your schedule rather than a demo schedule.
First, play with the options on that page to give the button the text, color and size that you like. Next, copy the button by clicking the clipboard icon in the top right corner. Do not copy the text from the bottom clipboard on that screen, because that would give you the button as HTML-code rather than as a styled button. Finally, paste the button into your email signature and save the signature.
Create a link instead of a button
Perhaps you think a modest link comes across more business-like than a colorful button? No problem, you can find the link to your schedule on the configuration page, or by simply copying the browser bar when you are looking at the schedule. You could then paste that link in the email, but you probably want the link to say “Book a meeting” instead of the raw link. To create a clickable link:
- First type the text for the link, e.g. “Schedule a meeting with me”
- Select those words with your mouse
- Type ctrl-K (Windows) or ⌘-K (Mac) to make the text into a link
- Paste the URL in the pop-up that should have appeared
- And then save the signature
Try it out!
And that’s it, but you should really send yourself an email and try the whole process from start to finish, to ensure that everything works correctly. It would be embarrassing if your customers get stuck somewhere, so better that you first notice it yourself.
Modify the appearance with query parameters
You can change the way a schedule looks by adding so-called query parameters to your link.
For example, in the demo above we selected the “widget” view by adding
?view=widget to the end of the link.
This demo page shows several other ways you can format a schedule.
And you can also add a parameter to default the calendar to a specific date, useful if you want someone to schedule for a specific event.
?month=12&day=25 will open the calendar on Christmas Day.
So how do you add those parameters to the link in your email signature? Just put your cursor on the button or the link and type ctrl-K (Windows) or ⌘-K (Mac). That should open a pop-up with the link that you can then modify. And, after you’ve made the change, you may want to send yourself an email again to test if it works as expected.