Looking to fill your appointment book? If your business runs on appointments or scheduled service calls, you can use email marketing to fill your calendar.

From small insurance agencies to lawn maintenance companies, if you make money through service calls or consultations, you can increase the number of appointments that you set up. How? It’s all about sending the right emails.

Here are three emails you can count on to fill up your calendar and get customers coming back again and again.

1. Schedule an appointment email

Sometimes a little electronic nudge is all it takes to encourage someone to make an appointment. People are busy and appreciate a reminder.

This email draws on your list of current customers. It’s not only a great way to boost appointments, but it also can promote customer retention.

You can even segment your list for better results. Separate your list by the kind of service customers have requested in the past, and send specific emails that remind them it’s time for another appointment. For example, if you have a auto shop you can remind folks when it’s time to change their oil, rotate their tires or do other maintenance.

You can provide an incentive with a limited-time offer to create a sense of urgency. This auto repair company offers a complimentary oil and filter change. In the same email, there’s a call to action that leads customers to book an appointment.

Don’t have an online appointment service? There are several free tools that can help. Try Calendly or YouCanBook.Me. Both of these tools integrate with Google Calendar.  Customers can see your public calendar, select a time that works for them and set up their own appointment.

2. Get a quote email

When you have a handful of prospective clients, one of the best ways to get them on your books is to encourage them to get a quote. Let’s say you run a cleaning service, or a lawn maintenance company. Send an email that explains the benefits of your service and suggest the recipient email or call for a quote.

Here’s an example from a health insurance company. Notice the text is simple, and the recipient is given multiple ways to get a quote.

This is an easy way to gauge interest. When you get a request, you can follow up with more detailed information about the service you offer and pricing plans.

3. I’ll call you email

Both of the email options above put the power in the consumers’ hands. When they open your email, it’s up to them to schedule an appointment or ask for a quote. If you want to take a little more control, you can try to do something a bit different. Rather than ask customers to make an appointment, tell customers that you’ll reach out at a specific time to talk more about your services.

Let’s say you run a small insurance agency. You can send an email that touts the benefits of your services and plans a follow up phone call. So, after you highlight the benefits, you can add a line that says, “I’ll give you a call tomorrow at 2 pm to discuss our services with you. I look forward to connecting with you.” (Of course, this presumes you have the client’s phone number as well.)

The next day, follow through with your phone call. Leave a message if no one answers.

For some business owners, this kind of marketing might seem too pushy. For others, it’s an effective way to increase appointments. As always, you have to decide what works best for your business.

Additional tips

Here are a few extra tips to keep your appointment book full:

  • Try more than once

It’s okay to reach out to customers more than once. Maybe your customer is on vacation and didn’t open your email, or maybe he or she meant to call but didn’t get to it. If an email goes unanswered, send another in a few days with a slightly different message.

  • Make continual efforts to grow your email list

The more email contacts you have, the more opportunities you have to make appointments. Keep adding email contacts to your list by setting up a sign up form on your website and social media channels so customers have an easy way to get more information about your business.

  • Get help when you need it

If you need help making calls or setting up appointments, ask a friend or an intern to help. Don’t let your email marketing or follow up calls slip. This is especially true if your business is seasonal, or has a busy streak. Plan ahead so you have the help you need to maximize your appointments.

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© 2015, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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