STX Desktop: Introducing Online Booking to Clients

Purpose

Did you know when given the opportunity, 30% of clients say they would prefer to book their appointments online? Online Booking is quick, easy and accurate. With online booking, your clients can keep contact information updated, book appointments for themselves and family members, purchase gift certificates/cards, and view Rewards point balances. 

Notifying your clients they can now book their own appointments online is the key for success. But how do you go about doing that? This document is designed to help get you started. You can inform your clients about online booking through an email marketing campaign. 

Go to Client: Client Marketing. 

Create a new set and name it Introduce Online Booking. 

Click New Filter and use the Email Address filter. 

Set the parameter for Has Email Address to Include Valid.

Go to the tab named Output Settings. Using the Type popup menu, select the Online Mailing option. A drop-down sheet will appear for you to choose the template you wish to use for the online mailing. There are several marketing templates in STX to choose from.

Choosing a Template

Highlight the template you wish to use and click OK

Each image, header and footer can be replaced with custom images, headers and/or footers. If you will be replacing any of the images, headers or footers, it might be necessary for you to resize your items to ‘fit’ the template. More information on resizing items to fit each marketing template is included later in this document.

After selecting a marketing template, the template will appear in your screen. 

The above example uses the 2nd template option listed. We will be changing it to suit our needs, so let’s examine each part of the template.

Subject

Enter a subject that will be catchy to your clients, one that entices them to want to open the email to read it. In our sample email, you are introducing online booking. The subject line is what your clients will see, so be sure it is something appropriate for them. 

Header

Some of the templates available to use for your email marketing campaign will already have your company name typed. In our sample email, we  chose the template with the ‘white’ header. 

The company name automatically appears, based on the information in Setup: General: Company Info. You can replace text in any text field with an image or company logo, or you can leave it blank. Change the format of the text by going to the Format menu and select the option Font: Show Fonts or the option of Text: to change the alignment. 


Body of Email

Each time you click inside a text field, you will see a blue border around the active field. There are several fields within the body of the email template, most filled with text written in Latin. 

Be sure to remove all of the Latin text contained in the email template before generating/sending the email.

The “full_name” bubble comes from the the bottom of the screen. If you do not wish to keep the greeting Dear [full_name], feel free to type directly over what is currently there to replace with the desired text. If you choose to keep the greeting, the client’s name will replace the ‘name’ bubble. When your clients receive the email, it will be addressed to each one individually, such as Dear Susan Jones. Feel free to replace the “full_name” bubble with the “first_name” bubble. When your clients receive the email, it will be addressed to each one individually, such as Dear Susan.

The text click here is a link added to the email. This link is actually pointing to the booking pages, so when the client clicks there, they will be taken directly to the booking page, ready to login. 

Highlight the text in the body of the email you wish to turn into a live link. Once the text is highlighted, click the Edit Link… button. A screen will appear.

Type the web address to your website, or copy/paste the Booking URL you want the link to be pointed to. 

Click OK after entering the URL. 

NOTE: It is recommended using the Booking URL for this particular link since you will want the clients to be taken directly to the online booking login screen.

If you are using your website and you want to have your web address showing in the email, you will type it out in the body, highlight the text and click Edit Link… Type the web address again and click OK. The client will be able to click on your web address and be taken directly to your website.

Use the Return key on your keyboard to ‘bump’ the text down a line. This is recommended to help with even spacing between each text field and/or paragraph.

Within the body of the email, we have written instructions for logging in once the client gets to your booking pages. Keep in mind, the clients you are sending this email to have a valid email address on file, else they wouldn’t receive the email. 

Be sure to remove all of the text typed in Latin from all text fields.

Any client in your client base with a valid email address on file is already registered to begin booking online. There is no need for one of your existing clients to register as a new client. 

Footer

In the U.S., the CAN-SPAM Act requires that your contact information be included somewhere in the email. For more information about the CAN-SPAM Act, please visit the following website.

                http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/canspam.shtm

In our sample email, we chose the template with the light green footer. 

The physical address and phone number automatically appear because of the information entered in Setup: General: Company Info. This information shows in a text field, which can be edited, replaced with a logo, or removed altogether. The light green footer can be replaced with a different footer or an image of the same size.

NOTE: Before placing any custom images, headers or footers onto the marketing template, you will want to make sure the size is adjusted to fit properly into the email. More information on resizing items to fit each marketing template is included later in this document.

Generating and Sending the Email

Once you have the email the way you want it, be sure to click Save before clicking Generate.

NOTE: It is a good idea to send a test email to only yourself and at least one other person before it actually goes to your client base. You can create a new Client Flag called Test Email. You will flag your client record and any other test recipients with that client flag. Your marketing set will use the Client Flag filter, to include the Test Email flag only and also the Email Address filter, to include Valid email addresses only. 

After you receive the ‘test’ email to make sure it is formatted correctly, all Latin text has been removed, and all typos have been corrected, you will go back to the marketing set and set the filters according to which clients you want to send the email to.

After clicking Generate, a screen will appear to let you know how many emails are going to be sent. Click Send to go ahead and send to the selected clients. Click Cancel to go back to the online mailing template screen.

Helpful Hints

The following information helps to ensure your email marketing campaigns are a huge success.

- Use the Format menu to change the font, font size, and color of your text in any text field. To change the font, the style of the font, the size of the font, or color of text, select one of the options from the Format: Font menu.

The Show Fonts option will show all fonts, styles and sizes for you to choose from when making changes to your text. 

The Show Colors option will show the color choices for you to choose from when changing the color of your text.

To change the alignment of the text, select one of the options from the Format: Text menu.

Make sure the email addresses you have for your clients are current addresses. People tend to change their email addresses occasionally, so you might have some older addresses. The addresses can easily be verified when the clients either call or come in for their appointments if they aren't booking online.

  • Make sure your online mailings are more targeted instead of being more generic. For instance, send Men's Only specials just to the men in your database. Target to specific groups of people when sending an online mailing so you don't 'hit' all of the clients all of the time.

  • Avoid sending emails too often. Twice a month is usually often enough, unless you are targeting different and specific groups of clients. We have one user that sends Massage specials on a routine basis, but only to clients who have never received a Massage. They will send an online mailing campaign once a week, but because they target different groups of people, the same client doesn't receive anything but maybe once a month.

  • Make your subject line interesting, so that people will want to open your email. You can make it catchy, but avoid making it sound too much like a marketing campaign.

  • If someone blocks their email from showing images, then your mailing statistics will show as though the email hasn't been read yet, even if it has. Make your clients aware of the online mailing campaigns you are going to start sending and let them know they will contain images. This way, if they have the images blocked, they can change their email settings to allow the images for your emails to come through the way you intended them.

Sometimes your online mailing campaigns can end up in the recipient's spam folder. It is difficult to determine what the latest spam filters are using to gauge what is spam and what is not. The best solution to this is to ask your client base to add your email address, the sender, to their address book or add them to their white-list so that all of the emails from you are delivered without being marked as spam. You could use something on a little card at the front desk, or add a line on the bottom of your receipts if you print them regularly.

Here are just a few of the kinds of spam filters you would have to chase, and these change all the time:

- Subject line starts with Buy or Buying - Body contains 'Money back guarantee'

- Subject is all capitals - Body contains 'Dear (something)'

- HTML font size is large             - HTML font size is huge

- HTML has a low ratio of text to image area        - HTML font color similar to background

Any one of the above by itself will probably not be enough to flag an email as spam. They each have a point value, and if the point value goes above some threshold, then the email is marked as spam. Making sure your clients have you added in their address book will help safeguard your email marketing campaigns against spam filters.

Managing Custom Email Graphics & Banners

Manage custom email graphics and banners by creating a folder on your desktop that will contain each of your custom images.

Name each graphic and banner according to its use.

STX Email Marketing Templates

Templates Available in STX

The following information shows the sizes of all existing images, headers, and footers. Any custom images should be resized to approximately the same size of the existing image. Custom headers and footers should be resized to exactly the same size of the existing headers and footers.  You will need to resize all custom images, headers and footers before moving the custom image onto the marketing template. 

To replace a header containing text, delete the company name as well as the extra spaces to the left. Drag the new custom header into the vacated text field. Once the new custom header is in place, you will no longer be able to include text in the header. You must show the company name within the body of the email or in the custom header you have created. 

To replace a footer containing text, delete the company contact information as well as the extra spaces to the left. Drag the new custom footer into the vacated text field. Once the new custom footer is in place, you will no longer be able to include text in the footer. You must have the company contact information within the body of the email or in the custom footer you have created. 

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