What are Booking Invites?

Booking Invites are URLs that enable your customers to book an appointment with your business. They can be created so they are only available for a set period of time, to a restricted number of people. As well as this, a Booking Invite can be tied to a specific service within your account, meaning that it only works for one customer to book one specific type of service, with a particular staff member or even multiple staff members.

Where to find Booking Invites

Booking Invites can be found under Setup - Booking Invites within your 10to8 account. On this page, you can view all of the past Invites that have been created and all of the information about them such as when they were created and when they expire, how many times they have been used, and their current status, whether it is active or expired. 

A screenshot of the Booking Invites page.

You can use the buttons at the end of each row of Booking Invites to either Copy the link, if you would like to share it, or Delete it. Once a link is deleted it disappears completely from the list. To create a new link please click the Create New button at the top of the page which will bring up a smaller window. 

A screenshot of the pop up Booking Invite window.

Here, you are able to fill in the restrictions for the Booking Invite. In order to generate it, please enter the service that you would like the link to exist for by typing and selecting it from the drop-down menu, then the customer or customers and the staff member. You will notice that once you have chosen the service, the only selectable staff are those who are assigned to the service. It is possible to assign services to staff members via the Services page or the Staff - Services page. 

A screenshot of the pop up Booking Invite window.

The top three fields must be filled for the Booking Invite to be created and the ability to restrict the location of the booking is optional, as is the ability to set an expiry date or the option for the link to expire after a specific number of uses. If both boxes are ticked, the link will expire at whichever limit is reached first. After clicking Create your Booking Invite will appear in the list at the top. Click on the Copy button to copy the URL to your clipboard and share it with your customers.

Creating Booking Invites from the Inbox

Another way that you could choose to create a Booking Invite for your customers would be via the Inbox tab. This method is only available on the Enterprise plan.

A badge reading Enterprise.

To do this click on the pencil icon to compose a new message. 

A screenshot of Inbox pointing out the pencil icon.

Then add the customers that you want to include in the email by typing their names in the top bar and selecting them when they appear in the drop-down menu. The message contents here are entirely customizable and by adding the tag  {% booking_invite %}  this generates a standard Booking Invite for your customers to use.

A screenshot of an example email containing the Booking Invite tag

Below is how the Booking Invite will appear to the customer in their email inbox.

A screenshot of the email customers will receive containing the Booking Invite

Another way of distributing Booking Invites if your business has less than 250 customers would be through opening Configuration - Messaging - Email Campaigns and composing a message that can be sent out to all of your customers at once. This is will only go out to customers that you have email address contacts for. 

Tying Booking Invites to a service from the Inbox

Tying booking invites to a specific service is an easy way to organize urgent appointments or special offers on your services. To do this, go to Set Up - Services and select the service you would like the Booking Invite to be made for, then copy and paste the last few numbers after the forward-slash into the tag like this: {% booking_invite service=123 %}

A screenshot pointing to the section of the "direct link to service" that needs to be copy and pasted into the burner link tag to tie the Booking Invite to the service

Please note that each link created through the 10to8 inbox is temporary and lasts for one week. The link is single-use and will allow one customer to book one appointment, then expires after the customer has clicked Book now.

How Booking Invites can benefit your booking process

Using Booking Invites in your business means that you are able to send out specific links to prioritize bookings in terms of urgency and you are additionally, able to offer special discounts to a selection of customers, handpicked by you. 

This feature is very useful if you need to cancel a day of appointments; you can email all the customers that are booked on that day and provide them with a Booking Invite. Using this link customers will be able to rebook their appointments quickly and easily with the same staff member for the same service. Each link that the customer receives is unique which enables the booking system to identify the individual via the link. 

Booking Invites are a secure way to offer special discounts or urgent appointments that cannot be duplicated, and you will know which customer has booked when they use the link.

Bookings with multiple staff members

Your business may require you to take appointments with multiple staff members, for example if you are conducting interviews and you needed a particular staff member from the Admin team and a particular staff member from the Engineering team - by adding them into the staff field when creating your Booking Invite, the candidate will only be able to view and book slots that are available for both staff members. There is no limit to how many staff that you can set to be required for the Booking Invite to be created. 

A screenshot of the Booking Invites pop up window showing how you can select multiple staff

Urgent appointments

Some customers or patients need to access appointments more urgently. You as a business are able to choose to send out emails to priority customers and offer them a booking invite so that they are offered appointments that are only accessible to them.

In order to do this, you can create another service identical to one you already have, except with the settings adjusted to Privately bookable with a URL, and optionally, you can also change the name of the service to include “Urgent”. To create a new service go to Setup - Services - Create 1-to-1 Service.

A screenshot showing how to edit services

By doing this you will be able to clearly see in your calendar where the urgent appointments are compared to routine ones, but more importantly only those with the private Booking Invite will be able to book the urgent appointments. Because the Booking Invite can be specified to a service, staff member and customer, or a group of customers, this means that it cannot be used multiple times and shared among others to book an unlimited number of urgent appointments.

Special offers

To use a Booking Invite to offer a discounted service you can create a new service, identical to a one you already have, but set it to Privately bookable with a URL and change the price at the bottom of the service to a discounted price. You are then able to distribute Booking Invites to your customers using the messaging function and only the customers that you give access to the Booking Invites will be able to see the option to book these appointments. 

A screenshot directing you to change the price on the service

Using a Booking Invite means that your customers will only be able to book once using the discounted service link and this avoids them being able to use it again and again for future bookings. 

Packages of appointments

You are also able to use this feature to offer your customers the option to buy a block or package of multiple appointments. To do this, you can create a new service identical to the one you want to offer multiple appointments of, and label it to show your customers that it is a package, for example:

A screenshot highlighting changing the name of a service

You can then set the payment option to Payment required on booking and set the price to the total price of all six appointments in the package. So the customer pays for all the sessions and books their first one, then after receiving the first booking you will be able to send the customer one link from the Booking Invites tab that can be used 5 times or five extra Booking Invites from the inbox, so that they can book the rest of the package, and no more sessions than they are permitted to. 

For more help

If you have any further questions about Booking Invites please click here to find out how you can contact our support team who will be happy to help.