SMS vs Email. Or Both?

Posted on Mar 13, 2015

With all our transactional and reminder notification services we offer the option to send emails, SMS’s or both. Many clients are unsure about what to use or in what mixture. Communicating clearly and conveniently to your customers should be one of your highest priorities. Here is a table that helps you determine what delivery method is the best to use: Short and ConciseLast Minute Long MessageRequires Immediate Attention Includes lots of LinksEasily Retrievable Includes Pictures or MapsRSVP ReminderGuaranteed Delivery Recently SMS has seen a big rise in popularity as it has quick and high open rates. A combination of SMS and email can be the most rewarding. For example a SMS letting customers know quickly that payment has been received and to check their email for an invoice combines both methods that your customers will certainly find helpful. Or an email reminder 7 days before the booking with details then a 24 hour SMS alert uses the pro’s of both. The biggest factors to consider in this decision are: – what kind of information are you going to deliver – the importance/urgency of the message – the preferred method of engagement from your...

Read More

Booking Abandoment & Remarketing

Posted on Sep 1, 2014

Booking abandonment is big business with the latest research showing billions are being lost every year in abandoned bookings. Abandonment happens when a customer starts a booking but doesn’t finish it, leading to lost revenue. Why bookings are abandoned and how to re-market to close the bookings have become a focus of merchants and marketing professionals. Why bookings are abandoned. In our experience bookings are abandoned for a number or reasons: – Price: The price is withheld to the final confirmation page giving us a surprise. – Extra fees: We’re told the price but at the end extra fees are tacked on like ticketing fees, organiser/venue  fees or surcharges. – Booking process: The booking form is too long or asking questions that are difficult to answer or that I don’t want to answer. If making multiple bookings I keep on having to reenter my details and answering the same questions again, leading to frustration. – Distraction: I get distracted by an ad or something else on the page and don’t return to my booking. – Lack of Information: I start the booking but am not given enough detail about the event or venue and leave due to uncertainty. How to get the booking across the line The most obvious solution to prevent bookings from being abandoned is by addressing each item above. This will dramatically reduce the amount of abandoned bookings but most likely won’t stop them all together. The next step is to re-market. Re-market to your customer with a targeted and personalised approach. For example you may want to set up the option to remind customers that the closing date for the booking is approaching and to complete the booking before time is up. Or you could give them a call to follow up and confirm the booking for them. Not only does this remind the customer of their booking but also gives you the opportunity to engage with the customer in a helpful manner, leaving them with a positive impression. It’s estimated that over 10% of abandoned bookings can be recaptured if re-marketed...

Read More

5 Things We Hate About Online Booking

Posted on Aug 18, 2014

We keep it positive here at iSmart, but that doesn’t mean there are things about online booking that we just don’t like. Below are our pet hates for booking systems out there today. 1. Lack of Branding Opportunity Getting your name out there is becoming more and more difficult and it seems to only be getting harder. Many booking sites plaster their details and logo all over the website and emails – promoting themselves but leaving your branding in the cold. Customers can get confused with who they are making the booking with and won’t remember who you are or form a connection with your brand. When your customers perform a search whose details do you want them to see? How about when they open an email or get a SMS? It’s crucial for building your brand portfolio that you are represented clearly. 2. Inflexible Booking Options Have you been frustrated when setting up your bookings only to hit roadblocks with the the payment options provided, or how to handle discounts or special rates? What about how to handle multiple bookings, or offer them options such as transfers, cancellations and booking histories? You want to incorporate your own processes but want the booking to remain as simple as possible for users. Our flexible options give you the power to set up manage how you take bookings. 3. Getting Lost in the Crowd Why advertise your events with hundreds of thousands of others?  With ads and popups your customers can get confused and sidetracked – clicking away from your event never to return. A uniform and professional presentation is required to draw in bookings. With an iSmart solution your events and spaces aren’t advertised with anyone else’s and you get full control over how to present your offerings. 4. No Mobile Support Mobile overtook the web in February 2014, so if your users can’t make bookings on their mobile then you’re already missing out. It’s surprising how many web properties still don’t have mobile ready and responsive apps. 5. Basic Reporting and Analytics Want to get more out of your data than just who has booked? Many applications out there offer simple reporting but don’t get the core of the data that’s there. Data is valuable and helps make key decisions in finances and management. Without the right data you are making these important decisions blind. iSmart’s rich reporting features will give you an analysis on revenue, utilisation, orders and more and will help you grow your...

Read More

Our Top 5 Reasons For API’s

Posted on Aug 8, 2014

Integration between platforms is redefining software. The power to leverage of existing applications provide end users with powerful tools for marketing, data management and usability. We purposefully integrate into popular and industry-standard applications to give you more power with your data. Our integration’s include Salesforce, MailChimp, Google Maps, ABN Look Up, Google Cloud Print,  Dropbox and more. Each add a layer of marketability, convenience and service. Below are our Top Five Reasons for using API’s. 1. Expand on the application offerings with the best technologies out there 2. Integrate with existing apps that you are already using/familiar with 3. Each application has it’s own development cycle and road map leading to richer features – more than we could provide in house 4. Keeps us focused on our central goal – to make online bookings easier and more flexible for everyone 5. Merchant terminal API’s mean we integrate directly to your bank for immediate revenue collection and peace of...

Read More

The importance of scaling

Posted on Aug 4, 2014

Scaling is the ability to rapidly grow or shrink to adapt to market conditions and demand. We here at iSmart have red-tape free solutions so you can scale quickly, efficiently and without any interference from us! To do this we: 1. Don’t Limit The Number Of Bookings, Emails, Users etc. We believe that you shouldn’t be inhibited by restrictions or worry about reaching a limit. You always know what you will be billed and don’t get any nasty surprises on your invoice. We also bill monthly giving you the flexible option to cancel at any time without losing out financially. 2. Integrate With Reliable Efficiency And Marketing Tools Be ready to take your bookings to the next level but utilising our ready to go API integration’s. Always available and at no extra charge you can open up new possibilities such as email marketing and campaigns, name badge printing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), online payments and more. 3. Don’t Interrupt Your Cash Flow It’s a common pricing structure to take a certain percentage and flag fall from each booking that gets made. On top of this money is collected and held for a certain period, earning them interest, while you wait to get paid. This can become a costly exercise and interrupts your cash flow. We integrate directly with your bank and don’t take a cut of your profits. This is crucial to a lot of smaller businesses and welcomed by large corporations who find the alternative model a nuisance and expensive. 4. Offer A Robust Cloud Model Our own back end hardware allows us to scale with our clients. As your database and processes grow we will keep up with your demand ensuring a fast and reliable service for your customers. 5. Include Flexible Booking Options Many clients have started of small using the application for one or two events, but have found it’s flexible nature lends itself to be used across the organisation for training, events days, appointments and more....

Read More