Whether you’re a salon or fitness studio, a massage therapist or a tattoo artist, you know the thrill of getting a notification when a new client has just booked online.

Online scheduling is a beautiful thing — there are no phone calls to return, fewer mishaps (re: double booking), and of course, those automatic text reminders to make sure clients show up when they say they will. But maybe the best feeling? When someone “just finds you” online — no word-of-mouth or Instagram hashtag strategy required.

In most cases, those totally new clients book through what marketers refer to as a call-to-action or CTA. You see them everywhere, and you use them whether you’ve heard the term CTA before or not. 

They’re the Book Now buttons on salons’ Instagrams, the pop-up banners you use to advertise holiday sales, even the spot on your site where you invite people to sign up for your newsletter (if you’re into that kind of thing). But just because they’re everywhere doesn’t mean you’re using them to your advantage. 

A great CTA done right can double or triple your new client sign-ups, package purchases, or studio memberships almost overnight. That’s why we’re breaking down some best practices for writing CTAs that make even a person totally unfamiliar with your hair salon or fitness studio want to book an appointment with you ASAP. 

In this article:

How to Write Call-to-Actions (CTAs) + Banners That Customers Love

Make them Time-Sensitive and Cost-Sensitive 

The best CTAs make someone want to book an appointment or class (or purchase a product) right now. That means they should include clear language that tells someone these deals will not last forever.

One of the main reasons Book Now buttons work so well is because the word now feels urgent. Same goes for limited time offers. Or “one-time only” sales. The less time someone has to hesitate, the more likely they’ll be to jump in. 

Speak Directly to Your Audience

When writing calls-to-action, always use active voice. It helps give your CTAs authority and more urgency, but active voice also feels less formal — like you’re talking directly to the reader. As a rule, we typically prefer copy that speaks directly to us. It’s more personal and makes us feel like we’ve been seen. 

You’ll also want to make sure the CTAs clearly describe what action the person is supposed to take next. Think about buttons like JOIN NOW or SIGN ME UP versus CLICK HERE. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Get Creative 

Get playful or clever with your CTAs, especially if they include a custom discount code (which you can set up through your business account if you’re on Schedulicity). After all, your salon or studio isn’t boring, right?  

At some point, you’ve probably noticed certain CTAs when visiting retail sites because they’re fun. Those are the ones that stick with you. Take the fashion brand Madewell, which always does a great job with clever calls-to-action. 

This Cyber Monday sale, which they extended into Tuesday (hence the “one more day” language), features playful and unique copy the whole way through. Check out the discount code in the banner up top: YAYINTERNET. Because why not? 

The best CTAs don’t always follow the rules — after all, we see the usual “GET 30% OFF” language so often, we start to overlook it. Try switching your approach up often, and play around a little.

(P.S. Notice their CTA button in the main banner? Per our last tip, SHOP NEW ARRIVALS tells a site visitor exactly where this call-to-action will take them.) 

Only Use One CTA at a Time 

This is just a fact: If you include more than one CTA in an email or on a site page, each CTA will get fewer clicks because you’re splitting your audience. That’s fine in a newsletter where you want people to click on multiple articles from your blog or to explore all the services you provide, but if the goal is to get clients booking appointments ASAP, you’ll want to keep it simple. Make the CTA or Book Now button the biggest, boldest, and (ideally) only option they see. 

Partner (or Bundle) Up 

Most CTAs are pretty straightforward. You offer a site visitor one link and hope they take the action you want. Like our last tip, you want to keep things simple because those are usually the most effective CTAs. That said, there’s power in the art of the upsell. 

Have you ever received an email from a brand after you abandoned your cart? Or bought something extra on Amazon after seeing a “Similar customers also bought” selection? That’s an upsell, and you can do this with your CTAs, too. 

Let’s say you’re a stylist, and you allow clients to book online for your hair salon. Why not offer them their favorite hair products while they’re scheduling an appointment, so that you have them waiting for them when they arrive? Same goes with class management — once someone has decided to book a class, consider offering them a discount if they purchase a package instead. (You can do all of this, by the way, with Schedulicity’s customizable package bundles and our built-in payment processor, Schedulicity Pay.) 

The main takeaway is this: Once you’ve got their attention with a brilliant CTA, you can still get creative with how you finish up the process to make more money per transaction. 

Examples of Good and Bad CTAs 

Now that we’ve established some best practices for writing great calls-to-action, let’s talk through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Take these two examples — which one sounds more urgent to you? 

Option A: 

Until 12/27/19 at 12AM ET, try a monthly membership for only $150. [REGISTER HERE]

Option B:

Only 23 hours left to get $50 off a monthly membership. Use the code NOWORNEVER at checkout. [BUY NOW] 

If you prefer Option A, we’re not judging — but the truth is that most people wouldn’t. And if the goal is to get the most people to sign up for a membership, you’re going to want to go with Option B. Why? 

  • “Only 23 hours left” or any “only X amount of time left” gives you FOMO. It implies that if you don’t book now, you’re going to miss out. 
  • $50 off makes it clear how much money they’d save. In Option A, you’re assuming that someone knows how much a monthly membership costs — but why would they? Instead, they’re looking at the copy and thinking “$150 is pretty expensive.” Not if it normally costs them $200 — that’s a 25% discount, which is a steal. So use the language that makes the offer look best.
  • Option B also gets playful with a custom discount code that up the urgency even more
  • Last but not least, a button that says [BUY NOW] is a lot stronger than [Register Here]. In fact, get rid of [Here] from any of your buttons. It’s superfluous. 

How to Use CTAs and Book Buttons on Social Media 

Adding Book buttons to social media is a snap as long as you use a partner platform such as Schedulicity. Here’s a quick explainer, then we’ll dive into adding Book buttons and CTAs to your site as well.

How to Add a Book Now Button to Instagram 

If you’re ready to add a Book button to Instagram for your hair salon or fitness studio, all you need is a Schedulicity account. We’ve built one right in. Here’s how to add a book now button to Instagram right now and start getting new clients right away.

How to Add a Book Now Button to Facebook 

Head to your Facebook business page. Below your cover photo, click “+ Add a Button”. Choose “Book Now” and link to your booking page.

How to Add a Book Now Button to Your Site with Schedulicity 

If you’re a Schedulicity user, we’ve made it easy for you to offer appointment scheduling through your own website (because fewer steps to booking is a better customer experience!). 

Here’s how to allow people to book appointments with you directly through your website:

  1. Login to your Schedulicity account. 
  2. Head to the Marketing section of your account, then click on the Widget tile. 
  3. You can choose from two types of CTAs (or use both!): 
    1. Book Now button: choose the size and style of button you’d like to put on your site. This button will bring your clients from your site, to your booking page on Schedulicity.
    2. Scheduling widget: Put your booking process right into your website, either as a section built right into the page (Embedded scheduling widget), or a CTA that hovers on the right edge of the page and triggers a pop-up booking screen (Overlay scheduling widget). 
  4. After picking the widget you want to use, copy the code generated below, and paste it into the body section of your website.

See examples of both here

Easy, right? 

Need more help getting clients to book with you? Our support team is here to help with more tips.