By Adam Lambert
John Thornton is the CEO of Black Propeller, a Premier Google Partner agency and renowned specialist in the world of pay-per-click advertising. I met John on LinkedIn when he mentioned using Calendly in his PPC campaigns to great effect.
He described Calendly as “the perfect solution” for his service-based customers, and said Black Propeller “implements Calendly into our clients' PPC campaigns whenever possible.”
I knew there was more to learn from John.
He kindly gave me an hour of his time to explain how he was using Calendly to improve PPC performance for his customers. His customers were open about their success, too—even emailing me to say how it had literally changed their business.
I've transcribed that interview below to share the best insights into how digital agencies are using Calendly in the PPC arena.
Our interview with PPC expert, John Thornton:
Calendly (Adam Lambert):
Why did you originally decide to use Calendly for your client?
Our client, Next Day Floors, was having trouble capitalizing on the success of their PPC campaigns.
They were growing—which was great—but that created bottlenecks in their sales process. And this was most pronounced in their PPC work.
As the leads started rolling in at a higher volume, they were scrambling to come up with a system that would allow them to respond quickly and ultimately convert the leads to sales more efficiently.
Their primary goal with PPC is to drive in-home appointments, which presents even more challenges when it comes to coordination.
Calendly was the perfect solution for them.
That’s amazing. Could you give us a sort of before-and-after of that situation? Their sales process?
Prior to Calendly, leads were routed to a sales manager who then had to coordinate scheduling an in-home appointment between his sales staff and the customer.
Now, customers schedule their appointment instantly and the assignment of those appointments is completely automated using Calendly’s round-robin scheduling. It was the perfectly fair way to distribute leads across their team.
Since initially implementing Calendly we’ve found new ways to enhance our client's sales process with the software.
For example, we’ve added a script to our landing pages that uses the location field in our lead form to dynamically route leads to the proper Calendly event type. In this case, there are several store locations to consider. We have a script in Unbounce that routes the lead to the correct store’s Calendly events.
But all the customer sees is they can book an appointment at the right store, exactly when it’s convenient.
Explain what Black Propeller does with PPC, and how you’re using Calendly in that process.
Many of our clients are service businesses. We have professional services such as lawyers and consulting firms, and home services like plumbers and electricians.
We use PPC to generate a variety of lead types for these clients, such as consultations, sales appointments, and service visits.
One of our biggest challenges in demonstrating the value of PPC with these types of clients is making the connection from lead to sale. Implementing Calendly has gone a long way in solving that problem for our agency, as we’re now able to have an impact on the entire sales process, from click to close.
That means less leads that die on the vine, and more are getting booked into sales generating appointments. Obviously that’s increased ROI for our clients.
For our lead-generation clients, we now recommend embedding Calendly on their form confirmation pages (a.k.a. “thank you” pages) almost 100% of the time.
What have you seen since using Calendly in your PPC campaigns? How are they performing? Can you give us any stats that attest to your success?
When we add Calendly to our PPC funnels, our clients see a 60% increase in the number of leads that turn into booked appointments.
I say that average confidently, having done it for a dozen customers or more.
What about Cost-Per-Acquisition?
On average, Calendly reduces CPA by 30%.
For service-based businesses, that’s huge. It’s huge for any business.
What’s the most common way it saves your clients money?
For some of our clients, Calendly has completely redefined their sales process.
They’re able to spend more time selling and less time following up and setting appointments.
So they’d probably say, “More time spent successfully selling.”
In our lingo, we’ve shortened their sales cycle and decreased their customer acquisition cost.
Do you think other agencies will adopt Calendly as part of their PPC campaigns for service-based clients going forward?
I feel like Calendly is a secret weapon for us right now, but I fully expect it to become a staple of any forward-thinking agency’s tech stack in the near future.
It’s a simple way to add value to clients in a way that goes above and beyond the scope of PPC management.
Honestly, Calendly makes us look good and strengthens our relationships with our clients.
It makes a lot of business sense for us, because it works for our clients.
Anything you’d like folks to know about your PPC agency, Black Propeller?
We’re young, scrappy and hungry.
Our industry (PPC) is really crowded and competitive, so we’ve got to continuously find ways to separate ourselves from the pack. Calendly is one of the ways we do that.
We stay on top of technologies we believe are driving the future of business. And the ones that work—we go all-in.
Thanks for taking the time, John. Enjoy the rest of your day.
Of course. Any time.
If your business relies on appointments, meetings, or consultations, Calendly may be perfect for your next marketing campaign. Using Calendly as the bridge between advertising leads and bookings could not only increase your conversion rate, but also be an improvement for your customers' experience.
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