Let’s talk calendars. You know, those things you used to hang up in your cubicle before you became a business owner? The one that featured crazy cats or would offend Robert in HR because of its “questionable content?” You’ve probably gone digital these days, but don’t you kinda miss those?
No matter what type of business you run, I’m sure you use a calendar to keep your head on straight. Maybe you use your Google cal or iCalendar to keep track of upcoming demos, client onboarding, or appointment reminders. Since you’re managing the rest of your business inside Ontraport, I want you to know you can also set up seamless scheduling right inside your account using Ontraport Calendar — with all the bells and whistles you’re used to. You can create events, send notifications and reminders, and more. Let’s take a look around.
To start, events are made up of a few elements. You’ll see a start and end, date and time, location, instructions, whether it repeats, and so on. Right here you can invite guests. Someone on your team will probably be included, as well as a customer, lead, or a whole group of people. And you can let everyone know about it using notifications. Send either email or SMS reminders, and customize when attendees will get them. You might want to send an email when the event is created or responded to or a text reminder two hours before the event.
You’ll find your primary calendar view by clicking the menu navigation item for Calendar.
At first glance, this will look just like any other collection screen you’ll find in Ontraport. But once events are created, it looks like this.
Click around on months and days in the upper left. Here’s the Today button that you’d use to jump back to today’s schedule in case you get lost. Recently updated down here shows you the stuff you’ve recently opened, created, or interacted with. In this area you’ll see a list of events scheduled for the selected day.
If you’ve set up the two-way integration with Google Calendar, which is super simple to do, you’ll be able to see all of those synced events right here. If you haven’t done that yet, learn how in our video on “Automating events created in Google Calendar” coming up.
In the upper right corner, you’ll see your filters in this dropdown so you can narrow your view. See all events, your own events, your team’s events, or events scheduled for a specific user. I’ll check in on what Dan has coming up, like this.
You can also see the standard row of group related actions that you’re probably familiar with. Select a group you’ve already saved, or create a new one.
The standard search and pin options do the same thing they do everywhere else in Ontraport. You can see them here.
To create an event, click the Add New button at the top. Select from two options: quick event or choose an event.
To create a quick event, input the basic details of your event here and you’re done. To set one up for New client onboarding, select how long the event lasts — 15 minutes, 60 minutes, or a custom length of time. Enter your location here. If you start typing in a street address, it’ll give you search result suggestions. This event will be over Zoom, so I’ll just type “online” for now.
If your event repeats, set that up here. You have options for daily, weekly, monthly, annually, or any custom repeated schedule.
Owner is a dropdown of the various seats on your account. You might select the team member who is leading this onboarding. Categorize your event type here. Think of event types as tags — they’re a way of organizing the categories of events you run on a regular basis. So maybe you’ve got meetings, demos, service calls — whatever fits your business. Create a new type like this, and name the event. Cool! Now you can see all your onboarding calls at a glance.
Next you’ll see a big blank text area for you to fill in with your event details. This will be shared with your guests, so don’t put any weird notes for yourself in there. Your event text should include all the pertinent information, like phone numbers, Zoom links, and anything they should bring to the event.
Alright, it’s time to invite people to the onboarding. Click Add to see dropdowns of both your contacts and your team members. At the top is a suggested section where you’ll see contacts and users you’ve most recently interacted with.
Once you’ve selected all your guests, it’s time to let everyone know this is happening with notifications. Start by clicking Add in the notifications section. You’ll see a series of options.
You have two choices for when to send Type notifications. If you want to send alerts based on when things happen related to the event itself, like the event is updated, guests are added, guests are removed, select When this happens. This is great because you can do things like notify your team members when the guest list for their product demo changes. Or let your customers know if the venue or start time has changed.
Another option is to send notifications at specific times. For that, select (shockingly) When the time is. This is similar to event reminders or follow up that you’re probably already familiar with. You’ll have options here including a numeric field followed by a dropdown with minutes, hours and days.
You’ll see before/after and event start or end time. Send a notification 2 days before the event start time like this. Or you could send something 0 days after the event end time if you want to automate some post-event follow up communication.
Now select who you want to send the notification to. Send it to: All guests, Guests (contacts) who are your invited contacts, or send to Guests (users), who are the user seats on your account attached to this event, including yourself!
Attending guests only will only notify guests who have confirmed they’re coming Unconfirmed guests only will notify only guests who haven’t RSVP’d, so you can easily bug ‘em to respond. Owner will alert whoever you set as the owner during setup.
And finally, with Specific email/Specific SMS you can set a custom email address or SMS number to send your notification to.
Notification is where you select the actual message you want to send. This functions a lot like task notifications. Using merge fields, create emails and texts to be reused, and you’re golden.
If you click to create a new notification, you’ll be taken to a screen where you can draft your email or SMS message using the appropriate editor.
Clicking choose an event brings you to a dropdown of event templates to select from. This is great for recurring event types like, say, a demo or onboarding. New template will take you to the event template creator. Another way to get there is by mousing over Calendar in the top navigation bar and clicking event templates, then Add New event template.
Creating a new template is similar to creating a quick event, which I talked about earlier.
A template is designed to be used over and over. So if your event repeats, use a template and trick it out with merge fields to save yourself some time!
Find these event templates by navigating to Calendar and then Event Templates, like this. From there, you can group, organize and sort your templates.
Now I’ll show you how these events appear in your account.
You can find your personal calendar by navigating to your Personal Profile and then clicking the Calendar link. This same flow works for all of the users on your account. So your sales team can log in to their seat on your account and view their upcoming calls.
Find any contact’s scheduled events by navigating to your contact’s record and clicking the calendar button on the left side in detail view. This will show you all past and future events for the selected contact.
This is great for keeping track of touchpoints throughout the lifecycle of a client. And it will show you if multiple calls with Carl are eating up a huge chunk of your sales team’s time.
In both of these views, click here to customize your columns to show whatever information you’d like to see at a glance. And sort the events by those columns.
Also find your contacts’ events in quick view in this calendar widget. Along the top are buttons for add, search, and a calendar button that lets you jump around in time to see events relative to the selected date. Click view all to expand the widget and show more events, and use these arrows to navigate pages if necessary.
Now on to event actions. When an event is created that you’ve added guests, you have some options for how you interact with that event as a whole. Select the event, and you’ll see a few options.
The first is email. Email your guests — contacts or users — with either an existing message or a quick email. You can also text your guests with SMS. Just make sure you select an SMS number to send from. If you delete or cancel an event, you’ll see a box that includes the option to notify your guests about it. If this box is checked, a system-generated email — one that looks like this — will be sent.
Finally, I’ll show you how this is all recorded in your account. Navigate to a particular contact record and find the automation log here. You’ll be able to see events that your contacts were invited to, as well as their responses.
And that’s ALMOST everything you need to know about the Calendar feature inside of Ontraport. Next up we’re going to cover how to hook this sucker up to your Google Calendar account and how to automate follow-up when events are created in Google first!