Thriving businesses often have loads of customers requesting appointments, consultations, or just a quick chat. Of course, that’s excellent news for profits and engagement. But, without a proper system in place, scheduling meetings can quickly turn into a nightmare for both business owners and customers.
Traditionally, the whole affair comes with a lot of back and forth, where both parties have to:
- Find a meeting time
- Anticipate how long the appointment will take
- Where it will take place
- What to prepare
- Fit this around other commitments
This is where Calendly comes in.
Calendly.com is a popular scheduling app for businesses looking to eliminate this back-and-forth email hassle. It also integrates with a fantastic range of tools, so hopefully, it should slot in seamlessly with your existing tech stack.
That said, we’re going to reveal everything you need to know about Calendly. So hopefully, by the end of this review, you'll have all the info you need to decide whether the appointment scheduling software is worth your time and money.
Let’s get started!
Calendly is the number 1 scheduling platform by popularity alone. In fact, since 2013, over 50,000 companies have used it to simplify over 200 million meetings. Amongst its clientele, you'll find the likes of Dropbox, Compass, and eBay. Impressive, right?
Importantly, it integrates with over 100 partners. So it should efficiently work alongside the tools you already use to run your online store, business website, and workspaces.
So, how do you use Calendly?
Thankfully, the process is pretty simple:
- First, create rules about your availability preferences. Set your office hours, free days of the week, and specific hours you're available.
- Next, share your Calendly link with your guests and/or embed the scheduling tool on your website.
- Last but not least, an appointment gets booked! Your customers can pick a time slot from your available slots, and the event is added to your personal calendar.
Yes, it really is as user-friendly as that!
Calendly Review: Calendly's Key Features
Continuing on from the section above, you now probably have a pretty good idea of what Calendly does. But this wouldn’t be an in-depth review if we didn’t note all the functionality that make the Calendly app what it is.
That said, here's a quick list of Calendly's most notable features:
Calendly not only syncs with your calendar but also makes it easy for you to determine your availability. From there, it only shows visitors where you're free, so you never have to worry about double-booking.
Also, clients can only choose from the type of meeting and meeting lengths you've decided ahead of time. You can also offer multiple in-person or virtual locations to let invitees pick how best to connect with you. Or, alternatively, you can retain complete control over this too – the choice is yours.
Then, you can share your availability anywhere with a personalized link. You can embed this on your website, social profiles, web chat, or send it in emails and text messages.
All appointments automatically sync with your calendars, so you know exactly what’s on your plate.
On the flip side, if something important comes up and you can't get out of it. You can just as quickly cancel your appointments, and your invitees will be automatically informed.
Calendly harnesses the power of automation to ping follow-ups and email reminders to your invitees, so you can focus on doing your work.
Calendly integrates with Stripe and Paypal, allowing you to collect payments as soon as you've scheduled a meeting. So, rest assured, you'll get paid on time, every time, without having to worry about sending manual invoices.
Group Appointments and Group Scheduling
Calendly allows you to book appointments for individuals and groups. You can automate round-robin-type meetings based on first-come-first-served or geography.
You can even create and save templates to help standardize meeting types. This is a handy resource to dish out to team members if you want to ensure you're all on the same page.
To help streamline the scheduling process, you can also bulk-edit meetings – for example, moving in-person meetings to web calls.
Overview Team Activity
From your admin dashboard, you can review what types of meetings are happening, who with, and what for. This will give you a feel for which team members are maxed out and who might be able to help you pick up the slack.
On Calendly's higher plans (more on pricing in a sec), you can personalize check-ins and follow-ups with invitees. In addition, you can adjust the colors of those emails and remove Calendly's branding to help make these notifications your own.
Calendly Review: Integrations
Although an integral part of many service-based businesses, you can’t run your entire company just by booking appointments alone. That's why Calendly does everything it can to fit in with your existing workflow.
For example, perhaps most importantly, Calendly integrates with Zoom. This enables you to set up simple video conferences and webinars. For example, when you create an appointment and set Zoom as your event location, the software automatically generates video conference details for your and your client’s calendars.
Beyond this, there's no shortage of integrations worth mentioning, so here are a few of the most important names on the list:
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Calendar
- Office 365
…and many more.
Calendly Review: Calendly Pricing
So this scheduling app sounds immensely useful – but how much is it going to set you back? After all, scheduling appointments, although time exhaustive, is something you can technically do for free.
Well, there’s good news.
Calendly does come with a free-forever plan intended for individual users. But, naturally, this comes with restrictions. For instance, you’re limited to setting one event type, and you can’t schedule a group or collective meetings. You also won't benefit from Calendly’s team pages or workflows on this plan.
Aside from the free plan, there are two affordable premium packages to choose from. Then, on top of that, there's a custom enterprise plan designed for larger businesses. For more details on that, you'll have to contact Calendly's sales team directly for a quote.
Before we explore the nitty-gritty of Calendy's paid-for plans, it’s important to note that every user on your team needs their own Calendly account. As such, the price for businesses with larger teams can quickly rack up to be quite significant.
With that in mind, the below pricing is based on annual billing:
The Premium Plan
This is set at $8 per month and is intended for small teams needing customization and advanced features.
This comes with:
- Two calendar connections per user
- Group, collective, and round-robin type event
- Unlimited active event types
- Team pages
You’ll also be able to custom brand your scheduling pages and email notifications.
The Pro Plan
This costs $12 per month and is designed for teams with more complex scheduling needs. This plan introduces workflows, custom SMS notifications, extra color customization, and the ability to redirect invitees to another website after booking an appointment.
It also includes integrations like Salesforce and HubSpot. Additionally, it allows you to connect with Stripe and PayPay so that you can start taking customer payments via Calendly.
Lastly, you can connect up to six calendars per user.
The Enterprise Plan
As we've already said, you'll have to contact Calendly for a customized quote. However, we know that the Enterprise plan unlocks phone support and onboarding. It also comes with more admin functions like user groups, SCIM provisioning, and SAML-based single sign-on.
Check out the full pricing and feature comparison here.
Calendly Review: Customer Support
Calendly primarily offers email support and self-help resources to its customers. You should expect to receive a response within three hours (on average). The online help center includes articles on all of Calendly’s features. As the software is relatively simple, these are easy enough to browse. If you don’t like reading, video tutorials are also available.
The help center is available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and German.
On the premium plans, you also get access to live chat support. However, this is only available for teams with more than ten users, which when you consider that every user has to be a paying customer, live chat is only available for businesses paying more than $80 per month!
Also, as mentioned in the pricing section above, phone support is locked behind the Enterprise plan.
Calendly Review: Pros and Cons
First, let's start with the pros:
- The free version is excellent for handling basic appointments for individuals and small businesses.
- You can set up a range of event types, including group and recurring appointments.
- There are over 100 native integrations available.
- Where ease of use is concerned, Calendly is relatively intuitive
- Calendly is mobile-friendly
- You can share your availability anywhere, making Calendly super easy to integrate with your website, social media, email marketing campaigns, etc.
- Calendly offers a decent user experience.
- It's available as an Android and iOS app.
- You can access Calendly's API – which may come in handy if you have some coding smarts.
Now for Calendly's drawbacks:
- Calendly's customization options where notification emails and online scheduling pages are concerned are pretty limited. You only get access to extra colors on Calendly's most expensive plan.
- Some users describe the interface as unintuitive, as some of the menus are hidden away to keep the UI clean.
- Rescheduling options are limited for account managers. For instance, you can reschedule a meeting but not give their invitee another chance to choose the most convenient time for them.
- Paying for multiple users can become very expensive, making the software less affordable for larger teams.
- Live chat support is only available for larger teams, meaning there's quite a paywall to access more convenient customer service.
Calendly Review: FAQ
Before wrapping up, we’ve rounded up and answered some of the most frequently asked questions about Calendly:
Is Calendly Free?
Calendly offers a free 14-day trial. When this ends, you're automatically moved to Calendly’s free plan. So, in short – yes.
There's a free-forever option available, so you can continue to use Calendly at no cost for as long as you like.
This does, however, come with limitations. For example, free Calendly users cannot create more than one event type and only connect to a single calendar. You also can’t connect your account to team pages, making it difficult if you have team members you want to collaborate with.
All in all, Calendly’s free plan is best suited to individual sole traders who want an uncomplicated scheduling tool for simple meetings. You can schedule unlimited one-off meetings between you and one other person – so if that's something you're looking for, you're in luck!
However, group meetings aren't included in this plan. You’re also severely limited as to which integrations you can use, as the free program only connects with other significant calendar integrations and communication platforms.
Plus, you can’t process payments after booking through PayPal or Stripe.
Can I sign up multiple users to Calendly?
Yes, Calendly makes it possible to sign up other users to your free trial account. After that, they'll all be downgraded to Calendly's free version.
But, to integrate your team's accounts with one another, every member will need to upgrade to a premium plan. This unlocks ‘team pages, ‘ making it possible for you to see your whole team’s schedule and bookings in one place. Without this, there's little team coordination; instead, everyone would use Calendly as an individual.
Does Calendly Take Payments?
Calendly itself doesn’t take payments, but with its Stripe and PayPal integrations, you can process payments for bookings right after an appointment is made. But, these integrations are only available on the Pro plans and require you to create a Stripe or PayPal account if you don't have one already.
Calendly Review: Our Final Verdict
Scheduling appointments is an unnecessary hassle. But, with an app like Calendly and its functional free plan, there's no reason to suffer the headache that comes with constant back-and-forths.
Calendly is one of the most popular scheduling apps, and for a good reason – it makes the whole process very simple. It’s a huge time saver for small and large businesses alike. However, the price could become an issue for smaller companies with multiple team members.
We highly encourage you to check Calendly out with its free trial and see if it’s right for you. The interface may have a slight learning curve, and support is limited. Still, plenty of users out there have happily used Calendly to schedule appointments and only have good things to say about the scheduler.
If you give it a try, let us know what you think in the comments below. Or, are you considering one of the Calendly alternatives like GoToMeeting, Doodle, or Acuity Scheduling? Either way, tell us all about it. Speak soon!