← back to Blog
 min read
November 7, 2017

Introducing Smart Invites – Start Tracking Your Calendar Invites

Knowing if invitations are accepted or declined is important for everyone. But it’s even more important for businesses. Resources are at stake; you need to know if someone will show up to an interview or meeting.

Knowing if invitations are accepted or declined is important for everyone. But it’s even more important for businesses. Resources are at stake; you need to know if someone will show up to an interview or meeting.

Usually when sending a calendar invite to someone outside of your domain or on a different calendar service, you’d use an ICS file. All major calendar services accept ICS files, which means it’s great to ensure invitations are received.

However, relying solely on ICS files without chasing up the invitee is risky. Using ICS files is a shot in the dark. You’ve got no way of tracking what happens to the invite once it’s sent. You simply don’t know if the recipient viewed your invitation let alone if it was accepted, modified, or deleted.

If your clients, prospects or users haven’t accepted your calendar invite – or worse, they’ve double-booked themselves – how will you know unless you reach out to them?

It also isn’t the best way to offer a great experience to your invitee. They might have missed your calendar invite – being able to track acceptance can help you build the workflow to contact them when appropriate.

We believe this process can be improved to enable two-way communication from calendar invites.

That’s why we’ve launched Smart Invites – to fix the limitations of classic ICS files.

Introducing Cronofy’s new Smart Invites API

With Smart Invites, you no longer need to wonder what happens to your calendar invites when they reach the other end.

When sending a calendar invite you simply need to call our Smart Invites API and we’ll generate a Smart Invite that you can send exactly like an ICS file. The recipient sees no difference and won’t have to authorize calendar sync for their calendar.

But what makes this invite so smart?

Basic ICS files aren’t great when there’s a change of plans. They don’t allow you to track changes. If your business relies on candidates attending interviews, or patients coming to their appointments, this can have a big impact and lead to wasted resources.

Smart Invites notifies you of any changes in real-time. Whether your invitee accepts your invite, makes any changes, or deletes your calendar invite, you’ll be notified straight away.
This information enables you to build the workflows you want into your booking process. For example, you can schedule a call if an invite is deleted or send a thank you email when they accept.

With Smart Invites, all you need to do is update the same ICS file. Everything syncs across automatically. There’s no delayed reaction, no hoping that the person on the other end got your information. It’s that simple.

Read our documentation for details on how to set it up.

How to make the best use of Smart Invites

Track job applicants

Job applicants showing up late or not turning up at all can be a big problem for businesses. According to our recent survey, 27% of hiring managers said that candidate no-shows happen sometimes or often. A further 60% said that interviews often clash with other calendar events or commitments, creating rescheduling issues.

Smart Invites allows you to know when a candidate accepts or declines your invitation.

This means that you can track if a job candidate has confirmed their attendance at an interview, and chase them up if they haven’t.

For an even smoother experience you can use our Real-Time Scheduling feature to share interviewers’ availability and let candidates pick their own interview slots.

Know if clients will show up

When your telemarketing team books meetings for salespeople on the ground, there is always the possibility that the prospect doesn’t show up or isn’t available at the agreed time.

Missed meetings mean missed opportunities and wasted time and money. With Cronofy’s Smart Invites API, you can follow-up when a calendar event is deleted or moved to ensure that your sales person doesn’t travel for nothing. And when a calendar invite is accepted, you can be confident that the meeting will go ahead.

Prevent missed appointments

Missed appointments can be a key issue in many businesses. For example, If you are a professional offering services on an online marketplace, you want to be sure that your client will be home to open the door when you turn up.

Smart Invites can also be useful for medical appointments. It’s estimated that in the UK, the NHS loses £162 million in missed appointments each year. By adding Smart Invites to medical appointment scheduling software, health professionals can reduce theses costs by tracking patients’ responses to invites and pre-emptively checking that they plan on attending.

Sound interesting?

Smart Invites are ideal for all those users that you need to invite a few times a month or when customers interact with your business for the first time. It gives you the peace of mind that your invite hasn’t been forgotten about in someone’s inbox – you’ll know for sure that they’ve seen it and accepted it.

The Smart Invites API works with any calendar service that accepts ICS files. And it starts at just $50 a month for up to 10,000 invites.

Check out our developer docs to find out more, or create your free developer account to get started.

If you’re not a developer but like the sounds of Smart Invites, you can book a call to discuss it further, or hit share and pass this on to your developers!

Jeremy is the Head of Marketing at Cronofy with over a decade of experience in the tech industry.

Cronofy reviews sourced by G2