2 of my Favourite Use Cases with an Online Booking API

I’m going to leave telling our story for OnSched for another post, but as an API-first online booking company, I’ve had the pleasure of working with dozens of new startups and existing enterprises that wanted to, and have since implemented online booking flows into their product or organizations. These are some of my favourites:

Long Term Uber Rentals

I had the pleasure of meeting someone on the team from Buggy TLC in New York City a couple of months back. Learning the background of how they built Buggy (Car rental service that rents to drivers who want to drive Uber) was incredible, but I’ll leave that for another post.

Here’s the use case:

Today, no software exists for these guys. There’s plenty of standard daily rate rental software’s out there, but none that would accomplish what they were trying to do: long term rentals.

The team at buggy contacted us and explained the requirements, and a few weeks later, whenever a driver submits an application to rent from Buggy, they’re automatically sent a link with all of the available cars, which they can then select, choose a pickup time, place a deposit and be on their way.

Streamlining this process removed literally hundreds of man hours per month, and it was a great experience working with them on what seemed to me like such a brilliant concept.

Crushing a PPC Directories Revenue Per User

This by far is the highest ROI implementation I’ve ever seen with online booking. Back in April, I contacted someone who was a friend of mine, but also ran a $3M/Year PPC directory. I’m holding off on the name of the company by their request, but I digress.

John (not his real name) contacted me and told me he had this idea t0 increase the monetization of their directory. After 15 minutes on the phone, with my jaw dropped to the ground I couldn’t believe how brilliant what he’d just come up with was.

What’s a PPC Directory

PPC Directories are sites like Capterra, GetApp, G2Crowd, etc. Their business model is as follows:

  • Companies in a given vertical sign up to be listed in a given directory. For example, we (OnSched) used to advertise in the appointment scheduling software category on Capterra.
  • Companies have the option to be listed for free (But they’ll usually be at the bottom of the category page). Companies also have the option of joining the premium listing spaces.
  • If a company joins the premium listings, they’re enrolled in a simple PPC program. Each company pays for the number of clicks on his or her listing in the category page. The position that you’re ranked in on the category page depends on the dollar amount you’re willing to pay per click. For instance, today I might be able to bid $8 per click and be the highest ranked spot on the category page, however tomorrow a competitor might bid $8.25 per click, and I’ll drop to #2.
  • The companies usually try and generate substantial organic (and Google PPC) traffic and are usually always ranked #1 for given keywords (Google loves directories). It’s a really brilliant concept.

Here’s where it gets fun:

With their current model, John’s clients would usually be paying $5–10 per click on their listing; but usually only 1 out of every 20 clicks would submit a request for a demo or consultation. They had a 5% conversion rate, which is actually pretty good.

John hated the fact that every lead was costing anywhere between $100–200 in spend per client. He felt he could get them more bang for their buck — and that’s where OnSched comes in. John also hated the fact that they could never attribute WHO was coming through their directory . He wanted better insight.

Instead of (like every other directory) only offering a simple button “visit website” from each profile; Using OnSched, John implemented a “Book Consultation” button beside every business listing who was willing to join the beta.

What this meant was, rather than bidding just on clicks to their website, John’s directory customers could now bid on booked demos / consultations. Rather than paying $5–10 per click, they would pay $50–100 per demo booked. In turn, this cut costs in HALF for a lot of John’s clients.

The best part of this though, was that now John’s average revenue per user (before they were clicking, which would net him $5–10) might now book a consultation, and give him an ARPU of $50–100. Not all of the businesses signed up for the pilot, but those who did saw huge decreases in spending, and John saw an increase of 4x revenue on these clients.

John’s total average revenue per user since implementing OnSched has gone from $6.29 to $11.18, nearly doubling the revenue of their company.