Best Practices: Three ways to boost online bookings

Best Practices

Q: I added online booking to my practice, but patients still call our front desk to make appointments. What can I do to increase online bookings?

Adding online appointment booking is a great step towards modernizing your practice and making health care more accessible to your patients. However, your staff and your patients won’t experience the benefits until they know that online booking is available to them. Once your clinic is ready to make the switch, it’s worth thinking about the things you can do to effectively promote this new tool to patients.

Update your phone message

A quick way to increase adoption among patients is by redirecting them when they call in to book an appointment. You might consider recording a new voicemail message and including a friendly reminder, such as the following:

“Did you know? [Your Clinic Name] now offers online appointment booking. Skip the phone queue and head over to our website at [Your Website] to book an appointment at any time.”

Once patients are on your website, make sure your booking portal is clearly visible. You can use a large button, add it to a banner, write it in large text, etc. – there are many options.

Albany Medical Clinic uses a glowing banner on the top of their website to get patients’ attention.

Add a simple, memorable link to your messages & emails

Ocean’s online booking feature gives your clinic the option to send secure messages and automated reminders to patients. Using the Template Manager, you can customize the contents of your message to include important clinic information, including details about online booking. By including the link at the end of your templates, your patients will see it every time you send a message or reminder. If you haven’t gone live with the solution yet, a simple “Online Booking is Coming Soon!” will drum up awareness.

If you prefer a shortened booking link that’s easy to remember, our team can help. Fill out this form to request a vanity URL (e.g. and our Client Success team will generate one for you.

Add vanity URLs to outgoing messages to make them more visible

Bonus tip: Need help creating effective templates? Use our default templates or build your own using our best practices for messaging.

Display posters with a QR code in your clinic

As clinics return to more in-person visits, it’s a good idea to print posters to hang on your walls or place signs at your front desk. With Ocean’s online booking platform, patients can easily book both in-person and virtual visits, depending on how you set it up.

During the pandemic, many businesses, like restaurants, adopted QR codes to make their menus available online. By leveraging the same technology on a poster in your waiting room, patients are reminded of their options while having a convenient way to access your booking link.

To make things easier, we’ve created customizable poster templates that you can use. Simply generate your own QR code, paste it into the graphic, and print it out for your waiting room. If you’re unsure of how to create a QR code, there are many resources available online, including this generator.

You can download the PowerPoint template from our Brand Assets page (also where you can find many other helpful resources).

If you have any other questions, please let us know by contacting our support team directly here.

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