The mobile and online appointment bookings platform built a full calendar integration with Nylas, saving its developers time and increasing its user base by 66% in just three months.
CatchApp is an intuitive scheduling tool made for professionals and businesses, designed to save users valuable time with streamlined scheduling that doesn’t require constant back and forth – or “email ping pong” as the company refers to it.
The tool enables end users to set their availability, choose their meeting type, and easily share a bookings link with clients. Clients can then schedule these appointments online at any time and the booking is immediately added to their calendars thanks to automated calendar sync.
Launched first as a mobile application focused on one-to-one, face-to-face appointment scheduling, CatchApp expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic to build an online bookings platform for efficient appointment management: CatchApp Bookings.
Where the mobile app was primarily focused on business users and conference-goers, CatchApp Bookings provides an affordable, user-friendly scheduling solution for many small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) to manage their availability and offer a simple bookings page for appointment scheduling online.
CatchApp’s initial solution, a mobile application for scheduling, integrated with its users’ calendars natively within the app. But when the time came to move to a web-based platform, the company needed a different approach to calendar integrations. “When we moved to a web solution, we wanted to be able to make [calendar integration] more agnostic of the device,” said Oliver Lamming, CTO of CatchApp.
The company needed a solution that would power integrations with multiple calendar providers, including Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook, popular providers among CatchApp’s user base. However, each calendar provider has its own schema, authentication system, and way of managing calendar events, requiring developers to build and maintain unique integrations.
CatchApp wanted to offer a seamless experience for all users – no matter which calendar providers they relied on – and avoid having to divert their developer team’s time and resources to this initiative.
“The main thing was that [a robust calendar integration] was something our users expected to have in an appointment bookings app,” Lamming noted. “So it was absolutely necessary for the business to have those integrations.”
While CatchApp did consider building its calendar integration in-house, the company quickly realized the sheer amount of time it would take to do so. Additional concerns around scalability and future-proofing its business pushed CatchApp to pursue a partnership to build out this integration.
After evaluating several alternative solutions including Cronofy, CatchApp chose Nylas based on its competitive pricing, friendly customer service, and overall expertise. Another big draw was Nylas’ out-of-the-box support of Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook, which relies on APIs that are notoriously difficult to integrate.
Leveraging the Nylas Calendar API allowed CatchApp to build a single point of integration connecting to all of their users’ calendars bi-directionally. “For us, the main pain point that Nylas addressed was providing [calendar integration] in a consistent manner across multiple platforms and providers,” Lamming said.
By solving this pivotal pain point, CatchApp and its developers were able to shift their focus and create a host of valuable new features for users, including:
Free/busy availability endpoints
Support for web conferencing
SMS appointment reminders
Before-and-after meeting buffers
Lastly, because Nylas’ APIs offer an EMEA-based data center as well, CatchApp no longer had to rely on US-based servers and endpoints. “Having that localized server access helped us reduce latency,” Lamming added.
Since launching CatchApp Bookings and partnering with Nylas, CatchApp gained close to 4,000 subscriptions in the past two years and grew its user base by 66% in just three months. Its sales conversion to paying users pipeline increased by a staggering 400% as well due to an improved calendar synchronization experience.
Not only did integrating with Nylas enable CatchApp to go to market with its online bookings platform much faster than anticipated, but it also allowed the company’s developers to build other core functionalities for the business by saving the team time and maintenance costs.
“Across the three calendar providers, we saved about three months of development time and certainly ongoing development as well,” Lamming noted.
No doubt a major point of pride for a company whose mission is “to save your time,” CatchApp also received glowing user feedback regarding ease-of-use and time savings since integrating with the Nylas Calendar API. As one of its customers, Yossi Turgeman of Engineering Software Lab complimented, “I save an hour a day which I can use for other important tasks.”
“Since adopting Nylas, nearly every new prospect asks about the email integration. At least 30% of our deals have directly closed as a result of us being able to solve this pain point for our customers.
“We have millions of emails sent each week. Nylas frees us up to focus on other roadmap priorities, such as delivering new features to our customers and working with our data science team on exciting new projects.”
“The reason why we chose Nylas in the first place for an email integration was because it would be way easier for us to use your API than building it ourselves, and we really needed to be able to deliver fast on the product side.”
“It’s not an exaggeration to say that Nylas helped us build our new casting features 10x faster. It took us less than a month to integrate email and calendar, allowing us to refocus our technical resources on building the most robust casting solution on the market.”
"[Nylas] essentially does all we want in a single solution. It’s flexible enough for us to design a user experience tailored to our needs, but also easy enough to leverage out-of-the-box SDKs to start testing demand for these features as quickly as possible”