Bookers not receiving calendar invitations

The Participants feature automatically adds events to your bookers calendar through your calendar provider. This is a convenient way to keep your booker in the loop about upcoming appointments. 

Depending on the volume of bookings you're taking, you may find your booker is not receiving the calendar invitation. 

This guide explains when this might occur, and why.

Why your booker may not receive the calendar invitation

When a booking is made and the Participants feature is turned on for your booking page, Google sends a calendar invitation to your booker along with an email. When a large number of bookings are made on a booking page simultaneously, Google's systems recognize the resulting simultaneous batch of email sends to be a potential spam risk. 

If your booking page is taking a high number of bookings on the same Google calendar and are automatically sending calendar events to your bookers, you are triggering Google to send a high volume of event emails to bookers. 

To protect against what they perceive as an email spam risk, Google temporarily blocks individual Google Calendar accounts from sending any more emails, which can result in your booker not receiving the calendar invitation. 

💡 An example of an account reaching Google's calendar use limits:
  • You create 10 separate calendars in your Google account bookings@university.edu, one for each campus location, and link to each calendar on a separate booking page.
  • Each location takes 15 bookings on Monday between 10am-12pm. In total your YouCanBook.me account has received 150 bookings in a 2 hour time span.
  • Based on your Google account settings Google may consider this a spam risk, and temporarily limit calendar invitation emails being sent to your bookers. 

What are the limits on how many calendar invitations can be sent?

In order to prevent spamming, Google Calendar limits the number of invitations a user can send to external guests. This limit varies depending on the action, and is usually between 100-300 guests.

The usage limits of Calendar vary for the G Suite Paid accounts and the G Suite unpaid accounts. It is advised to switch to the paid edition for experiencing better usage of Google calendar.

That means if you are taking a volume of bookings that exceeds Google's rate limits for a single Google account, your bookers may not receive the invitation email. However, bookings will still go through. 

📖 Further reading: Avoid Calendar Use Limits (G Suite Admin Help)

Microsoft has similar limits, but the threshold is 30 emails in a minute.

How long before YouCanBook.me tries sending calendar invitations again?

When Google's limit is reached, YouCanBook.mewill stop trying to send calendar invitations for two hours. 

Bookings will continue to be made without bookers seeing any errors, but the event will not be automatically added to the bookers' calendar. The booker will need to use the Add to Calendar buttons in their confirmation email to add the booking to their own calendar.

How to Prevent Hitting Google's Calendar Use Limits and Causing Participants to become disabled

YouCanBook.me supports thousands of businesses who take large volumes of bookings using our service every day. However, some specific users may hit Google's limits when their own Google accounts reach Google's bookings threshold. The most common cause of this issue is emailing your booking page to a large number of bookers where they might all access your booking link at the same time.

Google's limit is specific to the Google calendar(s) linked to the affected booking page(s). If a Google Calendar is affected by the limit, any booking page it is connected to is liable to see Participants turned off temporarily to ensure the connected booking page can still accept bookings. Booking pages in your account that are not linked to the affected Google Calendar would not necessarily be affected by the limit imposed on the Google Calendar receiving a high volume of simultaneous bookings.

You can prevent hitting Google's limits in the future by taking steps to ensure that not everyone is accessing your booking link simultaneously. For example, if you're sending your booking page to an email list, reduce the size of your recipient list. You may choose to split the list up into smaller groups and send to the groups at different times.

What else can I do?

If you hit Google's limit and are seeing your bookers are not receiving calendar invitations, you may wish to adjust settings on your affected booking pages to ensure your bookers receive additional messages and options to add events to their calendars themselves. Here are three options to accomplish this:

1
Add a reminder before the event. If the event is not being automatically added to your bookers calendar, you can send additional reminders days, hours or minutes before the event starts to help reduce no-shows. 

To learn how to add a reminder before the event, see this guide: How to send a reminder before a booking.

2
Customize the Booker calendar event. Edit the calendar event that the booker will manually add to their own calendar with all the details they'll need to join your meeting.

To learn more, see this guide: Customizing the bookers' calendar event

3
Use "Add to Calendar" links. You can send links that let the booker add the event to their calendar. Adding these links to confirmation emails give the booker a simple way to add the event to their calendar on their own. 

To learn how to use Add to Calendar links, see this guide.

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