SimplyBook.me vs Apptoto: A Comparison of Two Top Online Booking Systems
Now that a majority of consumers (60%) prefer scheduling appointments online, businesses are coming to the realization that offering online booking is no longer nice to have. It’s critical to continued business success. However, for appointment-based business, it isn’t as simple as launching a quick booking page and calling it a day. Service providers are looking for online booking systems that centralize all things appointment management into one platform to make them as efficient as possible. Solutions like Apptoto and SimplyBook.me are taking on that challenge, building platforms that encompass everything from scheduling and availability management to payment processing, client messaging, marketing campaigns, and more.
Both platforms offer incredibly rich and robust appointment scheduling and management tools but differ in their approach to creating the ideal booking system. Apptoto makes its comprehensive suite of tools and settings available to all users. In contrast, SimplyBook.me provides core scheduling features and enables users to add custom features only as needed. We’ve created a side-by-side comparison of each platform to help you choose which is best for your business. Read on to see how each stacks up in nine key areas encompassing features, pricing, support and training, and more.
Company Overviews: Apptoto vs. SimplyBook.me
Apptoto started in 2010 to help appointment-based businesses wage war against costly no-shows and increase their repeat business by automating appointment messaging. The platform has evolved into a full appointment management system, allowing companies to offer online booking, collect payments, deliver targeted marketing campaigns, and send two-way business messages, alongside Apptoto’s incredibly robust appointment reminder/messaging features.
One of Apptoto’s key features is how it seamlessly integrates with your business’s existing calendaring and customer records management tools, which come standard on every plan. After syncing your current calendar system to Apptoto, you’ll immediately have a view of your upcoming appointments with existing clients. Within minutes, you can launch customized online booking pages to make it easier for new and existing clients to book appointments with you. Booking settings are completely customizable on the backend as well. You control your team’s availability, the appointment types you offer, appointment duration, time padding, staff assignments, intake questions, and more. At the same time, your customers get an effortless booking experience on the front end.
Apptoto stands above other online appointment scheduling solutions by combining those robust scheduling features with customizable, personalized appointment messaging. With Apptoto, businesses can create and send unique messaging sequences based on almost any information available in the appointment event (whether someone booked through an Apptoto online booking page or not). Confirm the booking, send appointment reminders, and follow up afterward using any combination of text messages, voice calls, and emails (based on your client’s preferences for being contacted).
Whether you create one sequence for all your clients or 100 unique ones, Apptoto allows you to personalize the messages at scale by pulling your client’s unique details into every message. Finally, messages aren’t just one-way either. Clients can respond to confirm, reschedule, or cancel appointments, which will automatically sync to your calendars, or they can message you directly with 2-way business messaging. With its robust but easy-to-launch features, Apptoto is ideal for businesses that want best-in-class scheduling with appointment messages that engage your customers at every step.
SimplyBook.me’s mission is to “bring people and service businesses together by enabling them to easily reserve services online no matter which, where they are or when they want to book.” The company, headquartered in Cyprus, provides a robust online booking system along with additional complimentary “custom features” that can be added to enhance the core offering. At the core of its “online booking system,” SimplyBook.me enables customers to:
- Build and customize beautiful online booking pages*
- Add and set their service and service providers’ availabilities
- Integrate the booking system with their website and other marketing properties
- Manage payments for appointments, classes, subscriptions, etc. via
*Note: SimplyBook.Me offers extensive booking page customization with 18 templates, additional page content, and design customization for each theme.
While SimplyBook.me does enable businesses to send email and text message notifications for appointments, the customization is limited. There is a predefined list of notification types (e.g., booking confirmations, reminders, cancellation or change confirmations, review requests), and email and SMS wording can only be edited on paid plans. Additionally, SMS credits are not included in the base subscription price and require an additional add-on package. Finally, if you want to customize notifications for specific services and providers, this is considered a “custom feature” (which you are limited to a set number per plan).
Additionally, many tools or features that come standard in other scheduling solutions are “custom features” on SimplyBook.me. For example, syncing booking events to your Google or Microsoft Calendar, creating intake forms, scheduling at multiple locations, adding photos to booking pages, applying CSS on booking pages, collecting payments, booking approvals, classes/group meetings, virtual meetings, and client rescheduling are all custom features. SimplyBook.me is great for users who want extreme flexibility to customize their booking system with only the necessary features. However, users may find that the lower plan tiers limit their access to the features they need and necessitate an upgrade.
Features, Functionality, & Customization
As a business owner or manager, you must be ruthlessly efficient with your time. That means turning to software solutions like Apptoto and SimplyBook.me to automate your scheduling for whatever appointment types you offer (1-to-1, group/classes, etc.). Both platforms offer an array of features and functionality to help you manage bookings, client communication, payments, and more. Below is a comparison of key features offered on Apptoto’s and SimplyBook.me’s paid plans.
|Custom Booking Duration
|Multiple Appointment Types
|Check Multiple Calendars Availability
|Auto-Generate Virtual Meeting Links
|Custom Intake Forms
|Mobile Booking Pages
|Multiple Routing Options
|Appointment Calendar View & Search
|Booking Page Appearance
|Booking Page Layouts
|Add Business Logo
|Remove Apptoto/SimplyBook.me Branding
|Confirmation Page Customization
|Booking Page Preview
|Booking Page Translation
|SMS Text Messages
|# of Automated SMS Message Credits/Mo
|Set # Included
(based on plan)
(regardless of plan)
|# of Manual SMS Messaging Credits/Mo
|Contact Matching & Address Books
(1 to confirm, 2 to cancel, links)
|Initial Consent, Double Opt-In
User Interface and Ease of Use
When you first sign up for Apptoto, you are guided through the Setup Wizard. You’ll be directed on how to sync your existing calendars to Apptoto first, which will pull in all your current and upcoming appointments and any address books associated with your email. Appointments will automatically be displayed on the “Appointment” agenda tab in an easy-to-scan list-style overview, although you can also choose to utilize a week or month view.
Whether you create an appointment in Apptoto or on your existing calendaring platform, Apptoto will sync all of your appointments, including all information included in the event. Furthermore, these appointments will be opted into your appointment messaging and reminder sequences (including custom sequences if they contain specific keywords or triggers). Finally, Apptoto highlights appointments in different colors based on whether clients confirm, cancel, or reschedule.
Within Apptoto, additional features and tools are available throughout the platform. That includes:
- “Dashboards” and “Tools” to view reporting and analytics
- “Messaging” to customize appointment reminder, confirmation, and follow-up messaging, and delivery timing
- “Inbox/Outbox” to two-way text message your customers
- “Booking Pages” to create online scheduling pages
- “Contacts” to view your address books or create new contacts
- “Settings” where you can manage a multitude of other subsections, including Payment processing, blocklists, users, auto-syncing, integrations, and more
Each tab of Apptoto has multiple ways to customize the platform’s various tools and functionality to your business’s unique needs. This extensive range of options is accessible on all subscription plans, with only a few minor exceptions. For example, you can utilize different branding (including custom CSS), content, and templates on every booking page you create, even on the lowest plan. Apptoto is incredibly feature-rich, meaning it may have a higher learning curve than other platforms. Our team regularly releases updates to make Apptoto even easier and more intuitive. Of course, our support and learning resources are always available via the “Help” button in the top-level navigation.
When you first sign up for SimplyBook.me, the platform immediately walks you through entering high-level business information (name, address, etc.), customizing details about your services and service providers, and choosing your booking page design. Before launching your booking page, you’ll also need to set schedules for your providers and services to ensure clients can only book select services when you wish. Once all that is set, your basic online booking website is ready to go, and you can begin sharing your page with clients.
To take full advantage of SimplyBook.me’s “online booking system,” you must dig into its various tools, features, and integrations. Within the app, you have access to multiple sections where you can track, manage, and analyze your scheduling system and bookings, including the following sections:
- “Dashboard” to find high-level booking, workload, and revenue data and trends
- “Calendar” to see an overview of upcoming bookings and blocks by service provider
- “Marketing Suite” to use tools and integrations to promote your booking page
- “Reports” where you find trends/data on product features (e.g., SMS messages, tickets, reviews)
- “Payments” which sends you to a portal to manage payments, invoices, subscriptions, etc.
- “Custom Features” where you add or remove various custom tools to booking system
However, the majority of the customization you can apply is done through the “Manage” and “Settings” tabs which have various subsections where you set availability, service and service provider details, update email and SMS notification settings, and more.
Booking management solutions like Apptoto and SimplyBook.me rely on integrations with a multitude of platforms to ensure they provide the best scheduling software available. For example, integrations with popular calendaring tools like Google Calendar and Microsoft Office ensure users/providers always have the most up-to-date picture of their upcoming appointments for the days and weeks ahead. A list of each platform’s integrations can be found below:
Office 365/Outlook/Outlook Desktop
|Reporting & Anlaytics
|Google Ads, Meta, WordPress, Joomla, Google My Business, Line in Asia, Google Translate, QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Xero
|CSV / XML Imports
Support and Training
Apptoto and SimplyBook.me offer robust scheduling features. With all the customization available to you, you will likely have questions about how to set up and manage your chosen solution on an ongoing basis. To help you ensure that your platform of choice has the support you need, we’ve compared Apptoto and SimplyBook.me’s support and training resources below.
Apptoto offers a mix of support and training materials for every type of customer, whether you want live support or prefer to figure it out yourself. When you sign up, you can walk through an easy-to-follow onboarding flow to get your appointment messaging and booking pages up within 10 minutes or less.
Have questions? To talk with Apptoto’s customer success team members, you can navigate to the Support Center to chat, email, or call. You can also access Apptoto’s extensive knowledge base, training videos, Blog, Product Notes, and Feedback forum, where you can learn about Apptoto at your own pace or leave feedback! Finally, Apptoto’s team is regularly recognized for its high-quality support and customer care via client testimonials and third-party review sites.
SimplyBook.me’s available support channels include chat, email, and a knowledge base. SimplyBook.me also offers an AI assistant in their app to help give guidance. Premium support is only available on the Enterprise plan. Additionally, SimplyBook.me also has YouTube training videos, a blog, and a feedback forum to leave product feedback.
When determining which appointment scheduling solution is best for your business, finding a solution that offers all of the tools and features you need while remaining within your budget is essential. If you choose a solution merely on its lower price point, you may find that key features you need are unavailable. Apptoto and SimplyBook.me provide access to a wealth of features, but only one platform provides almost unrestricted access to all those features post-trial. Below, we compare Apptoto and SimplyBook.me’s pricing and trials to help you make the best decision for your business.
|✅ (with limitations)
|Tier-Based + Add-Ons (incl. SMS Messaging)
(starts at $39/mo or $13/calendar/mo)
(starts at $30/mo or $10/calendar/mo)
($8.25/mo paid annually)
|Starting Plan Includes
|– 3 calendars & users
– All features
– Unlimited booking pages
– Unlimited manual SMS messages & emails
– 450 automated SMS message credits/mo
– 11 standard integrations
– Premium support (phone, chat, email)
|– 15 service providers/users
– 3 custom features
– 1 booking page
– 0 included SMS messages credits/mo
– 22 native integrations (integrations are often “custom features”)
– Standard support (chat, email)
|30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
|Absolutely! Apptoto scales with you. As you grow, automated message credits and your access to premium integrations increase.
SimplyBook.me offers six pricing plans besides their free tier (basic, standard, premium, premium plus, premium plus API, and Enterprise). All plans include appointment scheduling, a booking page/website, and email notifications (note: to edit notifications, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid tier). Pricing tiers are determined based on the number of bookings you need per month, custom features, and users/providers. Additionally, features or products such as SimplyBook.me’s payment portal (SBPay.Me Pro), SAML/SSO, and their HIPAA plugin are only offered at higher tiers. SMS text message credits, tickets, and additional bookings per month can be purchased on top of the subscription fee.
Likewise, SimplyBook.me includes a set number of custom features per pricing plan (1 custom feature on the free plan, 3 on basic, and 8 on standard). To utilize more than 8 custom features, you’ll have to upgrade to a premium plan or higher, starting at $59.90 per month.
Apptoto is best for businesses needing rich scheduling and appointment messaging features regardless of how many providers/users they have. When you sign up for Apptoto, you have full access to all of the platform’s features and functionality, including email, SMS, and voice call appointment messages, unlimited booking pages, payments, messaging campaigns, auto-replies, multi-time zone support, 2-way business text messaging, AI-powered message translation, and more. Apptoto’s pricing plans work on a sliding scale, with the number of users/calendars and automated SMS credits you need (manual are free) determining your pricing. Apptoto includes a set number of SMS credits for each plan, and any messages sent above your limit are billed at a standard per-credit fee.
Businesses can get an excellent feel for Apptoto’s functionality during the 14-day trial (during which you can send unlimited automated messages). Although Apptoto’s base pricing plan is higher than SimplyBook.me’s, the strict limitations SimplyBook.me puts on how many custom features can be implemented may mean users are sacrificing valuable tools they need or are forced into the higher $59.90 price point. Ultimately, Apptoto offers much more functionality and fewer limitations at every tier, making it the better value in the long run.
Security & Compliance
Keeping your clients’ data private and secure is paramount. That’s why Apptoto and SimplyBook.me have strict security policies to protect your data.
Apptoto prides itself on being SOC 2 and AWS ISO 27001 compliant and achieving and maintaining other certifications and security practices. Additionally, Healthcare providers can entrust their patient messaging is secure with Apptoto’s HIPAA-compliance program. For businesses that utilize the Payments product, Apptoto complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) and offers secure payment processing. Finally, major US mobile carriers have recently started requiring that all 10-digit phone numbers (10DLC) used to send text messages be registered to avoid filtering and additional costs. Apptoto helps customers submit their 10DLC registration quickly and easily directly from the web platform.
SimplyBook.me has been certified by NQA against the provisions of ISO 27001:2013 and meets GDPR standards. SimplyBook.me has not achieved SOC compliance. In addition to their personal security and privacy practices, SimplyBook.me has also implemented HIPAA-compliance software to serve healthcare providers.
Customers value the robust scheduling tools that Apptoto and SimplyBook.me provide, which shows through in their third-party review site rankings. Below, we’ve outlined how Apptoto and SimplyBook.me compare on G2 and Capterra.
|Ease of Use
|Value for Money
|Likelihood to Recommend
|Ease of Use
|Ease of Setup
|Ease of Admin
|Quality of Support
|Has the product been a good partner in doing business?
|Product Direction (% positive)
Recent Product Updates
Check out the latest product releases from Apptoto and SimplyBook.me to see how they’re innovating in the appointment management space.
Apptoto’s Latest Product Updates:
- Track Appointment Booking Conversions: Integrating Google Ads, GA4 & Apptoto
- 6 New Updates to Simplify the Booking Page Creation Process
- Translate Appointment Messages into Multiple Languages with AI
SimplyBook.me’s Latest Product Updates:
- Introducing SimplyBook.me’s AI Search Bar
- Payments, Client Import, and AI-powered search updates
- Standalone Product Sales
Apptoto vs. SimplyBook.me: Which Online Booking System Will You Choose?
Both Apptoto and SimplyBook.me bring unique advantages to the table for businesses looking for robust appointment management and scheduling solutions. SimplyBook.me’s beautiful scheduling page themes stand out amongst its competitors, and its custom scheduling features are wide and encompassing. Business owners might feel frustrated when they have to forgo crucial scheduling features due to prioritizing other ‘custom features,’ only to find that upgrading to a higher tier for unlimited access is beyond their budget.
But, if you’re looking for a comprehensive appointment booking and messaging system right out of the box, Apptoto is the better appointment management solution for you.