Looking to increase the online sales of your service-based business? We’ve got you covered.
From publicizing your testimonials to expanding your service offerings, there are plenty of cost-efficient marketing techniques you can use to boost your sales.
Today we’ll cover seven of the ones that offer the biggest returns.
Make Payments Easy for Customers
Customers want convenience. They don’t want to spend energy figuring out how to buy and pay for their service. They just want to own it already. Fast food businesses have known this for a long time.
Drive-through windows, self-service kiosks, and pre-packaged meals reduce decision-making. They’re all inventions to streamline the buying process so the buyer can start enjoying their Big Macs ASAP.
Thanks to inventions in online payments, service businesses can now offer their customers such addictive convenience, especially when it comes to paying for your services.
With an online payment software solution like Regpack, you can accept one-time and recurring online payments directly on your website via custom online payment forms that are easy to build:
You can also offer your customers several different payment options at checkout, including credit card, debit card, ACH bank transfers, and PayPal. This ensures all customers can pay using the method they find most convenient.
Additionally, you can also offer them individualized payment plans, as this business does below:
This allows customers to pay in the way they want, whether that’s all upfront or spreading the cost over several months.
In sum, with the right online payment software, you’ll give your customers flexibility and simplicity that allows them to breeze through the purchasing process.
Consider Expanding Your Service Offerings
Need more sales? Why not add another service that your customers will want to buy?
Having additional services in your repertoire makes it easier to upsell and cross-sell your current customers.
For example, if you were selling blog writing services to a client, you could also offer them a service where you repurpose that blog post content into Twitter and LinkedIn posts.
This works extremely well because when customers have a good experience with one service, they’ll want to use you for other services as well.
Further, offering additional services enables you to capture new customers. By satisfying a different need than your other services, you expand your market reach.
Take Camp Burgess, for example.
Their main service is a sleepaway summer camp on a lake, but they also offer adventure summer trips, where students learn an outdoor skill at a special location, like surfing at Cape Cod:
Source: Camp Burgess
Not only does Burgess win over more customers by diversifying their offerings, but they also end up with some customers doing both the sleepaway camp and the adventure trips, all in one summer.
Talk about an easy way to bump up your revenue per customer.
Here’s another example from RAIN Group Sales Coaching. They offer over 10 different sales training programs, each one corresponding to a different sales topic.
Source: RAIN Group
They also offer training programs meant specifically for sales managers. This wide approach allows them to cater to almost any sales professional’s needs, thus winning them more buyers.
Offer Service Bundles at a Discount
If you’ve ever been offered cable, phone, and wi-fi in one discounted package, you’ve experienced service bundling. It’s popular among businesses because it works.
If a customer is interested in one of your services, there’s a good chance they’re also interested in services that are complementary to it. Throw these in for a discount, and it’s hard to resist.
For example, imagine that a parent is evaluating a $1,000 2-week summer camp program for their child.
They like the offer, but they still need to fill up another week of the summer, so they keep looking at this camp’s website for other programs.
Perhaps they come across a service bundle that includes the 2-week program plus a 1-week adventure hiking program through the Appalachian Trail (also $1,000), at a 20% discount.
Separately, the total cost would be $2000. But if the parent buys them together, it’s only $1600, and they save $400.
Even if the parent did find a 1-week program with another camp, they’d likely go with this bundle because they get such a steep discount, which psychologically is hard to pass up.
Plus, with one camp providing both services, the parent won’t have to work with two different businesses.
That said, we recommend you start thinking about some services that would go well together and consider packaging them into a bundle. This simple step could lead to a significant increase in your online sales.
Run Great Promotional Offers
Consider running promotions where you offer your services at a discount for a defined period of time.
For example, Wills & Estates runs a 10% off Fall promotion:
This limited-time offer creates a sense of urgency and helps you attract new customers to your service.
There are various types of sales promotions you can offer:
Customers can buy one service and get another for free or for a discounted price.
Free gift with purchase
Buyers receive a gift, whether that’s a product that relates to the service or a free smaller service that your company will do on the house. An example would be a free sleeping bag for a camper or a 1-hour math tutoring session for an after-school program attendee.
Percentage or a set amount of dollars off
Customers can buy the service at a discounted price, such as 20% off or $200 off.
Buyers have the option to purchase a package of two or more services that go well together, at a discounted price (see the section above for more on bundles).
Alongside helping you attract new leads, offering promotions like the ones above encourages those on-the-fence customers to finally make a purchase.
Make Positive Reviews and Testimonials Public
Disregarding social proof is one of the biggest mistakes businesses make when selling their services online.
It’s a huge missed marketing opportunity. If someone loves your service, don’t keep it to yourself. Tell the world!
Show off your testimonials and A+ reviews so that everyone can see how well you treat your customers and how effectively you get results.
This social proof is great at convincing customers that you’re the right company for them.
Source: Review Monitoring
That said, it’s a good idea to place some testimonials all over your website—on your sales pages, landing pages, homepage, and more.
Getting testimonials is easy when you provide a strong service. Most customers are willing to do so if you ask them nicely.
They’ll likely be open to your suggestions about what to focus their answer on as well if you want to guide them a bit.
For example, if you know that it’s important to your target audience to work with a company that meets deadlines, and you did that for the client writing the testimonial, ask them to highlight that element of the relationship.
As for reviews, first create a Google My Business profile so that people can start leaving you Google reviews.
Since many people use Google reviews to research services, you’ll be able to win over new customers if your reviews are top-notch.
Source: Andes Ski Shop
Andes Ski Shop likely receives a lot of online rentals due to the high number of great reviews they have.
After creating a Google listing, go create other profiles for the review sites that are popular among your target audience. This will help leads who are doing research find and learn about your business.
For example, if you were running a SaaS company, you would want to get on G2 and Software Advice.
As for how to actually get these reviews, some will happen naturally, of course. Buyers will like your service and leave a review.
But you can also proactively ask each happy customer to leave one, or even incentivize them to do so by offering a slight discount on one of your services.
Optimize Your Website for Search Engines
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your web pages—blog posts, service pages, webinar pages, etc.—so that they rank highly in the search engine results for relevant search queries.
It’s a powerful way to increase brand visibility and attract leads to your service’s website.
For example, the three freelance writers below did a good job ranking their service pages on the first page of Google for the search query “B2B freelance writer technology”.
A high ranking has a powerful psychological effect on buyers. Most people on Google assume that the higher the ranking, the more trustworthy the page, website, and the business behind them.
As a result, the top-ranking posts get the most clicks, and the number of clicks trends downward as you descend in the ranks.
There are many factors that affect a page’s search engine potential, including keyword optimization, on-page technical SEO, and your brand’s EAT (experience, authority, and trust) regarding the topic you’re writing about.
If you want to start ranking your service’s web pages for important searches, like those related to your service offering, check out this helpful SEO guide from HubSpot.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Social media is an amazing way to drive quality leads to your service website, where you can convert them into online sales.
It’s also a great tool for building relationships with current customers, thus making them more likely to buy from you again and recommend you to their peers.
To get started with social media marketing, pick 1-2 social media platforms where your leads are most active and ready to buy. It’s often better to master a few before branching out to others.
For most B2B businesses, this will be LinkedIn. For B2C services, it really depends on the makeup of your target audience.
For instance, if you have a lot of millennials and Gen-Z audience members, TikTok and Instagram are going to be great platforms.
On the other hand, if your audience skews older, Facebook is a safe bet. It also boasts the most users worldwide:
Source: Sprout Social
The key when picking your platforms is to do your research. Identify the traits of your ideal customers and then review the demographic makeup of each platform to see if it’s a match.
You can also always ask your current customers which platforms they and their peers use.
After selecting 1-2 networks, you need to create a profile and post helpful, educational content on them on a daily basis.
Preferably this is content that helps your customers learn about a topic they’re interested in.
If you were selling tutoring services, for example, you could share tips about how to ace whatever exam you help students prepare for.
Similarly, if you were selling tours of a national park, you might educate and entertain your audience with posts about wildlife and survival, or Instagram photos of their expeditions.
Social media is also a great place to advertise other content like webinars or blog posts. For instance, Magoosh uses Facebook to promote podcasts:
The goal is to amass followers who start to view your brand as a go-to resource for solving their problems in your niche.
Over time, many of your followers will check out your service—which you can plug now and then in your posts. Overall, social media marketing can really boost your service’s online sales.
Increasing sales when you’re selling services online is easier than you think. It often comes down to giving a new marketing technique a good hard try.
Some of these techniques you can do in one fell swoop, like revamping your checkout process with a new online payment software, and you’ll see results quickly.
Other times you’ll have to put in consistent effort and wait to see results, as is the case with social media marketing and SEO optimization. But over time, these can pay off big.
For some other ways to improve your sales, check out our article on best practices for selling services online.