Selling Recurring Services with SPP
We created Service Provider Pro with agency success in mind. From streamlining processes to encouraging more sales, SPP.co contributes to positive agency progression. Many agencies are benefiting from operating with the processes, automation, and technology our software puts in place.
We’ll show you SPP features that allow an agency to set up recurring services, leading to more sales and a reduced churn rate.
The benefits of a recurring service
Modern payment methods combined with a recurring service setup are making the lives of customers and merchants more convenient. For merchants, automated electronic billing increases their cash flow, and it opens up the doors to a variety of automations. They no longer need to track payments manually and mark invoices as paid.
Paired with a client portal such as SPP.co, payments are automatic. Clients can easily check out using an order form. The automatic account creation allows them to place a new order later on. This eliminates a lot of friction and improves the customer journey.
The benefit for merchants is that a client portal keeps all transactions in one place. They can easily be exported and sent to accounting. A slick dashboard gives you an overview of your current revenue stream, but also allows you to track your monetary evolution.
Another important aspect to keep in mind is that recurring services help you scale your agency:
- Many customers enjoy recurring services because they no longer need to worry about unpaid invoices. Ideally, you’ll let your clients manage their own subscriptions, so they can upgrade/downgrade themselves.
- If you decide to offer a recurring service, make sure that the pricing is right to increase your profit margins. The value based pricing strategy is one of the harder ones to implement. However, it does bring many benefits with it.
- Another thing to consider is to niche down, and reduce the amount of services you offer. You’ll be able to find your ideal customer, and focus all your efforts on them.
That being said, recurring services are a great fit for many agencies. Let’s take a look at a few of them from our own client pool.
3 types of agencies who can profit from recurring services
Many types of agencies are able to take advantage of a recurring service model. Below are a few examples:
1. Content writing agencies
Adam Crookes from Freshly Squeezed runs his content writing service on SPP. He offers a very interesting trial: a paid sample blog post that should convince potential leads to subscribe to one of his monthly plans.
It’s a brilliant way of capturing leads, and convince potential customers of your quality without offering a free trial. While some agencies might prefer free trials, it doesn’t make too much sense for a content writing company. After all, writing a 1,000-word article takes hours of work.
Another interesting aspect is the fact that only the most expensive plan has a slight price reduction. Due to the stronger value perception, convinced clients should upgrade sooner rather than later.
2. Unlimited design agencies
Entrepreneur Dean from Design Warp has productized his years of experience into three sustainable monthly packages. Each of them offer subscribers one dedicated designer, the Enterprise plan assigns two.
“SPP has been a one-stop solution for running the productized service aspect of Design Warp.”Dean Carmichael from Design Warp
One feature Dean loves to use are coupons. In combination with Facebook ads, he’s able to attract new customers, and funnel them directly into the SPP client portal.
There are many ways to set up coupons in SPP. If you are looking to attract new clients, you can limit the redemption to one use per customer. It’s also possible to assign it to specific services, and limit the number of uses in total.
3. Link building agencies
Agencies specializing in link building can easily set up recurring services for their clients. One such agency is LinkBuilder.io, which started in 2016. Founder Stewart noticed that not many reasonably priced services focused on outreach existed.
In 2019, he migrated his business to SPP. Now he can easily manage his recurring service plans, handle incoming support tickets, and set up Zaps to automate his link building business.
“I don’t recommend any software more than SPP nowadays. It’s honestly the best value software we use. Not only does it do all the things you'd expect (handling payments, subscriptions, support) but it's massively increased the recurring revenue in our business as well. Additionally, it allows you to easily create recurring service models, rather than the traditional agency method of sending PDF invoices. Their support is second to none as well.”Stewart Dunlop from LinkBuilder.io
Perceived value of a subscription service
What all three examples mentioned beforehand have done correctly is heightening the perceived value of their services. For instance, instead of charging a low amount of money for one word of content, bundle 4,000 words into one recurring service.
With SPP, you can create pricing tiers. They should clearly show the value your clients are receiving for the asking price. Adding value doesn’t stop with pricing tiers; you can offer additional services in your order forms as well. For example, an SEO agency might offer rank tracking on top of a monthly plan as an add-on service.
This is something you can easily set up in SPP:
Start by creating a Rank Tracking add-on service. Make sure to add all the pricing information, variants, and characteristics you’d like this service to feature.
In the Order forms tab, create an Order form and add the new service as an optional add-on. This process will work for any additional service you’d like to offer your clients. Thus, your order forms can sell extra recurring services without much effort.
Automating client onboarding
SPP has a variety of features that help you onboard new clients. Thanks to Bootstrap components, you can fully customize the client dashboard if you are on one of the plans featuring the advanced template editor. Add video tutorials, checklists, and more directly to the dashboard. Check out the Bootstrap sample page for inspiration.
At SPP.co, we’ve set up a simple to-do list for anyone who signs up to easily guide them through the setup. The advantage of such a checklist is that you’ll reduce the amount of manual work to answer onboarding questions.
If you want to take it one step further, you could also show/hide elements based on the checked items. For example, once they complete all steps, show a link to Calendly, so they can schedule a call with you.
Another important onboarding feature to make use of are intake forms. They can be individually set up for each service, and can help gather task relevant information. We make a variety of fields available to fit almost every requirement, from spreadsheet inputs to custom HTML code.
Before you start designing your intake form, you should give its design some thought. What you want to avoid is having to ask clients for more information later on, or them changing the requirements. Web designers often come across these issues, which is why industry experts recommend writing a creative brief.
With SPP, you can gather all the required information by combining order forms with intake forms and CRM fields. If you need more features, you can always use Zapier to integrate your favorite third party tools.
Reducing churn with long-term discounts
One of the most expensive aspects of running an agency is obtaining new clients. At the same time, any agency needs to reduce churn of early canceling clients.
While commitment can’t be forced, it can be encouraged by offering quarterly and annual discounts. Many agencies who use SPP are obtaining long-term commitments by providing these options. Here’s how it works:
You’ll first create a duplicate of the service by choosing Duplicate from the Actions options next to the service. Adjust the service name, price, and billing period in accord with the discount you want to offer. You’d then create rules in the order form to show and hide annual services based on a checkbox.
Any agency should think about selling recurring subscriptions. Not only does it help to scale an already successful business, it removes a lot of manual tasks for all parties. Thanks to the SPP features, implementing subscription based services is very easy. And the seamless checkout process removes many hurdles for new and existing agency clients.
That being said, don’t be afraid to experiment with different recurring service bundles. Test out your pricing models and try to reengage lost clients with new recurring subscription models.
Once you start offering your services as subscriptions, keep an eye on the monthly recurring revenue. You’ll notice that you can better understand your income, project it, and make decisions based on your new data.