Marketing / E-commerce

Three steps to creating a promotions waterfall for your service-based business

Vix Reitano

Updated: Oct 01, 2022 · 6 min read

Toolkit for download in this article

Three steps to creating a promotions waterfall for your service-based business

The Holidaze are almost upon us and as service providers, you can feel a little unsure of what to offer, how to expand and how to ensure that your business thrives in this season of ecommerce shopping and gifting.

Welcome back to our four-part Black Friday Entrepreneur Prep series (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 in case you need to catch up!). This article is focused on promotions. Successful promotions go far beyond discounting your pricing. Promotions are meant to highlight your offering, captivate your audience and, eventually, convert them. The conversion process is not always something that happens immediately - especially in the current economic climate - and that’s where a Promotions Waterfall comes into play.

What is a Promotions Waterfall?

A Promotions Waterfall is an approach I developed when I first launched my company and it aligns with my State of the Vix business development approach.

This approach allows you to determine the best offer for each of your customer/client content persona segments and then allows you to upsell (and downsell) as needed to make the sale.

It also allows you to ensure that your customers/clients don’t get trained to expect offers from you in a planned cycle -- because if you do that, especially with a retail client or ecommerce client, you’ll end up having their customer/client content personas trained to ONLY purchase in that cycle and it will dramatically reduce your sales over time.

This approach begins with an understanding of your - or your clients’ - core offering.

Your core offering should be where you can offer the most value and handle the most volume (that’s a #VixFix for you to save; I have a whole bunch of sayings to help you remember these strategies and processes so start writing them down!).

The core offering should allow you to support yourself, your team (if you have one) and find new ways to reach new segments of your customer/client content personas.

Determining the best promotions for your business

The best way to determine the correct promotions for your business? The five love languages. Stick with me. Love is another word for appreciation and, a few years ago, I wrote this blog on applying Love Languages to business in order to be wildly successful.

Why is this the best place to start? Because if YOU, as the service provider and business owner, do not feel like you are being appreciated by your clients, you will burn out.

Once you take the quiz and read the blog, you’ll be able to determine how you feel most appreciated and then plan accordingly.

  • If you feel appreciation by Gifts -- apply a discount to your core offering.
  • If you feel appreciation by Acts of Service -- apply an upsell as your first promotion to your core offering.
  • If you feel appreciation by Quality Time -- apply extra hours to your core offering.
  • If you feel appreciation by Touch -- apply 1:1 time with the customer/client to your core offering. This one is slightly tricky, but the best way to adapt if it’s for business is to include face time with the client in order to ensure that you are aligned with their values.
  • If you feel appreciation by Words of Praise -- apply a feedback follow-up funnel to your core offering.
  • The possibilities here are endless and in the next section, I’m going to show you how I apply this to my core offering in order to create a Promotions Waterfall that converts.

    Building your first Promotions Waterfall

    Every entrepreneur and business owner has something to teach when it comes to their own business. Everyone. There is immense value in combining time with the skills you’ve learned and providing your ideal customer/client with the knowledge that you’ve amassed over time.

    To start your Promotions Waterfall, consider your core offering.

    My core offering, as an example, is done for your marketing, content and strategic services to help our ideal customer/client bring in more of their customer/client content personas and convert these individuals into our customers’/clients’ funnel.

    I help our customers/clients make more money by giving them brand exposure.

    Our Promotions Waterfall looks like this:

  • Core Offering - a monthly bucket of hours bound by a scope of work
  • Downsell - coaching with me 1:1 to learn the practices without the execution
  • Upsell - more hours, more execution support and more strategy
  • When we create an offer, we don’t discount our Core Offering, we discount our out-of-scope services -- like video and content production -- to provide the client with more VALUE. Because that’s how I feel appreciated, how our ideal customer/client feels appreciated and how my team feels supported.

    Pricing out your Promotions Waterfall

    This is a very personal process because it has to do with your Profit/Loss Statement and what your margin is when it comes to profits in general.

    We start with a 5% discount on services and stop at a 10% discount on services -- again, these are project fees for out of scope services, not our core offering.

    Another way to price this out is to take the best of the best from your core offering and create a smaller package that is discounted -- we have this option called Small Business with 6B where small business owners get the opportunity to sample our content, strategy and support skills in a creative kickstart. The execution is all on the client here because that is our biggest seller and the thing that requires the most effort from our team.

    Scheduling your promotions

    The easiest way to schedule your promotions is to do this quarterly and annually. Black Friday and Cyber Monday should be two big pillars in YOUR sales cycle and then you can create additional markers from there once you have a deeper understanding of yourself, your clients and your core offering.

    One final thought

    Start small. Promotions are meant to promote your business, not devalue it. You are constantly providing value online, in person and in every interaction -- what you have to offer is valuable, treat it that way and your ideal customers/clients will treat it that way, too.

    Have a tip you’d like to share? Find me online at @vixreitano on Instagram and Facebook, @vixinthecity on Twitter or email me at [email protected].

    Vix Reitano is a Creator, the Founder of Agency 6B and an International Speaker. Reitano has provided content to brands like AOL, USA Today, The Skimm, Huffington Post, Thrive Global and dozens more. She is a Google News Initiative Trainer with the Society of Professional Journalists and focuses on providing quick, thoughtful content for audiences of all ages. Learn more at

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