Every element you need to craft a services page that sells.
Neuroscience shows that buying is primarily an emotional decision. We decide, based largely on ‘irrational’ factors, to purchase something, and then use reason to justify the decision.
But we see so many websites that focus almost exclusively on the rational reasons that one might purchase their products or services.
Frequently we see Services pages that resemble a menu. The whole page is usually succinct and contains the price of the service with a description of the deliverables or the exact items that are included in that service.
That information is, of course, important on some level, but we often overestimate how important that information is in the purchasing decision.
I’d argue that the exact deliverables become less important the more ‘luxury’ or ‘high-end’ the service or product we’re selling.
So if the focus isn’t on deliverables, what does an effective sales page focus on?
Tell a Story That Highlights the Experience
Experiencing a service helps people better understand the significance of the deliverables. Of course, if someone hasn’t purchased your service yet, how can you provide a glimpse of the experience?
Tell a story. Stories help us make sense of the world. Your prospect or lead should be able to see themselves in the story you’re telling.
There are quite a few ways that this can be done, whether it’s providing some insight into why you do what you do, or your process. Regardless, remember that you want to make your customer ‘the hero’ of the story.
A small example of how we did that on our wedding photography website can be found on our About page. We tell the story of how a wedding gift turned into a tradition, and then we tie that back into what we do.
Benefits over Features: What Transformation Does Your Service Offer?
People are mostly interested in how your service might benefit them.
In other words: What transformation does your service offer?
The fitness industry does this effectively by showing people the results of their programs. They highlight lean bodies and positive training results instead of the grueling work that it will take to achieve those results.
What’s more appealing: a 60-minute soul-torching workout or beach-ready abs? Of course, it might take one to get the other, but when our focus is on the latter, we don’t think so much about the former.
Focus on the benefits instead of overwhelming people with features or deliverables.
Note: This doesn’t mean you should hide the deliverables; it merely means they should be in the appropriate place. In our business, we get into specific deliverables only after someone has inquired.
Should You List Your Full Pricing? We Don’t Think So.
There’s a lot of debate about whether or not to include your pricing on your website. We’re big believers that it doesn’t belong on your website, especially if you provide a high-end service.
Yes, this does mean you’ll likely get a few more inquiries from price shoppers. But it also means that you have an opportunity to get booked by people who initially might think they don’t have the budget for you.
We find that by sending our Collection Guide (the guide with our prices) after someone inquires, it often leads to people changing their budgets for us after reading more about the experience we provide.
By sending our Collection Guide (through PDF or hidden web page), we are able to control how we present our experience. It also gives us extra time to nurture leads before they make a purchasing decision.
A good compromise is to include the average price that clients spend. This will cut down on those ‘price-shopping’ inquiries, but also provide an anchor price.
Testimonials and Social Proof
It doesn’t matter how expensive or inexpensive the product. One of the first things I’m checking on Amazon are the reviews. For inexpensive products, I might only check the aggregate score instead of reading individual reviews. But the reviews will likely be important in my purchasing decision.
Many websites we look at have reviews and a press section on a separate page, but these should be spread throughout the entire website, and the best ones reserved for the Services and Home pages.
Don’t underestimate the power of social proof. People trust other peoples’ recommendations, and word-of-mouth referrals are often the highest converting referrals.
Examples of Work/Portfolio Pieces
Like testimonials and other forms of social proof, we recommend having portfolio pieces on your Services page, too. These examples reinforce why someone ought to consider booking your service.
This is especially important if you offer multiple services. People shouldn’t have to read about your service on one page, and then visit another page to see examples of that work.
Be sure to choose only your best work for these portfolios or galleries, and try to organize things in a way that makes sense. For instance, galleries organized by event look more editorial and feel high-end.
We expand more on how to organize our images in this post about DIY design mistakes.
Strong Call-To-Action or Contact Form
Time to book? Make sure people know how to take the next step. This can come in the form of a button that leads people to the Contact page or by encouraging people to complete a contact form at the bottom of the page.
Including a contact form at the bottom of the Services page makes it easy for people to inquire while it’s top of mind. Who knows whether they’ll be patient enough for the Contact page to load, so why risk sending them to another page?
Giving people an extra incentive to inquire today, such as limited availability or access to some time-sensitive promotion, can also help people to take action. You might also consider reminding people how easy it is and that’s it’s risk-free (provided those things are true).
Learn from the Sales Page
We can learn a lot about what a Services page should look like by examining effective Sales pages. Sales pages are often designed to convert visitors without needing any human interaction.
Think about the last time you bought something online without talking to a salesperson about the product. What kinds of things were on the page that ultimately led to your purchase?
My guess is that many of the elements discussed above were present: A focus on the experience and how you might use the product or service, social proof in the way of past features, testimonials, or reviews, examples of past work, and strong calls-to-action.