17 Tips For Writing Great Service Industry Sales Copy
Even with loads of traffic flowing to your site, you still need to convert those visitors into clients.
That’s the task of your sales copy, in other words–the story you tell about your service.
Depending on your sales process, your website may be responsible for capturing client’s contact information so you can follow up with them over email or phone.
Or, if your productized service is following the self-serve model, your sales copy needs to work even harder to convert visitors into buyers.
Whichever sales funnel you’ve set up for your productized service, it’s going to work much better with effective sales copy.
In this article, I’ll bring you the lowdown on writing copy that sells your services, and together we’ll go over some actionable tips you can use to improve your conversion rate today.
Let’s get started!
1. Understand your target audience
How do you sell services to people you don’t understand?
It’s simple: you don’t.
That’s why the first step you take before making any changes to your website, content, or email series is thinking critically about your target audience.
To make sure you’re getting the most out of this exercise, we recommend creating an Ideal Client Profile (ICP)—a document describing the characteristics of your dream client. The ICP you create will act as a compass of sorts whenever you need guidance regarding your sales copy.
Your ICP should include:
Professional Profile: This should include the ideal client’s role (e.g., CEO, VP of Sales, etc.), skills, and responsibilities.
Company Profile: This section will include information about the company your ideal client is hiring for, including size, location, industry, and revenue.
Personal Profile: This should include the qualities that would make your ideal client a good fit for your service. This can include items like values, interests, and personality type.
Pain Points: This section should detail the problems that your ideal client has (with the assumption being that your service can solve them).
Once you have all of this information, you can start crafting sales copy that is specifically designed to attract people who match the description. Doing this saves you time and money by limiting the number of low-quality leads you get.
Example: At SPP, we actively advise people who are just getting started against using our productized service software. Counterintuitive? No—the reason is that our ideal client is a business that has demonstrated longevity. We invest a lot into support for agencies getting set up, and all that goes to waste if the business doesn’t last.
Grow your industry knowledge
2. Write a compelling headline
Your headline or in some cases headlines are your chance to make a first impression, so you want to make sure it’s a good one. To write an effective headline, keep the following in mind:
Keep it short and sweet: Long headlines cause people to lose interest. A good rule of thumb is to keep your headlines around 8 words—the most effective length according to several studies.
Make it clear: Your headline should be clear and easy to understand. Ambiguous headlines will only confuse your readers. To make sure you’re on the right track, calculating readability scores can be incredibly useful.
Use strong language: Use words that pack a punch and convey emotion. Remember, you want your headline to grab attention and get people interested in reading more.
Reference your ICP: Who is the headline directed towards? What’s in it for the reader? Those are the questions your headline needs to answer.
If you’re looking for an example that checks all those boxes, have a look at SPP’s:
Client Portal Software For Growing Agencies
It’s short—only 6 words long, avoids jargon in the interest of clarity, and uses the phrase “growing agencies” to add a bit of punchiness and appeal to our target market!
3. Use power words and phrases
Power words and phrases are words that evoke emotion and create a sense of urgency. They’re designed to get the reader’s attention and persuade them to take action.
Some examples of power words and phrases include:
“You need this”
“This is a must-have”
“Don’t miss out!”
“Now is the time!”
4. Tell a story
People love stories. In fact, stories are such an effective way to persuade people that they’re used in advertising, politics, and even by lawyers in court.
One of the best ways to incorporate stories into your sales copy is to use customer testimonials. Customer testimonials are first-hand accounts from people who have used your product or service and can attest to its value.
When writing customer testimonials, make sure to:
Include details: The more specific the story, the more your readers will connect with it.
Use quotes: Quotes add credibility to the story and make it more persuasive.
Make it relatable: The story should be relatable to your reader so that they can see themselves in it—prioritize common use cases and scenarios.
5. Use simple, conversational language
The average person has a reading level of around an 8th-grade level—which means you should too. When writing sales copy, avoid using jargon, big words, and long sentences. Instead, opt for simple language that is easy to understand.
In addition, it usually makes the most sense to adopt a conversational tone. After all, you’re not writing a research paper—you’re trying to sell something!
6. Use active voice
When you’re writing in active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action. In passive voice, the subject receives the action. In case you’re not a fan of grammar, I’ll illustrate with an example:
Our company uses the software to save time. (active)
The software is used by our company to save time. (passive)
While there is nothing inherently wrong with using passive voice, active voice is more powerful and persuasive than passive voice in the context of sales copy. It also avoids ambiguity and makes your writing sound more confident.
7. Turn your features into benefits
Your potential customers don’t care about your product or service’s features—they care about its benefits. Features are the characteristics of your product or service, while benefits are what those features do for the customer.
For example, a feature of our software is that it automates repetitive tasks. The benefit of that automation is that it saves users time.
When writing sales copy, make sure to focus on the benefits rather than the features. Explain how your product or service will make your customers’ lives better, not just what it does.
8. Appeal to emotion
One of the most effective ways to persuade someone is to appeal to their emotions. After all, we’re not rational creatures—our emotions play a big role in the decisions we make.
So, how do you go about appealing to emotion in your sales copy?
Use images: Images are a great way to add emotion to your sales copy. They can be used to evoke feelings of happiness, sadness, fear, anger, or any other emotion you want to target.
Use first-person stories: As we mentioned earlier, stories are a great way to add emotion to your sales copy. When writing stories, make sure to use first-person narratives. This will make the story more relatable and persuasive.
9. Use scarcity
Scarcity is one of the most powerful persuasion techniques—and for good reason. By creating a sense of urgency, you can encourage people to take action before it’s too late.
There are several ways you can create scarcity in your sales copy, such as:
Offering a limited-time discount: This is a great way to encourage people to buy now before the offer expires.
Limiting availability: If you have a limited number of products or services available, be sure to mention that in your sales copy. This will create a sense of urgency and encourage people to buy before it’s too late.
10. Clarify your offer
Your offer should be clear and concise. When people don’t know what you’re offering, you lose them.
No one wants to have to think to understand your message.
Writing good sales copy isn’t about using fancy words to somehow “convince” everyone they need your services. It’s about explaining what you offer in simple terms to people who are already looking for a service like yours.
11. Provide enough information
Buyers need to have enough information to make a decision, but not too much to overwhelm them. How much is enough depends on the decision itself.
For example, if you’re asking clients for their contact information you generally don’t need to answer every question about the service right now.
On the other hand, if you’re asking for a sale you definitely need to spend more time addressing questions and objections. Here’s a simple request a quote form you can use.
Speaking of objections, here’s the next tip.
12. Address their objections
As you talk to clients, some common questions or concerns are bound to surface. Taking the time to address these in your copy (or a dedicated FAQ section as WP Speed Fix has created in the example above) can help put new customers at ease and increase their likelihood of becoming clients.
Even with a simple email request you can explain how they will be able to unsubscribe at any time and assure that you won’t be spamming them with a bunch of emails.
Explicitly addressing customer’s objections shows them you care, and you understand their pain. It helps establish you as an industry expert.
13. Break up your copy in sections
The vast majority of people don’t read every word on every page of your website. They read a little here and there, and generally jump around until something catches their eye.
That’s why it’s helpful to break up long paragraphs of text with headlines, images, and different layouts because that’s what people notice while scrolling through.
You can go even further and split your sales copy into multiple pages while having more than one call to action on each page. That gives your visitors the option to convert now, or to continue learning more about how you can help them.
14. Insert social proof
Gaining trust means becoming transparent with the quality you’re putting out. When you show visitors case studies, social proof, and testimonials, you’re giving them reasons to trust you.
Mentioning high-profile companies you’ve worked with definitely helps, as do testimonials from satisfied customers.
Here’s an example of how we’re using client logos on our pricing page:
Some agencies go as far as to publish a live feed of people who’ve signed up for their service using tools such as Proof (it works with SPP as well).
15. A/B test a redesign
As much as I’d like to advise you to “just A/B test everything” it simply isn’t practical for most agencies because it takes time to set up tests and run them long enough to reach statistical significance.
A more practical approach, and what we try to do ourselves is to focus on testing the important parts such as the headline, the pricing page, or a complete redesign.
16. Provide a next step
Your call to action (or CTA) is what drives your target audience to convert. What are you proposing? And what’s the next step they should take?
When you’re working with a long-form sales page, you’ll want to include multiple CTAs. Even with this being the case, each of them should bring visitors to the same place, while reminding them why they’re on your website.
17. Keep your pages simple
Simplicity is key — and when designing a sales page, you don’t want to overwhelm your visitors.
Make sure you give information in easy, digestible ways.
Plenty of white space in the sales page design will go a long way. Make everything easier to read for visitors and increase the time your visitors are willing to spend on the page.
Don’t be overly wordy. Highlight what’s important to help visitors find the information they seek rather than insignificant details.
There are many ways to write sales copy for the service industry, but some techniques work better than others.
Let us know if these ideas helped or what else would be helpful with your own digital marketing strategy. Our team of experts are ready and waiting to partner with you to create a stellar SEO or marketing plan.