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How to Increase Conversions with User-Generated Content

If you run a business, have you considered leveraging user-generated content (UGC) in your email campaigns to boost conversions? 

User-generated content consists of any content posted online by users, including images, videos, audio, reviews, and text. Users create and upload posts featuring a brand, which builds its recognition and furthers its reach. That brand can then share that post on their own platform to showcase social proof and build trust with their new audience. 

You’ve likely come across brands sharing UGC on their website and social media platforms. Airbnb often does this on its Instagram, sharing gorgeous photos of locations around the world taken by Airbnb hosts and guests. Companies share UGC because it’s effective at generating leads and increasing conversions. 

So, why not add user-generated content in your email marketing campaigns too?

Why is User-Generated Content Important?

Nowadays, consumers have tons of options when it comes to which businesses they want to invest in. Ecommerce makes it easier than ever for customers to be picky about the brands they interact with. Because of this, it’s crucial for today’s businesses to cater to consumers’ needs and provide them with positive experiences. 

UGC is important for the following reasons:

It builds trust with consumers.

According to Nielsen, 92 percent of customers trust earned media, such as UGC, over other forms of advertising. Brands must make a conscious effort to build strong customer relationships if they expect to convert subscribers and produce sales, and they can’t do that without first building trust. 

When users see people just like them enjoying your products and services as well as interacting with your brand, it shows them that your brand is trustworthy. If other people like your business, why wouldn’t they? The fear of missing out, or FOMO, will further convince them that they need your products because they want to experience that feeling too. 

It’s versatile.

When it comes to how your audience can use your brand to create content of their own, the possibilities are endless. Whether they write a review, make a video demonstrating using your products, or create brand-related art, they’re using their creativity to pique others’ interest too. 

Email marketers constantly search for new ways to grab users’ attention, and UGC makes this easy by creating authentic, personalized content. Email personalization generates a 26 percent increase in open rates which you can’t ignore if you want your email marketing campaigns to be successful. 

It pushes consumers through the conversion funnel.

A customer must go through all the stages of the sales funnel before they feel confident and comfortable enough to purchase. Several factors come into play when someone makes a buying decision, and if everything doesn’t line up just right, it could cost you. 

User-generated content eases consumers’ doubts by showing them that people already love your brand’s products and services, which means they will too. 

Now that we know how user-generated content can grow your business, let’s go over the different ways you can incorporate it into your email marketing strategy.

How to Increase Conversions with User-Generated Content

1. Run a Contest

Have you ever participated in an online contest or giveaway? If so, you know the hype it can build for businesses trying to grow their brand and expand their following. 

Contests excite your audience and give them the incentive to submit user-generated content for a prize. They’re an effective way to spark action in your subscribers and encourage them to participate in your campaign. This helps your brand increase its social proof so that new visitors and subscribers are eager to purchase from you.

Check out this UGC contest from Pink Lime Salon and Spa:

Image source

This contest encourages users to submit UGC in order for a chance to win a $500 makeover. A contest like this will not only excite your email subscribers, but it will result in a ton of new UGC you can share to attract new leads. 

Establish clear rules for your contest to ensure people enter correctly and follow the guidelines. Otherwise, you’ll end up with less UGC than you intended.

2. Create a Branded Hashtag Campaign

A great way to encourage subscribers to upload their own content is by creating a branded hashtag campaign in your emails. Users can show off how they use your products using the hashtag and, as a result, your brand gets exposure and conversions. 

Here’s how Charming Charlie does it: 

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You can use your customers’ UGC to keep the hashtag campaign active and continue boosting engagement. Many customers want brands to showcase their content because it grows their following and puts them in the spotlight, making it a win-win situation for both parties. 

While creating UGC does help your business gain exposure, it helps to have options to choose from so your content never goes stale. Make sure your audience’s efforts don’t go to waste and be sure to feature them in your upcoming campaign. 

3. Feature New Products 

While product launches are exciting, they can also be scary. Even with tons of testing, you won’t know for sure how your audience feels about a new product until they’ve tested it themselves and combed through reviews. 

So, after introducing a new product, encourage your first batch of customers to create user-generated content about their experience. From there, you can consolidate their content into a single campaign that increases conversions, boosts engagement, and drives sales. 

Take it a step further by incentivizing customers to create their own brand-related content for your email campaign. Discounts and promo codes are great ways to encourage your audience to participate so you see more results. 

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Showing happy customers using your new product will encourage others to make a purchase as well. 

Over to You

If you want to take your email marketing campaigns to the next level, consider adding user-generated content into the mix. This form of social proof will gain the trust of new subscribers, spice up your email content, and increase your conversions in no time. 

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Syed Balkhi is the co-founder of OptinMonster, the best popup and lead generation software to turn website visitors into subscribers and customers. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.

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