As a business, the greatest sales pitch for your offerings that you have in your armory is not one that’s been crafted by your most competent and decorated salesperson but rather a glowing customer testimonial or an online review; no jury’s out on that.
When it comes to adding a product to their shopping carts, very few things are as encouraging for a customer as an endorsement from a fellow customer. In today’s digital environment, where authenticity can be hard to locate, buyers, more often than not, rely on the actions and behavior of their own ilk to inform their own. And savvy email marketers are not unwise to this in the slightest.
That’s why, these days, immense emphasis is placed on winning the trust and confidence of prospective buyers by incorporating social proof in email marketing campaigns. The term, coined by Robert Cialdini in his 1984 bestseller, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” is now a fixed entry in the marketing playbooks of every single business out there.
If you wish for your email marketing campaigns to be a notch above your competitors, learning to leverage social proof artfully is a must; that much goes without saying. Not very sure about the contours of this land? Fret not; we are here to help! In this blog, we explain how to use social proof in marketing in a way that will surely help your campaigns stand out from the crowd. Ready to uncover it all? Let’s go!
Why Social Proof? A Tale of Numbers
The best way to assess the credibility of an argument is to view it in the context of numbers that substantiate it- this is a philosophy that we firmly believe in and that largely informs the manner in which we present information to our readers.
Staying true to our habits, thus, here’s presenting a few compelling statistics to drive home the significance of using social proof.
- Social proof plays a pivotal role in influencing the opinions of prospective buyers about your business. As many as 98% (yes, really) of consumers read online reviews to assess local businesses.
- Prior to making a purchase decision, the average buyer goes through 10 online reviews. In a similar vein, approximately 87% of buying decisions begin with research conducted online. Safe to say, thus, that if your customers aren’t writing favorable things about you online, your traffic and conversions can take a significant hit.
- When it comes to social proof, both quality and quantity play a role. Having quality reviews for a product is swell, of course, but if the volume of such reviews is high, it can augur extremely well for you. Studies show that if a product has 50 or more reviews, it can boost your conversion rate by 4.6%
- Incorporating social proof in emails, websites, and landing pages is a given, of course. But, there’s one more area where they can greatly benefit you- ads. Ads featuring reviews not only witness a 4x higher click-through rate but also a 50% reduction in cost per click as well as cost per acquisition.
- 92% of people will accept a recommendation from a peer. Frankly, that’s not very surprising. What might come across as fascinating is the fact that 70% of people engage seriously with the recommendations and opinions of a buyer who might be an absolute stranger to them.
- After coming across a positive review of a business, 50% of consumers go ahead with checking out its website. So, never hesitate before publishing any and all praise you get from your customers!
Different Ways of Including Social Proof in Emails
Now that we are well aware of the significance of social proof, let us take a look at how to use social proof in marketing campaigns.
We’ll start with the type of social proof email marketing that most of us are familiar with and which is just as effective as any of the other entries that will find a mention in this section. Plain ol’ customer reviews might be simple in appearance, but they can do wonders towards incentivizing your email subscribers.
A product that comes with a host of 5-star reviews becomes pretty irresistible for the buyer. And while crafting such an email, if your design language happens to be as on fleek as this social proof email example from Drunk Elephant over here, you can be highly sure of your subscribers clicking on that CTA button (extra marks here to the brand for that creative CTA as well!)
Sometimes, brands get really creative with this format. An excellent case in point would be this social proof email by TUSHY.
There’s an obvious element of exaggeration to the customer reviews in this email; that’s what makes them so hilarious. And yet, they’ve been done tastefully enough not to come across as phony. As a reader, such an email is highly likely to succeed in disarming you and nudging you to take an interest in the products being talked about.
One element that can greatly elevate the appeal of reviews and testimonials is the presence of a personal touch. Take a look at this email from Fetching Fields, for instance.
In this social proof email marketing campaign, we don’t have a simple customer testimonial; we have a beautifully constructed narrative. It talks about the salient features of the product, sure, but it also hooks us by offering a personal insight into the life of the reviewer. Complementing the narrative is a set of curated pictures that are quite successful in tugging at every string of the heart (safe to say, we are speaking for everyone here, right?).
Amidst your regular customer reviews that can tend to be a bit impersonal at times in their quest to speak singularly about the product in question, the best social proof email examples out there tend to use such stories come for they in as a breath of fresh air and are sure to capture the attention of your audience.
User-generated Content (UGC)
Customer-centricity is the way forward for brands in 2023. And what’s a better way of reinforcing this philosophy than to utilize user-generated content as social proof? When prospective customers come across photos of existing customers flaunting your products, their interest in your business will definitely take a leap.
But, to be able to do so, you first need to focus on collecting user-generated content. Below are a couple of ways that shed light on that.
- Launch a contest. Yes, it’s probably the most primitive method of gathering UGC, but such is its efficacy that it continues to be just as relevant. With social media, organizing contests has become even easier.
- Request your buyers to share their feedback with you. Encourage them to delve into as much detail as possible regarding their experiences. Whatever their verdict, good or bad, it is only to your benefit. While positive reviews make for excellent social proof, the negative ones alert you to shortcomings in your workflow and give you the scope to fix them at the earliest.
When an expert in your niche endorses your offerings, that lends indisputable credibility to your brand. So, making the effort to scout and approach such experts is always worth it. If people are eager to consider the recommendations of strangers (as mentioned above), just imagine how much more attention your products will garner when they receive a stamp of approval from a bonafide expert.
This social proof email from Aero is an ideal example of what we stated above.
And so is this email by Eight Sleep.
On a related note, you can also consider practicing influencer marketing to broaden the reach and visibility of your offerings. Influencers excel at curating elaborate how-to guides and product tutorials to help your audience gain a deeper understanding of your offerings. Partnering up with influencers who are both passionate about your brand and have a respectable following can go a long way toward making you the talk of the town.
This approach works best for players operating in the B2B space. In this niche, the capabilities of a particular service’s features tend to be so multifaceted that a single customer testimonial wouldn’t be able to do justice to the mall. Hence, the wise course of action is to present a detailed case study of your services to your subscribers. Spare no measure in highlighting how the capabilities of your offerings were able to resolve the pain points of your clients. At the same time, take care not to come across as too puffed up; it always leaves a sour taste.
Here’s an example of such an email by Klaviyo.
Wrapping It Up
Leveraging social proof is a great way to increase your traffic and engagement and subsequently skyrocket your conversions. We hope the tips and tricks shared above have been able to give you a clear idea as to how to go about it. If you have any more creative ideas up your sleeve, do share them with us. We are all ears!