Ever gone to a cafe and ordered something your neighboring table was having? I'm sure we all have at some point.
We do so because our brain thinks that, since the dish looks good and people seem to enjoy it, it probably tastes good.
This is essentially what social proof is all about. Potential customers will likely buy something when they see previous customers found the product useful and have had a great experience with the company.
This guide will delve deeper and discuss how you can use social proof in your email marketing campaigns to get more people to buy from you.
Table of Contents
What is social proof?
Social proof is a word used to describe the phenomenon when people copy the actions of others in an attempt to achieve similar accomplishments. In marketing, it generally refers to reviews and testimonials but media mentions, user-generated content, etc., also contribute towards social proof.
Social proof is a word coined by Robert Cialdini in his book "Influence" to describe the psychological phenomenon when people copy the actions of others in an attempt to achieve similar accomplishments.
For example, if you look at two keyboards online and see one has a 4-star review and the other has no reviews, you will inevitably choose the one with the 4-star review. This is because you see that it has worked well for other people, so you hope it might also work well for you.
Social proof in marketing is usually thought of as reviews and testimonials. But you can also use media mentions, influencers, word-of-mouth marketing, user-generated content, awards, previous client names, and thought leadership content to earn people's trust and get them to buy from you.
Why is it important to use social proof?
It might seem insignificant, but social proof has vast potential. Here are some stats that show how powerful social proof is.
55% of people find customer reviews very helpful when making their purchase decisions - Statista
92% of people say that they trust the recommendations from a person they know - Neilson
49% of people trust consumer reviews just as much as recommendations from family and friends - Brightlocal
People who look at user-generated content (UGC) are 161% more likely to convert than people who haven't seen it - Yotpo
In a nutshell, social proof helps you gain the trust of potential customers, which increases the chances of them converting and buying from you.
"Social proof is a powerful tool marketers use in order to give reassurance to customers about the quality of the product or service. This especially helps customers who are still in unfamiliar territory but are showing interest in what you have to offer. Consumers trust other consumers through testimonials and feedback, so utilize them to highlight the quality of the product or service you provide. Social proof can also be used to engage and interact with your current customers in order to show appreciation for their purchases."
- Sarah Jameson, Green Building Elements
8 ways to provide social proof in your emails
You can provide social proof on your website, app, social media, etc., but here, we will specifically cover how to provide social proof in your emails.
1. Showcase customer reviews
Customer reviews work excellently to reassure prospects and create a psychological bias towards a brand or business.
"Use social proof to answer major objections. For instance, if you sell protein powder, then taste is going to be a big objection. This is when you use social proof that directly answers that objection with a testimonial such as, 'OMG, it tastes amazing!'."
- Danavir Sarria, Supply Drop
Create an email campaign highlighting your product or service through customer reviews, as shown in the example below.
Check out this entry form template and customize it to fit your needs.
Help prospects understand the positive experience your customers have had; this will motivate them to want to try out the product or service for themselves.
"Incorporate real testimonials from previous customers in your email marketing campaigns to boost sales and conversions. The testimonial should be brief, and relevant to the particular pain points that the email recipients are facing. If the testimonial isn't relevant, then it will be ineffective at compelling the recipient to make a purchase or at the very least, show interest in it. Relevant testimonials will help show your email recipients proof of your ability to provide valuable and impactful solutions to the current issue they need help with."
- Arthur Worsley, The Art of Living
2. Promote bestsellers
By showing people the bestsellers, you reassure them that many tend to buy that particular item. You can provide such social proofs in the browse or cart abandonment emails, as shown below.
Customize this cart abandonment email template and send it to your subscribers.
In cart abandonment emails, you can also show them how many other people have also added it to their cart. Maybe even add a sense of urgency by saying that the stock could be sold out soon.
3. Highlight celebrity and expert endorsements
Wouldn't you be encouraged to purchase a product or service even more if you saw a celebrity or industry expert endorsing it? Celebrities, influencers, and experts lend a lot of credibility to a business and are a great way of garnering social proof.
If you have experts endorsing your product, feature them in your emails. Add links to the email to read more about the testimonial or direct the reader to the product or service.
4. Celebrate a milestone
You can show them how many people have bought the product or service in a month or a year, as shown below.
Source: Really good emails
"Celebrate a big milestone with a sale just for your email list. This is a big incentive for anyone outside to join in, as your social media followers won't be included in this special. The trick is celebrating with them and letting them know you and your business are where you are because of their support. This can lead to a good conversion number and more people on your email list."
- Yanna Berman, Urban Mamaz
Or you can also include logos of popular companies who have bought your product or service in the email footer. It shows that well-known businesses trust you.
5. Spotlight user-generated content
90% of people make purchase decisions based on user-generated content. You can send an email solely containing user-generated content anytime in the lead nurture, browse, or cart abandonment flow to show people how people use it in real life.
In the following example, Winsor & Newton sent an email showing how illustrators use the fine liners they sell on their websites.
Source: Really good emails
"Include photos or actual screenshots of user-generated content and reviews to inspire higher confidence and increase click-through. Images are not only more enticing, but they are also harder to fake than text quotes. Thus, customers will find them more convincing."
- Stacey Kane, EasyMerchant
6. Showcase yourself as a thought leader
You can send out newsletters covering industry topics, including quotes from experts in your team. Or you can also send out emails showing any upcoming events or panel discussions you are hosting.
It shows people that you know a lot about the subject matter and are probably the best in the industry. This will earn their trust and get them to buy from you in the future.
7. Media mentions and accomplishments
Create an exclusive email just showcasing your recent accomplishments as a brand, or incorporate them in the footer of the emails you send. In the following example, MacPaw sends out an email highlighting the achievements of one of its products.
You can also talk about the different media outlets that have written about you and what they have said.
"With media mentions adding a section something like "This is what the critics said" will allow you to show off what newspapers, podcasts, blogs or influencers have said about you. Adding these quotes from different publications and trusted influences will show trustworthiness."
- Jason McMahon, Bambrick
8. Case studies
If you have got case studies of companies who have got great results using your product, email is one way you can share this success with your audience.
It provides social proof by showing how much the person/company has benefited from your product/service and how they can too if they buy it.
Here's how we at Mailmodo showcase our case studies in our emails.
You can customize and use this case study template in your campaigns, check it out.
"Don't forget to include a call to action alongside your social proof. A strong CTA will encourage your readers to take the next step, whether subscribing to your list or making a purchase."
- Will Yang, Instrumentl
How to use Mailmodo to provide social proof?
Now that you know how to provide social proof in your emails, it's time to create your campaign and incorporate it into it.
And, if you have tried to include social proof like reviews, testimonials, or influencer opinions in your emails, you must have realized that it's time-consuming to create a section for it in the email constantly.
You can use Mailmodo to make this easier on you. In Mailmodo, we allow you to create and save custom content blocks, as shown below.
So you can create a basic content block for your social proof and reuse it in other campaigns. This helps you save time as you only have to change the content and send it out. Sign up for free and try it out yourself.
What you should do next
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