Social Proof: How to Boost Sales in Your Email Campaigns
All marketers know that social proof helps you improve your conversion rate. Therefore, large brands, like Amazon, Netflix, and almost all other companies, use social proof on their sites. What social proof is and how to enrich your promo emails with social proof, read in our post.
What is social proof?
It is the opinion, assessments of other people on whom our customers tend to rely on when making decisions about purchasing our products.
This feature of human behavior has long been used by marketers and those who make a living by selling. In advertising, they say, "More than 10 thousand users trust us." Street musicians put a few large bills in a hat to encourage passersby to give them money. Offscreen laughter in comedy shows is also a way to influence viewers through social proof. People are made to understand, "Others find it funny, so it is funny."
In online shopping, there is no way to feel products, look the seller in the eye. Therefore, people read reviews on websites and in emails, ask friends for advice, look at the number of subscribers, and the activity of a particular company in social networks.
A four-year study, conducted by Qubit showed that social proof in eCommerce was one of the most effective methods to boost sales — it increases income by 2.3%.
(Results of changes in income per visitor, average values of profitability increase by category of changes)
Social proof types to use in email marketing campaigns
There are six main types, aka sources, of social proof:
clients — feedback by your current customers or users, including reviews in emails, interviews, and case studies;
experts — experts demonstrate the same behavior that you expect from site visitors;
celebrities — reviews by celebrities or other opinion leaders; famous people who used your product or attended your event;
impressive numbers that serve as social proof. For example, "300,000 companies use Stripo email builder to get build elegant emails for reaching out to subscribers”;
friends from social networks who are website visitors or product users. For example, "70 friends of yours like Stripo";
certification programs are a trusted third party which confirms that you are a competent, highly qualified, or a trustworthy source.
Ways to use social proof in email marketing campaigns
Ignoring social influence usually leads to a higher cost of customer acquisition (CAC) and an overstatement of expectations of profitability and demand for goods.
1. Annual results in numbers
At the end of the year, there is a tradition, to sum up, the achievements. So, many companies, instead of congratulatory emails, send out information about accomplishments over the past year and back it up with social proof.
For example, Alaska Airlines demonstrates the number of flights and comic counts of films shown on board during the year.
No doubt that reviews are still one of the most effective forms of social proof. However, exploit this form of recognition carefully and properly.
You can demonstrate the performance of subscribers or reposts on social networks, retweets, and likes.
Whatever you do, do not try to write a review to yourself! This is dishonest, and often, this deception comes to the surface, from which you will only get worse. The same applies to custom reviews; they are effortless to recognize. Share only honest ones. They might be not so high as you want them to, but they even get more trust and endear consumers to your brand.
(source: Really Good Emails)
You can also add reviews to abandoned cart emails like Adidas does.
Please read our blog post on abandoned cart emails to make them more effective here.
Speaking of reviews... You, like many famous companies, can include a request for feedback into your emails in exchange for some bonuses. Thus, they collect social proof that they can use in the future to convince a potential audience in their competence.
This method can also play into the hands of the brand, as an indicator of indifference to the opinion of each client and desire to please.
If the award is significant, it can be reported in a separate email. But more often, insignia and certificates are added to the distribution template. For example, the Hilton hotel chain and Universal hotels never hesitate to mention all their achievements and to leverage social proof in email marketing campaigns.
(sample of promo email by Orlando, Universal)
We have heard a lot about this method, many statements that it is effective. But we have not yet made this social proof to work for us. Therefore, while writing this article, we decided to conduct an experiment and add our achievements to the newsletter. After 3 months, we will evaluate whether the method works and share the results with you.
4. Celebrities choice
You can attract much more attention to yourself if you can get a positive opinion from an expert in your field or a famous person. If you then display a similar review on the site, it will help you quickly get social recognition.
The British jewelry brand Monica Vinader successfully used the image of a celebrity as social proof in an email campaign. They noticed that the Duchess of Cambridge put on their earrings, and spoke about this in an email.
5. Famous companies that use you
Not only famous people, but also famous brands can convince users that your company is reliable.
Don't hesitate to boast in emails that world-known brands prefer your service over others. Hilton hotels always put this information into the footer of their promo newsletters.
Please, be sure to get their permission :)
Due to the fact that people cannot feel the products they are going to buy online, they rely on customers' opinions and reviews.
Share these reviews in your email campaigns that you build with Stripo.