As a business, how do you get potential customers to buy something from you, without them having tried and tested it first?
The answer is social proof.
Social proof, also known as ‘user-generated content (UGC)’ is now one of the most powerful influences of our everyday behaviour.
You should be using social proof in your email marketing because, sorry to say it, but consumers will trust strangers’ opinions more than your marketing.
It’s nothing personal, but buyers will be aware that your main objective as a business is to sell, so the power that reviews can have is obvious.
What is social proof?
Have you ever chosen to stay in a hotel because it had loads of great reviews on TripAdvisor? Or watched a series on Netflix because your friend said that they really enjoyed it?
That’s social proof in action.
When we’re shopping online, we look to see what everyone else is buying. In today’s connected, social-media-ruled world, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are becoming increasingly powerful in our buying decisions. They make it super easy for consumers to see what products their friends and family are buying, and which brands they rate – or hate.
Basically, people are more likely to buy something if they know someone who has already bought it.
If a customer follows and engages with your brand’s social media accounts, then their friends and followers will see that and be more likely to check out your business and what you’re about.
How to include social proof in your emails
Leveraging social proof in your email marketing campaigns is easy, and if you aren’t already doing it then it’s a good idea to start now.
Here are a few easy ways to get you started:
Show off your numbers
Let’s face it – no one wants to feel like they’re missing out. According to Eventbrite, 69% of millennials experience FOMO – the fear of missing out.
Whether it’s how many social media followers you have or the number of customers who’ve bought from you, if you have impressive numbers to show, then you should tell people about them.
Potential buyers who see your numbers will instantly feel more trust in your brand, because surely not that many people can all be wrong, can they?
Let your customers do the talking
You shouldn’t ignore user-generated content because people know it’s authentic and unbiased. According to a 2019 survey by Bright Local, positive reviews make 91% of consumers more likely to use a business, while 82% will be put off by negative reviews.
Ratings and reviews are probably the most effective way to integrate social proof into your email marketing, so include them in your emails. Link to positive review sites or include positive quotes from customers. Even include real pictures of happy customers if you can.
A great way to encourage your customers to review your products is to give them an incentive. They like feeling that they’re getting something out of it, too. Give them a discount code or a free item with their next shop and watch the reviews roll in.
“As featured in…”
This type of social proof relies heavily on how influential the source is. Think about a book – it will probably have a few reviews written on the back by other well-recognised authors telling you how great it is.
This works particularly well for new and small businesses. By associating yourself with well-known brands that you’ve worked with or have used your product, you’re telling shoppers that your company/product is exciting and sought-after.
Because people will already know and trust recognisable brands, they will instinctively have a higher opinion of you, and that will typically generate more conversion rates.
Highlight your customer success stories
Customer stories deeply connect with customers – they’re reliable and authentic.
Slightly more formal in nature, you might want to include a case study for more expensive purchases or longer commitments, to give them that little nudge they need to make a purchase.
Case studies put you in the best light and show off all of your good bits. It shows exactly how real people are using your product/business and how thrilled they are with their experience.
If your prospects can see proof that people have used your company and gotten successful results, then chances are that they will want similar results.
Summary: Don’t be shy – bragging is allowed
Take every chance to tell people how great your business is.
Social proof isn’t just telling people about how great you are, it’s showing them. It’s a more genuine way to market what you’re offering.
These tips should give you the help you need to start using social proof in your email marketing campaigns, and you’ll soon begin to see your conversion rates go up and up and up! And using the drag-and-drop email builder in Wired Plus will help you create stand-out emails to help you share your user-generated content with ease. Try it out for free.