Social proof is a psychological phenomenon in which people follow the behaviors of others because they feel it is the correct thing to do if everyone else is doing it.
Researchers examined if social proof was a more potent factor in human behavior than conserving money or the environment in a study published in the Wall Street Journal. To persuade consumers to use fans instead of air conditioning, they utilized four distinct messages:
- Message 1 – Informed the client that their power cost might be reduced by $54 per month.
- Message 2 – Informed consumers that they might prevent the discharge of 262 pounds of greenhouse gases per month by using the service.
- Message 3 – Explained to clients that conserving energy was a socially responsible decision.
- Message 4 – Inform consumers that 77 percent of their neighbors are already conserving energy by utilizing fans.
Guess which message was most successful in persuading individuals to conserve energy? Message 4 — the one where social proof was mentioned.
That is how powerful social proof is in influencing human conduct. Our drive to fit in is more powerful than our desire to save money or protect the environment.
What is Social Proof in Marketing?
In marketing, social proof operates similarly. Potential customers observe what others have done before them and believe that if they follow in their footsteps, they will reap the same rewards.
If someone is marketing a weight reduction assistance, for example, they can give examples of existing clients and their success with the product.
How does Social Proof Work?
To proceed through the sales process, social proof appeals to a potential customer’s emotions.
Nearly all of the customers say they’re more inclined to buy anything from a website that includes both product reviews and ratings. This is why social proof is effective. It shows people who are using the items, what they think of them, and whether or not they work.
7 Types of Social Proof You Need to Use in Your Email Marketing
Have you ever held off on purchasing anything because a friend informed you it wasn’t very good? Or go directly to the bestsellers section at a bookstore?
What You Certainly Have!
Why? We tend to believe that other people’s behaviors are the appropriate response to a particular scenario. That’s how social proof works in a nutshell.
You may believe that the only way to provide social proof is to include customer reviews on your product pages. Many e-commerce marketers would concur.
Only the best e-commerce businesses, however, take full advantage of social proof.
That’s why, using some of the greatest social proof email examples we’ve seen, I would like to showcase seven distinct approaches to exhibit social proof in your email marketing.
#1 – Earned Authority
We are all inclined to listen to experts. However, not everyone has the same amount of power over us. We feel more at ease using the mouthwash recommended by our dentists since we know they are experts in this field.
The mouthwash receives an immediate thumbs-up, and we feel it is the appropriate product for us. However, in marketing, you don’t always require such permission to offer a product. All you need is the perception of respected Authority. To put it another way, you need customers to perceive you as an authoritative figure, whether or not this is correct.
The Authority you acquired, whether it’s the number of customers you have, the awards you’re proudest of, or your sales statistics is an unmatched kind of social proof.
Promoting the appeal of your goods by organizing them in your email marketing is an often-overlooked approach to create Authority.
It’s common sense: customers assume that if a product is famous, it must be for a good cause.
There are many ways you can use to show authority in your emails.
While FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is often mocked, it is a real psychological phenomenon in which people are motivated to act because they are afraid of missing out on chances that others have.
FOMO is a significant driver of human behavior, as anybody who has experienced it, especially in social circumstances, will confirm, therefore it’s worth exploiting in your email marketing to assist improve click-through rates.
As the year draws to a close, “best-of” lists appear everywhere.
Why? We all like to read and listen to the finest, after all.
And, of course, we want to purchase the finest.
Having a list of your best-selling stuff is a wonderful approach to show how much Authority you and your items have gained.
However, if everyone does it the same manner, yours will most likely go undetected.
Bombas decides to surprise its members by sending an email in January in which the company reveals what others have purchased. They do this to encourage you to join the masses because they understand that no one wishes to be left out.
Bombas generate fear of losing out by displaying social proof through their gained Authority.
I occasionally receive emails from e-commerce companies with subject lines like “Our Favorites.”
And my first thought is, “Why would I be interested in your favorites?”
Curation emails may be quite beneficial—but only if they’re written correctly.
Realizing this, Brandless leverages the power of social proof to select consumer favorites in an email.
Customers are asked what their favorite goods are, and the finest responses are compiled in an email containing product images and links.
The responses both motivate their audience and validate the company’s Authority. Furthermore, because they originate from other consumers, they are relatable and trustworthy.
One way is to inform people that an item is popular with customers, but another thing is to demonstrate to them how famous it is.
The more precise you can be, the more social proof you’ll be able to provide in your email marketing.
AYR comes up with a clever approach to use statistics to promote social proof. They use social proof and scarcity to pique your interest in their product by displaying the number of individuals on their waitlist.
Include the number of satisfied customers in your emails as another approach to exhibit earned Authority.
#2: Borrowed Authority
Collaborations are popular among musicians for a reason: it benefits both parties.
Marketing is no exception.
Many brands cooperate with each other or with influencers. Why? Because they rely on each other for Authority.
Rifle Paper Co. and Tattly have teamed up to convert an excellent design into temporary tattoos and to complement each other’s abilities.
Both organizations made it a point to mention their collaboration in their email marketing. This allows both organizations to broaden their reach and product offerings. They also borrow Authority from one another, making their offerings more appealing and marketable.
To utilize them as social proof, you don’t have to connect with industry titans or form partnerships with major companies.
You may also borrow power from other individuals, communities, or businesses by joining associations, supporting causes, or donating to charitable organizations.
#3: Celebrity Endorsement
Celebrities have long been used in marketing.
Obtaining celebrity endorsements for your company generates significant social proof because we give celebrities a reputation, which makes their behaviors and opinions more acceptable.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go all-in and sign a contract with a superstar for this technique to succeed. Simply seek individuals who can relate to your potential consumers.
Beauty Bay uses a television personality who is presumably recognizable to their target market and pairs the email with an enticing subject line: “Guess what Olivia Buckland is wearing?”
Whose endorsement would you want if you owned a baggage store or a travel agency?
Isn’t that someone who travels a lot?
As a strategy, Away uses Insta Bloggers and travel influencers to demonstrate the popularity of their products.
To put it another way, who endorses your brand is important. Among your audience, not everyone will be viewed the same way.
# 4: Product Promotion
A show-off is something no one enjoys. Especially when it’s a company that is bragging
So, if you keep sending out emails that are only for self-promotion with no benefits to your customers, you are unlikely to become their all-time favorite company.
Instead of using social proof, use a reward to boost your product promotion email, and you’ll have a top-performing email.
Ban.do recently emailed me with the subject line “Check out the reviews,” which focused on a specific product category.
This email appeals to me since it does not only promote the product category and its characteristics. Ban. do, on the other hand, gathers user evaluations with an added advantage for subscribers: A coupon code that is only valid for that product category.
By combining social proof with a reward, is a wonderful way to promote sales of a certain product category.
#5: Abandoned Cart Emails
Customer feedback, when used properly, may accomplish more than simply turning site visitors into paying customers.
You can persuade abandoned customers to give you a great chance by displaying your feedback in the same area and at the appropriate time.
Brooklinen is fully aware of this. This is why, if you left your shopping cart on their website, you’d receive an email as part of their abandoned cart email sequence, in which they not only provide chosen product reviews but also indicate the number of reviews they’ve gotten so far, enhancing the social proof.
So, if the 10% discount isn’t enough to persuade you, 28,000 satisfied clients should.
#6: Customer Retention
Not only can social proof allow you to generate leads into new clients, but it also helps you keep your current ones. You may advertise your e-commerce site without being promotional by including user reviews in your client retention emails.
Death Wish Coffee is one of the greatest examples of how to leverage customer evaluations in retention emails. In celebration of Mother’s Day, Death Wish Coffee sent me an email with no call-to-action, advertising links, or buttons. Just a fantastic retention email that utilizes social proof to keep the brand front of mind without attempting to sell you anything.
Try collecting relevant customer reviews and attaching a nice thank you letter the next time you send out a holiday email.
#7: Media Mentions
If your product has been reviewed (or merely referenced) by prominent news sites or industry magazines, using that information in your email marketing will help you improve conversions.
We’re more likely to believe what we see in the media because we consider them to be trustworthy providers of accurate information.
As a result, media outlets have a level of power that no other institution can match.
Unsurprisingly, customer behavior is influenced by media approbation (or disapproval).
Getting a media mention, whether in the form of authoritative blogs, local newspapers, or podcasts, immediately gives a stamp of social proof to your business.
E-commerce Companies Are The Same
You may add social proof to your marketing messaging and persuade prospects to take action by including media mentions in your emails.
Brooklinen recently sent a product launch email with the scarcity-infused subject line “this will sell out…,” promoting the company’s new product launch.
Under the heading “What the critics think,” Brooklinen compiles a list of their media mentions.
The best thing is that every single one of their media quotations is directly related to the product category that they’re pushing in this email.
By referring to these publications as “critics,” the corporation emphasizes its Authority and enhances the social proof.
You don’t have to work with mega-influencers or get mentioned in international media to leverage social proof in your email marketing.
If your company gets highlighted in an industry blog or a local magazine, including their names and logos in your emails.
If you haven’t gotten any exposure yet, try contacting local reporters and bloggers and asking them to review your items.
There are many various methods to leverage social proof, from customer reviews to viewer content, as well as many other ways to integrate them in your email marketing.
Give some of these tactics a chance, and you’ll be surprised at how powerful they are at turning email subscribers into long-term clients.
Zubair Hussain Khan – a foodie by choice and tech enthusiast by profession. He loves to get his hands into modern technology trends and share the knowledge with everyone. He is currently working fulltime for Reviewsed.com. Aside of the work life, Zubair loves to travel new places and explore nature, food is still his first love though!