4 Ways to Use Social Proof in Email Marketing

While there might be millions of ways to sell a product or service, there’s perhaps nothing more important than social proof when it comes to making sure that potential prospects take your pitch seriously. 

Think about it: you could have the best product on the market or be miles ahead of your competitors in terms of customer service and satisfaction, but what’s it worth if you can’t prove it?

What is Social Proof?

In short, social proof represents the concept that value is socially constructed. For example, if a particular restaurant is crowded with customers with a line out the door, the assumption is that they serve some pretty good food, right? Likewise, if Apple can’t keep their phones or watches on the shelves, what does that say about their brand?

They’re desirable. They’re worth it.

So, what’s the link between social proof and email marketing? For starters, social proof aid in the following aspects of marketing messages:

  • Break down the trust barrier between yourself and your readers to improve open rates.
  • Make your messages seem more valuable and therefore click-worthy versus spammy competition.
  • Demonstrate that your brand is ultimately trustworthy and worth the time of your busy readers.

But the question remains: how can you leverage social proof via email? 

#1 – Use Social Proof in the Opt-In Form

I used to subscribe to any email list that grabbed my interest. After spending years wading through the backlog of unwanted emails, I’ve become a lot pickier.

Now, I need a little convincing to sign up for a list.

Social Media Examiner knows how to give the nudge that people like me need.

social media examiner opt-in

If you’re like me, the fact that over 255,000 people have joined a list is reason enough to sign up.

I have to know why all of those people are on that particular list.

You might not have a quarter of a million subscribers, but you have some other form of social proof you can use on your opt-in form.

Look at your social assets and use them to attract people to your list. Then, watch your list grow.

Need some help getting your opt-in page ready to roll? Check out Sendlane’s opt-in page builder.

#2 – Use Customer Reviews to Build Excitement

The best advertising you can achieve for your business comes from others (and not yourself)..

Reviews and testimonials are an incredibly potent form of social proof that any business can leverage, granted you have some satisfied customers on deck. 

But how can you integrate such feedback into your emails? Consider any combination of the following:

  • Tell a customers’ story: If you have a compelling story of a customer who saw spectacular returns from your service, use such a story to build a stronger connection with your readership.
  • If you’re a local business, include some snippets of positive reviews from local sites such as Yelp or TripAdvisor.
  • Use quotes from customers as subject lines to grab the attention of unsuspecting readers and give your business a more “human” vibe. (“She Told Us We Saved Her Business. We Couldn’t Believe It.”)

TripAdvisor is one of the best companies when it comes to putting reviews right inside of their email campaigns.

trip advisor reviews

The travel site lists hotels and activities that it thinks you’re interested in, and then puts ratings and customer reviews next to the item.

If I see something with a five-star rating and a positive review, I’m going to click on it to learn more. Your customers will likely do the same.

#3 – Leverage Numbers & Statistics

Surveys are one of my favorite components of any type of marketing campaign, but I really love it when people deliver the goods right to my inbox.

When this is done correctly, it’s an excellent form of social proof.

Just look at what Revolution did. The company sent out a survey, got the results, and let everyone know that 94% of its customers would recommend their tea to a friend.

revolution email example

So now I have an email that tells me that almost everyone would recommend the tea to their friends, and I have a coupon to get 10% off my order. I’m suddenly thirsty for some tea….

So, what sort of numbers can you leverage to show that your brand is up to snuff? Consider any combination of the following:

  • Significant engagement or followers on social media: Although “Likes” may not be what they used to be, mentioning your thousands of daily readers or subscribers is a solid starting point.
  • Case studies show that you’re an influencer that’s been in the trenches of your industry: As an added bonus, consider a case study that shows how valuable your product is. For example, you can note that 56% of your customers saw positive returns in just two weeks from your service.
  • Mentions of cash and dollar amounts will always draw attention: If you can mention how much money you saved someone in dollars and cents, go for it.

#4 – Let Them Know You’re Legit

Perhaps one of the best ways to stand apart from the crowd and show your business’ social value is by harnessing the power of someone else‘s name.

For example, if you have clients with name recognition (big players in your space, national brands) or have content published on buzzworthy blogs, flaunt such influencers in your email signatures in the form of an “as-seen-in” blurb.

Such a subtle touch can be used to strengthen your email signatures and represent a way to let first-time readers know that you’re a legitimate brand.

news icons

Leveraging social proof is a must-do for brands looking to stand tall over competitors and build trust amongst their busy base of readers.

Looking to get your business in front of more eyes and become a bigger player in your space? Start your free trial with Sendlane today!

What social proof strategies have you used in your own email marketing? Let use know in the comments!

Kristen Dahlberg

Content Manager at Sendlane
As a member of the Sendlane content marketing team, Kristen focuses on everything from organization to content curation and process improvement. She enjoys variety and the challenge of learning the best way to accomplish each new goal.

Outside of work, Kristen spends as much time as possible at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sunshine!

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