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Improve your email click-through rate using these 5 types of social proof (Part 2)

Using social proof in any form of communication with your clients and prospects can be beneficial as we saw last week in part 1 of our this series. But now the question you may be asking is – how can I use it to the best of my advantage? and what should I avoid and what should I spend more time working on?

Here are a few pointers…


Tips for using social proof effectively

Before you start implementing social proof in your email campaigns, let’s look at some best practices for doing so as not all forms of social proof are created equal and getting it wrong can actually hurt conversions.


Be careful of negative social proof

Wording is everything when it comes to social proof, and it’s easier than you think to get wrong. In a research study conducted at Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, researchers tested a number of different signs to try and discourage people stealing wood from the forest.

One of the signs read: Many past visitors have removed the petrified wood from the park, destroying the natural state of the Petrified Forest.

Even though the sign points out the damage that theft is doing to the forest, when this sign was up the amount of theft tripled. Why? Because by telling people that many visitors before them had stolen wood from the park, they were showing people this action was a common activity being undertaken by others, effectively making the bad behaviour more acceptable in people’s minds.

So if you are going to use social proof in your email marketing, the key is making sure you are saying that majority of people took the action you want them to take, not the action you don’t them to take.


Personalize your testimonials to increase credibility 

While testimonials remain a great way to increase conversions in your email campaigns, it’s unfortunate that some less credible marketers than yourself have used testimonials liberally. As a result, people have become less trusting of them, knowing that it’s pretty easy to simply make them up, or quote friends or colleagues saying great things about your product.

To overcome this, make sure you accompany your testimonials with details about the customer, such as their full name, position, company and even a photo.

Freshbooks use of a testimonial in their email is a perfect example of this. 

Rather than just including a quote from ‘Rudyard M’ they go all in, including his full name, position, company name and even his image. This reassures people it’s from a real person, and adds a level of credibility to the testimonial that makes it more effective at driving conversion.


Avoid displaying small amounts of social proof

While social proof is useful, you don’t want to start using it until you have something to show off. InVision’s use of their customer number in their email campaigns works because it’s a large number, and triggers people’s fear that they may be missing out on opportunities or benefits that hundreds of thousands of other designers are receiving.

However, if they only had five customers then showcasing that number would likely achieve the exact opposite effect. It would show potential customers that not many other designers are using this product, and that it’s probably not worth their time exploring.


Wrap up

Social proof isn’t just a marketing tactic, it’s a fundamental driver of human behaviour and genuinely influences how people decide to act. By incorporating the tips in this post, you can leverage social proof to increase your email click-through rate and drive sales.

Do you use social proof in your email marketing campaigns? What type and how has it worked for you? Share your story in the comments!


Check out last week’s blog to read more about what social proof is and 5 great ways to use it. 



By: Aaron Beashel

Source: Campaign Monitor




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