Telling your email audience about how great your product can be is nice, but plenty of customers can’t help but receive this self-endorsement with a healthy dose of skepticism. Fortunately, there’s no rule in the world of email marketing that says the only voice allowed in your inbox content is your own. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the role social proof can play in your content creation, as well as how best to leverage the power held within this exceptional tool.
What Counts as Social Proof?
Before digging into the particulars of how to incorporate social proof into your next piece of winning email content, it’s a good idea to ensure that we’re all on the same page when it comes to what exactly constitutes this practice. To help out on this front, TechCrunch’s Aileen Lee offers up a comprehensive look at the evolution of social proof in the modern digital marketplace.
From a big picture perspective, Lee explains that social proof is the psychological tendency of consumers to view the actions and decisions of others as the appropriate response to a given situation or choice. For instance, if a consumer sees that a friend or family member has purchased an item and posted about this acquisition on Facebook, he or she is more likely to consider that product worthy of consideration later on down the road.
As far as the inbox goes, social proof can come in many forms. Testimonials, embedded tweets, and even excerpts or interviews from social events and gatherings all fit this billing. The main point is that whatever kind of social proof ends up in front of your email contact list members, it has to offer up meaningful insight and avoid the pitfalls of coming off as too “salesy.”
Why This Inclusion Makes Such a Big Difference
Of course, if you’re already running a successful email marketing campaign, chances are that switching things up and adding social proof to your repertoire of outreach tactics seems like a risk that’s not exactly worth taking. However, as Sasha Seddon of Business 2 Community points out, there’s plenty of reasons why social proof deserves a spot in your next marketed message.
To start, the notion of social proof is so much more than a simple marketing buzzword. Although humanity has made great evolutionary strides, Seddon notes that the continued existence of mirror neurons in our basic neurological anatomy ensures that the desire to follow along with others as part of a “monkey see, monkey do” tendency is alive and well in modern society.
Aside from deep-seated psychological implications, there’s also the reality that properly implemented social proof flat out boosts the return on your investment (ROI) when it comes to email marketing. In fact, The Wall Street Journal’s Stephanie Simon reports that this tactic has shown to be considerably more effective than financial incentive and other sales tactics when it comes to nudging buyers in the right direction.
Making the Most of the Potential Found Within Social Proof
So now that we’ve established the need for social proof in your inbox content, it’s time to talk about the best ways to gather and share this valuable content. To kick off this part of the discussion, it’s important that you receive permission to use the words of these satisfied customers before you go any farther. The last thing you want to have to do is send out a retraction or apology when word starts making the rounds on social media that your brand incorporates customer reviews and recommendations into emails without asking for permission first.
Once you’ve gotten the all clear to start processing this content, take a moment consider the best conduit for spreading your message. Does your audience respond best to Twitter, Facebook, or other social posts? What about more formal testimonials and reviews? Leaning on the insight held within your consumer data can help you make the right choice when it comes to the type of social proof to include in your inbox content.
In terms of the actual message of this social proof, it’s best to let these satisfied customers speak in their own words. By avoiding the desire to “coach up” respondents, you can generate an accurate and honest reflection of your services; something that potential customers simply adore. If you can take this tactic and combine it with the rest of what you’ve learned here, then there’s no reason why your next run of email content can’t get a massive boost in reach and visibility thanks to the power held within social proof.