10 Ways to Social Proof Your Business Website and Email Marketing
We’ve previously talked about the power of social proof to drive sales and build a following, but you may still be wondering – how exactly can I manifest this power in my digital strategy?
Today we will be looking at concrete ways to integrate social proof into your website and into your email marketing campaigns. Your website represents a major platform to flex your muscles and allow your B2B customers to gain confidence in your services.
First, let’s recap exactly what social proof is: a psychological phenomenon that says we are hardwired to learn from the actions of others. In other words– it’s when we leverage peer pressure and people’s desire to conform to shape consumer’s opinions on products.
Have you ever gravitated towards the ‘best sellers’ menu? Have you ever not bought something because a friend told you it wasn’t worth it? That is social proof in action.
The question is – how can you harness social proof for your B2B marketing efforts?
Five Ways to Social Proof Your Website
Your website teems with areas to build trust in your brand and increase sales, and you don’t have to wait for a celebrity endorsement to come around to capitalize on social proof.
- If you’ve served well-known brands, received press, or have expert certifications – let your visitors know. If you cater to a well-known brand, this will act as an expert’s stamp of approval. On a similar level, if you have received any press, be sure to create a “Press” or “News” page to allow your visitors to know that your business has received accolades from a trustworthy source. If you sell a product that might benefit from certifications – such as those relating to safety, quality or purity – create a badge and flash it to your customers. Third-party approval for certain products or services can be a powerful tool of persuasion.
- Use your numbers to your advantage. You may not want to boast about your success – but posting your sales numbers can be a convincing way to prove that your product has been bought many times before. If your sales numbers aren’t eye-popping, advertise the number of clients or customers you serve, or highlight the average review your product or service receives. Numbers matter, especially in the B2B world, so be sure to insert them into homepage sliders or somewhere above the fold.
- Reconfigure your product menu bar to advertise for ‘most popular’ or ‘featured’ products. This provides guidance and inspiration for your visitors, but it also taps into the human urge to follow the pack and purchase what’s most popular.
- Don’t wait for customer reviews – ask for them directly. Study after study shows that consumers trust user reviews, and on average they will read 10 online reviews before making a purchase decision. Requesting a review after a transaction has taken place and emailing your database to solicit reviews are great starting points to gather feedback. The important part here is simply asking for reviews – you may be surprised at how many replies you receive. Finally, once you do have reviews, respond to customer feedback. Whether the review is positive or negative, you should engage with the customer to show that you care about their input and you’re attempting to improve your offerings. Bonus tip – if possible, arrange video testimonials. They have proven to wildly impactful for sales. Production value doesn’t matter so much as participation. Not only does it prove that you have real customers, but it also implies a confidence that it’s worth investment from others too.
- Your customers trust their friends, and you can provide proof by inserting Facebook widgets into your site. When a user visits your domain and sees that a friend has liked your business, this resonates much more than a recommendation from a stranger.
Social Proof Your Email Marketing
Adding customer testimonials to product pages is not the only way to integrate social proof into your digital marketing strategy. Using social proof in your email marketing is an exceptional way to use every ounce of energy provided by social proof.
- First things first – integrate any awards, certifications, or important news or reviews into the template of your email. If your brand features certified organic products, make sure that certification becomes a permanent fixture in your communications. If your business is part of a collective or your sales numbers are impressive, build these facts into your templates and let them live there. This builds on top of whatever message you choose to communicate, and it will be noticed sooner or later.
- Curate emails that feature ‘top selling products’ or customer favorites. You can go a bit deeper by featuring the best-selling products of the season or month, and you can delineate products by ‘customer favorites’ or insert your own authority with an email subject line such as ‘our favorite products’.
- If you’ve been mentioned in the media, let your users know. People are inclined to believe what they see in the media because media channels carry a level of authority that’s unparalleled. Media approval – or celebrity spokespeople – can significantly impact consumer behavior. Don’t let your media spots go to waste – whether that’s newspaper, podcasts, or authoritative blogs.
- Use scarcity to your advantage. If you’re currently out of a product or service, explain that there is a long waitlist and that your clients should sign up now – or risk the chance of not being able to access the product. Your potential customers will feel the pinch of scarcity with the added push of pressure in believing that they won’t be able to get this popular product for a while.
- Abandoned webform emails with an incentive to purchase can woo customers back to your domain. You can include reviews with these emails to remind your prospects that your products have satisfied others in the past. However, throwing in an extra incentive like a discount – especially at this point in the funnel – could not hurt your chances of converting a prospect into a customer.
Beyond your website and email marketing, social proof can be applied to endless formats and mediums. Some choose to display credentials attached to an email signature, and some insert social proof into letterhead and taglines.
Integrating social proof often costs nothing and can significantly impact your standing and chances of conversion. Please contact us today to begin a discussion on how to build and sustain momentum using social proof in your digital marketing strategies!