We attend festivals with unfamiliar bands, put our names on month-long restaurant waiting lists and stand in line for hours just to get inside a bar. Even as adults, we are constantly experiencing FOMO – the fear of missing out. FOMO that something is going to happen that you wish you were a part of, so with little hesitation you join the crowd. The same social proof, or impulse, can be applied to email marketing.
First off, what is Social Proof?
An “informational social influence,” also known as Social Proof, stems from the idea that people’s actions are impacted on societal norms and peer perception. A person’s behavior mimics what they see as socially acceptable, which triggers a domino effect of engagement. Examples of Social Proof can be found in vastly different formats such as client testimonials and references to the amount of people already using a service. It can also be found in an invitation to “Join others just like you who’re benefitting from this!”
The inbox is full of social proof examples – Groupon uses statistics of how many purchases have already been made for an item; Zappos provides a star rating; Lumosity compels you to join the thousands of others already testing their brain power. It’s completely understandable to expect for subscribers to follow some sort of “leader” when making decisions and email marketing programs utilizing social proof see the greatest engagement and progress.
We used star ratings and player testimonials in a Top-Rated Gear campaign for our client Mizuno as a way to connect the promoted product with a real life rating. The performance spoke volumes as to how persuasive a “thumbs up” position can have on a user. The player testimonials provided instant authenticity beyond us just saying it’s a great product and allowed users connect with the brand at a deeper level. Validity isn’t always an easy feeling, but with star ratings and reviews we are making decisions that much easier.