We mentioned recently the advantages of social proof in convincing your subscribers to complete. There’s nothing quite as convincing as wondering why, if everyone is doing something, you are left out. We highlighted six general headings. This alone is not enough; like everything else in email marketing you need to target.
For instance, one of the headings was Expert, but just pulling some passing doctor in off the street to endorse the medical efficacy of a particular product isn’t going to do much for your completion figures. We need someone your subscribers can relate to. This is where returns from your email marketing campaigns will come into their own as you will need to look for somebody whom they respect and, more importantly, trust.
Social proof is one of the few cases where thinking laterally is not as beneficial as you might think. By all means be different from your competitors, but in essence there are just two requirements: that your subscribers trust them, and they are value for money. The mercenary aspect is probably the most important. There’s no point in picking the leader in the field if it means a significant increase in price.
Let’s assume the subject of your next campaign will be a fabulously healthy smoothie that’s remarkably, and provably, beneficial for those into weight training. What could be better than an endorsement from a fabulously healthy personal trainer? However, you can go one up on the believability scale. It would appear that many people who are trying to get significantly fitter will have a closer relationship to their physiotherapist. That’s my experience anyway. They tend to bring relief rather than pain.
It’s difficult to know whether reviews are trusted. The simple star-rating method is certainly treated as something that is expected but we need to go a fair bit deeper. As mentioned last time, recommendation of friends is highly convincing but it can be just as good to highlight those reviews from people in the same demographic as those on your split email marketing list.
Saying that 67% of those who purchased an item gave a good or excellent review when questioned is not overwhelmingly convincing. However, if you split your email marketing list by location, even if the figures are slightly worse, and say 64% of people who live in ‘your town’ thought it was good or excellent, you’re sharpening the targeting arrow. Now we’re getting personal.
The same method can be used with regards to someone famous. They don’t even have to be very famous, only well known in the area where the subscribers to a particular list live or work. They will know them. They will relate to them. They will be convinced by them. There’s no need to limit ‘famous’ to, for instance, the top 100 soap stars.
When targeting an email marketing list, you need to bear in mind the nature of your subscribers: who do they trust, who do they believe and relate to. These are the questions you need to answer. Crack that, and social proof becomes very much a doddle.