Here’s a fun social experiment: When one person gazed at the sky in the middle of a busy street in NY, 4% of the onlookers looked up. When repeated with five people looking up, 18% of the people did the same.
Now is when it gets interesting.
When repeated with 15 people, 40% of passersby did what professionals in the scientific community call: “Monkey see. Monkey do.”
Cialdini’s research cites another interesting experiment: Showing people a list of neighbors who had donated to a charity led to a significant increase in the number of people who donated.
The bigger the list, the more people donated.
What’s Social Proof?
Social proof is a judgement heuristic, a mental shortcut, we use to simplify our decision making.
When uncertain about something, we place an enormous amount of trust in the collective knowledge of those similar to us. We’ll use their actions to decide on our behaviors.
How to use it
We often use social proof, like including reviews, ratings, and testimonials, to influence customer behavior and drive sales. Showing other people are satisfied with your products can increase the perceived value of what you sell and encourage customers to make the purchase.
Here are some ways you can use social proof in your email campaigns:
- Highlight your best reviews/social media mentions to subscribers who have not ordered anything yet
- Showcase reviews to customers who have not bought a specific product or from a collection
- Use reviews in your abandoned cart emails and cross-sell emails
- Send “running out of stock” campaigns to let shoppers know that a lot of people have been buying a specific product
- Share success stories from customers who have achieved specific goals using your products
- Adding a trending/best-seller tag to product images in your emails
- Display trust badges
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