Why you need “social proof”

Over 70% of Americans say they look at product reviews before making a purchase.

Nearly 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews. (Kissmetrics)

Star Rating

Want more sales, registrations, subscribers, donations, volunteers?

Get on the “social proof” train.

Oh, and if you think because you’re a big-brand company or nonprofit, you don’t need social proof?

Think again.

Even Apple, with a $700 billion valuation, relies on both “social proof” together with “urgency/scarcity” with every single product release.

Next week, we’ll talk “urgency/scarcity” but I’m so excited for today’s post because I have a super-great tool for you to use to boost your “social proof” right away.

Social Proof

Social proof isn’t theory. It’s back by science.

But you don’t need to read science to know this is true.

Just think about your own buying habits and you’ll realize how sub-consciously you rely on “social proof” when making buying decisions.

What is “social proof?”

  • Star ratings and reviews – think Amazon or TripAdvisor
  • Testimonials – usually quotes and pictures of the person behind the testimonial
  • Trust logos – if you’ve got Verisign, BBB, certification logos, award logos, put these on your commerce pages, right now
  • “As seen in” logos of media appearances (Forbes, NBC, CBS, CNN, etc) – if you’ve got these, put them on your “About Page” or even homepage, depending on your business or nonprofit, right now
  • “Wisdom of the crowds” (Just last week 5,622 people signed up for Basecamp or “Join 85,000 other national park supporters…”) – especially relevant to nonprofit organizations, or for subscriptions

You can supercharge your conversion by using at least two or more of these social proof strategies.

That’s right.

Implement as many of these as you can and watch your conversion rates soar.


“Social proof” is that powerful.

The more social proof you have, the more customers, clients, or donors you’ll get with a lot less struggle.

Trust me, you’ll wonder “what happened?”

What happened is a proven psychological phenomenon that we all experience.

How to get “social proof” painlessly

If you sell a product you can get star ratings by a simply asking people to rate your product, or if you’re really saavy, you’ll send them a free sample to rate your product.

But what if you provide services?

What if you’re a nonprofit?

You need authentic testimonials.

It feels awkward to ask for testimonials, doesn’t it?

It’s a big hassle to ask for them.

Here’s how to make it easier…

After every event, fundraising campaign, sale, post, client engagement, ANYTHING you do, send the following email to make is super easy to get a quote.

Be sure to send within 48 hours of product buy, service completion, special event — when you’re still relevant to your donor, volunteer, customer, or client.

Don’t send this email too soon, or you’ll get bad reviews, no reviews, and come across as desperate.

Any later than 48 hours and you begin to lose relevancy and your response rates drop.

Subject line: Quote about [your product, your volunteer experience, your services]

Quote about our service

Sample questions for your survey

Ask no more than 5 questions of these

  • How did you first hear about us?
  • What would you say to your best friend, spouse, or colleague about <<your service, product>>
  • What inspired you to first <<buy, subscribe, donate, look for>>
  • What really worked or “clicked” for you about <<product, service, program, event>>
  • What was missing? Or what could we have done better?
  • What else would you like us to provide?
  • How likely are you to recommend <<product, service, program, event>> to someone else?

Here it is in action…

Dear You!

Thank you for reading my blog. My goal always is to exceed your expectations be a wildly inspiring and useful resource to you. To that end, I would genuinely appreciate personally hearing your comments about this blog.

Please Provide Your Feedback

Your comments are very important to me. Thank you for taking the time to give me feedback.

I know you’re a busy person and I really value your time.

Warm regards,

Mandy O’Neill

P.S. As a thank-you for answering 5 short questions, here’s a link to one of my most popular resources: 15 Free or Low Prices Tools to Help Your Email Campaigns Get Better Results

Wrap it up nicely

Once you’ve got raw testimonials in your survey form, you can slightly edit and ask the person giving you their “quote” if you can use it on your website or in marketing materials.

Ideally, you’ll get a photo from them to go with it. A photo makes the quote more powerful, but you can use a quote without an image.

If a “reviewer” posts on social media, spontaneously or at your request, and take a snapshot of that. A snapshot of comments people post on social media is very powerful social proof.

Finally, if the quote is good, but anonymous, you can still use it with big quotation marks and another designation for the source, such as: blog reader, student, 2015 marathon participant

Go get some social proof!