13 Effective Ways to Incorporate Social Proof In Your Ecommerce Emails (with Examples)

Get ahead with ecommerce marketing resources and trends

Receive exclusive ecommerce marketing swipe files and resources in your inbox every two weeks. Join 10k+ subscribers.
★★★★★ "The only newsletter I'm forwarding every time."

Table of Contents

  • What is social proof?
  • Why is social proof important in ecommerce email marketing?
  • How to Leverage Social Proof to Enhance Email Marketing: 13 Creative Ways

    * Social Proof from Customers
    - Promote your bestsellers
    - Show customer favorites
    - Use numbers to show popularity
    - Feature customer reviews
    - Include user-generated content

    * Social Proof from Renowned Figures
    - Spotlight celebrity and expert endorsements
    - Try influencer marketing
    - Partner with reputable brands and organizations
    - Emphasize press mentions
    - Flaunt your awards and nominations

    * Social Proof from Your Brand
    - Publish case studies
    - Share company milestones
    - Slap on social proof in your email signature
  • Wrapping Up

What is social proof?

Marketers are aware of how people are inclined to follow the wisdom of the crowd. Social proof taps into this tendency by supporting your brand’s claims with what others say about you. 

The author and business psychology expert Robert Cialdini explains social proof best:

“Social proof is the psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions reflect the correct behavior.”

In other words, social proof is a phenomenon where people take cues from others on how to act. We’re persuaded by what the majority of people do or believe. The more people endorse or buy from a brand, the more likely we are to perceive the brand positively. 

In marketing, people use social proof to influence their target audience’s buying decisions and make them more likely to purchase. 

Why is it important in ecommerce email marketing?

Social proof is essential for ecommerce brands and has several benefits. 

First, it helps you build trust and credibility with your market. Since people copy what others do, they’ll feel safer buying from you if they see other people doing the same. 

Secondly, social proof is an excellent way to leverage FOMO (fear of missing out) in potential customers. When they see how a product or service works for others, they’re likely to want to experience that firsthand and receive the benefits, too. 

Lastly, social proof removes the friction that holds customers back from purchasing. The friction can involve doubts about the product or even misconceptions or objections about what the product can or cannot do. 

Hearing from others who’ve bought from you will alleviate their doubts and concerns, increasing the likelihood of a sale.

How to Leverage Social Proof to Enhance Email Marketing: 13 Creative Ways

There are several ways to use social proof in your ecommerce emails. We’ve divided them into three categories: social proof from customers, other brands, and you. Let’s take a look at each category.

Social Proof from Customers

1. Promote your bestsellers

One of the easiest ways to use social proof in emails is to notify your subscribers about your bestselling products. 

This can trigger FOMO in readers and pique their curiosity. Bestsellers sell well for a reason, right? Your target audience will be more interested in buying to figure out what the buzz is about. 

Take inspiration from Lululemon’s emails. 

They use the subject line “Bestsellers for a better practice”. In the email itself, they feature models wearing their bestsellers in high-quality photos and keep the text minimal to help highlight the products.

The copy mentions the benefits of their yoga pants and bras and CTA buttons are distributed throughout the email. This is a simple but great example of a bestseller promotion email.

2. Show customer favorites

In the same vein as the previous tip, consider researching which products your customers like best and showcasing them in a collection tagged as customer favorites. It’s an excellent form of social proof that enriches trust because it comes from the experiences of real customers. 

How do you execute this? 

Look no further than this email by lifestyle brand Italic. Here, they show two items customers love and include a short quote from the customer about why they love the product. 

The heading also says “Scent-sational favorites” which introduces the items as customer picks. 

Even though only two products are highlighted, the email works because they are backed by what the customers are saying about the product, plus the photos showcase the product and what it will look like in the home.

3. Use numbers to show popularity

Numbers can’t be argued with. It’s a concrete form of social proof that demonstrates through figures how popular a product is or how many customers you have. 

This approach shows people’s trust in your brand, which is better than just telling them that you’re a trustworthy business that they can feel at ease buying from. 

Take this email from Boll & Branch as an example. 

The subject line says: “11,000 customers agree these sheets are worth it”. To support this, in the email, they say that they have more than 11,000 five-star reviews. 

They show three reviews from verified customers and end with a CTA button to lead the reader to their website. The email demonstrates their credibility as a brand in just a few words.

4. Feature customer reviews

Persuade your prospective customers by featuring reviews from happy customers. 

Reviews are used by almost all brands in their emails because it works. It reassures the potential buyer and puts your brand in a good light. 

Use this type of social proof strategically by picking reviews that will quell hesitations a prospect might have with your product. The reviews have to be relevant and address your ideal customer's issues and pain points. 

Paravel does this to perfection in an email titled “Customer-approved travel essentials”. 

The reviews in the email are brief but target a variety of personas. They feature one product per review and attach the review and the customer’s name.

One review is aimed at people who are looking for thoughtful gifts for their loved ones. Another review shows a use case for their packing cubes (fitting lots of things in a tiny weekender bag). The last one proclaims that the customer has found the perfect beach bag and mentions that sand doesn’t stick to it. 

Do the same in your emails and your readers will be more willing to try out your products.

5. Include user-generated content

Show how your customers are using your products through user-generated content. 

UGC is a major influence on people’s shopping decisions so an email newsletter without it is leaving a lot on the table. This content is more powerful than reviews because images and videos speak louder than words and can’t be faked easily. 

Scour social media for mentions of your brand and see if any video or photo posts come up. You can also ask for submissions and perhaps add an incentive for the best post. 

The hot sauce brand Truff uses UGC from a Tiktok user who used their sauce for a pasta night to mark the end of her college career. They include a screenshot and a link that leads to the video so readers can view it. 

Social Proof from Renowned Figures

6. Spotlight celebrity and expert endorsements

Another classic form of social proof is having endorsements from notable figures such as celebrities, athletes, thought leaders, critics, and experts. 

These people’s opinions are respected and have a wider reach and impact than that of the average person. 

A great example of how to pull this off naturally is collaborating with the celebrity and featuring their product picks from your collection. 

Take a look at how Glossier executes this with their campaign with the model and creative director Sofia Richie Grainge.  

They highlight an “edit” comprising Sofia’s favorite products and insert a quote from Sofia and descriptions for each product she recommends. A photo of the celebrity accompanies the edit and shows her wearing the products. 

7. Try influencer marketing

In these times, influencers often have more sway over people’s buying decisions than celebrities. Influencers present a great avenue for social proof thanks to their engaged and often huge follower base. 

Even a snapshot of an influencer trying or wearing your product will have people’s attention and convince them to try out your brand. 

Rebecca Minkoff sends out an email titled “Just Spotted on Your Favorite Influencers” and includes pictures of the bag worn by different influencers, followed by Shop Now buttons. 

The email is also collaged with photos of the bags they offer with the heading “Shop the bags that are blowing up on social,” which taps into FOMO that spurs readers to buy.

8. Partner with reputable brands and organizations

Brands and influencers love collaborations for a reason. It’s a great way to tap into each other’s audiences and expand each brand’s reach. 

Associating with organizations and brands with good reputations is a plus for your business, too. It will allow you to borrow authority from that brand or organization. 

Here, the makeup brand Saie teamed up with rePurpose Global, a leading plastic action platform, on World Oceans Day. They even use numbers to demonstrate the impact they both made (collected 15 million kilograms of plastic waste). 

It’s a wise move on Saie’s part to include this in its email marketing. Customers will be attracted to their sustainability efforts and their products will be more marketable as a result. 

9. Emphasize press mentions

Press or media mentions hold a lot of weight for consumers because these publications are trusted and credible sources of information. They are also more likely to be unbiased because it has no direct association with consumer brands. 

These mentions can be from articles, interviews, podcasts, popular blogs, social media, television, magazines, and newspapers. If possible, try to get your brand featured in the press and highlight the shoutout in your emails. 

The skincare brand FaceTory has been recognized by Vogue, Forbes, The Cut, and Today and it strategically leverages these press mentions in this email. 

They lead with the copy “As seen in…” and then list what experts from these publications think about FaceTory’s bestsellers.  

10. Flaunt your awards and nominations

Aside from press mentions, make sure to highlight any awards or nominations your brand has received. 

It’s good to toot your own horn sometimes and you deserve it because you put in the efforts that secured you that recognition. Add logos or badges to your email campaigns and it’s sure to impress potential customers and pique their interest. 

Burrow, the furniture brand, crafts a tongue-in-cheek email to show off their award. 

It leads with “We don’t mean to brag, but…” and then goes on to mention that they were awarded by Time Magazine for Best Invention, among other recognitions. 

They don’t stop there, though. They treat their subscribers to a 20 percent discount and outline the benefits of their award-winning product. 

Social Proof from Your Brand

11. Publish case studies

For B2C brands, case studies can come in the form of before-and-after pictures showing the remarkable results your customers have enjoyed through your products. 

Like numbers, case studies are an undeniable way to show that your products are worth a look. 

This is an example from Gleamin, a skincare brand. In this email, they feature before-and-after photos of real customer results and entice the reader by asking “Will you be next?”

12. Share company milestones

Don’t forget to celebrate important events in your company’s history. Your milestones shouldn’t be taken lightly so why not include them in your emails? Your products will seem more desirable because of these achievements. 

Of course, always be grateful to the people who’ve made those milestones happen: your customers.

Cowboy is an electric bike company that has celebrated their company milestone of 100 million kilometers by announcing it in their newsletter. 

Their subject line says “Celebrate our biggest ride milestone yet”. They keep the email engaging through impressive figures, a minimalist layout, and creative illustrations.

13. Slap on social proof in your email signature

An underrated way to incorporate social proof is by attaching it to your email signatures.

Make sure to always end your email with content that lets your readers know your brand is trusted and credible. This could be a small logo or text. It doesn’t have to be fancy.

Take notes from the jewelry brand Aurate, which includes a “Featured in” section at the bottom of their emails. They show publications that have recognized the brand but they do it subtly. 

The signature is an underutilized part of an email so get creative and make the most out of it!

Social Proof: The Secret Sauce of Effective Email Campaigns

We’ve covered the different ways your brand can integrate social proof in your emails. This social proof can come from customers, from reputable figures, and from your brand. 

When done well, social proof can motivate your audience to buy and instill trust in your business. We hope this list gave you actionable ideas that you can get started with on your next email campaign. 

With Panoramata, track brands in one single platform

Finally monitor automatically your e-commerce competitors' digital marketing strategy and access unlimited inspiration. Go beyond their social networks to track your competitors: newsletters, flows, ads, landing pages, SMS, tech stack and much more. Save more than 20 hours/mo.
Get Started for Free

1 minute signup, no Credit Card required

mehdi, founder of panoramata
Book Demo with Mehdi

Schedule a time

★★★★★

"I feel like I'm saving a day a week.
I don't miss anything anymore."
★★★★★

"It's crazy good, it's my own Pinterest x Emails x Ads Libraries"
★★★★★

"It's way easier to plan any big campaign like Black Friday."

My name's Mehdi, I'm the founder. See how Panoramata works:

What our customers say

Join 1,000+ brands and ecommerce agencies & start tracking your competitors instantly in one place.
"I wish I knew this existed before"
"Best investment so far"
"Incredible benchmarks"
"Got
5 wow moments
instantly!"
"I'm saving a day a week"
"I wish I knew this existed before"
"Best investment so far"
"Incredible benchmarks"
"Got
5 wow moments
instantly!"
"I'm saving a day a week"
"It's
Ads Libraries x Email Marketing x Pinterest
, all in one"
"It's been a lifesaver"
"Just filled my todo with
awesome ideas
in 5'"
"I know
what my competitors are doing
in 30s"
"We offer much more value to our clients"
"It's
Ads Libraries x Email Marketing x Pinterest
, all in one"
"It's been a lifesaver"
"Just filled my todo with
awesome ideas
in 5'"
"I know
what my competitors are doing
in 30s"
"We offer much more value to our clients"
"Saves me hours!"
"It's incredible
how much things I learned
on competitors"
"I can see it had been built for me"
"It's so easy to
find the perfect example
"
"I feel so much better"
"Saves me hours!"
"It's incredible
how much things I learned
on competitors"
"I can see it had been built for me"
"It's so easy to
find the perfect example
"
"I feel so much better"