When someone talks about how great they are, you tend not to believe it. And you might just perceive that person as arrogant. But when your friend gushes about how great someone is, you’ll probably listen. (Unless you’re my friend Andy, who still thinks Adam Lambert’s music is garbage, no matter how much I insist otherwise!)
When you’re trying to get a prospect to take action on a landing page, whether it’s to schedule an appointment or fill out a download form for an eBook, it’s not enough to say “It’s great!” You have to offer up some proof.
Social proof is "the concept that people will conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior." If you can integrate believable social proof into your landing pages, you’ll increase your conversions exponentially. Here are three ways you can do that.
1. Customer Testimonials
Customer testimonials are one of the best and easiest ways to add social proof to your pages, and they're valuable for all types of landing pages. Your testimonials can share the results you got for a client, the customer experience, or what the person learned in an eBook or other downloadable.
To collect your testimonials, make it easy for your customers. You can write out what you want a testimonial to say, and simply ask a customer to write a similar testimonial (or just use the one you wrote). Or you can ask customers to jot down a few sentences answering a couple of questions (like how they liked the experience of working with you and what results they saw).
You need two components to make testimonials credible: specific details about how you helped (rather than a generic “This changed my life!”) and proof that the person is real, such as a photo, name, company, and job title.
2. Case Studies
Case studies are testimonials on steroids. They go into detail about the problem experienced by the customer, what he or she had tried in the past that didn’t work, the solution you provided, and the results the customer saw. Case studies take some time to put together, but they are convincing because they go into so much detail. Also, prospects can envision themselves in the case study if they’re experiencing the same problems, and can see what your solution would do for them.
Full case studies are primarily used on product or service landing pages, but on premium content landing pages you can use condensed versions that focus on how a piece of content helped.
3. Number of Users or Downloads
If prospects see that hundreds (or even dozens) of others are using your service or have downloaded your content, they’re more likely to think it’s valuable. You’ve probably seen blogs that say “Join [ some large number] subscribers” on their signup forms, but you can use this concept on all types of lead gen forms. A caveat: If you only have a few subscribers so far, don't use this tactic because it will work in reverse—since not very many people are participating, prospects will think they shouldn't either.
There are myriad unproven and untrue claims online. Social proof is a powerful tool to help you convince prospects of your credibility.