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Not Getting Enough Conversions? Consider Using the Power Of Social Proof on Your Landing Pages

November 28, 2022

Contrary to what countless digital marketing blogs might have told you, there’s no secret formula to getting landing page conversions.

There’s no magic CTA button color, no single headline formula that works every time, no ideal lead capture form length, and no main page pattern consistently brings in landing page conversions.

Converting visitors to leads or customers on landing pages depends on whether you can persuade them to click your CTA button and fulfill the conversion goal. The conversion goal can vary depending on the page offer. It can be collecting registrants for a webinar, getting $1 reservations for your newly launched product, or obtaining free trial sign-ups.

The primary purpose of your landing components, including the headline, form, copy, and call to action button, is to convince visitors to convert.

There’s one specific landing page element that transforms leads into customers while sending a trust signal and establishing credibility for the page and, by extension, your brand—social proof.

This post will delve into everything you need to know about social proof, starting with what it’s, the qualities that make it effective, and ways to include it on your landing pages, highlighted by real page examples. In addition, this will help you use the cognitive bias on your pages to convince visitors to perform the page action.

Let’s begin.

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What is social proof?

Social proof is a cognitive bias and social phenomenon which dictates that people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behavior in any given situation.

The social proof theory stems from the human need to conform. Social proof is embedded deep into our evolutionary code—we crave other people’s opinions, so we always look for them.

It’s the same need sheep have to stay with the herd and why TikTok trends go viral, with millions of users imitating the same dance routines. This can lead to a snowball effect, by tapping into our desire to belong and connect, TikTok and other social media platforms have created a powerful tool for building communities and fostering engagement among their users.

It’s why Gwyneth Paltrow’s modern lifestyle brand Goop is still in business, despite widespread criticism for marketing harmful products and scientifically questionable treatments.

Psychologist Robert Cialdini first popularized the social proof theory in his 1984 book Influence. It’s one of six principles of persuasion, and according to Cialdini, the theory maintains that:  

“A person who does not know the proper behavior for a certain situation will look to others to imitate what they’re doing and provide guidance for his actions.”

Visitors who land on your page are probably unfamiliar with your brand and offer. They’re unsure whether to trust you with the information they’ve entered in the lead capture. Whether a visitor is going to purchase an expensive watch or subscribe to a virtual scribe service, social proof can help them feel confident about the commitment they’re about to make. Social proof helps visitors feel reassured about the commitment they’re about to make. When they see other people have had faith in your offering, they’re more confident about doing the same.

Social proof on your landing page translates into using positive customer experience to showcase why prospective customers should take advantage of your offering. For example, just because you’re offering a free trial doesn’t automatically translate into every page visitor taking up your offer.

Even though the trial is free and no money is involved, it’ll still require users to spend time and effort. You then need to persuade users that the free trial benefits them. Showcasing what other free trial users gained from your service is crucial to getting visitors to commit to your offer. Show testimonials and evidence to prospective customers that previous ones approve of your product/service and share reasons why.

How social proof works

The cognitive bias works on the following mechanisms.

  1. Uncertainty: Uncertainty fuels and feeds the mechanisms of social proof. When undecided individuals face an unfamiliar situation, they need to refer others for guidance.
  2. Similarity: Similarity motivates and intensifies the use of social proof. An indecisive visitor is likelier to adopt the behavior and attitudes of other people they best relate to. These include but aren’t limited to age, gender, occupation, and shared experiences and challenges. As an unwritten rule, people choose to do the same thing that others who are like them have done.
  3. Expertise. The impact of social proof becomes more authoritative when a person has a reputation for being exceptionally knowledgeable about a situation or slightly more familiar with the problem than the observer. We typically refer to these individuals as industry expert, or simply, an expert.
  4. Number. Social proof mechanisms work best when provided by numerous people’s behavior and actions. The more people agree with an idea; the more valid and accurate the concept becomes for an ambivalent visitor.  

Now that we’ve discussed what social proof is and why it works, let’s look at how to use it on your landing pages.

How you can use social proof on landing pages

There’s no “right” or “singular” way to include social proof on your landing page. You can feature it in all the methods described below, or choose the ones that best suit your offer and brand.

Customer reviews

Short quotes from satisfied customers can do wonders for your advertising conversions, so it’s no surprise that this is one of the more prevalent uses of positive social proof.

Northwestern University’s Spiegel Research Center analyzed ratings and reviewed data from an online retailer of expensive gifts to test the impact of customer reviews on conversion rates. Based on their analysis, conversion rates escalate rapidly as products begin displaying online reviews.

The purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270% greater than that of a product with no reviews.

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You can boost the credibility of customer stories by including a photo, name, company, job title, and quote. To optimize your page quotes, it’s best to add anecdotes that explain how your offer alleviated the customer’s pain and brought them joy.

Feature social reviews anywhere on the landing page and A/B test to see which placement works.

BenchmarkONE showcases a customer testimonial that discusses the exact results the customer achieved with their email marketing and CRM tool. This helps future clients envision similar results and increase the chances of opting in for the live demo.

Benchmarkone-testimonial

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Pluto features star ratings alongside each review to get new users to understand why they should buy a Pluto pillow. One positive review even talks about how the Sleep Cycle app picked up Pluto pillow’s efficacy.

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Customer counter

A customer counter works in the same principle as the herd behavior: People follow others instead of using their knowledge to make independent decisions. Most people go along with the crowd instead of paving the way themselves.  

When you include the number of customers you currently have on your landing page, it signals to visitors that people have already placed their trust in you. This positively influences their decision-making.

Intercom features page copy “Trusted by 25K+ customers” to signal new visitors that they will join a robust community when they decide to “view demo.”

Intercom-trusted-businesses

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Customer badges

Customer logos help establish credibility for the same reason celebrity endorsements and influencer marketing do. Using well-known brand logos amplifies the persuasion effect.  

People generally have a positive association with well-known brands. When they see that those big brands are using your service, people are more likely to view your brand more positively.

Smartsheet’s landing page features LEGO, P&G, Pfizer, NASA, and American Express logos.  

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Sendinblue uses customer badges from renowned brands such as BMW, MICHELIN, and Amnesty International to show customers that big brands choose the email marketing software over their main competitors.

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Reviews from other sites

Third-party reviews work for two reasons. First, they’re objective. Instead of singing your company’s praises, an independent brand or review site agrees that you can fulfill your promises. The second is another example of the intuitive herding mentality. When other brands rate you favorably, it helps future customers realize the value in your product or offer, which leads them to click the CTA button.

Jasper, the AI writing tool, uses user reviews and ratings from credible review websites like Capterra, G2 Crowd, and Trust Pilot to inform customers how successful their tool is for marketers, writers, and entrepreneurs.  

Jasper-social-proof

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Toggl, an easy powerful time tracking tool, uses Top Rated and Top 100 badges from G2 crowd and a “Software Leader” award from Crozdesk on the page along with the user count five million+ who use the tool to track their tasks.  

Togl-track-social-proof

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Trust seals

Visitors feel reassured about filling out landing page forms when they know the company they’re submitting their information to won’t use it for purposes other than what they promised.

Think of trust badges as website security seals of approval. Common trust seals include SSL certificates, VeriSign Trusted seals, safe checkout badges, Norton, and payment logos like Visa or Mastercard.

Another way to encourage visitors to enter their data on your landing page form is to add a link to your privacy policy on the page. The policy should detail how you plan to use their information and specify that you won’t sell their data to other websites or advertisers.

Press reviews

Press reviews are an excellent way to inject credibility into your landing page and kick in the benefits of social proof. When users come to a page and see favorable press reviews, they feel more confident about the efficacy and advantages of the product/service and are more likely to click the call to action button. You can even add them into your press release templates.

Curie, the all-natural deodorant stick brand, features press reviews by Allure, InStyle, and Well + Good to showcase to new users why they should use Curie and what the deodorant stick smells like.  

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Pluto pillow uses press reviews from Fast Company, Wall Street Journal, Cnet, and Futurism to explain why they need the customizable pillow to get the perfect night’s sleep.

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Use social proof to create high-converting landing pages and drive more conversions

Creating high-converting landing pages involves more than throwing a bunch of elements on a page, hoping visitors will find it relevant and click the CTA button.

The process requires optimizing every page element and connecting the audience with narratives that persuade them to convert. Social proof helps you do both—it forms a connection with your audience with relevant records.

Social proof helps establish credibility for your offer and, by extension, your brand. By adding positive social proof elements to your landing page, including customer reviews, quotes, badges, counters, third-party reviews, and trust seals you signal to new visitors coming to the page that customers who have used your product have found it valuable and beneficial.

Converting your visitors is all about getting them excited about the offer and trusting your brand—social proof accomplishes both of these, making it more likely for you to get conversions.

Fahad Muhammad
Fahad is a Content Writer at Instapage and has been writing about landing pages, advertising trends, and personalization for 10+ years.
Fahad Muhammad
Fahad is a Content Writer at Instapage and has been writing about landing pages, advertising trends, and personalization for 10+ years.