The ultimate guide to using testimonials in email marketing

Testimonials and social proof are incredibly valuable pieces of marketing material that often don’t get the attention they deserve from email marketers. 

Sure, while your marketing team will want to display product reviews and customer testimonials on their website, only select users will eventually see and engage with them. Why not amp up your game and add them to your email marketing messages? Put them out there in front of the most critical sets of eyes.

Now, that doesn’t mean simply slap in a bunch of reviews at the end of each message, that won’t do you any good. In this guide, we’ll not only talk about why you need testimonials in email marketing but how to get them and how to put them to work for you. 

Businesses and their marketing teams already know how vital user reviews and testimonial are to gain new leads and make conversions. However, many of them are more familiar with the more traditional form of sharing their reviews – online through star ratings and the occasional customer input.

BestBuy uses start ratings to inform consumers of a product’s popularity

Source: BestBuy

Sure, these ratings are essential to marketing your products. However, these ratings and reviews are often seen by readers who are in the searching for something to help with a problem or need. 

What about those who have already found your brand? How do you communicate how wonderful your products are without going overboard and bragging?

Social proof.

What is social proof? Well, it’s a nice way of saying testimonials. Yes, you can eloquently add testimonials in email marketing messages without sounding pretentious. Just look at this example from Revolution Tea. 

Display your consumer reviews right in your email messages

Source: Really Good Emails 

Testimonials like this are great for sharing, especially when following a survey request. However, they could also be repurposed and used for welcome email series. Why you may ask? What better way to entice a new subscriber into taking the plunge and giving your products a try?

These consumer reviews and testimonials in email marketing help get your products and services out in front of those who have already chosen to follow you. Sure, you can talk about how great your material is, but why not let other’s success speak for itself? This helps to not only create a sense of trust between you and your reader, but it helps you build your authority as well. How? The proof is in the pudding… and those leaving the reviews are proof that you have something superior to offer. 

Asking your readers for their input

The hardest part of adding testimonials to email marketing material is getting comments and reviews from your current customers. Many marketers feel rather awkward asking for feedback, so they just hope their consumers will feel compelled to leave it on their own.

Here’s the thing, your consumers want their voices to be heard—and many of them aren’t sure how to leave comments or reviews. That means your marketing team needs to take the time to both ask for their opinions and show them how they can leave their feedback. 

One of the easiest ways to go about this process is to use your email marketing efforts to create and send out a survey to those who meet certain requirements. 

That means you won’t want to send out a blanket email survey to everyone on your emailing list. To get detailed, relevant data, you need to take the time to segment your emailing list into a few different categories. Depending on the feedback you are searching for, you’ll want to take some time to segment your emailing list into different categories. This is one of the best ways to make sure that you are asking the right consumers the right questions. 

An excellent example of segmenting an email list for survey feedback is this email request by Ubisoft. The team specifically thanks the user for trying a specific game and then goes on to ask for their feedback. 

Survey your consumers to gather valuable user reviews

Source: Really Good Emails

This is a clear example of list segmentation considering Ubisoft has such a wide variety of options for their users to choose from. It’s clear that this feedback message was intended only for those who:

  • Used Project Stream

  • Tried Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

From there, Ubisoft can use that feedback to further work on a project, or they can take this user’s feedback and share it with others as a piece of promotional material. 

If you are looking for something more general in nature, then the classic “ratings” email could be just what you need, however, it doesn’t always allow for detailed responses that can be used in later email marketing messages. 

These emails are still segmented to a degree, and only go out to consumers who purchased a specific item or service from you. A great example of this can be in this product feedback email sent out by Massdrop.

Star reviews in an email message is a great way to ask for product reviews without troubling readers

Source: Really Good Emails

These messages are easy to use because your readers will fill in their star rating and move on with their day. 

Putting those testimonials to work

Once you’ve gone ahead and collected your social proof, there are many different ways to add your testimonials in email marketing messages. 

There honestly isn’t any right or wrong way of adding testimonials to your messages. However, you want to make sure you are still providing your readers with some value. Below, we’ve found a few excellent examples of testimonials being put to work in email marketing.

Product storytelling

As a marketer, there are only so many ways you can talk about a certain product before your email subscribers start to feel the burnout happening. So, instead of you talking about your products, why not let your current consumers do some of the storytelling for you?

Sharing your consumer’s experiences is an excellent way to provide proof that your product or services are worth investing in. 

Take this example from Spivo, a retailer that sells various photo and video capturing equipment. One of their most popular products is their selfie-sticks, which allow users to take stunning footage of the world around them. 

In their email message, they not only include a “Shot of the week” to highlight their consumer’s work, but at the beginning of this message, they tease a personal story that happened to one of their consumers while using their products. Readers are then invited to watch the highlighted story happen by clicking a simple CTA. 

Use consumer stories to highlight your products

Source: Milled

This is an excellent way to put your products out there without “selling” to your readers. They get to see how the product is working for others, and you are getting some great marketing material to use on various channels. 

The user experiences 

When most people think of “testimonials,” they think of a comment on how a product or service directly impacted their life. These are especially important if your brand sells a product in the health/wellness industry. 

Unfortunately, there are many brands out there that have little issue with purchasing product reviews from people who have never used their products, which is why many individuals who head online for product reviews are wary of what they read. 

One excellent way to avoid the questionable written review (which is still very valuable, so don’t count it out!) is to have your customers create highlight video reviews that you can use in your email marketing materials. 

This is precisely what Jigsaw Health did when promoting their MagSoothe product. They give a brief background on their customer, Ann W. and then use their CTA to guide them to the full video review. 

Make your user stories more personal by providing video reviews instead of text

Source: Milled

These video reviews put consumers at ease for several reasons:

  • They get to see the face of the user

  • They get to hear the consumer’s story straight from their mouth, not through third-party sources

With 84% of people trusting online reviews just as much as a personal recommendation from a loved one, give your testimonials that extra personal touch by including video testimonials and reviews in your email marketing messages. 

Encourage reviews

Are you still struggling with getting reviews? Alternatively, are you just excited about the reviews you’ve been getting from consumers? Why not round them up and share them in an email message that encourages the rest of your consumers to follow suit?

That’s precisely what the marketing team at Pso-Rite did with this example.

They started their message by reminding their readers that “anyone” can post an honest review on their website—good or bad. They make it clear to the readers that they check these reviews regularly so that they can improve on their products. While they were reviewing the comments, they came across some “gems” that they decided to share with the rest of their readers.

Don’t be afraid to showcase current reviews in order to encourage others to leave a review

Source: Milled

Finally, after they showcase all their wonderful testimonials, they ask their readers to join their peers and leave a review if they’ve had an experience with a Pso-Rite product.

Wrap Up

Testimonials in email marketing isn’t a new practice; however, it is highly underutilized. If you’ve got a product that shines, back it up with customer reviews and make sure you share their experiences with the public. 

There are many ways to include testimonials into your email marketing messages, including:

  • Product experience reviews

  • Video testimonials

  • Showcasing other’s reviews to encourage others to share

Ready to get started creating your next email campaign? Refresh your marketing know-how by checking out our Email Marketing 101 guide today.


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