As Shoppers Turn from Search to Social for Product Reviews, Here’s How Email Can Bridge the Gap

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Now that we’ve fully moved into the Roaring Twenties Redux, let’s leave one marketing myth behind: that social media is killing email as a core communications channel. Instead, the channel starting to feel the heat from social is – surprise – search engines! Fortunately for marketers looking for a way to fill the gap, the inbox can provide a surprising and effective way to continue reaching consumers right at the moment they’re looking to buy.

Granted, Google and its 90% share of the search market isn’t going away anytime soon. Amazon, the half of the major search duopoly, now claims around 50% of new product searches. 

But consumers are spending more time in social media – an average 2 hours and 11 minutes a day in 2019. So, it’s not hard to grasp that more than 25% of product searches, especially those looking for recommendations and reviews, are happening in social media channels instead of search engines and other sources. That figure increases steadily the younger the audience gets, so this is especially big news for brands looking to target younger generations.

Embedded live social feeds direct shoppers to the right place with the right message

Email marketers can jump on this growing preference for social searching by integrating live social feeds within email messages to give customers a heads-up on what everybody else either searches for or recommends. That could include feeds from sites typically considered well beneath the ‘social network’ umbrella like Twitter and Facebook, but also content pulled from sites that aggregate user-contributed reviews and comments (think Yelp, BazaarVoice, or even Glassdoor!).

Brand and retail sites rank in the low single digits as a consumer’s first choice for product searches. A dynamic content platform that seamlessly embeds live feeds from social channels into your emails and elsewhere can deliver more curious shoppers directly to your site or desired landing page.

Social proof reassures shoppers, drives email activity

Increasing site visits and sales is one benefit of adding social media feeds to your emails. But building trust is another important byproduct of adding a social feed to your emails.

Your customers want to be confident that they’re buying the right products from the right brands and getting a fair deal. So, they seek proof that if other people have bought and recommended a certain product or service, it must be right. 

They find it in Facebook recommendations, Pinterest pins and customer reviews, ratings and recommendations. Using “social proof” in this manner is a powerful and time-honored marketing tactic to boost conversions from risk-averse consumers; and it can work in email, too.

Adding a live feed from a product review and recommendation service, such as Bazaarvoice, can also benefit your email performance. Just check out this awesome example from Flight Centre:

“Adding reviews from real customers who’ve used your product is a great way to increase your email click-through rate,” Campaign Monitor wrote when describing how clients add social proof to their emails via a social feed. 

“By showing customer reviews in their campaigns, Franklin Rd reassures potential listeners that clicking through and checking out the albums is worth their time. This element of social proof, combined with other information and visuals like the album cover, increases the chances that people will click through and drives conversions.”

Getting started with live social feeds

Adding live social feeds to your emails can be more complicated than you might thing. You want to be able to trust that the content they pull in is authentic and positive – even great products and brands can get the odd negative review. Make sure to use a tool capable of filtering content that matches with the mission of your message and campaign. Want to see how easy it can be? We’d love to show you how easy it is to get started!

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Mark is Email Experience Analyst for Liveclicker. He writes for and about brands developing real, meaningful relationships with customers through email, content, digital media and more. His love for marketing lies at the place where creative and analytics intersect, and he makes a mean vegetarian chili.

Mark Miller
Author

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