Yesterday I started a six part series on persuasion and what the latest research shows and how you can use these concepts in your marketing, advertising and sales campaigns.
Today's topic is "Social Proof".
Social Proof often occurs in the following situations:
When people are uncertain about a course of action, they tend to look to those around them to guide their decisions and actions. They want to know what everyone else is doing -- especially their peers.
So, here's the experiment:
Researchers wanted to see what type of sign would most encourage Arizona hotel visitors to re-use their towels. (Seems that in running a hotel, one of the major expenses is laundry -- so anything that can be done to reduce that expense is seen as a good thing.)
So they decided to print up four little signs and see which one would get guests to comply with their request to not use so many towels.
Here's what the signs said:
Sign One – Cited environmental reason to encourage visitors to re-use their towels ...
Sign Two – Said the hotel would donate a portion of the laundry savings to an environmental cause ...
Sign Three – Said the hotel had already given a donation to an eco-friendly charity and asked “Will you please join us?”
Sign Four – Said the majority of the guests re-used their towels at least once during their stay (an excellent example of "social proof" by the way) ...
When the experiment was finished, the clear winner was sign four. Results were as follows:
Sign 1 = 38% of the guests re-used their towels
Sign 2 = 36%
Sign 3 = 46%
Sign 4 = 48%
How can you apply this to your marketing, advertising and sales campaigns?
Use testimonials from satisfied customers to show your target audience that people who are similar to them have enjoyed your products or services.
Because they know that others like them have done the same, they will be more likely to comply with your requests.
P.S. Tomorrow -- I'll tell you the persuasion secret that is often used to win elections!