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Wednesday 19 December 2018

How To Dramatically Improve Your Cold Email

When sending a sales email, always put yourself in the context of meeting someone you’ve never met before for the first time.

Sending a sales email, is just like trying to force someone to marry you on the very first hello.

When you send a sales email, you could have the most compelling subject line. The most enticing content. The most exciting CTA.

But if I don’t know you and who you represent: Why should I trust you?

If you want to get a better response rate for your sales emails you need to answer that question. And one of the best ways to do that is with social proof.

What is social proof and why does it matter for sales emails?

Social proof is proving your credibility by pointing to other people or organizations you’ve worked with that already have credibility with your prospect.

In our experience, it’s the quickest way to go from a random name in someone’s inbox, to a person they don’t mind to work with.

If you’ve spent hours writing the best subject line, clearly articulated your proposition, and given an exciting call to action, all this will be in vain if you don’t make me feel comfortable with you. And without social proof, all of your efforts will be but for a lost cause.

Below are the 3 levels of social proof you need to show to gain someone’s trust over email:

This is a simple concept. But it can be complex to get correct.

You can’t just write to tell someone to trust you. You need to show it to me. More than that, you need to show me social proof on multiple levels:

  1. Company credibility: Who have you worked with that I know and trust?
  2. Product credibility: What verifiable results have you created for people with your product?
  3. Personal credibility: Who are you and why should I trust you?

What types of social proof can (and should) you use?

There are tons of ways to show social proof and which one you choose will depend on what you have available.

However, before choosing any type of social proof to include in your sales emails, you need to ask two questions:

First, does this social proof resonate with this specific prospect? 

Next, will the prospect perceive this social proof as credible? 

With that in mind, here are the best ways you can show social proof in your sales emails.

Your customers

Happy customers are the best source of social proof. Instead of you telling a prospect all of the value they’re going to get, they get to hear it from someone they know who has already gone through the process.

You have a few options when choosing the right customers to use for social proof:

  1. Famous and popular brands
  2. Companies in the prospect’s market
  3. Local companies they might be familiar with
  4. You can use customer social proof by talking about them in the third person. 

Common connections

If you don’t have any customers or any you feel confident highlighting, you can create social proof by showing a common connection you have with the prospect.

However, you have to be careful here. A common connection isn’t just one of 5000 people on your LinkedIn or Twitter. It has to be a real connection you both know and trust.

Revenue and profits

Money talks. And highlighting verifiable monetary success is a great way to prove your legitimacy.

Have you done some impressive numbers in the past year?  Or pass a major milestone?

Any social proof connected to money has to be easily verified by another source or else it’s useless.


Press doesn’t carry the same social status as it once did, but it’s still a great way to show you’re worth talking about. You can assume your prospect will click any press links you include.

Associations or former employers

In certain situations, the places you’ve worked in the past or where you went to school can be used as social proof.


Again, in certain circumstances, relevant accomplishments or personal awards can help build your personal or product credibility.

Whatever social proof you use, assume your prospect will try to verify it. No matter what social proof you give, it has to be honest and verifiable. 

Beyond that, your personal online presence needs to have credibility as well. Most people will check your LinkedIn or social media profile to see who you are. And if those pages are shady or unprofessional it can make any social credibility you’ve developed to die with them.

Where to place social proof in your sales emails

The next question after what kind of social proof to use is how do you use it? The short answer is: It depends.

If people are abandoning your emails early on: Add social proof to the beginning to grab their interest and engage their imagination.

If people are reading your emails but not responding: Add social proof right before or after your call to action so people feel confident about responding.

There’s one more place you should use social proof that is so underutilized. Your signature is a social proof machine.

What do you do when you don’t have any social proof?

Social proof is a powerful sales tool. But if you don’t have any yet, there’s still a few options you can use.

First, you need to recognize that personal social proof is important to everything you’ll ever do as a sales rep and an individual. Your brand and reputation will follow you everywhere you go. And while it takes time to build, it brings massive returns in the long-run if you keep up with it.

Next, honesty and openness can be just as strong as social proof. 

Instead, if you don’t have any good social proof to show, just be transparent about your situation

This kind of vulnerability can be incredibly powerful and make someone want to trust you, even if you don’t have the proof to back it up yet.

Always remember, if I don’t trust you, I won’t talk to you

You wouldn’t let a complete stranger into your house, so why should a prospect reply to your sales email if they don’t know you and trust what you’re saying?

With social proof, you give your prospects a reason to believe.  Use it. And build that trust. Because without it, I don’t have a reason to talk to you.

Learn more about how Everworks's professional business email hosting will help you to deliver consistent email responses every time here.

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