How to Use Social Proof to Increase Cold Email Efficiency

How social proof used correctly can drive those conversions.
social proof cold email cover photo
One of the best ways to convince someone to do something?

Show them that other people are doing it as well.

In this article, we'll go over how to harness this phenomenon to increase your cold email efficiency.

Let's get started!

What is Social Proof?

Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people tend to rely on the actions and opinions of others to make decisions, especially when they are uncertain about what to do. It's a concept that suggests that individuals will conform to the behavior and choices of a larger group because they believe that the group's actions indicate the correct course of action.

It's why you'll see one restaurant constantly busy and another empty - if there are more people in the other one, we assume it's better. This may not always be the case, but it's how we psychologically respond to seeing a very busy restaurant as opposed to an empty one.

But what does a psychological phenomenon have to do with sales?

How Does Social Proof Improve SaaS Sales?

Social proof improves SaaS sales because we can use it as evidence of how impactful our product or service is.

It demonstrates we have a popular or usable product and brand recognition amongst consumers, which can, in turn, influence the decisions of prospective or recurring customers. In fact, depending on the type of buyer persona you are targeting, you may find yourself relying heavily on social proof to make that final decision for them.

You want to make your product or service come through as that shiny restaurant that all the cool kids go to, and that your prospects should want to go to as well. And you can demonstrate this social proof in a variety of ways.

Types of Social Proof


Having testimonials throughout your website is a great way to create social proof. If you can name-drop their full name, title, and company at the time of the testimonial to make an even stronger impression, that's better.

Testimonials need to be short and to the point. You will rely a lot on the title of the person providing it for you when doing outreach. So while they're great, they work best when added to other forms of social proof.

In a cold email, a testimonial can be used to name-drop a company or title that serves to demonstrate how your product is beneficial. They're a great tool to use, and important to always consider when crafting a cold email. Being able to point to a competitor or similar company to your prospects makes them a lot likelier to engage with you.

Case Studies

For those personas who need the numerical evidence, case studies are a great resource.

You work closely with your existing customers to understand their needs and how you have improved them, and you can then take that information and use it elsewhere.

The case studies themselves can exist in a dedicated section of your website, and you can send over PDFs to your marketing list or to prospects that ask for more information as proof. They offer a more in-depth demonstration of how much of an impact your product or service can make on a company's bottom line, and can be incredibly powerful when used correctly in a sales process.

In a cold email, mentioning case studies is a great way to back up your claims with data. After all, you promise a prospect in a cold email that you can help them. Having numerical or qualitative proof of that from a case study sprinkled in an email can make a huge difference when it comes to convincing them.

Just make sure not to attach it from the get-go to avoid overwhelming prospects or hitting spam.

Customer Reviews

We all look at Google reviews for restaurant recommendations or read through hotel reviews when picking out a place to stay for vacations.

Platforms such as G2 offer the same for SaaS products.

Harnessing the best reviews and the highest ratings on such portals is a great way to further establish social proof with prospective customers. You want to ensure your customers are being catered to, to the best of your ability to get those positive reviews and high ratings.

You can make use of customer reviews in a cold email, either by mentioning your rating, quoting them, or sharing just how many people believe enough in your product to make a comment about it. They provide a sample of customers like your prospect that have truly benefited from your product or service, and making your prospect aware that others in their situation exist can be attractive enough for them to respond with interest.

User-Generated Content

The best review is the one that is no one even asked for.

When users of your product or service create a post for you on social media, detailing how much they value your product or service, that is the best social proof you can ask for. They've gone the extra mile to recognize your value to them, and to share it with their network.

An endorsement from a happy customer in this fashion is the epitome of social proof, especially if they themselves already have an established brand.

It's why influencer-focused marketing exists, or why celebrities endorse products. In that situation, user-generated content has become monetized, so if you can get a LinkedIn post about how great your product or service is written by a user at no cost to you, you know you're doing a good job.

When writing a cold email, always take the time to see if there is any user-generated content you can use to further increase your conversion rate. You can quote or point to content freely, as your user has created it simply to showcase how pleased they are with your product or service. For a prospect, there is no better proof of how well you work than for a fellow customer to do the work for you.

Using Social Proof in Cold Emailing

Showcase the Numbers

A great way to generate trust in your product or service and demonstrate its usefulness is via numerical data. Take all of the information from your case studies and select the most relevant pieces of data for the customer profile you are targeting. Then build your email around that.

An example of a cold email can be:

At COMPANY NAME, we've helped our customers reduce their employee sign-off wait time by 35%, leading to a 45% decrease in unnecessary spending. I know we could make a similar impact for you at PROSPECT COMPANY NAME.

Interested in learning more?
You provide a number and an explicit solution with that same numerical data point, which will generate curiosity in your prospect. A how A leads to B approach with the numbers for cold emailing is best and is a great way to make use of social proof to spark interest. Once you have that interest, you can actually send over the case studies with the more in-depth data analysis as further proof.

Share Experiences of Other Customers

This is a way to use those testimonials and customer reviews in your favor. Your marketing team has gone to the lengths to obtain them, so you may as well incorporate them into your sales strategy.

An example of how to add them to a cold email can be:

We've worked with multiple Supply Chain Operations VPs at CUSTOMER COMPANY, CUSTOMER COMPANY, and CUSTOMER COMPANY, and have found that our product has made a huge difference in wait times, something I know supply chain leaders are always looking to improve. Our 4.4 rating on G2 further proves the difference we can make for you at PROSPECT COMPANY NAME.

What's your availability like in the next two weeks for me to show you more?
You don't need to name-drop the exact person that wrote the testimonial, but saying you've worked with certain companies and folks in a similar position to your target prospect can inspire curiosity. You tap into their desire to "keep up with the Joneses," as it were.

Finishing off with a mention of your review score is a great way to demonstrate further the fact that others do indeed find your product or service useful. Your prospect can even take the initiative themselves and read those same reviews or your page testimonials themselves.

Feature Endorsements

If you've established a relationship with a user that has generated their own content, or with someone who provided you with a testimonial, you may be able to name-drop them more specifically and use their endorsement to open more doors.

You have to make sure that you are in a position to do so before anything else, but if this is the case, a good cold email example would be:

CUSTOMER NAME at CUSTOMER COMPANY, their VP of Supply Chain, has told us we've made a huge impact in how they manage their shipping. With our PRODUCT OR SERVICE, he can avoid long wait times, get his time back, and has improved the customer experience.

Want to be next?
You can then also add to your signature, "used by CUSTOMER COMPANY," "proud partner of CUSTOMER COMPANY" or similar to really drive home how happy your customer is with you that they allow you to do this.

After all, new prospects may ask them about you, and you want them to reiterate how pleased they are with your product or service.


Social proof is a great tool for any marketer or salesperson to use.

We use it every day regardless, so employing it for your business makes complete sense. And, it can almost write your cold emails for you with how direct and to the point it can help you be.

Any SDR looking to get ahead should be making extensive use of the social proof available to them, and create as many email sequences featuring it as possible to increase cold email efficiency.
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