15 of the Best Testimonial Email Subject Lines

Arguably the most important part of any email, your subject line serves as your first impression and could be the difference between a click or the trash bin.

While many marketers disregard subject lines as an afterthought, it’s important to carefully craft subject lines, so readers explore your message further and connect with your brand.

With the average person receiving 120 emails a day, it can be difficult to cut through the noise.

Between daily promotions, newsletters, and your mother wondering why you haven’t called her yet, it can be overwhelming when scrolling through your inbox.

As an email marketer, you don’t want your emails to end in the trash bin, so developing eye-catching and descriptive subject lines is crucial.

With the right subject lines and content, you have the ability to increase your email engagement rates and convert prospective leads.

What types of emails will appeal to your audience? Read on to discover more about testimonial email subject lines as a way to harness your subscriber’s attention, as well as a few examples we’re excited about.

What is a testimonial?

If you’re scratching your head wondering why you’d send a testimonial email, hear us out.

Testimonials are proclamations from your customers that certify the value of your brand’s products or services. Ninety-five percent of customers read reviews before making a purchase decision online.

Those reviews are unsolicited, meaning you have customers who are willing to describe your business as effective and reliable, which influences tens or hundreds of other potential customers. Powerful, right?

It’s important to note that there are two types of testimonials you can use:

  • Endorsement testimonials: given by a well-known influencer who announces their support for a brand publicly
  • Customer testimonials: given from an actual customer, most likely unknown to your subscriber list

While endorsements are well known, they’re also paid and may not appear as genuine. Customer testimonials offer a more personal experience about what your brand has to offer.

You can receive testimonials from a number of digital and face-to-face landscapes, such as:

  • Social media posts and reviews
  • Case studies
  • Video interviews
  • Blog post reviews
  • Interviews
  • Press reviews
  • Peer reviews (Yelp, Amazon, etc.)

Why are testimonials effective content for your emails?

Testimonials help convince subscribers that your services are valuable and credible, and therefore make excellent content for your marketing strategy. While testimonials are oftentimes buried at the bottom copy of your email, making them a focal point of your email is a smart move to build your brand’s social proof and increase engagement.

Why? Effective testimonials can help increase your conversion rates. As user-generated content and viewed as a third-party endorsement, testimonials create more trust and build a bandwagon effect with other subscribers.

It’s psychology. Products and services recommended by others are seen as “better” than those without proof, and people want in on that action. In fact, 84% of people say they trust consumer reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend.

Bottom line: the right testimonials can build your brand recognition and earn new customers.

Start asking your customers for testimonials.

Now that you know the importance of testimonials for your brand, you need to start collecting them. While some testimonials like reviews on Yelp or Amazon will be posted organically, you’ll have to openly ask your clients for reviews as well.

By utilizing email marketing, you can send out automated communications to remind your clients to leave testimonials. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Ask immediately: You want your service or product to be fresh in your customer’s mind, so a timely response is crucial to get an honest response.
  • Follow a customer journey: As part of lead flow, asking for testimonials throughout many points of the customer journey helps receive different perspectives of your brand.
  • Make it easy: Create a process that takes the pressure off from your customers to give the “perfect” review with an easy email or form.
  • Follow up: No matter if the review is positive or negative, it’s important to follow up to show that you care about your customer’s experience.

 TradeGecko Sends Testimonial Request

Source: Really Good Emails

We love this email from TradeGecko for a few reasons. The subject line “Could you please help us with GetApp?” is urgent while still sounding conversational. Once opened, the email itself is simple to read, includes why reviews are beneficial and connects directly to a review platform.

How to create the best subject lines

Before diving into examples of testimonial email subject lines, it’s important to understand how to write one. By knowing the fundamentals, you’ll be able to easily craft eye-catching email subject lines to convince your subscribers to click.

  • Know your audience: Who are you trying to reach with your testimonial? Your language needs to connect with them.
  • Utilize technology: If you’re brushing up on your writing skills, there are many tools available that will help you improve open rates like CoSchedule’s Subject Line Tester.
  • A/B test: Try different variations of subject lines to test which your audience responds to better.
  • Keep it short: Develop copy that’s five words or less, so it appears correctly on mobile devices.
  • Use personalization: Include the subscriber’s name or location for a personalized touch.
  • Drop title case: Using sentence case promotes a more conversational tone.
  • Fear of missing out: Elicit FOMO to create a sense of urgency.
  • Use numbers: Use a specific discount, statistic, or numerical benefit.

Writing a successful subject line may take trial and error to understand what speaks to your audience and gets results.

15 testimonial email subject line examples

Ready to start collecting testimonials to showcase your brand’s products and services? Once you begin building a bank of responses, you can start utilizing testimonial subject lines to see your open rates increase.

You can take advantage of your subscriber base by both asking and sending testimonials. However, it’s important to clearly identify which subject lines are for what purpose to avoid creating confusion. Take these examples:

Testimonial subject line

  • Here’s what Nashville’s CEOs said about us
  • It’s crazy how much love we’ve gotten!
  • Jen wore it, grab it before anyone else does!
  • USA Today has a few kind words
  • The reaction to our new product has been…
  • More athletes prefer our brand
  • See top travel destinations

Casper uses email to ask for reviews.

Source: Really Good Emails

With a subject line “Did you forget something?” Casper utilizes an abandoned cart email as a way to display a testimonial from another customer. An effective tactic, the customer is able to read about what they’re missing by not purchasing the product and has an opportunity to read more reviews for further validation.

Bose uses testimonials in a Black Friday email.

Source: Really Good Emails

The subject line of this Bose email reads “Save up to 50% on speakers and headphones: Black Friday is here.” While not a typical testimonial email subject line, the email contains testimonials that offer social proof to the customer who may be on the fence about participating in Black Friday.

Testimonial request subject lines

  • [Customer Name], did we earn your trust?
  • [Customer Name], do you agree?
  • You know us. What do you think?
  • [Customer Name], thank you…
  • Please don’t say goodbye
  • Did you like [product name]?
  • We need you…
  • This link is expiring

Airbnb asks for reviews after stays.

Source: Really Good Emails

After using the Airbnb service, the company sends an email asking for a review with the subject line “Write a review for [Sellers Name].” This email subject line is effective because it’s to the point and sets clear expectations. The customer knows what this email contains before it’s opened and hopefully had a positive experience at the stay to leave a positive testimonial.

Thompson Chicago Hotel requests a survey.

Source: Really Good Emails

The Thompson Chicago Hotel uses the subject line “Thank You for Your Recent Stay” to request a survey testimonial from recent guests. The CTA leads to a form that asks specific questions to help guide the customer in providing an honest review.

Wrap up

If you’re looking for new ways to increase your engagement rate, updating your subject lines could be the answer. The right subject line entices your subscribers to open, read, and hopefully take action from your email. Testimonials are a great way to boost your email content with credibility and social proof from past customers to persuade perspectives into your customer journey.

To create a successful testimonial subject line, you need to:

  • Develop subject lines to request and contain testimonials
  • Ask for testimonials immediately after the customer interacts with your service or product
  • A/B test different versions of your subject line and measure performance
  • Get to the point and set proper expectations

Ready to write your own testimonial subject lines? Campaign Monitor offers a comprehensive platform for all your email marketing needs to target your audience. Try it for free today!

The post 15 of the Best Testimonial Email Subject Lines appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

How to Make User-Generated Content Work for Your Brand

This is a guest post from Andie Katschthaler at Walls.io.

You may not be familiar with the term “user-generated content” or UGC, but UGC is all around us in the marketing materials we consume.

Even resources we don’t necessarily perceive as user-generated content often help companies sell more products.

This can include a product review, a star rating on Amazon, an unboxing video, or social media posts about products.

UGC is everywhere, and it’s up to brands to find it and harness it in their marketing.

Bonus: Below we’ve listed a few additional (but lesser-known) types of user-generated content:

  • Tutorial videos using specific products
  • Blog posts
  • Product unboxing videos
  • Animated GIFs

Has your business ever used these? Let us know in the comments below.

Sustainable British clothing brand Lucy & Yak is resharing a snapshot of a customer wearing a Lucy & Yak coat:

This Instagram post perfectly encapsulates what user-generated content is: using customer photos to market products.

Source: Instagram

What exactly is user-generated content (UGC)?

UGC is defined as any content created by the users of a website, a product, or a service, whether it’s posted on social media or anywhere else online.

But what’s the big deal about user-generated content? Why are we so into it? Where can you collect it, and how can you make it work for your brand?

User-generated content is authentic, and buyers trust it.

Brands love content created by their users for two main reasons:

  1. They get to reuse great-looking content and share it as part of their own marketing efforts.
  2. By sharing UGC created by happy customers, brands can convince potential customers to buy.

Simply put, the trick behind UGC is that people trust other people most when it comes to making buying decisions. Whether that’s actual in-person recommendations by someone they know or an online review by another customer—potential buyers rely on social proof.

According to a 2017 survey by TurnTo, 90% of U.S. consumers say their purchasing decisions are influenced by online recommendations. Plus, our own original research found that social proof is important to both millennials and Gen Z buyers.

This graph shows why user-generated content is important for buyer decisions

And some consumers even prefer UGC to original brand content, which is often seen as too pushy and promotional.

The younger the consumer, the more important UGC becomes. Gen Z buyers want to support brands that resonate with them, which often means authenticity and transparency.

How to collect user-generated content

Having user-generated content to use in your marketing is great. But, to have it, you have to first collect it.

It may sound counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to get UGC is to ask. Request reviews and ratings from your fans and customers, and incentivize when you can.

Ask customers and newsletter subscribers for reviews.

The most straightforward way of getting reviews is to ask people who’ve just bought something from you to review it, for example, in an email set to arrive at a reasonable time after purchase.

For example, trendy mattress and pillow brand Casper sends out post-purchase emails asking buyers to review their purchase:

This Casper email asks for UGC by asking customers for reviews

Source: Really Good Emails

Another group of people that can create great user-generated content is your newsletter subscriber list, even if they haven’t bought from you recently.

You can publish the reviews you get on your own website, ask people to review your brand on aggregators like Capterra or G2, and even use tools like Reevoo, Olapic, Stackla, Mention, or Livefyre to collect reviews.

Create a fun hashtag campaign for great content.

If you’re looking for content other than reviews, a hashtag campaign can be a great way to motivate and collect user-generated content.

Come up with a good campaign idea and create a hashtag campaign around it. Promote the hashtag and ask your fans to take part and share it.

The Birkenstock website features a section dedicated to the #MyBirkenstock hashtag, encouraging shoppers to share their pics and embedding a gallery of posts shared with the hashtag:

Birkenstock has a hashtag-related UGC site section: #mybirkenstock

Source: Birkenstock

Be clear about what you want people to create, whether it’s images, videos, or written content. People want to know the guidelines for creating content for a brand.

The better you explain what you’re looking for and how you’re planning to use it, the better the content you get will be.

The #KidsInTheKitchen hashtag campaign by NatureFresh™ clearly lays out what kind of content they want to see and how to submit it:

Give people steps to provide user-generated content, like NatureFresh.

Source: Kids in the Kitchen

Reward the best submissions with exciting prizes to motivate users, creating content that you can use in your campaigns later on. Incentives are a great way to coax content out of fans.

Collect existing brand-related content posted by your customers.

Sometimes, you get lucky, and your fans are already creating great content about your brand, without you even asking. Don’t miss out on it and monitor social media for mentions of your brand and your hashtags.

Use a social media monitoring tool to keep an eye on your brand mentions or a social media wall to collect any posts mentioning your brand, your hashtags, or defined keywords on a social wall.

You can repost or share the great content you find this way as well.

How to put UGC to good use

Now that you’ve collected all that great social proof, it’s time to put it to good use. You can even reuse UGC print ads, but the most common placement for fan content will likely be your online marketing efforts.

Convince your website visitors to buy.

Imagine a potential customer browsing your online store. They’re already on your website. They like your product or service.

They’ve looked at all the specifications and information. But somehow they’re still hovering over that buy button.

To get them to click on it, you’ll have to convince them that you really are the best. And that’s where your UGC comes in.

Strategically place reviews from other customers on your website or your online shop, or collect the best posts from social media and embed that on a section of your website.

You can even connect UGC to ecommerce using a social wall, by linking directly from the posts on your wall to the corresponding product in your shop.

Here’s an example of how beyerdynamic—an audio equipment manufacturer from Germany—is collecting user-generated content on a social wall to draw attention to the brand’s products.

They collect user posts which mention beyerdynamic, embed them on their website and then link each post created by their customers to relevant products in their online shop.

This is an example of a social wall that features examples of UGC. User-generated content is anything buyers make about your company.

Source: beyerdynamic

Turn your newsletter readers into customers.

You can use your newsletter to recruit reviewers but, similarly, email is a great way to garner reviews as well. So include UGC in your abandoned cart emails to lure customers back and entice them to finally buy.

Adidas includes user reviews in an abandoned cart email:

Adidas shows how you can use UGC reviews in your automated emails.

Source: Really Good Emails

When you introduce a new product or service, share what others have said about the product or your brand. It livens up the email and acts as social proof for future buyers.

Keep sharing that social proof on social media.

Social media is a great and logical place for sharing content posted by fans, and it’s effortless to reshare the posts.

Retweet content happy buyers have posted, include Instagram reviews by fans in your own Stories, or feature great user contributions on your Facebook page.

Here are two brands cleverly using UGC in their Instagram Stories: On the left, mara_seaweed reshares a post by a fan showing off their lunch made with the product.

On the right, oVertone shares a review by a user and includes a CTA encouraging people to sign up for the product’s waitlist.

These examples show Instagram Story UGC examples

Source: Mara Seaweed Instagram & oVertone Instagram

Just remember: with all your user-generated content, make sure you ask for permission from the creator before using it.

Wrap up

User-generated content can do great things for you. Use it to your advantage.

What existing fans have to say about your brand provides social proof for potential new customers. It shows that your brand is worthy of their time and effort. And that means you get more customers and more conversions.

You can collect user-generated content, such as reviews or social media posts, by asking your customers to share content.

Try asking them for feedback in your newsletter, collect reviews using an aggregator, or create a whole hashtag campaign built around visuals created by fans of your brand.

The clearer you are about the type of content you wish to see, the higher the quality of the submissions will be.

Then, use your social proof on your website, your emails, your social media channels, or even your print ads to show potential buyers how awesome your brand is.

Andie Katschthaler is a freelance copywriter and consultant living in Scotland. She has been the head writer behind the Walls.io blog for more than five years, helping people learn about how social walls can elevate and enrich their marketing efforts. You can connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

The post How to Make User-Generated Content Work for Your Brand appeared first on Campaign Monitor.

Building Social Proof and User-Generated Content: How Email Can Help

While people use digital devices to browse and shop online, using their phones to make purchases, the online experience hasn’t completely changed how people shop. In fact, people still look to their friends, families, and others for validation before they buy.

That’s why social proof has become so critical for ecommerce marketing. It’s that little voice that says to would-be customers, “Yes, this is a solid purchase, and you can be confident you’re making the right choice.”

And because buyers now expect ecommerce businesses to provide social proof, 78% say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

But it’s not just the reviews that matter: The timeliness of reviews impacts customers’ buying decisions, too.

The same research mentioned above found that 40% of buyers were typically interested in the latest reviews, those written within the past two weeks. In comparison, only 18% of buyers said the same thing the year before.

Why your business needs social proof

The expectation for social proof puts pressure on your marketing team to quickly gather user-generated reviews and keep them coming, even if a business is just starting out.

“The word-of-mouth concept isn’t dead—it has simply adapted to the change in how businesses and shoppers operate,” writes Superior Lighting owner Zev Herman. “Think about it: Consumers still value what other people have to say about businesses, products, and other people. What’s changed is how people get that information.”

The data backs up that logic and illustrates the value of social proof to your bottom line. An analysis of 200,000 ecommerce sites and 163 million orders across all industries finds that visitors who look at user-generated content convert 161% more than people who don’t.

Increasingly, email marketing tools can help businesses create campaigns to engage customers and gather social proof. Email is an optimal way to reach a large swath of your community and encourage social proof that will help drive conversion for your ecommerce site.

But how do you actually get customers to leave reviews? Email marketing.

Read on to discover our best strategies for connecting with customers to convert even more.

Social proof strategies

Here are five strategies that use email to reach your existing customers and persuade them to become authentic brand advocates.

1. Target your most likely UGC contributors.

Although you want reviews from as many customers as possible, to get the ball rolling, you should target your most engaged customers. There are a couple of reasons for this.

First, customers with two or more purchases and who have shown a willingness to interact with your brand will be more likely to write positive reviews. But more importantly, they will be able to provide informed details about your products.

Finally, because they’re already repeat customers, they have shown a level of trust in your business that will come through in what they share.

That’s the approach taken by TradeGecko. Notice how its email succinctly requests honest feedback. The company encourages reviews by promising to improve based on the feedback given.

 TradeGecko customer review request

It’s an honest request and your customers will understand. If they don’t want to leave a review, they’ll simply delete the email and ignore the request but you’d be surprised how far a simple request can get you.

2. Seeing is believing, so use photos and videos.

With reviews, details and depth matter. This is especially true for images and videos. By seeing the quality of a product from real people, would-be buyers are more likely to trust the legitimacy of your products.

Don’t forget to make sharing easy for customers, particularly on social media channels where your customers engage.

Bellroy, an Australian maker of bags and accessories, uses email to encourage its customers to share how they use the company’s products with the hashtag #mybellroy.

Besides a direct email campaign to solicit reviews and encourage social shares, Bellroy also ends its messaging with a reminder to share.

Bellroy user review email template

Bellroy has been successful in getting ordinary customers to join in, discussing how they use the company’s products, as these Instagram examples show.

Bellroy Instagram user generated content

Bellroy Instagram user generated content

It’s also been successful in encouraging influencers to provide content. This compilation of video reviews by bag reviewer Chase Reeves garnered more than 20,000 views on the Bellroy Instagram feed.

You’ve probably read from thought leaders that celebrity reviews and testimonials are necessary to gain viral traction. But most startups and small businesses won’t have the marketing spend to pay for that type of endorsement.

That’s why reaching out to influencers with expertise in your industry often works just as well. But remember, some influencers charge for reviews or product placements and your customers won’t be impressed if you’ve bought praise. You’re better off getting honest, unsolicited reviews.

3. Seek updates from customers in order to add authenticity.

Consider reaching out to current customers who have left positive reviews. A second interview or an update can work really well, especially when a new version or upgrade comes along.

This tactic is an easy way to capitalize on authentic content from happy customers. Plus, the reviews seem even more legitimate if the same people return to add more comments.

What’s more, buyers like to see recent reviews of the products they’re considering. An update to an existing review gives it new legs with your prospective customers.

4. Encourage depth in customer product reviews.

Even though images and video are extremely valuable, it’s still important to encourage reviewers to share specific details in written reviews. That type of information makes a review relatable and valuable.

You use promotional marketing to announce new products, while customer reviews can advertise what’s already on your site.

This is why some businesses use the approach of asking first that a customer simply rate a product, say on a five-star scale. That’s a low hurdle. A business might then follow up with an email seeking a full-scale review.

Or in the case of Airbnb, the company uses a brief email asking for a rating and then explains in the messaging that the customer also will have the opportunity to add both private and public reviews.

Airbnb customer review email

You can test different techniques with your customers to see what works best. Ultimately, you want those deeper reviews because they help your would-be buyers make purchase decisions.

Plus, more in-depth customer feedback will help with SEO when search engines rank your site based on searches for terms like “product review” or “customer testimonial.”

5. With social proof, more is better.

One thing has definitely proved true about social proof: More is better. When visitors see how popular something is, they want to try it, too.

A product with more social proof tends to drive more SEO and in turn tends to drive more conversions.

It’s easy to see why, given that research shows that across all age categories, consumers expect an average of 112 reviews per product, with the 18- to 24-year-old demographic expecting the most (at 203 reviews).

Given that you need both quality and quantity when it comes to customer-generated content, consider an email campaign that incentivizes customers who provide reviews.

You also could use an incentive that gives your reviewer clout. That’s what TripAdvisor does with reviewer status badges.

TripAdvisor Instagram user generated content

The more traditional discount off a future purchase or some type of VIP membership benefit is also a way to drive reviews and UGC.

But you could also consider a sweepstakes strategy like that used by Macy’s, which offers its reviewers the chance at a $1,000 gift card.

Macy’s discount offer email

Again, you might want to test a few variations in your campaign to see the type of incentive that best engages your target audience. It might not be a discount or cash incentive, but rather access to some type of expertise your company can provide.

Be creative and also think about how your customers might discuss what you do for them—yet more valuable social proof.

Wrap up

Now you’re ready to jump in and start seeking UGC that can help drive conversion for your ecommerce business.

But before you start testing email campaigns to encourage reviews and other social shares, let’s consider for a moment those negative reviews you’re also likely to acquire along the way.

In the end, a smattering of so-so and even negative reviews adds legitimacy to your use of customer content. It’s really rare for everyone to like everything about a brand and its products.

That said, be sure that you are continuing to interact with your customers through a review feedback mechanism, whether the reviews are good or bad.

Find additional tips about managing your brand’s online reviews in this related post.

Don’t forget as well that the reviews aren’t just a way for your business to drive purchases. They also give you a mechanism for gathering valuable feedback—directly from your customers—that you can use to improve products and services.

Now, here’s a reminder of our five tips for growing customer reviews:

  • Target your most likely contributors.
  • Encourage sharing of photos and videos.
  • Ask for updates to keep reviews fresh.
  • Seek depth in customer product reviews to drive trust.
  • Consider incentives to gain reviews quickly.

From welcome emails to re-engagement campaigns and beyond, we seamlessly integrate with your ecommerce platforms—BigCommerce, Shopify, and WooCommerce—so you’ll have all the features you need to exceed your goals.

CM Commerce features:

  • Pre-made conversion campaigns to recover revenue from abandoned carts
  • Follow-up segmented and personalized emails for cross-selling
  • Product reviews that spotlight your happy customers and build trust (and sales)
  • Automated feedback to increase repeat revenue
  • Ready-to-go receipt templates or custom versions, coupons, and rewards with your branding

Try CM Commerce today for free.

The post Building Social Proof and User-Generated Content: How Email Can Help appeared first on Campaign Monitor.