How to Collect User Generated Content with Powerful Emails [Templates Inside]
By Angie Abratiguin in Blog Blog | 10 minute read

Collect User Generated Content With Powerfull Emails templates Inside

Today more than ever marketers have to dig deeper into their tactics arsenal with high hopes of pulling that one killer tool that will drive their campaigns.

Faced with tough economic conditions, diminishing spending power, and the ever-evolving consumer needs, marketers have had little to no choice but to ditch brand-led marketing campaigns or at least use less of it, in favor of consumer-driven tactics.

Why? Are brands not “cool” anymore? Of course they are! But only as long as they place the consumer first.

In other words: sure you can speak about your brand. But you should do it from the customer’s perspective. Better yet, you should do it in their own voice.

This brings us to the reason why we are all gathered here today.

In the wake of drastically reduced digital marketing budgets, user-generated content or UGC has increasingly emerged as the silver bullet that can provide marketers with the hope that their marketing strategies might just get their target audience talking about them.

OK, this sounds too gloomy. It’s more than mere hope. It’s a vetted tactic that works across industries and geographies.

But before we go any farther, what exactly is UGC, and what’s all the fuss about?

What Is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content (UGC) is simply any form of original content – text, video, or photo – that is created or generated by consumers of a certain brand. UGC can be a simple comment on social media about a product or even an experience based on the product’s usage from a consumer’s perspective.

It could also be a photo of the product that’s accompanied by just a simple hashtag that summarizes what the user feels about it or even a comment on the brand’s blog.

This kind of original content is extremely beneficial to both the consumer and the brand. It encourages greater interaction between them, enhances bidirectional engagement, and also creates an effective platform where queries can be highlighted and addressed.

For brands, UGC delivers unique and fresh content, especially if their target audience is actively engaged and is constantly sharing content based on their experience.

For consumers, UGC allows them to collaborate with their favorite brands and creatively express their honest and unbiased opinion. While a good chunk of UGC is consumer-initiated – based on personal experiences -, some of it might also be triggered by brands. The only difference is that time user-generated content will have an encouraging incentive attached to it — either way, it’s a great and impactful tactic to use.

5 Reasons Why UGC is Great for Your Business

User-Generated Content adds much-needed credibility

It’s no secret that all successful brands thrive on their strong credibility. This important attribute doesn’t just happen overnight.

It takes years upon years of work and effort both offline and online. However, in this digital age, your business doesn’t necessarily have to wait that long to gain credibility. Your brand can quickly and cost-effectively start to build its credibility using user-generated content.

UGC helps brands become more trustworthy among their users. Nonetheless, to achieve this, you also need to reciprocate by showing keen interest in their thoughts, feelings, and ideas. This way, you will also gain their confidence in your brand and, most importantly, your products or services.

Attracts more prospects

When consumers talk about your business or products constantly and positively, it shows others that they trust you. By doing so, chances are that other people will pick up on those positive vibes either through social media or other digital marketing platforms and also want a piece of that action.

This is what is known as ‘social proof’ and this is exactly what people are now looking for when they are just about to shop for a certain product online. So, the more people engage with you on social media or blog, the more chances you’ll have of attracting new customers. And you know exactly what that means, don’t you?

Boosts your search engine optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an integral part of digital marketing. It can make your business or brand more visible online, especially when relevant search queries are performed by your prospects and your website pops up high on the search engine results page.

But to be able to achieve this, your SEO game needs to be on point. Now back that up with UGC and your web content will be performing exceptionally well.

User-Generated Content in Numbers

While UGC is steadily becoming adopted as an effective digital marketing tactic, there are many businesses that, for one reason or another, are still not sold to the idea. Are you one of them?

If so, you have to keep reading. The numbers below will prove without a shadow of a doubt that user-generated content is the single most effective (and most affordable!) tactic you can use for…pretty much anything.

84 percent of consumers say that they trust recommendations from other people significantly more than advertising. Quite a shocker, right? It might be, but it’s also good news, especially if you’re tired of the incredibly hefty price tags of advertising.

Consumer Trust of the following forms of advertising

Image Source: Nielsens

Content shared by employees receives 8x the engagement of content shared on brand channels.

87 percent of brands use free user-generated content to develop authentic content. Did you see that? FREE content produced by users can power your content strategy. Who doesn’t like free stuff?

56 percent of consumers admit that they found out about a product or service through a friend.

Reasons Adult worldwide look for extra information and context when digitally shopping

Image Source: eMarketer

62 percent of consumers in Australia, France, the UK, and the United States admit that they are more likely to buy a product (or service) if they were able to view customer content (video or photo). Turning consumers into brand ambassadors? Yes, please!

48 percent of consumers believe that posts created by others in their network are a great way to discover new brands, products, and retailers. Why? Because they obviously trust their peers more than advertising.

Videos created by users receive 10x more views on YouTube compared to those created by brands

These are just some of the statistics that make a compelling case for UGC and underscore the reason why you should be using more content that your social media followers generate. So, now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s tackle the elephant in the room.

How to Collect User-Generated Content

While most UGC is unsolicited, which is great because it makes it more believable and trustworthy, it still doesn’t hurt anyone or the brand if you ask for it. You just need to be tactical about it. Put it in a way that will encourage your target audience to reciprocate.

Most consumers are more than willing to drop a comment either in the form of a review or to add your brand’s hashtag in one of their social media posts. How do you think most brands get the star ratings?

Seventy percent of consumers are ready to leave a review for a business when asked to do so while 72 of US consumers have written a review of a local business in 2020 compared to 66 percent in 2019.

Local Consumer Review Survey

Image Source: Bright Local

Reviews have a massive influence on a consumer’s purchase decision. This is partly because their purchase journey is not complete until they conduct a web search to find out, among other things, what other people are saying about the said product and their experiences.

They also want to find out if the brand is responsive to customer queries, something that they can easily find out through social media by checking out the brand’s social pages.

A more interactive brand on social media will most likely attract a lot of attention from prospects who need more information about products or services being offered. The more engaging a brand is on social media the more it’s likely to attract reviews and other forms of UGC.

Apart from just plainly asking for reviews, you might want to spice things up a bit by throwing in an incentive to encourage greater participation from your followers and loyal customers. It could be a chance to enter a draw to win a gift hamper or a coupon. Such incentives are a great way of getting consumers to drop a comment or give your brand a star rating after interacting with your brand online.

So, don’t be afraid to ask consumers to either rate you or simply share their experience with your product or service. Politely show them that doing so will help you to improve their overall customer experience and your products/services as well.

Also, remember to make it simple for them to write the review by giving them easy choices and explaining what they need to do. It could be to upload a photo, drop a comment, use a hashtag or record a short video – whatever it is, make it clear and simple. Anything overly complicated and they might just pass on the opportunity.

Integration is another effective way of generating UGC. With the right integration platform, you will be able to pinpoint exactly which customers are more likely to offer UGC. Integration solutions such SyncApps, Mailchimp for Salesforce are particularly effective when it comes to keeping your customers, clients, and partners engaged in real-time.

When you integrate your marketing automation solution into your CRM or your ERP, you know A LOT more about a customer’s journey. You know what they clicked on, what they bought, what other products they viewed, and which of your pages they lingered more on.

Armed with all this information, you can easily pinpoint which customers are likely to create UGC when asked. All you have to do is send them the right email and wait for the content to pour in.

Ready? Let’s see how you can do that effectively.

Powerful Templates to Help You Collect User-Generated Content

To get you started on UGC, here are some templates that you can emulate for your business.

1. Hello [customer name],

We’re so happy to see you enjoying our [product/ service]!

We’re stoked to see you already left some positive feedback. Want to say something more or expand upon your feedback? You can write a short testimonial here [insert link]. This will help other customers decide which products they should try next.

It only takes 5 minutes and it will mean a lot to us. Thanks in advance!

2. Hi, [customer name],

We’re so happy that you benefited from our [product/service]. We love the way [briefy explain the process] helped you out with [the problem they had].

You too can help other folks! All you need to do is to let us share your story with them by answering a few questions in the form on the link below.

[form link]

Thank you!

3. Hi, [customer name],

Did our [name product or service] meet your expectations?

Review it here. [insert link]

Thank you and have a great day.

4. Hi, [customer name],

If you have 5 minutes to spare we have an exclusive discount for you. Leave a review of your recent experience with [our brand] and as a thank you, we’ll email you a 15% discount code that you can use on your next purchase.

Plus, you’ll help other customers make informed decisions. What’s not to like?

Conclusion

UGC is a great tactic that can also make your brand stand out. It’s a cheap and effective way of curating genuine and authentic content that can help you generate and nurture leads. UGC can significantly enhance your digital channels – you just need to be bold enough to ask your customers to share their experiences.

Ready to start turning user-generated content into a well-oiled cash machine?

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