CXL Conversion Rate Optimization: Social Proof, Neuromarketing, and Emotional Content Review

Time is so fast these days. Just like that, I’m in my fourth week of CXL Institute’s Conversion Rate Optimization Program.

And this week I got into a lot of lessons: Social Proof, Neuromarketing, and Emotional Content. So, I’m sharing with you what I learned from them.

Let’s dive in!

Social Proof

What do you think of when you hear social proof? Actually, it covers those that people say about a certain product or service. It comes from a third party so it’s unbiased.

 For instance, specific kinds of social proof include reviews, case studies, testimonials, and recommendations. For example, a famous celebrity endorsed your product. That can be social proof which can increase people’s trust.

In this course, Joel Klettke, a conversion copywriter, discusses how to gather, screen through, and display social proof to attract more customers and improve conversions.

You can gather relevant information from customers mainly from interviews or surveys.

Conducting Interviews

Now, let’s talk about interviews. If you want rich first-hand narratives about your product it’s best to have interviews with some of your customers.

Who is the ideal interviewee, you ask?

Well, he or she has three (3) main characteristics:

  1. Voluntarily and legally allowed to share his or her experience with regards to your offer
  2. He or she is part of your target market
  3. Has free time to do the interview (approx 45 to 1 hour)

What things should you remember during the interview?

First, make the interview free-flowing or conversational. Next, make the exchange follow this framework: before, during, after. 

For instance, you can ask ‘ what was going on in your life that prompted you to find a solution like ours/our product?” What did you like about our product that compelled you to use it instead of a competitor?” (before). “How was your experience purchasing the product?” (during) “What changed after you bought the product/ got the service?” (after)

Third, let your interviewees express themselves and not put words into their mouths. Lastly, you can repeat asking the same question. It’s not redundant.

Case Studies and Testimonials

So, two of the most common and effective social proof for your website are case studies and testimonials.

A case study is combining a personal or story with data. On the other hand, a testimonial is a statement from a customer that describes how a specific product has helped him or her.

What can these be used for?

They are useful for three things. First, they allow your visitors to select for themselves. When they land on your site, they can see your case studies and testimonials and think, “Is this relevant to me?” 

Next, it brings about empathy. When people share their struggle and how a certain product helped them address this pain point, your prospective customers might be able to relate and therefore take action as well.

Lastly, they can act as a point of interest. Social proof can draw people in. Some websites even use a testimonial above the fold just to highlight how much impact a product has had on someone’s life,  how it made their life better.

The best social proof is specific and shows the “before, during, and after” arc. Simply saying, “this product is the best” won’t be enough. And as you know, what counts really is the story. We all love a good story of how you changed from zero to hero by using product X.

By the way, when you include testimonials, it’s better if you have their first name, image and website. Some companies actually now go for video testimonials.

What are the common mistakes when showing social proof?

  1. Not selecting an ideal customer. You need to show social proof that’s from your target market.
  2. Displaying proof in a way that doesn’t look credible. Remember to link to websites or include headshots.
  3. Not using the proof to reinforce a specific claim.



This interesting field covers 2 spectra: neuroscience and behavior. On one end, scientists are analyzing what’s happening inside the brain when they make decisions.

On the other hand, the behavior side concerns how we can use the data in the real world. How do we use how people think to influence their preferences and buying decisions.

Well, let’s talk about some schools of thought in neuromarketing.

Daniel Kahneman proposed that we, as humans, have two kinds of thinking systems. First, is quick and fast while the second one is slow and logical. 


Another one is evolutionary psychology shows that as modern as we are, we still have that hunter-gatherer tendency.

In neuromarketing, they use a lot of devices and techniques such as electroencephalogram (EEG), biometrics, and eye-tracking. Biometrics measures heart rate, blood pressure, and others.


Emotional Content

Emotions are a big chunk of marketing. Yes because we buy based on our emotions and justify our purchases with logical reasons.

Question is, “Are you using emotional triggers effectively?” 

The instructor for this course shared a 4-step framework you can use. 

First, emotional competitor analysis. For the competitor analysis, we need to understand mainly 4 things: message, color, image, and emotional trigger.

In her example, she used dating websites. Some of these sites have a message about being close and intimate, blue as their color, a variety of images, and hope as their emotional triggers.

Check out your competition. What are they using?

Second, emotional SWOT. This is when you analyze the strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your content strategy.

Third, building an emotional content strategy.  Did you know that there are 223 emotional triggers you could use? Ask yourself, “how would you like your customers to feel when they get to your site?”

Fourth, testing. Yes, you need to see if it’s working. Check these ones:

  • Emotions
  • Elements
  • Words
  • Visuals
  • Colors


Final Thoughts

I love that the lessons this week were short but organized. I was able to understand quickly how to use social proof to increase the trust and credibility of a product. 


Perhaps the best and most refreshing lessons were from emotional content strategy. I mean, I thought emotions were pretty relative, but Talia was able to share a systematic way of using emotions to make your conversion rates better. Pretty impressive!

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