Did you know that small businesses account for 99.9% of all United States businesses? It’s true. The vast majority of markets are made up of the little guys. Mom and pop shops, artisans, and teams of close-knit startups are all essential, contributing drivers of the economy.
Every day, hundreds of thousands of customers visit Amazon and place millions of orders. Some are loyal to specific brands and are looking only for those brands when they open their browsers. Many others, however, know what type of product reviews they want but don’t have a strong preference towards any particular brand.
Thanks to Amazon’s A-to-z Guarantee, customers know that they can safely try out products from brands that they aren’t familiar with because their purchases are protected by Amazon. If anything goes wrong with the shipping process or the product, or even if they simply aren’t satisfied, customers have 30 days to return their item for a full refund. With this in mind, there isn’t much risk for them to try a new brand.
So how do you entice a customer to choose your brand and product over the rest? There are of course plenty of factors that can help to convert a potential customer into a buyer including keyword optimization, a clear title, and a competitive price. But one of the most important factors of all is product reviews.
When presented with a handful of similar options, a product’s rating will often be the deciding factor for many consumers. Product ratings with a higher number of product reviews are considered to be more legitimate and easier to trust than those with just a few. For this reason, Amazon sellers are always looking for new ways to bolster their product reviews.
Many methods used to gain product reviews aren’t legal
Unfortunately, most of the methods that Amazon sellers have come up with in the past are not allowed within Amazon’s Terms of Service. Amazon has strict rules against generating product reviews that are either inauthentic or left in exchange for some kind of compensation.
For example, paying for product reviews or agreeing to exchange positive reviews with other sellers is strictly prohibited. These methods are obvious enough breaches of the rules as they are designed around boosting review counts with fake reviews. But did you know that it is also illegal to offer free products or discounts in exchange for positive reviews?
Anything that is explicitly designed to incentivize positive reviews is against Amazon’s rules. Even when you ask for a review using a legal method like an email campaign, you aren’t allowed to ask for a “positive review”; you can only ask for an honest review. With such serious rules in place, it is best to stick to legal methods of acquiring product reviews to avoid any account penalties or suspensions.
Email Campaigns are legal and effective
The vast majority of customers will not leave a product review; many don’t have the time and many don’t even think to. Unfortunately, there are a lot of consumers that only think to leave a review if they are dissatisfied. If they are happy with their order and it works as expected, they don’t think to say anything about it.
This is what makes email campaigns so effective. A gentle reminder that product reviews help both Amazon sellers and other Amazon customers is often enough to push a buyer in the right direction to leave a review. Sending these emails after every purchase is a great way to generate product reviews, but doing so manually would take up a ton of valuable time.
Fortunately, there is a better way. Services like FeedbackWhiz help Amazon sellers to fully automate the process. Unique email campaigns can be built for each product, and smart tags like [PRODUCT NAME] will populate with order-specific details so that they come out looking customized without having to be built one at a time. Once you have your campaigns set up, they will run like clockwork and work with every sale, leaving your time freed up to use on other matters.
Sending out the first email right away
Instead of jumping right into a call to action, one method to use when creating an automated email campaign is to send out an early email just to establish a rapport with your customer. This email can be scheduled to go out as soon as an order is processed or shipped on Amazon. For example, the first email might look something like this:
Asking for a product review when the time is right
Now that you’ve established a relationship in the first email, you can make a call to action in the second. Before sending out the second email, make sure that the customer has had enough time with their product to actually have the chance to formulate an opinion on it.
For example, a new toothbrush will be used daily right away, so a buyer will likely know within a week how they like the feel of it. On the other hand, you might want to wait two or three weeks before asking for a product review on a set of crafting beads as it may take a little while for the buyer to have time to work on a new project.
With FeedbackWhiz, you can schedule emails to go out in specific time intervals such as “two weeks after the item was received”. Each product in your catalog can be customized with unique email templates and automated schedules.
Here’s an example of the second email:
Of course, these templates are just examples. Depending on your brand and the products you sell, it might make more sense for your templates to include fun images and GIFs or detailed instructions on how your customers can use their new product. Regardless of how you set up your automated email campaign, consistently asking customers for product reviews will lead to more reviews coming in. And those extra reviews could be what separates you from your competitors.