This is a guest post by Cory Checketts, Feedback Genius Marketing Specialist at Seller Labs
Everything in our modern world seems to be getting smarter. Just look at the monumental leaps mobile phones have made in the past 10 years. You wouldn’t use a first-generation iPhone in 2018 would you? I doubt it—besides it probably wouldn’t even work.
This is because the technology we use daily changes so fast that what once used to work perfectly, is now obsolete and ineffective for our needs.
This example can be juxtaposed to your current Amazon selling strategy. What worked well for you in 2015, no longer works as well in 2018. Why? Because the way you sell—and everybody else—has gotten more sophisticated. Not only that, Amazon shoppers have grown to expect more out of the things they buy as well as from whom they buy.
You can no longer “rest on your laurels,” as the famous idiom goes. Now is the time to update your Amazon selling strategies and tactics.
And more specifically, the tactic of asking your shoppers for a product review in 2018.
Some History on Amazon Product Reviews
Amazon’s product reviews have had somewhat of a tumultuous history. Whether that be from criticisms of their legitimacy, usefulness and truthfulness—one’s thing’s for certain, we’ve all used them to research the products we’re interested in.
When shopping online, we want to feel validated in our beliefs about a product’s perceived value. We want social proof, because if everyone’s doing it then it has to be good, right?
But not all product reviews are created equally. In late 2016, Amazon published a blog post that banned the practice of incentivized product reviews. Meaning, that sellers could no longer offer their products at a discount in exchange for a product review.
Needless to say, this shook up the industry and left many sellers (new and old) searching for ways to grow and improve their product reviews. The next best tactic is to email buyers to ask for a product review.
And so sellers started messaging their buyers more than before asking for product reviews.
But then some sellers started stretching Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging guidelines, which prompted it to make updates. These said updates can be found here and include things like:
- Attempts to divert transactions or buyers
- Unauthorized business names
- Inappropriate email communications
- Direct email addresses
- Multiple seller accounts
- And much more
Even though Amazon had to update some of its messaging policies, it did not ban the practice of proactively emailing buyers to solicit a product review or seller feedback.
Getting Product Reviews in 2018
In 2018, it is clear from Amazon that its Marketplace sellers can email shoppers to ask for a product review or seller feedback, as long as the message is in accordance with Amazon’s rules.
Messaging Best Practices
- Don’t Over-Send
Be courteous and follow the Golden Rule: treat others as you’d like to be treated. You wouldn’t want to get blitzed by a series of emails from one product you purchased on Amazon, would you?
So how many emails should you send: one. That’s right, just one. At Seller Labs, we noticed that the majority of Feedback Genius users send a single email. Remember, the customer is Amazon’s top priority. And if you’re are not enhancing their shopping experience, you’re doing harm.
This is why you need to make your one message impactful, concise and relevant to the buyer. If you’re looking to get a product review, then ask for a product review. But don’t make it about your needs—make it about them.
Frame your message so the buyer understands what’s in it for them. You could say something like, “If you’re like me, you probably value honest and well-thought product reviews when you’re shopping on Amazon. Would you be willing to share your thoughts about product X so you can help other shoppers, like yourself, make informed purchases on Amazon?”.
This approach puts the buyer in the shoes of other shoppers and shows them the value they can produce for other shoppers. Not once did I mention anything about what’s in it for the seller.
- Obey Email Opt-Outs
As of March of 2017, Amazon let its shoppers opt out of seller messages. Initially sellers didn’t like this but buyers loved it and it forced sellers to rethink what customers want and how they want to be engaged. Because of this change, Feedback Genius added an opt-out manager and a Global Blacklist feature.
Use Feedback Genius to Get Product Reviews
At the very least you need to be sending an email to your buyers asking for a product review. You should have a separate email for every product you sell.
Messaging for Repeat Buyers
If you sell a product that buyers will repeatedly purchase (any consumable) then you have yourself a unique opportunity to ask for a product review.
Rather than sending a product review request the first time a buyer purchase from you, send your product review request message after the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th time someone buys from you. Why? Because nobody will buy a bad product twice.
Using Feedback Genius, you can send emails to buyers who have purchased from you multiple times. Each message will be tailored to their experience. And stop asking for a review once you receive it. We had a Feedback Genius customer use this tactic and he increased his sales by 50% with 30% of his sales coming from recurring customers within three months.
How to Get Verified Product Reviews
The easiest way to get verified product reviews is to let shoppers organically review your products. But why wait for shoppers to leave a product review? Instead, proactively and automatically message them to ask for a product review with Feedback Genius.
Step 1: Request the product review
- Working with the assumption that any product purchased on Amazon is qualified to receive a “Verified Purchase” badge, you can message anyone who purchases from you with a solicitation to leave a review.
- Within Feedback Genius, you’ll want to determine your message’s timing to ask for a product review. You can read our guide for more information on how to ask for a product review.
- Use the “Discount Applied” filter in Feedback Genius if you want to exclude shoppers who received your product at a discount. This will increase the chance of getting a verified purchase stamp.
Step 2: To get or not to get a verified product review?
- Remember, a review is still helpful and useful even if it is not tagged as a verified purchase. Many shoppers don’t exclusively use this filter for products they’re researching.
- Additionally, you can get product review notifications with Feedback Genius. These notifications let you respond to any product review in the form of a public comment on Amazon.
You have to work harder than before to get Amazon product reviews. But this means that the product reviews you get should be more substantial than before. This is because buyers who are willing to put in the extra work to leave a review, will typically leave an honest review—positive, neutral or negative.
Best of all, you don’t have to work like a dog to get product reviews. Thanks to automation, you can be in many places and do many things at a single time. With Feedback Genius you just have to write your product review request emails once and schedule them to send based on the delivery parameters you set. What’s more, you can test multiple versions of an email to see which one performs better. This practice will yield more feedback and reviews.
Don’t take my word for it. Try Feedback Genius completely free for 30 days. And if your feedback and reviews aren’t growing, you can cancel at anytime—completely risk free.
About the Author
Cory is the Feedback Genius Marketing Specialist at Seller Labs. He has more than six years of experience doing digital marketing and professional writing. When he’s not working he’s getting dropped off the back of amateur cycling pelotons or yammering incessantly about motorsports.
Click here to read a comprehensive guide on getting Amazon reviews, including using autoresponder tools like Feedback Genius.