Welcome to the weird, wacky and downright stressful world of Amazon reviews. Many Amazon sellers before you have pulled their hair out trying to figure out how to get reviews on Amazon products.
Reviews can be the difference as to whether your new Amazon product takes off or fails. And Amazon has made it even harder to get reviews in recent years, as part of their quest to cut out manipulated or fake reviews.
To get reviews on Amazon in 2020, you need to have a smart strategy in place. One that gets a lot of your happy customers to share their experience, and which doesn’t leave your products at risk of having reviews blocked or deleted.
Why Do Reviews Matter?
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What’s a Good Review Rate?
To start with, it’s important to know how many reviews you can expect to come in. Many people panic that they aren’t getting any reviews, but the average rate is actually quite low.
Anecdotally, the average review rate for Amazon products is around 1-2%. Meaning, every 100 sales you make, you should expect 1 or 2 reviews. You should be able to generate a little higher than this with smart outreach. However, a rate too high (some say over 5%) could cause a review block on your products.
How to Get Reviews on Amazon: 11 Pro Tips
To help guide your outreach strategy, here are 11 proven, legitimate methods to get reviews from your customers.
1: Sell an Awesome Product
Before anything else, think about your product. Is it something people even want to review?
You can have all the outreach in the world, but if you’re selling boring, generic or low-quality products, it’s going to be hard to get many reviews – especially five-star reviews.
The best advice for how to get Amazon reviews is by putting out a great product, one that your customers love and naturally want to share a positive review for. You’ll not only get more reviews with less outreach, but they’ll be organic reviews that stick. Your competitors will likely be getting low-quality reviews that don’t pass the eye test.
Don’t just think about the product itself, too. Give people a great unboxing experience. We’re talking nice packaging, and an experience that makes them feel they just made a purchase they’re going to be happy with.
2: Use Product Inserts
Product inserts are one of the easiest, lowest-friction things you can do to get more reviews. The best part about product inserts is that you can reach every single customer with a request for a review. If they open the package, they’ll see it.
You want to take a bit of care to have something designed that looks nice, feels nice (get your insert made out of high-quality card, not a flimsy piece of paper), and does the job without being too pushy.
Even something simple is fine. “Thanks for buying our product! We’d love it if you took some time to give us feedback and share your experience on Amazon. [instructions to leave a review]”
Depending on what type of product you have, you might also want to include instructions on how to use it, or suggested uses, on one side of the insert. Helping your customer extract more value out of the product will increase your chances of getting a review.
Be careful though. Since many sellers have been using product inserts to do some black or grey-hat stuff for a while, Amazon is starting to sit up and take notice, specifically mentioning some things that are not allowed for product inserts.
- Don’t specifically ask for 5-star reviews or positive reviews
- Don’t tell customers for a review only if they’re happy
- Don’t offer an incentive for a review (such as an Amazon gift card or cash back, for example)
3: Follow Up in Email
With everything new in online marketing, one thing that has stood the test of time is email.
There’s a reason just about any site you go on tries to make you hand over your email address. It’s super cheap to send out emails, it’s not overly intrusive, and an email list is a great way to keep in touch with your audience and keep them engaged.
This makes it a great channel to reach out for reviews too. The cost of email outreach is low and the level of customization you have with email is excellent. A well-written email follow up can easily generate a steady flow of reviews.
The only hard thing with reaching out via email is capturing your customers’ real email address. You can’t get this from Amazon, so the way to do it is driving traffic to Amazon, from outside traffic sources like Facebook or Google Ads. Use a landing page as a go-between before they reach Amazon, and get them to leave their email in exchange for a small discount*.
You could also include a link to a landing page on your Amazon product insert, where you can use a discount code or something like a warranty for an email address.
Of course, once you have an email list, driving sales and asking for reviews afterwards is a breeze. It just takes a little work upfront.
*If you want to capture emails to get reviews, be careful not to offer too big a discount. Discounts of more than 30-50% make the purchase ineligible for verified reviews, while extremely high discounts may not be able to leave one at all.
4: Follow Up in Messenger/ManyChat
Facebook Messenger can be an alternative (or supplement) to email follow ups. In comparison, Messenger has much less friction, with much better open rates and click-through rates on average. This is great for getting people to take action and actually write a review.
The same thing as before applies to getting customers’ Messenger profile, to be able to message them. You’ll want to send traffic to Amazon via Facebook Ads – ideally Click-to-Messenger “JSON” ads. This is a type of ad which opens a Messenger conversation, with an automated flow to follow. Once the customer interacts with the conversation, you’ll be able to message and target them with a Messenger tool like ManyChat.
5: Facebook Retargeting
As a less direct method, you can create Facebook Ads to target past buyers, asking for reviews.
In your order reports, you’ll be able to download some info from your past customers*, which you can upload as a custom audience to Facebook. You can then create a Facebook Ad that asks for a review (even better if it’s a video!)
The pro for this method is that you can directly target past buyers, outside of Amazon’s ecosystem. You can even tailor the ad content to the exact product they purchased, to make it super personalized.
The cons: it’s likely to be pretty expensive, so it may only be worth it for super-competitive categories. It’s also most likely against Amazon’s terms, in that you’re using customer info to contact buyers outside of Amazon (though it’s unlikely they would take any action on something like this). So proceed with caution.
*In 2019/20 some sellers have been reporting that they can’t access information like buyers’ name and address anymore, so it’s possible in the near future that all sellers will have customer information further restricted.
6: Follow Up on Amazon
A year or two ago, this method would have been at the top of the list. But Amazon has been tightening the screws on their buyer-seller messages, and autoresponder tools are a lot less effective than they once were.
It’s still useful to follow up with a software tool and request a review or seller feedback. But know what is allowed and what isn’t. Otherwise, you’re going to get your messaging privileges taken away, as many sellers have found recently.
Make sure you only send one request, and don’t do any things that violate terms (like putting [IMPORTANT] in the subject line, or including marketing material of any kind).
See this post for more on the best Amazon email tools.
7: Use the “Request a Review” Button
Late in 2019 Amazon introduced a new feature, which may spell the end for Amazon autoresponders and buyer-seller messages. The feature lets you send review requests to customers by just clicking a button on the orders page.
By hitting the button, Amazon will email the customer with a standardized email requesting a product review and seller feedback.
You won’t be able to personalize this email, which isn’t ideal, but you will be able to touch base with every single customer, with a low-friction option for them to leave a review (they just need to click the stars in the email). Doing this for every customer should result in at least a small increase on the average rate (assuming your product is high quality, of course!)
8: Check Your Seller Feedback
You could have more reviews already written, just in the wrong place. Customers often mistake seller feedback for product reviews, and end up writing feedback meant for the product in the wrong place.
It pays to search your seller feedback regularly, and see if any of the feedback looks like it was supposed to be a product review. If you find any (and obviously only if it’s positive!), reach out to the customer, thanking them, and kindly asking if they could put the same thing as an Amazon product review.
(If you find a negative review in your seller feedback, reach out to Amazon and have it deleted. They’ll be pretty quick to delete anything that’s meant to be a product review).
9: Enroll in the Amazon Early Reviewer Program
Amazon has a couple of programs that help you get reviews, too. The Amazon Early Reviewer program is one especially for helping new products get their first reviews.
How it works is, if you have Brand Registry, you can enroll products that don’t yet have any reviews for $60 per product. Amazon will then reach out to buyers of your product with an incentive (a small Amazon gift card) if they write a review.
Any reviews you get will have a little badge on it, saying “Early Reviewer Rewards”. Amazon will continue to search for reviewers for 12 months from the time you enroll your product, or until you get 5 reviews from the program (this is the maximum number of early reviewer reviews you can get).
Keep in mind that you can’t influence whether it’s a good or bad review. You could easily get 5 reviews through the program that are all bad reviews. So be sure your product is up to standard before you enroll it.
10: The Amazon Vine Program
Along with the Early Reviewer Program, Amazon has the Vine Program to help connect sellers with reviewers. Previously only for Vendor Central, Vine is now open to Brand Registered sellers too.
How Vine works is you’ll provide 30 units of your product, which a selection of top reviewers (“Vine Voices”) will be offered for free to test and review.
To enroll an Amazon product in the Vine Program, you must have Brand Registry, and the product must have fewer than 30 reviews. You’ll also need the inventory on hand to provide to reviewers.
Like early reviewer reviews, reviews left from Vine will have a badge to identify them. They’ll be honest reviews as well, so don’t expect positive reviews if your product isn’t up to standard.
11: Build Relationships With Your Customers
The best way to get a consistent stream of (positive) reviews? It’s not a quick, push-button method. It takes time and effort, but it will pay off for your business in the end.
You want to put in work to build relationships between your brand and your customers. If you can build a brand that your customers love, they’ll reciprocate the love by helping you out. Your loyal fans will write reviews on their own accord. Even better, they’ll be quality reviews that help push conversions.
Some things you can do to start building relationships include:
- Being active on social media
- Consistently emailing your audience
- Providing value to your audience
- Delivering a great customer experience
- Crafting a likable brand persona
An important part is delivering value to your audience. Too many people build a list or social media audience, and only contact them asking for something or trying to sell things. That’s not an effective way to get people to respond to you (that includes asking for reviews).
Get your customers to love your brand, and I promise, you’ll find yourself getting reviews on autopilot.
The Best Way to Ask for Amazon Reviews
The best way to consistently get reviews is by selling a quality product, exceeding your customers’ expectations in terms of quality and customer service, and putting the work into building a brand with a following.
Otherwise, the most effective strategy to get more reviews is to have multiple touchpoints, without overwhelming your customers.
- Include a product insert with a request for a review
- Use the request a review button
- Follow up with Messenger or email
- Use Early Reviewer/Vine to get initial reviews for new products
Do all these, and you’re certain to get more than the regular review rate. Even a one percent increase is likely better than the competition.
Amazon Reviews Do’s and Don’ts
Here are some more small tips on what you should or shouldn’t do to get more reviews (specifically positive reviews!)
Focus on the customer. Amazon product reviews aren’t just about the product. The customer’s experience also comes into play when someone decides whether or not to leave a review, and whether to leave a good review. Everything you do, from writing your product listing to reaching out for reviews, do it with customer satisfaction in mind.
Have a system in place. Getting reviews is all about consistency. You’re not going to get a response from 100% of your outreach. But by consistent outreach after each new sale, you’ll have a steady flow of reviews that will keep you above the average rate.
Keep discounts low. High discounts can be a problem. Reviews from large discounts (more than 30-50%) will appear as unverified. While a lot of reviews on very high discounts (>75%) may trigger a review block. If you run high-value discounts, consider not asking for reviews from these purchases.
Take cues from past reviews. Keep getting negative reviews about the same thing? There’s probably something wrong with your product that can be fixed. Listen to your customers, and fix any common problems that come up.
Buy reviews. Any service that says they can get reviews for you should not be trusted. Amazon eventually picks up on people getting paid for fake reviews. If you’re lucky, the buyer account will just have their reviews wiped, including those on your listing. If you’re not, your account or listing may be deactivated.
Incentivize reviews. Same thing. Incentivizing reviews at all (free products for reviews, explicitly offering a discount or rebate in exchange for a review) will result in a zero-tolerance response from Amazon, even if they’re not fake reviews If you do this in 2020, you’re asking to get banned.
Ask people to change their reviews. New updates to Amazon’s terms of service explicitly state you can’t ask someone to change a review. You can, and should, reach out to people with negative reviews and try to make it right. But don’t ask them to change it. If they decide to, that’s up to them.
Get family or friends to leave reviews. Amazon is very good at catching on to reviews made by family or friends (or anyone related to you). Don’t risk this, as it will get your account or listing banned FAST. If you’re struggling to get initial reviews for a new Amazon product, enroll in a program like the Early Reviewer program, or try some outreach for sales & reviews on Facebook Ads.
Amazon Product Reviews FAQ
Can you ask for reviews on Amazon?
Yes, you can still ask for reviews. Amazon’s new terms state you can only send one request for a review through Buyer-Seller Messaging. Whether this includes the “Request a Review” button is unclear, so to be safe, don’t use both methods. (you can still ask for reviews outside of Amazon).
Can people review an Amazon product without purchasing on Amazon?
Yes. If someone purchased your Amazon product somewhere else (another marketplace, your own site), they can review it on Amazon. However, the review will be unverified, and too many unverified reviews may look suspicious to Amazon.
How long do Amazon product reviews take to post?
Usually within 72 hours. In some cases it can be sooner, in some a little longer (up to 4-5 days).
Why can’t my customer leave a review?
If customers report they can’t review your product, it’s possible your listing has a temporary or permanent review block. If it’s a new buyer account, they may also not meet the necessary requirements for writing product reviews yet.
Find more answers to frequently asked questions, straight from Amazon, here.
How to Get Amazon Reviews in 2020 – In Summary
Reviews for Amazon products are so important. They help you get more conversions, as well as making your product show up higher and attract more clicks in Amazon search. But they’re harder than ever to get.
In the old days, getting reviews on Amazon was easy. Sign up for a review service, give away some free products, and watch your review count grow.
With each new year it’s getting harder, and Amazon is policing product reviews more closely. In 2020, you need to be smart, with a waterproof outreach strategy. Set up multiple touchpoints (which don’t break Amazon’s terms of service), and you’ll stand a great chance of being above the average review rate.
Of course, over everything, make sure you sell a great product. Doing this, and providing a great customer experience, will make your outreach more successful, and result in a ton of product reviews on autopilot.
Want to go over these powerful review-generating tactics again? Watch this video: