Reviews are one of the biggest “make or break” factors for Amazon products.
Products with more reviews tend to have higher rankings, and higher conversion rates, as they provide better “social proof” for Amazon shoppers.
The cruel twist of fate is that reviews are hard to come by for products on Amazon. Customers only leave reviews around 1-2% of the time, and there is a long list of strict rules Amazon provides sellers for what they can and can’t do to get reviews.
That puts sellers who have a strong strategy to get reviews at a competitive advantage. Of these sellers, most (if not all) are using product inserts to ask for reviews from their customers.
This post will explain how you can utilize product inserts to get more reviews on Amazon, as well as giving you some tips on creating an effective insert.
What is a Product Insert?
A product insert is a small card placed inside your product’s packaging. When a customer opens their package, they’ll see the card.
You can use this card to communicate directly with your customer, which is extremely hard to do with Amazon’s many filters between you and your end consumer.
Product inserts are used by all kinds of businesses, on and off Amazon, to promote an offer, advertise other products, give instructions and advice on how to use the product, or to simply say thank you.
Why Product Inserts Work Great for Reviews
Asking for product reviews is notoriously difficult for Amazon sellers.
Amazon doesn’t want you to have too much contact with customers after they make a purchase, so the options for you to reach out to people who bought your product and ask for a review are limited.
You can reach out through Amazon’s messaging system, but these messages are strictly monitored for TOS violations, and many customers have opted out anyway.
You can also make first contact with customers outside of Amazon (such as Facebook Ads), send them through to Amazon, then follow up in regular email to ask for a review. But it’s hard to tell for sure who actually bought the product, so you may end up asking for a review from a lot of people who didn’t make a purchase.
Product inserts let you communicate with people who definitely bought your product. They’ll be visible by every customer (as long as they open the box), and better yet, they let you talk to them right when the product arrives.
You avoid problems like asking for reviews too soon (when the product hasn’t even arrived) or too late (when the emotions of the unboxing experience and first impressions have faded).
Two Strategies to Get Reviews with Inserts
There are two ways we’re going to propose to ask for reviews with inserts; a direct, and indirect approach.
One is not necessarily better than the other. You may want to experiment and split test one method against the other, to see which provides the best results.
The first method is to simply ask directly on the insert for a review.
This is low-friction, and works well by getting a review request in front of every person who buys your product.
You want to first express your gratitude to the customer for buying the product. Don’t lead by asking for something from the customer right out of the gate.
Providing some kind of value, such as instructions or suggested uses of the product, helps too.
After that, you’re free to include a brief call-to-action for the customer to leave a review. Ask in a clear and simple way, with easy to follow instructions, that also plays on the customers’ nobler motives.
You might ask like this:
‘Could you please leave us a product review? It helps our small business immensely, and also helps other customers make more informed decisions. Thank you 🙂
Sign into Amazon.com
Hover over Account & Lists
Under Your Account, click Your Orders Orders
Find this order and click Write a Product Review
Be honest 🙂
You can reach us at anytime at XXX-XXX-XXXX or email@example.com’
To comply with Amazon’s stricter product review policies, you should make sure you’re asking for an honest review – not just a positive one.
Indirect Approach: Incentive – Email – Ask
The alternative is to take an indirect approach. With this strategy, your goal is to get the customer to give you their email address (or another kind of contact info). Once they do this, you follow up and ask them through email (or your chosen communication channel) for a review.
Generally you’ll want to offer an incentive for people to enter their email. This could be an offer for a free product, entry to a giveaway, a warranty signup, or downloadable content (such as a PDF ebook). These are just a few ideas.
Personally I like this strategy the best, because:
- Email makes it easier to send people to the review page, as they’re already on their phone/computer
- You can time review requests more accurately, if you want to ask only when someone’s had a chance to use the product
- Providing more value upfront increases the chance of customers leaving a positive review
- You get even more value than just a boost in reviews, as you’re building a list too
However, As we said earlier, you’re probably best to test both strategies to see what’s best for you.
Here’s how the process plays out.
First, the customer sees the product insert with an offer for a free PDF download, for example. The insert instructs the customer to go to a URL to get their offer.
The URL leads to a simple landing page, asking the customer to enter their email to get the offer.
Upon signing up, you deliver the freebie, and the ask, in the same manner above, if the customer will leave a review.
(You could also separate the review request into a later email, if you wish).
It’s very simple. Best of all, 99% of this can be automated, so it runs in the background without any day-to-day work necessary.
To-Do’s, and Not-to-Do’s with Amazon Product Inserts
There are some things you should be sure to do with these product insert review requests, and some things to avoid.
#1: Follow the rules
Product inserts are not policed that closely by Amazon, but you should still keep your strategy within TOS, so you don’t risk getting banned.
Offering an incentive in exchange for a review is strictly against Amazon’s rules. So if you’re using the second method, be careful about how you word this. Don’t link the incentive to the review.
If you were to say “we’ll give you a free product if you leave a review”, that’s 100% against TOS.
However, if you say, “enter your email to get a free product”, then later on ask for a review separately, this is ok.
Along with this, you can get in trouble if you use suggestive wording or practices to encourage only positive reviews.
You can’t say “if you’re happy, leave a review”, or ask a customer to leave a “positive” review.
The above example would be in violation of terms of service, as it only asks for a review from happy customers, while asking unhappy customers to contact the company directly.
Want more clarification? Here’s a reminder on product insert policies from the Amazon seller forums:
Asking for reviews is fine – but you can’t ask for positive reviews.
#2: Say thank you
Always lead with appreciation. This gets the customer in a positive frame of mind, and softens them up to where they’re more likely to say “yes” when you eventually ask for a review.
You should take this approach whenever you contact your customers – if you only ever talk to your customers to ask for something, they’re going to ignore you pretty quickly.
#3: Provide value
The more value a customer gets out of your product, the happier they’ll be. It’s in your best interests to help them along the way.
If you can include installation instructions, suggested uses, or anything else that helps someone use your product, do it.
#4: Show off your brand’s identity
Branding opportunities on Amazon are few and far between. So take any chance you can to communicate outside Amazon and build your brand.
Instead of a plain white card with plain black text, add your brand’s logo, and try to inject a bit of personality. This will help build your brand as one the customer remembers, and hopefully they will start to develop brand loyalty for you.
Product Insert Design Tips
Product inserts are usually about the size of business cards, or a bit larger. You want to make your product cards easy to read. Don’t jam too much information on a small card.
Put your brand logo on the card. And infuse your brand voice into it (and all communications).
A simple design is usually best – it’s worth it to get something designed professionally, since this will be representing your brand with many many customers.
Sample Insert Cards for Reviews
Here are some examples of insert cards used to ask for reviews, which you can use for inspiration when creating your own.
This insert has a really clean design, and does a great job of thanking the customer and helping them use the product.
You can customize the text to fit the voice of your brand (and obviously make sure you don’t have any spelling mistakes!).
The coupon code is a great touch, as it helps you bring back repeat customers. It’s also a way to subtly influence a positive review, by providing additional value to the customer – just as long as you don’t link the discount to the review request, which would be clearly against TOS (e.g. “Here’s a discount code, now could you go and leave a review on Amazon?).
If you’re not too concerned about dipping a little grey-hat, you could link to a landing page where the customer has to opt-in via email to get the discount code (instead of displaying it right on the insert). This is a powerful way to build your email list.
This insert has a really nice design, but is a clear example of what’s against Terms of Service. It seems innocent enough, but asking happy customers to leave a review and unhappy customers to contact you is 100% not allowed. You’re at risk of suspension if Amazon checks, or someone reports you.
[Source : my own purchase]
This is a great way to build a huge email list. All the customer has to do is visit a landing page, enter their email and order ID (to confirm they actually made a purchase), and they get sent a free product.
The product insert does a great job communicating this, as well as making the customer feel good about buying. It also makes good use of a vanity URL for the landing page, making it easy for people to type in the URL and redeem their prize.
After collecting email signups this way, you can use the emails collected to ask for reviews – just as long as you don’t only make the free product contingent on leaving a review.
This doesn’t directly ask for a review (you may want to make it 2-sided and politely ask for a review on the other side), but it’s still an awesome idea for a product insert. This insert delivers helpful content for the buyer to get more value out of the product, and answers FAQs that may often result in confusion and/or negative reviews.
This insert would probably result in more positive reviews than ones that directly ask the customer for a review.
This is another awesome design that focuses on value and branding first, reviews second. It does have a small ask weaved in the middle, which is small enough to not feel like a blatant “please help us out”.
Focus on the customer first, like this insert does, and you’ll be doing better than 95% of sellers on Amazon.
This insert combines beautiful design with a great list building tactic – asking customers to register and receive a free warranty.
It also gives clear yet short instructions on leaving a review, without suggestive wording (like “leave a positive review”).
However, be aware that this insert is almost certainly against Terms of Service. It can be considered illegal for directing support queries to your own email, not to mention linking to the website/social media pages outside of Amazon.
Levoit is a big brand that can most likely get away with breaking terms on things like this. It may be a risk for a smaller store, but it’s definitely an effective strategy.
Again, this insert skirts the lines of the TOS. It’s likely against terms, but a small change in copy would fix that.
The best part about this is that the review request is very short. It has a whole side dedicated to clear instructions that will help customers get value out of the product.
Clear branding, a QR code to an email capture landing page and a call to action to share on social are more ways this product insert is going to keep delivering value with each purchase.
This has a clean design, and clear instructions to leave a product review. Yet the most prominent part is the “Thank You”, which delivers gratitude and a good feeling for the customer, before the ask comes in.
It’s also fully within terms, so serves as inspiration for anyone who wants to be 100% above board.
Finally, it’s a great example of an insert for marketplaces outside of the US, where you may have a muti-lingual customer base.
Super simple, but great branding and a feel-good touch for the customer.The only ask is a simple callout on social media, which the company (Sticker Mule) says results in hundreds of mentions each week.
Using Amazon Product Inserts to Get Reviews: In Summary
We’ve discussed in this post all you need to know about Amazon product inserts, and how to use them effectively to get reviews.
If you’re ready to test out the methods in this post, you’ll want to create an account with LandingCube to create tracking links for your product inserts, QR codes, and signup landing pages to collect email options.
Start your free trial now to begin getting more reviews: