What is the first thing consumers do before making a purchase? The answer is to do research. It seems that 90% of consumers only decide to buy after reading online reviews. The product reviews need to be positive, of course.
In other words, product reviews can help you as a company in many ways. They can help you earn the trust of new customers, create better products or services, get solid social proof, and increase conversions.
However, it can be challenging to get product reviews from clients. Here are six ways to get more of those from customers.
1. Offer Incentives to Write Reviews
Some customers believe writing reviews is time-consuming. Therefore, it will help to offer incentives to get product reviews. These incentives can come in different ways: coupons, discounts, free shipping, loyalty points, sweepstakes, early access to sales, and free products. Incentives are an effective way of appreciating your customers for giving feedback.
That’s an excellent example of how you should write your email to encourage a customer to leave reviews. Make sure you encourage your clients to leave honest reviews. Consumers nowadays can see whether or not the reviews they read are organic. Besides, negative reviews can help you as much as positive reviews. They can serve as your guidelines on how to improve your products or services and, in turn, satisfy customers.
2. Run Contests
Contests can help you get product reviews from clients. People are naturally drawn to contests because they are fun and yield something of value in return for them.
You can run a contest for a trip, tickets to a concert, movie, sporting event, gym membership, restaurant gift cards, giveaways, and an appliance.
Here’s an example of how to run a contest for reviews. The Holy Grail Steak Co. asked customers to comment on why their dads deserved the prize of over $1,400 of steak and burgers. The contest was run at an appropriate time, too, just in time for Father’s Day.
Note that customers can leave reviews in different ways, including videos or online testimonials. It will be best to choose one for your contest for efficiency. If you decide to use product videos, set a time limit. Also, have a deadline for customers sending the review. This way, your team can have ample time to examine each and determine the winner.
3. Send Post-Purchase Emails
Post-purchase emails have proven to be effective in generating reviews. After your customers make a purchase, it is vital to send a follow-up email to ask them about their experience.
Send this email a few days after the purchase. That will give the customer ample time to use the product and generate insights. It will also ensure the customer remembers every detail about the product to share with other potential customers.
Here’s a sample post-purchase email sent by Asos for generating feedback. One look and the email recipient knows the email seeks to generate product reviews. The email doesn’t waste the recipient’s time beating around the bush.
All your email needs are a thank you statement and a call-to-action. Avoid filling the content with promotional elements.
Besides, you need to personalize the email. Use the customer’s name a couple of times in the email. If possible, include their purchase info, too, so they’ll remember the product you’re referring to.
Use a relevant and brief subject line as well. A client should know what your email is about before opening. Personalizing the subject line can also increase the chances of a client responding to the email. Moreover, know the best time to send post-purchase emails.
Getting emails from customers through your ecommerce platform is easier as customers will have to provide them during registration to purchase the product. If you have a physical location, you can also collect emails for sending these emails through your employees at the point of purchase or checkout. You can also run a referral program where their email addresses would be required for registration.
You can automate your sending of post-purchase emails. You don’t need to spend hours writing to every client.
4. Use the Right Review and Rating Platform
It is helpful to display positive reviews on your website or design them for social media. However, in addition to a company’s website, customers also visit third-party platforms for more information. If customers find good reviews about you on these reliable platforms, they may end up purchasing from you.
However, with numerous review and rating platforms available in the market, you need to choose the right one for you.
The first factor to consider is the nature of your business. Some review and rating platforms are best for B2C companies, while others are great for B2B companies. Moreover, if you want your reviews to reach the right people, use niche sites. For example, if you sell cars, use a platform that provides reviews about cars or dealerships. The same goes for real estate, fashion, food, etc.
You can also determine the right third-party review platform for you by asking your customers how they found your brand in the first place. You can ask this during the registration process on your online platform or at checkout in your physical location. That helps you know where you should ensure you have reviews to increase the chances of other people finding your brand.
In addition, customers rarely trust reviews from platforms they don’t know about. Thus, you need to use reputable platforms.
Source: Business Spundit
These sites have a good reputation for offering reliable reviews. Some review platforms allow reviewers to write both pros and cons. Do not be afraid to use them, especially if you are sure your products or services are top-notch.
In addition, choose a site that’s within your budget. Luckily, most review and rating platforms charge reasonable fees. Some are even free.
Trustpilot, for example, allows businesses to create a free account to respond to reviews given to them. You can upgrade your profile page and invite customers to create more customer reviews if you get the paid plan.
Loox, on the other hand, offers a 14-day free trial that allows you to connect it to your Shopify account and use product reviews from the platform on your product descriptions. After the 14 days, you need to pick a plan, with the cheapest at around $10. The basic plan allows you to send 100 post-purchase emails to customers to generate customer feedback.
Furthermore, your chosen site will use your reviews to give you a rating.
5. Use Product Sampling Programs
A study showed that 73% of customers would buy a product after trying it. As a result, product sampling programs help businesses increase their sales. In addition to this, they can help you get product reviews. That will help you know what needs to be improved in the product before launching it to a broader audience.
However, note that getting the reviews themselves is not guaranteed. You’d still need to send emails to encourage the customers to write the reviews after using your product. Ensure, again, that you send the email a few days after a client receives the sample.
So how do you decide the customers to receive the product? You can make an open call and ask which ones are willing to try the free samples. You can also automatically include free product samples in purchases that clients make. Make sure you get their emails beforehand to follow up on their feedback.
Product sampling programs can help you generate the feedback you need. Besides, they’re perfect for audience building, too. People love getting free items. They are likely to remember a brand that gave them something they did not have to pay for.
6. Optimize The Review Forms for Mobile
Mobile optimization is a crucial aspect of a business. Not everyone receives and opens your emails on a desktop. If customers can’t access your content via a mobile device, you may be locking out some clients.
Source: Campaign Monitor
How is that relevant to generating product reviews?
Mobile optimization means you need to ensure that the things you use to get your reviews are mobile-friendly. For instance, the platforms you choose should display survey options without the user having to scroll left or right.
Furthermore, consider including a QR code using dynamic QR code generator in your physical materials like packaging or receipts. Encourage customers to scan these codes with their mobile phones to access the review form and leave their feedback.
Product reviews are beneficial to businesses. They are the first things potential customers check to determine whether they want to purchase something from a business. In other words, if you have good reviews, you increase your chances of conversions, among other things.
These tips can help you gather product reviews without difficulties. Offer incentives, run contests and send post-purchase emails. Use the right review platform and product sampling programs, and optimize your review forms for mobile.
You don’t have to implement all these strategies at once. Use a trial-and-error method to see which ones work the best for your business. Don’t forget to ensure your products and services are always top-notch. That’s the only way to ensure your customers will always leave you good reviews.
Allie is the Head of Content at Omniscient, a marketing agency that works with SaaS brands. Before working with Omniscient, she spent 5 years as a freelance writer and then joined the content team at HubSpot where she worked for nearly 3 years. She has contributed to more than 100 high-converting articles for HubSpot and collaborated with the folks at Entrepreneur, Hotjar, and Foundr. Her words are bookmarked by entrepreneurs, small business owners, and digital marketers worldwide.