How to Drive Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are a huge asset in any ecommerce marketer’s tool shed. Positive reviews add social proof to your products, which in turn helps you sell them — and the more positive reviews, the better. Studies have shown that product reviews can lead to as much as an 18% increase in sales. But how do you get happy customers to share their feedback? There are several ways you can go about encouraging customers to review your products using both email and other marketing channels (think social media).
1. Just Ask
The most direct method of generating reviews is simply asking your customers. One of the biggest benefits of sending email is that it provides you with a 1:1 channel to speak to your customers. As part of your post-purchase email series, you can include an email that asks customers about their experience buying from you and request feedback.
The key point to keep in mind when implementing this strategy is to make it as easy as possible for customers to leave a review. Refresh customers’ memories by including a photo of what they purchased, and also include a direct link to your reviews page in your main CTA. To further streamline this process, you can even opt for a star rating system in lieu of asking for written reviews.
Also be sure you don’t send you product review too soon after a customer has purchased a product, since they might not have had a chance to try it out yet. Send your product review email within a week of an item’s delivery.
To give your customers an extra push to review, you can offer an incentive. There are a few ways you can go about incentivizing your customers to review:
- Contest — Running a contest is a great way to drive engagement. For example, you could reward the customer who leaves the highest number of reviews. Alternatively, you could give a prize to one of your customers and draw only from a pool of those who have left a product review. Gamifying the review process will drive engagement — everyone loves a bit of friendly competition.
- Feature the Best Reviews — If you display reviews elsewhere on your site (i.e. your homepage, website footer, etc.), you can encourage customers to review by calling out the fact that they could be featured on your site. Depending on your customer base and the products you sell, this can act as an incentive because customers will receive special attention and acknowledgement from you on an individual level. Furthermore, it gets their own name out there.
- Reward Customers Who Leave Reviews with an Exclusive Offer — Provide customers who leave a review with something of value. This can come in many different forms, such as a free gift with their next purchase, a discount on their next purchase, or early access to an upcoming sale.
Offering an incentive is a great way to ramp up the number of reviews you get if you’re not receiving as many as you would like to.
3. Leverage Your Social Networks
If you have many followers on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you can use social media as a channel to drive reviews. If you are trying to generate reviews for a specific product, you can post to social media asking your followers who’ve purchased this product to reviews. In addition, you can create ads asking customers to review this product and display them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
4. Get Testimonials from Influencers
Getting famous industry leaders or celebrities to endorse your products is a very effective way of driving engagement, since it adds social proof. Reach out to influencers in your field and offer them one of your products for free in exchange for a testimonial. You can quote them on your site or, if they have a large social media following, ask them to feature your product on their account.
A Note: What to do with Negative Reviews
As you receive more reviews, you will inevitably encounter some negative ones. It is important to leave these up to foster transparency, but you should also address them. You want customers to see that you are responsive to their concerns, and this can also be a learning experience. Addressing to negative reviews gives you an opportunity to get to the bottom of what went wrong with an individual customer’s experience and improve as a business.
Product reviews are an important part of any ecommerce marketing strategy. Encourage customers to review using targeted emails, social media posts, and ads. This way, you can reach each subset of your audience in a way that is most convenient for them — some customers who don’t open your emails might be more likely to respond to ads, and vice versa. For an extra push, you can incentivize your customers to review using contests and exclusive offers.
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