by Efficient Era
I’m excited to bring you a new guest blog post from Efficient Era. As with previous posts, they always offer excellent and useful ideas, so I’ll let them take it from here. Enjoy!
With Amazon’s crack down on incentivized reviews, the atmosphere around getting reviews by simply asking for them has become a touchy subject. Email sequences and automations have become the standards of the industry in order to entice buyers to leave a review. Sellers are now faced with the challenge of getting customers to even open emails due to the sheer volume that they receive every day.
Recently, Amazon has even started to evaluate the language being used in review-request emails. What seems like an honest request for review could come off sounding like you are only asking for positive comments. The issue is incredibly tricky as some sellers have been banned for using certain phrasing while others have been using the same phrasing for years without issue.
Let’s take a quick look at what Amazon would have you do when it comes to review solicitations.
Amazon Terms of Service state:
“Reviews are important to the Amazon Marketplace, providing a forum for feedback about product and service details and reviewers’ experiences with products and services—positive or negative… Additionally, you may not provide compensation (including free or discounted products) for a review. Review solicitations that ask for only positive reviews or that offer compensation are prohibited. You may not ask buyers to modify or remove reviews.”
What NOT to Do
While the majority of sellers aren’t directly telling consumers, “Please only leave a review if you have something nice to say,” the wording being used may come across as a prompt for only positive reviews. For instance, “If you are enjoying our product, please feel free to leave a gleaming review here.” Many of you are probably very proud of yourselves at this point because your follow-up emails look nothing like this. While that is great, the next example is probably a little closer to what many sellers use to close an email:
“If you have any comments or concerns, please feel free to contact customer service. However, if our product exceeded expectations please leave us your honest feedback here [insert review link].”
This doesn’t look too bad, right? I mean, you are asking for an honest review. According to Amazon, you do NOT want to phrase your review requests this way. Here is where it gets tricky. By directing comments and concerns to your customer service, you are not being forthright in telling them you will accept all reviews, including the negative. In the second sentence, you are suggesting that you would only like for them to leave a review if it is a positive one.
Of course, being the efficient and customer-focused seller that you are, you want to address any concerns that your buyer may have. This is not a crime. However, Amazon doesn’t see it this way. They see it as sellers trying to avoid a negative review; i.e. review manipulation.
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Asking for the Review
If this type of wording isn’t technically allowed, what would the proper way to ask for a review? The best way to approach this is to inform buyers they can always contact support at any given time and the key is to remain completely unbiased when you ask for the review.
“If you have a moment, please think about leaving us your honest feedback in the form of a review. We strive to make every interaction with our customer better and your feedback helps future customers make an informed decision. To leave a review, click here [insert link].”
Here we are not influencing what type of review we want them to leave in any manner, and we encourage them to help others make a decision about your product. This is a safe way to stay within Amazon’s review rules and still asking for the review.
Get Buyers to Open Your Emails
Whether you are ensuring everything reached your customer in good condition, or checking to make sure they are enjoying the product, follow-up emails are the preferred tool.
However, some have found that offering tidbits of content, or information buyers care about, can help increase your email open rates. For example, if your product is some type of kitchen gadget, include a favorite recipe using that utensil. Or maybe your product is a yoga mat, include poses that will help them with lower back pain or tighten their abs. The list of content you can provide is endless and is dependent upon your specific product, so get creative.
Engaging buyers in other ways is also important. Ask them to reply to the email with their thoughts, send in their favorite recipe or tips, or offer customers a discount on their next purchase as a prize. Get creative with your subject lines to let recipients know what they will get when they take time to read your message. Examples include:
- Your Opinion Matters – Vote Now (ask readers to vote on your content)
- Everyone is Waiting to Hear from You (ask readers to provide their best tips)
- Here’s Your Reward for Being a Loyal Customer (include a coupon code)
With more advanced products like electronic or those where assembly is required, follow-up emails can be a great place to provide installation instructions or even a how-to video. With electronics being an ever-expanding, always-updating product email can be a great way to send your consumer additional drivers or apps that will go hand-in-hand with use of that product.
Karon Thackston’s ebook “Review Advantage: Email Strategies to Get Amazon Reviews (Legally!)” does an excellent job of showing you exactly what to include. She also provides unique ideas so you can provide useful information that your customers will appreciate. Get it today and save $10 with coupon code revblog10 (lower case).
While reviews and emails can be convoluted with Amazon’s always changing terms of service, this is not the end for Amazon’s sellers. As a whole, sellers adapt quickly and can hold their own. No doubt you will learn, adjust and move forward with great success!
Efficient Era has helped hundreds of private label Amazon sellers with Alerts, Analytics and Automation tools. Their most popular feature is the buyer-reviewer matching tool that connects product reviews to customer orders with a high degree of accuracy. Also included in their bundle are Review Alerts, Hijack Alerts, Email Automation, Inventory Health Charts and Ad Analysis.