As an Amazon seller, few things will stop your heart quicker than an email telling you your account has been suspended. After you stare at the message for a few seconds as if it had you hypnotized, a cold shiver sets in, followed by a sense of panic that would rival anything Stephen King could ever dream up.
Lately, Amazon has been cracking down on the activities of some Amazon sellers with regard to emailing review requests. Here’s a screenshot of one of the emails:
While this is not a full-account suspension, having a black mark in your seller history and being restricted from initiating email contact with customers is nothing to snicker at.
Let’s break down the reasons the email listed.
- You are using “Important” or “Additional Information Required” when it is not necessary — Faking people out by making them think they need to open your email not only violates Amazon’s terms of service, but it ticks off your customers. Nobody likes to feel duped. Make your subject lines enticing, but truthful.
Avoid words including: Warning, attention required, order delayed, or other phrases that might scare customers into opening your email.
- You are sending marketing or promotions — You cannot use Amazon review emails to upsell your other products or get customers to opt in to your other promotions.
- You are either incentivizing or manipulating product or seller reviews — Buying Amazon reviews is not allowed. Period.
- You are asking for the same review repeatedly — Don’t email the same customers about leaving a review for the same product over and over again.
- You are sending links and attachments that are not necessary to complete the order — If you’re a merchant fulfilled seller and you need to include a tracking link, that’s great. Do it. If you are an FBA seller (in which case Amazon would email the tracking link) then you have no reason to contact the customer about shipping.
Likewise, if the ebook or guide you have is legitimately needed for the customer to use the product, attach it. If it’s actually a poorly written ebook designed to offer coupons and capture emails, best to leave it off.
- We have received an excessive number of complaints — Never good!
Here’s a different Amazon suspension email:
Hmm… using family, friends, buying Amazon reviews, etc., is never OK when it comes to getting Amazon reviews. And you see where it got this seller. Now all their listings are hanging in limbo while Amazon decides “whether you may sell on Amazon.com again.”
Getting Amazon Reviews Using Package Inserts
Around this same time, Amazon published a policy update that included INCORRECT information. (This has since been corrected.) The notice said:
“We want to remind you that Amazon policies prohibit box inserts and product packaging that direct customers to write a review, even if no incentive is offered for the review.”
That’s just not true. The false information went on to instruct sellers that they needed to do a removal order to ship back any packages that included inserts asking for a review. What. A. Mess!
Whether it’s package inserts, Amazon review emails, or other means, here’s the quick and dirty of what you need to be aware of.
Things You Can NEVER DO To Get Amazon Product Reviews
- Buy Amazon Reviews — You cannot — in any way, shape or form — buy Amazon reviews. Sellers and scammers have come up with all sorts of convoluted ways to get around Amazon finding out that they are paying people to leave positive reviews (through free products, Amazon gift cards, cash, etc.). Nothing about this is legal.
- Ask Only For A Positive Review — You cannot ask for only positive reviews anywhere… in emails, on your listing, in a product insert. It is never allowed.
- Have Customers Contact You Directly — Anything that directs Amazon’s customer away from Amazon is never allowed. You cannot ask a customer to contact you directly through email, phone, your website, etc. You can only communicate with them legally through Amazon’s messaging system.
- Create Bogus Bonuses Just To Capture Email Addresses — Sloppy ebooks that have no value, offers of coupon codes, pretend warranties, fake customer support websites that redirect to Facebook Messenger Bots… the list goes on. If it isn’t a legit offer, it isn’t allowed.
If you actually do have a real website for your brand that you sell products from, it is fine to include your URL on your product insert or package, just like major brands do all day every day. If you have an actual warranty with honest benefits for the customer, that’s OK, too. But truthfully, warranties have never gotten very good results as far as Amazon reviews go.
How To Get Amazon Product Reviews Legally
What can you do if you choose to use Amazon review emails? Provide legitimate customer service!
In your emails, don’t simply do what millions of other Amazon sellers have done (without much success). The common practice is to write emails that say something like:
Thanks for your purchase of (Product Name)! We appreciate you buying from us.
We’re a small seller on Amazon, and to get more sales, we need good reviews. Would you please help a small business out and leave a review this week?
You’re the best!
Not only is it boring, it doesn’t work.
Instead, what tips, tricks, or ideas can you provide your customers that will enable them to have a better experience while using your product? Once the item arrives at the customer’s home/office, what can you tell them to ensure they get the most from their purchase?
Are there any:
- Tips for using/storing/cleaning the product?
- Hacks for using the product in ways the customer might not have considered?
- Instructions that will allow them to avoid common setup, installation, or use mistakes?
The list of ideas is endless.
When you actually help your customers instead of trying to trick them into doing what you want, they will be more likely to leave you a review. Most Amazon shoppers automatically want to help sellers who go above and beyond to make sure their purchase is everything they wanted.
For more suggestions, strategies, and Amazon review templates, check out my Review Advantage: Email Strategies for Getting Amazon Reviews (Legally!) ebook. When you use coupon REVIEW10 today, you’ll save 27%!
Have questions about how to get Amazon reviews? Talk to me below!