The How-To’s for Amazon Reviews
By Tina Marie Bueno | February 9th, 2016
Think about it…when was the last time you made a first time purchase online without researching reviews? I always read them before forking out my hard earned money. It is part of my pre-purchase ritual. I depend upon the words of people I have never met to tell me what their authentic experience has been. I rely on the 4 – 5 star reviews and a couple of 1 stars to guide my decision. When the opinions of more people are skewed toward a particular rating, it is persuasively powerful. Like this example that shows an average rating of 4.6 stars which is a whopping 89% of the 343 reviews!
What’s the Big Tadoo About Amazon Reviews?
Social proof is real and considered wisdom from users. It is magnetic and has been around in the form of testimonials since the dawn of sales and marketing. In a 2013 study by BrightLocal, an SEO research firm, “79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations before making a buying decision.”
Reviews absolutely make a difference in your Amazon ranking. Rankings get you noticed. The more high quality reviews earned, leads to greater conversion (Amazon’s goal), which then begets an organic increased ranking. Reviewers provide additional content about your product which may be gleaned for enhanced descriptions and search words. All extremely valuable for SEO. Ultimately that could mean showing up first or at least on page one for any search terms used to find your product on Amazon. All points being equal for competing products; the listing with more and better reviews wins every time.
To demonstrate this let us use the same example from above. Those high ratings most likely converted to sales which elevated this product’s Best Sellers Rank in three categories. Out of the thousands of products in each category, this company has managed to land premium spots at this particular snapshot in time:
How To Generate Reviews on Amazon
You could passively hope that Amazon consumers find your product, buy it, and possibly leave a review. But EVERY seasoned Seller knows that actively encouraging buyers to submit legitimate, 100% authentic reviews is automatically on their list of daily things to do. Here are 5 ways.
1. Inspire buyers to leave a product review. Offer quality products that users really want. How does the product satisfy a need or common issue? Manufacture or source the most affordable quality version of the product so that it isn’t considered cheap by customers. When deciding what to sell on Amazon, make it a product worth raving about.
2. Include well written inserts. Clever letters or postcards inside the product box asking for feedback is an attention grabbing option. Keep in mind that it is against Amazon’s Terms of Service (TOS) to ask for a 5 star review, but you can certainly invite them to leave honest feedback. You can also provide ways for customers to reach you should there be an issue.
3. Send follow-up emails. Amazon sends an automated email asking for feedback after a purchase; however, don’t depend on those generic messages to spur reviewers into action. Allow the buyer time to receive and use your product, then reach out with a follow-up email via your Amazon Seller account. Make sure the content is friendly and genuinely expresses interest in their satisfaction. Try to personalize it whenever possible as that increases their response rate.
Be sure to include a “write a review” reminder with a link to your product page, but make it clear that you would like an honest rating and that there is no obligation to do so.
I have received follow up emails as short as a paragraph and as long as a full page. Each Seller’s style is different. Some tell the story of how or why they started their company as a way of creating a connection; especially if they are small to medium sized businesses. Others are just as friendly, yet short and sweet while focussing on your 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Write what feels natural to your business philosophy. Release any pressure to make it long. If you have an inspiring, personal story about your company that is a worthwhile read, keep it succinct, positive, and relevant.
4. Approach Amazon’s top reviewers. Amazon has a list of recognized top reviewers holding various titles such as “Top Ten Reviewer”and “Hall of Fame Reviewer”. These badges are displayed next to their name, under their star rating. It does make their reviews ultra-valuable.
Getting one of these Amazon critics is not necessarily easy, yet it is not impossible. Although potentially time consuming considering it is one person’s reviews; learn about what these reviewers interests are through their bio, previously rated products and from their wish list. They may be more likely to respond.
5. Use a legitimate Review Service. I use the word “legitimate” intentionally. Buying FIVERR reviews or any fake ones can and will get a Seller account suspended – sometimes permanently. Amazon actively defends the integrity of its reviews since they have to live up to their reputation of being a trusted source: The main reason why shoppers stay loyal. They are so serious about this that they made national headlines by announcing they will actually take measures to prosecute those involved with publishing fake reviews.
Not all review service companies are created equally. By that I mean, not all of them operate by Amazon’s TOS. Heads up, here comes a shameless and genuine plug. iLoveToReview is 100% Amazon TOS Compliant. With a substantial Reviewer Member base, Sellers can get authentic ratings in large quantities and all recognized by Amazon.
Remember that even using friends and family for your product ratings is not considered acceptable by Amazon because the power of higher credibility reviews comes from their objectivity.
Here is a final thought for consideration. No doubt obtaining reviews can essentially be the job of a full time person. If you would like the freedom to focus on managing your Amazon business and prefer not to create a position for handling review acquisitions; give iLoveToReview the responsibility. We have over 110,000 authentic reviews of experience.
Tina Marie Bueno is a global citizen with an MBA in Int’l Business plus over 20 years of content marketing experience both in the U.S. and overseas. As iLoveToReview’s Marketing Director, she strives to deliver relevant content to serve Amazon businesses of all sizes.