When your ecommerce or omnichannel retail brand implements a Ratings and Reviews solution, it obviously won’t be of any use unless your customers actually submit reviews. Especially since 45% of customers share negative reviews on social media, compared to 30% who share positive reviews, it’s crucial to get ahead of the curve and get satisfied customers to write reviews. In order to fully reap the benefits of Ratings and Reviews–which include SEO boosts, increased brand authenticity and trust, helpful information for prospective buyers, feedback for merchandisers, and more–you must solicit them.
It’s All About Timing
Post-purchase emails are the most effective method of soliciting reviews. Of course, customers are most excited about a product in the first few weeks after they receive it. But the proper time frame for soliciting reviews depends on the type of product.
If your solicitation emails don’t succeed the first time, it’s appropriate to send another request about 7 days after your initial email.
Another effective way of using timing to your advantage is to include a package insert with each shipment. It can help customers to have a physical reminder to write a review, and the fact that they see this solicitation when they first open their orders capitalizes on their excitement.
Or, Let Someone Else Do the Work
Beyond these more conventional methods, Social Annex offers a Review Sourcing Accelerator (RSA), a specialized algorithm for soliciting reviews. The RSA tests within a selected date period (e.g. 7 to 14 days after the product arrives) to find the best date and time to send solicitation emails in order to garner the most reviews. It optimizes this through continual testing, resulting in a much higher number of reviews.
Give Them One Good Reason
Judging from our experience, supplementing solicitations with incentives is an extremely effective strategy.
Of course, incentives are not given to solicit positive reviews, since that would work against the authenticity of the reviews. However incentives given to solicit reviews–whether they’re positive or negative–generally result in more positive reviews and is what should be promoted.
If you have a loyalty program on your site, it’s easy to reward customers with points for writing a review. Aside from its simplicity, integrating review solicitations with loyalty creates a more holistic experience for your customers. Of course, you must also implement some sort of point limitation so your customers don’t take advantage of the program and spam your site with poor quality reviews.
Even if you don’t have a loyalty platform, you can still reward customers with a discount for writing a review. We recommend that you give customers a dollar off amount, opposed to a percentage, this way there is no issue of customers who write multiple reviews trying to stack percentages.
Review solicitation incentives also provide an opportunity to get creative. Consider running contests in which customers who write reviews get an extra entry, or providing reviewers with early access to a special sale or product launch.
How you phrase your solicitation emails will often make the difference between whether or not customers write reviews. While this is a vital step, many of the widely applicable best practices are old news. At the risk of being redundant, here’s what we recommend:
We’ll have more posts soon about the other triggered emails you should send to reviewers. In the meantime, make sure to check out our other blog posts on Ratings and Reviews content and design best practices. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us or to schedule a demo!