A recent Local Consumer Review Survey revealed that 91 percent of 18 to 34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In fact, research shows that the purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270 percent greater than a product having no reviews.
The importance of reviews to a brand’s online reputation cannot be understated. Reviews, positive or negative, build customer trust, convert visitors into leads, and boost a brand’s local search ranking. Further, customer reviews offer marketers valuable insight into what customers think about their brand. Simply put, your current and future customers care about online reviews.
Emails have always been an effective marketing tool for businesses. An effective email campaign can be used to power a firm’s online review strategy. This is because a majority of customers prefer businesses communicating with them through emails. Refer to this chart.
What’s more? A Clutch survey of 1,000 online shoppers revealed that nearly one-quarter of online product reviews are prompted by email marketing. Emails make the review collection process outbound. So, rather than waiting for a review, you get to initiate the conversation and proactively ask your customers to leave you a review.
Find out how you can take full advantage of email marketing to accumulate customer reviews and build a five-star online reputation.
Personalization Is the Key
Statistics reveal, on any given day, there are nearly 124.5 billion emails sent and received each day. So, there are chances your email may not even be opened. Not everyone you send a review request email to will respond. However, personalizing your emails can help you stand out in the customer’s inbox, improving your chances of getting a review.
In a survey conducted by OneSpot, a leading individualization platform for content, marketers shared that they find dynamic and real-time personalization in emails to be the most effective review generation tactic. In fact, organizations personalizing their emails generated 17 percent more revenue from their campaign compared to marketers who did not.
Personalizing emails is one of the smartest tactics you can use to drive impulses and encourage customers review your product or service. Just mentioning their name or company name isn’t enough. Show how much you care about your customer’s choices by mentioning the specific product or service they opted for. Thank them for using your product and ask them how their experience was.
Check out how HopScotch, an ecommerce app for kids’ apparel, keeps its email short, simple, and to the point while making the customer feel special.
Tools like HubSpot Personalization Tokens make it easy for marketers to add tokens that are personalized to the email recipients. Using this tool, you can add the recipient’s name and contact details, company, deal, or ticket properties to send personalized emails and request your customers for a review.
Segment Your Customers Based on Their Email Activity
The needs and expectations of a first-time customer are different from those of a repeat one. Repeat customers are more loyal to your brand and may patiently share their views about the product, regardless of how many questions you ask. However, the same review format may not be work for a new user.
Hence, it is important to segment your email list based on your customer’s location, age, purchase history, and the date they subscribed. Email list segmentation will help you introduce a targeted campaign to gain insightful customer reviews. Befriend email marketing services like GetResponse, Constant Contact, and MailChimp to segment your email list and send appropriate review request emails to customers based on their actions at your store or on your website.
Make it Easy (and Tempting!) for Customers to Leave a Review
One of the best ways to improve customer response to your review requests is to make the process easy for them. You can simply add a review link that customers can click on to leave product feedback. Alternatively, you can generate a Google review link that will take the customer to your Google My Business page, allowing them to post a review and know more about your business.
Check out how Sugar Cosmetics offers a link that customers can effortlessly click on to leave a review.
Embedding the start or emoji rating in your follow-up emails is another way of persuading customers to leave a review for your business.
Adidas sends emails with a link to their landing page which is highly interactive and visual, reducing click fatigue and making the reviewing process quick and easy.
An attractive incentive like a voucher code or a discount can give customers the push required to leave a review. This tactic also drives customers back to your website once a reviewing process is completed. Check out how Tower, UK’s leading kitchen appliances firm, uses this tactic to its advantage.
Customers love seeing how their reviews have been put to use. For instance, a customer testimonial page on your website, featuring real reviews from your product users will not only boost your reputation and customer engagement but also encourage new customers to leave a review. Bonus: You also get UGC (user-generated content) for your brand.
Carefully determine when you want to send a post-purchase email asking for a customer review. The timing of this email hugely depends on the nature of your product.
For instance, ecommerce stores selling apparel or shoes can send a review request email within a week after the product is delivered. This is because, by this time, the customer would have surely used the product at least once.
On the other hand, products like an anti-aging cream or health supplements warrant a longer time between the purchase and review request email. The same goes for electronic goods or books too. In these cases, the customer takes a few weeks to fully experience the product and write a detailed review.
Understand how your customers are likely to use the product and fully engage with your brand and carefully decide the window when they are most likely to respond to a product review request. Use email automation to send relevant and timely emails to your customers.
Don’t Forget to Test the Effectiveness of Your Emails
You don’t know what type of messaging will work for which customer. Hence, it is important to test different emails with your target audience and assess whether or not they are successful in getting a review. A/B testing your review request emails can not only increase the chances of customers opening your email and leaving a review but also boost your website traffic and sales.
Test your email’s subject line, length, word order, content, visuals, and CTA to determine the top-performing email templates. Online tools like Campaign Monitor and Sendinblue can offer you useful insights about your email campaign, enabling you to write engaging review request emails.
For instance, did you know that the subject line length can significantly improve your email’s CTR? A survey by Return Path shares that subject lines 61 – 70 characters long have the highest open rates. A/B testing your emails will point out to such factors and help you create winning emails that generate quality reviews.
Customer reviews, whether positive or negative, offer insights into how your customers are perceiving your brand. However, the sheer thought of encouraging your customers to leave a review can be pretty overwhelming.
Your email list is an excellent resource that can help you get valuable customer reviews for your business. When done right, effective email marketing can make the review collection process easy and less stressful. Consider the aforementioned email marketing tips to nail your online review strategy and strengthen your brand reputation.
About The Author:
Pratik Dholakiya is the Founder of The 20 Media, a content marketing agency specializing in content & data-driven SEO. Pratik has been featured on sites like Forbes, Moz, SEW, The Huffington Post, KISSmetrics, Entrepreneur and Fast Company to name a few.