How to Get More Reviews
Reviews can make or break the sales of any product, and they are particularly important for online-based businesses. This feels like common sense, and it is, but it’s a good idea to cover how reviews can help your business and how to get customers to review your products. So here we’ll take some time to discuss how to get more reviews and how to handle the bad reviews that will inevitably appear.
Why Reviews are Important
Of course we know reviews are important, and a study of consumer behavior found that online recommendations are 12 times more trusted that descriptions provided by the website. When peers vouch for a product, strangers listen. It was found that 88% of online shoppers trusted product reviews from a stranger as much as they would trust a personal recommendation from a friend. Reviews clearly inform buying decisions and increase trust of a product, so it’s worth finding a way to host reviews on your site.
Reviews are also valuable because depending on your website functionality, they can improve SEO (search engine optimization). This means that your website will rank more highly for relevant search terms because the reviews are considered separate blocks of content. A higher rank in search engine results means more traffic, so try and find a review platform or function that Google can ‘crawl.’
Bad reviews are alright. Granted, no one wants a flock of poor reviews, but a mixture of positive and negative reviews keeps the whole thing feeling organic and believable. Later we’ll touch base with how to best handle negative reviews.
How to Get More Reviews
Successfully getting reviews from customers is all about ease and timing. Make it easy, and solicit reviews at the right time.
This means contacting them a few days (3-5) after they have received your order. Give them a direct link to your website and the appropriate review page. We recommend linking directly to your own site rather than 3rd party review sites like Google or Yelp – they don’t look as kindly on solicited reviews. Organic reviews will often turn up on review sites, so you’ll want to do a regular search for your brand using Google. That way you can stay on top of negative reviews out there where you might not know to look for them.
In your email asking for reviews, test headlines and email copy to find what works best. Be open and friendly, and ask for their help. You can also appeal to their desire to help other consumers by sharing their opinion.
One way we reach out to get reviews is to include samples and a ‘review us’ card in customer orders when we’re introducing a new product or looking for feedback on existing ones. This is something you can turn on and off as need and marketing dollars allow.
It is also possible to offer incentives when you’re struggling with how to get more reviews. We recommend offering incentives that encourage customers to buy, rather than simply leave a review. In practice this means offering coupons and discounts once a review is complete.
One last note on how to get more reviews—do not be tempted to post fake reviews. Consumers can almost always guess when this happens and then lose all trust in you. Like most things that build business value, it takes time to build a solid base of reviews.
How to Respond to Bad Reviews
When you receive a bad review, the first step is to analyze its accuracy. On many platforms you have the option of moderating reviews and preventing certain reviews from becoming visible. Barring that however, make sure the review is truthful. If it is, see what you can do to improve the situation. Perhaps the customer has said the product has a strange texture or color – this is where you can check your own retention samples that you’ve hopefully kept from every batch you’ve made for the past year or so.
Perhaps the complaints are valid, or they simply did not like the product. In this case it’s wise to acknowledge the situation and if reasonable, contact them directly via phone or email to help resolve the issue. Make a comment on the negative review saying you have emailed them so others can see you are responsive.
Hopefully the importance of reviews has been made clear, and you’re ready to successfully ask your customers for reviews. We wish you luck and look forward to any suggestions you have. And of course, we’d love for you to review any of our products that you have tried!