How To Ask For Reviews
How Reviews Promote Business Growth
It’s never been more important to cultivate an impressive review profile on your website and through third-party platforms. With online shopping becoming the norm, reviews are the closest thing they have to a personal word-of-mouth recommendation, and are a deciding factor for many shoppers when it comes to whether or not they’ll ultimately buy your product.
With more high-quality reviews, the easier it is to convince a shopper to take a chance on your brand – so, let’s take a look at specific ways you can ask for reviews in order to boost your customer engagement and conversion rates. Here we go!
Why are Reviews Important
Online reviews are important to any business because they provide third-party validation that your products can be trusted and are worth spending money on. Rarely do consumers purchase items blindly, and without the ability to see it in-person in a brick-and-mortar store, they turn to reviews to ensure they’re making a smart purchase. This is especially important in today’s world, as a recent study found that nearly 75 percent of people say they are shopping online more during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you’ve ever ordered a product from Amazon, you’ve likely browsed through reviews before clicking the “order now” button—and have been hesitant to convert when the product in question has no reviews. That’s a natural response, as according to a study published by Northwestern University, “The purchase likelihood for a product with five reviews is 270 percent greater than the purchase likelihood of a product with no reviews.”
Read about incentivizing reviews here.
What are the Benefits of Product Reviews?
While you might be thinking you can get by with no reviews, you’re likely kidding yourself. Here are just a few reasons why you need reviews:
Provides third-party proof of your trustworthiness
Acts as a testament to your product or service quality
Shows a willingness to be open with customers
Helps you understand common product feedback which can then be applied to future improvements
Promotes healthy search engine performance
Boosts conversion rates
Let’s discuss some of these reasons a bit further.
Conversions + Social Proof
Almost nothing is more effective at increasing conversions than traditional word-of-mouth marketing, but a strong online review profile comes close. According to a review published by BrightLocal, 88 percent of customers put just as much weight on reviews as they do with personal recommendations. Product reviews supply third-party proof that consumers use to determine whether or not they should buy your item.
Another benefit of product reviews is that they give you a chance to respond to customers, both satisfied and unsatisfied. Clever marketers can craft individual responses to reviews that either further improve a product’s reputation or douse a complaint before it has a negative impact. This kind of person-to-person connection—even when it’s online—gives consumers reassurance, letting them know that there’s a human behind the brand who cares about their satisfaction.
Read about how reviews improve conversion rate by leveraging reviews.
Not only do reviews help usher users to the checkout page, they help drive new traffic to your website content through higher search engine visibility. Website reviews can be pulled through via search engine results pages (SERPs) and affect your click-through-rates in several ways.
First, Google now pulls product ratings into a web page’s meta description, as long as you add the correct markup code to your website. Known as rich snippets, these more visual, attention-grabbing search engine listings immediately communicate the quality of a product by displaying little gold stars under the URL. You’ve likely noticed these rankings front and center when searching for a new restaurant to try out, or when you look up a pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing.
In addition, Google will give your product pages with a higher volume of relevant keywords more weight. Since product reviews are generally descriptions of the item in question, these help target ideal phrases and return your website in SERPs for those terms.
Finally, any reviews through third-party platforms such as Google My Business or Yelp, for example, will show up when your brand name is queried. Reviews are also visible on distributor websites like Target or Walmart, meaning it’s important to know what sites encourage review promotion. Building out strong external review profiles helps build trust with potential customers, and the increase in backlinks to your website supports stronger domain authority.
Read about some other reasons for reviews for your business.
How to Ask For Reviews
So, you understand the importance of product reviews, but what if you’re struggling to obtain your first one? Don’t worry – every business owner, marketing officer or product specialist has to navigate the review process sooner or later. Thankfully, there are a few strategies you can try in order to successfully obtain reviews from customers or clients.
Start by Simply Asking
Many of your customers have extra time in their day to leave a product review, but many won’t think of doing so unless they’re reminded. The best way to ask for reviews is to place a review form directly in a separate follow-up email once someone has placed an order, and received their great new product. Make this a standard practice any time an order is successfully placed, and give people some time to receive and enjoy their new product, or the service that you offered.
Start a Hashtag and Set Up a Feed on Your Website
Encourage users to post your products on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms via a hashtag campaign. Not only does this give you the ability to track brand sentiment online, but also to feed these posts into your website through a widget, increasing both your trust factor and SEO value. And, as an added bonus, if customers are sharing product reviews via social media, you’re being exposed to a massive audience via those users’ network.
Identify Repeat Customers
By their nature, repeat customers should be satisfied with the product they’re purchasing over and over again, and are low-hanging fruit for product review outreach. Thankfully, the process of obtaining key information about your customers has never been easier. Using a data platform like Cohley, marketing professionals can track users over time and how ads are affecting their purchasing decisions. This aids in developing highly personalized outreach strategies that win high-quality product reviews.
Have Influencers do the Legwork for You
Crafting a personal relationship with your customer base has never been more important. And, perhaps the most effective way to cultivate a connection is through influencer marketing, particularly if your target market skews younger and female. Rather than slogging through manual outreach yourself, hire an influencer to advertise your product and encourage reviews. While influencers in their infinite relevance may be the best option for your campaign right now, that’s not always the case. Sometimes you need a content creator or a content engineer. Sometimes you might just need the whole kit and caboodle - this is where a content platform can come in to manage the relationship ecosystem.
Read more about using reviews in your marketing.
Who Is Reading Online Reviews?
93% of customers in 2021 read online reviews before buying a product. Like it or not, your customers are talking about you online. There really is no controlling what people say and how they say it, so you may as well lean into it and lead the conversation with positive reinforcement. Your customers and potential customers aren’t just leaving reviews on your website - there are a number of places to leave a review on service, product, or your brand, including:
General Review sites
Industry specific websites
TripAdvisor for hospitality businesses
TheKnot for wedding businesses
G2 for software companies
TaskRabbit for handyman services
Successful E-Commerce Reviews Lead to More Sales
Positive reviews lead to more sales, that’s just fact. In fact, customers are 270% more likely to buy a product with five reviews, than no reviews. Negative reviews can also be used as a tool to increase sales, if dealt with correctly. Taking in feedback from a variety of reviews can help improve the product and build trust in the community.
Using product reviews are a great way to build a product up at and before launch. Our favorite example of using product reviews to boost initial sales is from Hemp Black. Hemp Black launched their new pants that featured cutting edge technology. With Cohley’s help, Hemp Black garnered 25 authentic reviews on the set of pants to be launched, and had invaluable feedback from a set of vetted reviewers.
How Can Cohley Help?
Overall, authentic reviews persuade other consumers to invest in your brand by affirming your quality of products. With specific, tailored strategies, your company can obtain reviews and ratings, and ultimately build valuable relationships with new and existing customers alike.
Cohley’s platform enables you to scale your product reviews with a quick turnaround. Whether you need real product reviews directly on your e-commerce site, or testimonials to repurpose across marketing channels, Cohley Product Review campaigns can start generating reviews within a week of shipping product.
Some things the Cohley platform can do:
Run a product sampling campaign before a product has even launched to gain valuable insights for your product team.
Launch new products with real user reviews on your e-commerce site to instill consumer confidence in your product.
Repurpose product reviews across marketing channels.
Assist in increased ad performance by using authentic reviews within ad copy and website creative.
Do you want to streamline the product review outreach process? Look to Cohley, a content automation platform that gives you actionable insights and effective tools to raise your brand’s profile online. From review generation to influencer marketing to campaign reporting and beyond, we can take your reputation management efforts to the next level – find out more about our tool.
Written by Tom Logan
Our CEO and Co-Founder Tom is no stranger to the Cohley blog! With seven years under his Cohley belt, Tom is our go-to on all company updates, new tech initiatives, and data focused trends. Tom helps to dictate our direction, monitor and emphasize our culture and put colleagues in the best possible positions to succeed. Tom is a self proclaimed Tech guy, Sports Writer and Lover of Rom-Com's.