Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Getting More Amazon Reviews – UPDATED
UPDATE FOR 10/6/2016 – Amazon this week updated their TOS making it implicitly clear that you cannot offer a free product or discount in exchange for an Amazon review.
So, what does this mean? Honestly; it’s a good thing and should go a long way to reduce illegitimate feedback.
Ah getting more Amazon reviews. Have you ever wondered why your product isn’t appearing more prominently in Amazon search results for your related keywords and topics? One of the main contributing factors, as you would probably guess, are reviews.
Maybe you’re wondering how or why other similar or even the same products get so many more reviews than yours even though you are likely selling the same amount of volume.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not as simple as the most reviews gets the highest ranking and best “real estate” so to speak within Amazon’s search results, rather Amazon reviews factor into a customers purchasing decision, which dictates their behavior in and around your product listing, which in turn, does affect Amazon’s search results.
I’ll get this out of the way right off the bat, there are companies out there that will offer to boost your Amazon reviews immediately, for a price. Some do this within the parameters of Amazon’s review guidelines, in other words, ethically, while others strategies fall outside, sometimes far outside, what Amazon deems “okay” for a review.
Amazon is Cracking Down:
Amazon is HEAVILY penalizing sellers who use these “fake” reviews and also going after the review companies themselves.
As a seller, you could get your account shut down, banned from Amazon, forced to take down the listing with the bloated reviews, and other penalties.
This is NOT worth it in my opinion and likely also your opinion.
All Amazon Reviews Are Not Created Equal:
Ultimately, at the end of the day, you are after “verified purchase” reviews. In other words, people who have purchased the product on Amazon, instead of people who just log in to Amazon and leave a review when they may not have even sampled the product.
Honest Amazon Reviews:
This cannot be overstated. You ONLY want reviews on your product that are honest. That means, you cannot offer incentives for a higher star or more favorable review. The reviews need to be honest.
Getting More Amazon Reviews
Option 1: Ask for the review… multiple times.
People are busy, very busy and leaving a review for a product they purchased on Amazon likely isn’t at the forefront of their mind. But what if they were not only gently reminded a few times, but also made aware of how important Amazon reviews are to you as a company or individual seller? What if you could do this while also building your brand message and inspiring the buyer to purchase from you again?
Product Inserts: Print outs that go in every package you sell that remind the customer to leave a review, and contain a little bit of your brand’s personality go a long way.
Email Responders: With 3rd party software solutions, you can set up your Amazon account to email customers who purchase your product, (I recommend no more than 3 times) at intervals you deem appropriate (a few days apart, a week apart, more) that can serve as anything from a friendly thank you, to product instructions, to reminding the customer to leave an Amazon review, while even providing them big shiny buttons to make it simple.
Option 2: Freebies
The first thing that you may say out loud (it’s okay to talk to yourself), “If I give away a free product, I can’t ensure they leave a review. Accountability!” You’re right, you can’t. But percentages and ratio’s are your friend. You should know about how many products you can give away that fit within the marketing budget of that given item.
You can increase the chances of someone actually leaving a review by hand picking your reviewers.
There are a few ways to do this:
Amazon Top Reviewers: Amazon makes it easy to break down and identify who would be likely to provide an honest review for your product. Amazon’s Top Customer Reviewers offers you the Amazon id, total number of reviews, helpful votes, and even what products they’ve reviewed. You can sort through reviewers, identify if they’ve reviewed products like yours before and contact them to see if they’d like your product for free, in exchange for an honest Amazon review.
Launch Lists: Another tactic that’s a little more work on your end, but arguably more valuable are launch lists. Here you can get a lot of reviews quickly, by even prior to launching your first product, putting together a list of friends & family, website sign ups, and more, that would be willing to review your product in exchange for an honest Amazon review.
The beauty of this? This list is multi-purpose! Now you have an army of people to provide you reviews, announce new product launches to, and become not only repeat customers, but brand evangelists!
Option 3: Contests
This is a way to help with review accountability to ensure a customer leaves you an Amazon review.
A simple TIP: Let your Launch List know you will be picking random reviewers to receive a free item and all they have to do is leave an honest review; it’s that simple!
The Wrap Up:
The ideal way to apply this to your Amazon business in order to get more Amazon customer reviews would be to try all of the above, and MEASURE YOUR RETURNS. If you can’t measure it, it’s not worth doing.
Identify which strategies work best for you. Then identify why they work or do not work. Tinker and adapt. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
Certain types of Amazon businesses will be better suited for some strategies and not others. Private label businesses for one example, would be best served by attacking all of the above and attacking it aggressively.
Amazon reviews, as I mentioned aren’t the entire story, but they are a key factor in getting potential customers to click on your listing, and then hopefully stay on your listing to review through the reviews before making a purchasing decision.
Ultimately, a review is simply one metric a customer can use to measure the value proposition of the product, but it’s a strong one.