Unless you’ve been invited to join the Amazon Vine programme as a vendor (in which case - welcome, Your Highness), emailing your customers is by far the safest and best way to get more Amazon reviews. In case you missed it, we’ve already talked about various methods of getting Amazon reviews here.
Generic, uninspired emails aren't enough
A lot of sellers are under the impression that they can do the emailing equivalent of getting down on their knees and begging for reviews, but they just can’t.
In fact, sending emails without the proper guidance can actually hinder your chances of getting reviews on Amazon. The last thing you want is an irritated customer on your hands, after all.
Adding to this challenge is the fact that customers are becoming immune to email marketing, like a virus that has adapted to ignore a vaccination. In other words, it’s takes some work to get your customer’s attention; let alone keep it.
When coming up with an email strategy, there are four things that you want to aim for:
- Great Subject line
- Bring value to the recipient
- Make it personal
- Keep it fresh
In this article, we’re going to show you how to apply these 4 rules to your own emails, along with some strategies for increasing your open rates and conversions. We’ll also look at some common mistakes that your competitors are probably still making when using email services. Are you ready to significantly improve your email campaigns? Great, let’s get cracking.
How to Ask for Amazon Product Reviews
About 205 billion emails are sent every day. 205. Billion. That’s about 35 emails per person, per day. To marketers, this means one thing and one thing only: money.
That’s because in 2017 email campaigns had an average $38 return for every $1 spent, along with better conversion rates than search engines and social media combined. We’ll give you a moment to absorb that.
It’s clear that email campaigns can work. But for the average person, 99% of emails are probably spam. Our mission is to teach you how to write emails that fall into the 1% of great, valuable business to customer correspondence. In simple terms, our job is to ensure you’re getting an amazing response from your emails in the form of more Amazon product reviews.
If you want good click-through rates, you’d better have a solid subject line. The subject line is the picture to your dating profile: if it isn’t a good one, people are never going to find out what you have to offer.
Here are some of the best strategies according to Yotpo to ensure your subject line catches the eye of the recipient:
- Ask a question - “Alex, what’s your favorite snack?”
- Appeal to the recipient’s altruistic side - “You could make someone’s life better today”
- Make the subject line clear - “Here are some products you’ll love”
- Make it funny - “We went to a Pretenders gig. It was a tribute act.”
- Make it baffling - “205 billion emails are sent every day!”
- Don't use all uppercase - “LIKE THIS”
- Include your company name in the subject line - “Awesome Inc. has a treat for you”
Right, you’ve landed on an engaging, captivating subject line. Now you have to retain that attention with the email’s body.
Remember, Amazon already sends out 2 emails for every purchase. The first is an order confirmation, the second is a shipping notification. If your email is effectively saying the same thing, you’re already wasting your time and money (and probably aggravating your customers whilst you’re at it).
Here are some examples of real value we can give our new customers:
- Does your product need instructions? Hey presto - you’ve got a great reason to email your customers. They’ll appreciate the fact you’ve taken the time to send them something so useful.
- Does your product have some important warranty information? Great thing to send, as most people store important documents on their computer
- Perhaps your product would benefit from an ebook guide? More and more sellers are beginning to realize that their customers really appreciate this. It’s a fantastic way to provide that additional value and promote your brand at the same time.
If you can’t think of any concrete value to include in your emails, you can at least don your customer service hat and let them know that you’re always there should they need you. This may not inspire the buyer to leave you a review, but we’ve found that it can significantly lessen the number of negative reviews you’re getting.
That’s because it enables buyers to easily circumnavigate the elaborate process required to contact you through Amazon’s messaging system by just hitting the “reply” button instead. Suddenly, the 1 star Review they might have left you has been turned into a positive customer service experience.
Make it Personal
Oh yes, it’s time to get personal. This is Sales 101 people. The more personal you can make your message, the more genuine it feels. If your customer is feeling the love, they’re definitely a lot more likely to a) give you a positive review and b) come back for more next time they’re in need of your product. It’s a win/win.
This is why segmented email campaigns (emails that target a specific section of an audience) see a 100.95% increase in click-through rates than non-segmented campaigns.
Ok, so how do I create a segmented email campaign?
In order to create segmented campaigns, you need to first identify your primary and secondary customers.
Who's buying your product(s)?
Now create a profile on your primary and secondary audience. This exercise will help you to do just that.
Once you know your customer, it makes it easier to understand what will appeal to them and grab their attention. You'll be able to use language that is unique to that customer profile.
Every industry has its own catchphrases and linguistic nuances: you need to know yours like the back of your hand. This may not work for every product, like commodities, but if your product hits a specific industry and/or age group, there is most certainly unique lingo that you can and should include in your emails.
If your target audience appreciates an attractive aesthetic then Seller’s Suite offers some beautiful pre-designed templates or you can construct your own designs with our advanced email builder.
Although, it's worth mentioning that a study done by Wordstream showed that plain text performed better than HTML emails.
Including pictures can also be a fantastic way to get personal with your customers. Did your company take a really nice staff photo? Why not throw it in an email? Putting a name to a face can really build that all-important trust.
Use short code to help make your message more dynamic and personal. The above example shows Seller's Suite Advanced Builder using short codes. In this example, every time an email is sent out, the buyers first name will replace "[[BUYER_FIRST_NAME]]". This helps create a more personal feel to the email.
Keeping it Fresh
Just like your fruit and vegetables, emails need to be kept nice and fresh. Don’t be afraid to switch-up your email campaigns based on changes in season, product or promotion.
So if it’s Christmas and your audience is the type that might respond to some Christmassy joy, don’t shy away from a snowflake or two. By the same token, don’t be that company that still has a Christmas tree in their email footer come April.
Different emails for different products
If you have a multitude of products that might attract different customer bases, try not to send a one-size-fits-all email out to them all. Customize each one, depending on that particular audience’s needs and likes. Seller’s Suite lets you create as many campaigns as you like for this exact reason.
Make it convenient for the customer to leave you a review
Despite all this, there are some essentials that should stay firmly rooted in every email. The most important of these is a seller feedback and/or the product review link embedded somewhere in there. If a customer does want to leave you a review, it’d be silly to make it hard for them to do so. Amazon customers are all about convenience, so make life convenient for them by including a link.
Keeping it fresh makes it easy to sustain a relationship with your audience, one that will engage new customers and keep existing ones coming back for more.
Most email services provide trackers that enable you to keep an eye on your open/click-through rates. These are a great way to gauge how effective a campaign is or has been.
The open rate tells you how many recipients have actually opened your email. The click-through rate (CTR) tells you how many people opened your email and then clicked on a link within the email.
As a general rule of thumb, the higher these numbers are, the better you’re doing. But you won’t be surprised to hear that unfortunately, it just isn’t that simple.
Some products are riddled with notoriously low click-through and open rates, regardless of the quality of the emails being sent. You could be writing beautiful Shakespearean prose and still only reach a small number of your audience if you’re selling commodities, for example.
If you’re not selling commodities, however, then a very respectable open rate will hover around the 40% mark. Anything less than 10% means you’re almost certainly doing something seriously wrong.
A good product review click rate is about 15%. Anything less than 5% here and you need to take a good, hard look at the emails you’re sending.
If your open rate is less than 20% and your CTR is less than 5%, you need to rethink your campaign strategy.
Even if you’re happy with your rates, it’s still worth experimenting to find room for improvement as we've seen some campaigns with open rates as high as 70% and click through rates of 35%.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you want some no-strings advice about how to create a powerful campaign strategy.
Timing is also important when it comes to sending your emails. We’ve generally found that the first email should go out ASAP, whereas the second email should be sent out about 3-5 days after the purchase has been made. That way, your customer has had some time to get to know the product.
It’s also well worth including notes to the customer within your packaging. Notes are another great way to get in front of your customer, and whilst they might not be the most technologically sophisticated method for getting Amazon reviews, they can yield fantastic results for the mollusk of effort they require.
How NOT to ask for Amazon Product Reviews
Here are some great ways to ensure your product remains devoid of any customer appreciation. Do NOT try these at home.
- Sending more than 3 reviews. We can’t stress this enough. Don’t send more than 3 emails to a customer, please. If Amazon sellers abuse their emailing privileges, Amazon might just take them away.
- Asking for positive reviews. This is strictly against Amazon’s ToS, but sellers persist in doing so regardless. Asking for positive Amazon reviews can get you suspended, so just resist the temptation.
- Utter silliness. Here’s a real email that we came across in the Amazon wilderness:
Subject: Hey, hey, you! Check it out!
Thanks for buying [[PRODUCT]]! Now please leave a positive review!! [[LINK]]
Some emails aren’t as conspicuously bad as the one above, but here are some email examples that you should be steering clear of.
Subject: Thank You!
Thank you for your recent purchase! We hope you enjoy your new purchase and to help get you rolling, we've included instructions for your new purchase.
Subject: How was it?
Just checking in to see how you're enjoying your recent purchase and to see if you have any questions. Hopefully, the instructions were helpful.
Subject: Checking In
We hope that you've enjoyed your purchase! We are really excited to know what you think of it.
Spoiler alert: these emails are actually the Seller’s Suite standard templates we provide to all of our new customers. So why shouldn’t you be using them? Because in no way are these personal, fresh or valuable. They’re intended to be templates for a reason.
As you can see, successful email marketing isn’t a case of setting-and-forgetting a campaign. To achieve the monumental returns that Amazon’s top-tiered sellers get, we need to be far more considerate and strategic in our approach.
To land on a truly effective email campaign, it’s probably going to take about 1-2 months of tampering with your content and strategy, listening to the indicators provided by platforms like Seller’s Suite and fine-tuning your emails accordingly. There is no “overnight method” or “get-conversions-quick” scheme.
But the fruits of this effort cannot be underestimated. Once you’ve found a winning strategy, you’ll find it easier than ever to engage your audience and generate Amazon reviews through email campaigns.
Good email campaigns have time and time again proven to be the difference between a steady flow of Amazon product reviews and a complete absence of them. They’re also pivotal in safeguarding against bad reviews. When you consider it from that perspective, suddenly 1 or 2 months worth of effort doesn’t sound like such a big ask.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We love hearing from other people, so whether you’re enjoying success with an intriguing strategy or struggling with a tried and tested method, we’re all ears.