We’re starting to sound like a broken record for saying this so many times, but Amazon has become a different marketplace since incentivized reviews were banned two weeks ago.
We’ve already talked about how Amazon Vine might come into play to provide an Amazon-approved substitute for incentivized reviews, but that might be months away, if it happens at all. Instead, it’s more useful to think about what you can do right now.
The big problem, as is obvious to many, is reviews. How can you get more reviews without having to rely on the fickle nature of Amazon shoppers, while also complying with Amazon’s new guidelines?
Fortunately, there are quite a few methods you can use. Today, we’ll be focusing on one area in particular: seller feedback follow-up emails.
Seller feedback is a great review generation tool for one main reason — Amazon’s follow-up emails on purchases contain requests for seller feedback by default.
The numbers prove that this is a big deal — Amazon estimates that around 10–20% of purchases generate seller feedback. That's notable, especially when you consider that, under normal circumstances, less than 5% of purchases generate product reviews.
Unfortunately, seller feedback is trapped in a bit of a paradox: although it’s more accessible to customers through Amazon’s follow-up emails, it’s less evident to shoppers who look at your product page. Product reviews are one of the first things that most Amazon shoppers look at; seller feedback, on the other hand, is hidden from public view behind your seller name — almost no one looks at it.
So, it’s easy to get seller feedback, but what we really want are product reviews. What’s worse, sometimes people want to review your product, but submit that review as seller feedback instead. Technically, seller feedback should relate to the shipping experience and any communications with the seller, but Amazon isn’t very clear about that distinction. Because of this, a surprising number of “product reviews” end up languishing in the seller feedback section, never coming under the public eye or affecting your sales.
What do we do?
Here's the key: someone who told you about their good experience in seller feedback will be motivated to do the same in a product review. It’s as simple as that.
You're not only targeting confused customers who left product reviews on the wrong place, either; anyone who left positive seller feedback is predisposed to giving you a positive review. They had a good experience with their purchase, so you can simply ask them to spread the love to your product page.
There’s only one thing you need to do to bring this all together: set up automatic follow-up emails. This way, any time a customer leaves positive seller feedback, they’ll automatically receive an email asking them for a product review!
If you’re looking for the right tool for this job, look no further. Efficient Era recently launched its brand-new Seller Feedback Alerts & Automation feature! To learn more, visit this page. If you want to take advantage of this right away, you can sign up for our 60-day free trial any time!
As always, when you’re requesting a review through a follow-up email, it pays to be polite.
Now, just to be clear, there are no direct restrictions on sending follow-up emails to ask for reviews. Etiquette, in this case, is more of a “good customer service” consideration — although it also pays to be careful, as there are a few restrictions you might trip over..
Here are the general guidelines.
Your response should look something like this:
“We’re so glad you had a good experience! If you’re using the product regularly, please consider leaving us a product review at this link: www.amazon.com/example-review-link/. It’s a huge help to us and other customers to hear your opinion.”
Basically, an annoyed customer won’t leave you a review. Plus, breaking Amazon policy by asking for a positive review probably won’t get you very far in the long run, either.
After the incentivized review ban, it can feel like you’re begging for scraps when it comes to getting new reviews. True, your biggest tool is gone — but there were plenty of other, supplementary review sources that are now taking the foreground. Seller feedback follow-ups are only one such tool — expect to hear about more in the coming weeks.