Want to get more product reviews on Amazon? Emails to customers can be a critical tool, but you’ve got to get them right!

Marketing is often more of an art than an exact science. If it wasn’t, execs wouldn’t attract such large paychecks. The aim of the game is simple: get the right message in front of the right eyes at the right time. Doing that, though, is easier said than done and success will depend largely on the emails you write and the way you format them.

Emails 101

Retailers, in general, use emails to connect with their customers, but they often make the same basic mistake: to maximize their chances of getting a click through they send a barrage of messages.

The result – you get annoyed and vow never to use them again.

With emails, the best advice is that ‘less is more’. Customers will be happy to accept a few targeted emails if they get value from them. What they don't want is a deluge.

Typically speaking, three is the magic number. After this, your value starts to diminish. Each of these emails must have a specific purpose. It’s no good coming right out and asking for a review – there has to be a reason and customers will need to feel they’ll get something from it.

Most of all, each email should be sent with a goal in mind. If you’re sending emails out with an ill-defined objective, you probably won’t get far. If you have a clear objective in mind, you’ve got more chance of achieving your aims and measuring whether or not your efforts are working. Once you’ve got all those basics in order, it’s time to look at the detail.

It’s also worth considering your metrics. Open rates vary depending on what kind of purchases people have made. More expensive items leave a bigger impact on the buyer’s memory and are more likely to attract feedback.

You should also be careful about who you send emails to. If you are sending an email to ask for a product review, you would not want to send it to a customer who refunded your product.

The subject line

You want the recipient to open your email and this starts with the first thing they see, the subject heading. Start by personalizing it and using the person’s name. People are much more likely to open an email if they feel the information is specifically for them.

This will give you the best chance of getting over the first hurdle and persuade the buyer to open the email.

When should you send them?

Timing is everything, so you should vary your approach by sending different emails, with different templates at different times. Your strategy may vary but a typical email chain should run in the following way.

  • Confirmation of order.
  • When to send: As soon as it’s been ordered, a couple of days before they receive it.
  • Goal: To build a sense of anticipation with the customer and reassure them that it’s on the way.
  • Suggested content: This is just a message to tell them their product has been dispatched and is on the way. You may want to add information or advice about how they can use it. For example, if it’s a cooking implement you may include an attachment with a couple of recipes for added value.

Aside from anything else, this extra content establishes emails from you as being useful. Add a tracking link to the courier. This shows them the status of their package. If it hasn’t arrived yet, it helps them to see what is happening.

  • Purchase follow up:
  • When to send: This might vary depending on the product, but it could typically be a couple of days after it arrives. The important thing is that it arrives when the purchase is still fresh in the mind.
  • Goal: To encourage people to leave a review.
  • Suggested content: It’s a couple of days since they have received the item and, all being well, they should still be in that excited phase. You should make sure they have had enough time to fully evaluate the product. This might vary depending on what that product is. Your view of a gadget, for example, might be different in the first few days from a week down the line.

Now’s a good time to follow up and check that everything is going well. This is a time to include a polite prompt to leave a review. Ask them if everything went well with their product.

  • Second follow up
  • When to send: A week or two after delivery.
  • Goal: Your last chance to get a review.
  • Suggest content: A week has gone by since the first email and still no review. This is probably your last chance. Perhaps they have forgotten, or maybe they have been meaning to post a review but haven’t got around to it yet.

You should be careful about how you phrase the ask. Give them a clear reason to add a review. Here’s a suggested approach:

Dear [customer name] we hope you are enjoying your product. As you know Amazon relies on feedback from customers such as you to help its buyers choose their products. We would greatly appreciate it if you can spare a few minutes to leave some comments about your experience with our product. You can add your review here.

If you have any issues or problems with the product, you can contact us by replying to the email or click on the link below.

Dealing with negative responses

You will almost certainly receive negative reviews from time to time. When this happens you need to deal with it right away. Comment on the review directly on Amazon, apologise for the problem and give them a way to contact you, such as through a customer service number. You should always remember Amazon’s terms of service. You cannot specifically ask a customer to leave a positive review. Nor can you incentivise customers to remove negative reviews.

This is a chance to find out what has gone wrong and if anything can be done to make things right. In some cases, you may not be the responsible party. For example, if you’ve sent a product through FBA, and the complaint is with delivery, Amazon will take responsibility and may remove the negative review.

If you take steps to repair the relationship with the buyer and respond in an open and friendly manner, most customers will be happy to amend their reviews.

Formatting an email

Great design can work wonders. Even simple details, like the color of buttons, can encourage people to do what you want. FeedbackWhiz allows you to choose from several different design templates so you can tailor the look and feel to your product.

Color can be surprisingly influential. Most customers will decide whether to buy or not within a few seconds and much of that decision depends on subliminal cues.

Here’s how different colors work.

·         Orange: often known as the most irritating of colors, this really makes your email stand out. Direct marketers often use it to draw attention to their emails.

·         Yellow: Few people know this, but yellow is the first color the retina sees which makes it a great attention grabber.

·         Green: The most relaxing of color, green encourages a more passive reaction. It summons views of nature and isn’t very stimulating.

·         Red: Conversely, red is the buying color. It conjures images of anger, lust and desire and, when used sparingly can encourage people to make a purchase. Place in those parts of an email where you want customers to click through to your shop.

The color mix you use will help your colors to stand out. For computer and TV screens, you should use red blue and green (RGB) color mix. This mixes these colors to create different ones. The more you add the brighter you get until you have pure white.

Print advertisements and brochures, meanwhile, tend to use CMYK – this is good for posters because they give you a much wider color range, but they can also look washed out on the screen.

You might also want to add pictures, gifs or other animations to make your email more appealing. The first bite is with the eye so it’s worth making sure your visuals are more appealing.  FeedbackWhiz let’s seller build effective and engaging email templates which will help improve conversion rates significantly over generic or text based emails.

Assessing the impact
Last but not least, you want to know if all these efforts are working. As you progress in your sales it’s important to measure the success of your email campaigns. Marketers routinely run A/B testing programs and FeedbackWhiz allows you to do this. A/B testing will tell you a lot about how well your subject lines are doing and may help you refine your approach to improve your return on investment. Feedbackwhiz will also monitor all your product reviews on Amazon and notify you when you get a negative review so you can respond as quickly as possible. Using the product review manager, you can also see exactly how many reviews you received over any timeframe for any ASIN. It makes it easier to monitor all your feedback and reviews and to respond quickly when you need to.

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