Recently, I wrote about black hat methods of getting reviews (the risky ones that aren’t approved by Amazon), so it’s only fair that we talk about their nice and safe opposites, white hat methods.
When we shop online, reviews are often what convinces us to buy and without those all-important first few, your item – and maybe even business – is doomed to fail.
Since Amazon has made it extremely difficult for sellers to access our customer’s data, it’s getting harder and harder to get legitimate reviews – hence why so many people use black hat tactics*.
*If you haven’t already, I advise you to check out the article I wrote about black hat methods of getting reviews [LINK] – some are very effective and have little risk of getting you suspended.
That’s not to say that legitimate, Amazon-approved ways of getting reviews don’t exist. We’re going to look at 7 white hat ways to get product reviews.
- Use Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program
At the time of writing, this is not available in Australia. I’ve been told that it should be here by the end of 2020.
For $60, Amazon will send your product to customers who’ll then leave you an honest review. To be eligible, your product must be new (have less than 5 reviews) and be priced over $15.
So, for $12 each, you can get your first 5 reviews – not bad!
- Ask customers who’ve already left you positive seller feedback
It’s common for customers to get confused when leaving feedback and leave you seller feedback instead of a product review.
Of course, getting positive feedback for our brand is awesome (and it’ll go down well with Amazon) but product reviews are what generate sales.
If someone has shown love for your business, they’re sure to give you a great review for the product too. Simply send the customer a polite request – and clear instructions on how – to leave a product review.
- Follow great customer service up with a request
All those times when a customer returns your product because they’ve ordered too many, it’s an unwanted gift, or it’s no longer needed, etc. are perfect times to ask for a review.
Whenever you make an unhappy customer happy, end the conversation with a simple, “Would you mind leaving me a review?” You’re not exchanging anything for a review nor are you asking explicitly for a positive one – so you’re playing safely within Amazon’s terms of service.
- Use product inserts
Although you can’t ask for a positive review in a product insert, you can ask for a review or get their email address and ask that way.
You can get their email address by offering a discount on their next purchase or for a warranty, if applicable.
- Discount your product
If you think of getting reviews as a numbers game, typically, only 1-2% of people who purchase your product will leave a review. So, by getting more sales, you’ll increase the number of reviews you receive.
- Use the Amazon Vine Program (only available if you’re brand registered)
Another benefit to Amazon Brand Registry is that you get to use the Amazon Vine Program for free, allowing you to get up to 30 reviews.
Now, I’ve had mixed results with the Vine Program. I got all my 30 reviews but let’s just say they were very, very honest. Instead of the 5-star reviews I wanted, I got mainly 3-star. But, still, it’s a cool service.
- Ask your social media audience
If your business hasn’t at least got a presence on Facebook, you’d do well to change that.
By having a ready-made audience, you can launch your product to your ‘fans’, interact with them, offer them discounts, and of course, ask for reviews!
Again, you can’t ask for 5-star reviews, but a kindly, neutral request is perfectly fine.
As it’s getting more difficult to get the critical first few reviews, it’s becoming commonplace to use a combination of white and black hat tactics. Just be aware of the risks and whether your methods are appropriate to your brand and product.
Thanks for reading everyone!