How to Get More Reviews
Today we’ve got an interesting topic: how to get more reviews. Let’s talk a little bit about reviews, and then we’re going to go into what’s some ways that you can actually find and get more reviews.
One of the most important things to having success on Amazon is reviews. A lot of controversy within that topic right now going on within the Amazon community. Obviously, always ongoing changes and different things of doing and getting reviews.
Verified vs Unverified
First to start off, let’s just go over a little bit of context, a little bit of information. Two types of reviews: unverified and verified. Unverified is when somebody hasn’t bought your product and they leave a review.
These reviews really don’t count for very much in the Amazon algorithm, and really, other than just maybe being a positive review, don’t have a lot of value to anything whatsoever. In most cases, Amazon literally will take those down.
What Amazon is looking for is what’s called a verified review. All that is is simply something to where somebody has bought your product, whether at full price or a discount, and then they go and write a review after the fact.
Many of you as Amazon sellers know, or if you’re thinking about getting an Amazon business, that reviews are tremendously important to your overall sales. I think they help in a couple of different ways.
One, I always think of a restaurant. Where, say you’re traveling and you see two restaurants. There is two cars in one restaurant and the one right next to it has 50 cars in the parking lot. Well, okay, you’re hungry. Which restaurant are you going to go? Probably the one that has the 50 cars because the reviews work the same way.
Reviews are “Social Proof”
There is a lot of “social proof”, I guess is the modern term that’s used. If you look at that, if you have one item that has two reviews and another has 50, and all things being equal, you’re going to get the item that has the fifty reviews. That’s the same way it works across the board with all products.
It’s imperative that you do everything you can to get reviews. Not only to help it get higher in the sales listing, but to be a more credible and viable product in the eyes of your potential buyers.
Now, as we all know, the algorithm and Amazon is really three things. It’s your sales velocity, your number of sales. It is your quantity of reviews and the quality of the reviews you get, and then also your conversion rate, which is how many people buy versus see your product.
Do Promotional Reviews
If you end up giving away some of your products for review or doing it at a deep discount, that helps in all three of those categories because one, it registers as a sale. The person is coming in, you’re getting a 100% buying conversion on that particular item which is going to increase your overall conversion percentages, and then you get another review for people to be able to see and go and do.
Really, from an Amazon sales standpoint, we live in a world of reviews. One of the things you’re seeing is reviews have become easier to get over the last year or so, is you’re seeing, at least in the U.S. market where maybe a year ago, 50 reviews might have been enough to make a difference. I think in most cases now, you probably need at least 100 reviews.
If you’re a seller, I think the goal is to get as many reviews as you can possibly get. You always see the number one selling items in most categories will have several hundred reviews. That’s obviously a factor of being able to go and get sales because really, just organically, somewhere two, three, four, maybe even five percent, depending on the market of the item, as what you’re going to get naturally.
If you do some things after the fact to get that, then of course you’re going to get some higher percentages.
What I want to talk about today is just some different ways to get reviews. All that is good and fine if you understand it, but I hear you now, “Okay Mark, tell me how to get reviews.” Well okay, let’s see if we can do that. Some of the traditional ways, let’s talk about some of those first and then maybe some different or more creative ways to do that.
Friends and Family
The first thing you do is to go out and try and go through your friends and family. Of course, obviously, there’s nothing new or unique about that. Literally what you are going to do is approach them and then go out and just ask them to do it.
Now again, we’ve all heard the phrase “herding cats,” and you’re going to have your friends and family say, “Oh, I’d love to do that. I’d love to help you out.” A week later, two weeks later nothing. You’re getting irritated because they’re your aunt, they’re your friend, they’re your cousin, whatever else. It’s like, “Order the bleeping product. It takes you 15 seconds.” “I had this to do. I had that to do.”
You’re going find after you do that once, that’s not the ideal way to do it, and I think when most people go through that in the beginning, they get a few reviews, enough to get them going. It can be frustrating in the long run.
The other thing to do, what you’ll find is that many people will go out and pay for reviews. If you look at Amazon’s Terms of Service, it says you’re not paying for a certain review. All of these groups, and many of them are fine, but just realize that a lot of these groups have been put together with Facebook ads where the people that they’re having review are simply looking for free products.
Many times they’ll lower the product for the deep discount, $1 or less, and then they still won’t end up leaving reviews. It’s very frustrating, very difficult to do that as an Amazon seller. Then, two, there’s always a possibility that in groups of people you don’t know, those codes and different things can be shared to where other people can buy codes, and they’re never going to review.
That will help your conversion and sales percentage, but also you don’t want to give away but a certain amount of products for free. If you are going to use one of the review groups that are springing up everywhere, be very, very careful of what you’re doing. I think they could have validity, but I think you just need to double check and take some precaution before you need to go some of those routes.
Some of the other things that you can do … I think this is something that most of us, at least here in the United States, live very close to a college. I don’t know if you realize this or not, but all college students have automatically a Prime account through Amazon.
What about college students?
If you have a particular product that would be of interest to a group of college students, whatever that might be, you go and you find that fraternity, that sorority, that club, that class, that whatever it is, and offer to give everybody in that class your product at a deep discount in exchange for a review.
Because that concept to them is, “Hey, we’re getting a very deep discounted, almost semi-free stuff.” You’re going to get a lot of response from follow up and do that. Again, a lot of them have Prime. That’s a nice way to do it.
If you go to any business networking events or different things whatsoever, you can always have a business card created with a code on it that is maybe a lesser discount off of that, and hand that to them and ask people if they will do that. Again, the constantly getting cards printed is what, $10?
Whatever it is, you can do something for a limited time and make sure the card, you have an expiration on the code and hand that out at your next networking event or wherever you’re around a large amount of people. Again, when you do this, you don’t want to walk up and say, “Hi, I’m John. Here’s my product and I want you to buy it, and I’ll give you a discount on it.” People are going to run from you to the hills if that happens. You obviously want to use normal manners, common sense, decency, talk to somebody and just give it some time.
Don’t just jump in and ask somebody to review your product for you. You will have to explain to them , maybe even put instructions on the back of the card of how to leave a review and do things because, again, not everybody is part of the Amazon world as we all tend to believe sometimes. That’s another interesting way to go about doing that.
What we’ve done within my headstart community, which is my course in community, is something that’s very, very different, and we’ve tried to solve this issue because, again, I think this is probably one of the hardest things for those of us who are Amazon sellers.
We have actually formed a marketing co-op within our community where our members get together and we review each others products. We literally will discount our items to a penny, send them out once a month and then, all of our other members who are part of the review group will then go and order and not only leave seller feedback, but also leave a review for that product.
That works out extremely well. We have almost 100% participation from people who are in the group leaving products because inevitably, here in our group, I’ve decided to put people together who … or other groups have come together because their incentive is because as long as they review other people’s products, their products are eligible for review as well.
It’s part of the membership. There’s no cost to come in and be part of the review group whatsoever. Obviously, we’re doing everything within the terms of service and not violating anything in any way.
We’ve seen lots of members products go from several pages down into first page products, and then they go on and have a successful launch in product and viable product and profit after that. I think at least internally we have saw what we’re doing, and that’s one way to do things there as well.
Getting reviews is obviously very, very important. However you do that, however you find them, review are gold. If you come across people in forums, you can always do reviews, different things that way. There are lots of different ways to do things and gain reviews. As far as your promotion of your product goes, I think it’s imperative that you dedicate a lot of your time and certainly some of your marketing budget to being able to get reviews.
After you get reviews, that’s really when you want to turn on PPC, and then I would encourage you to do PPC before that. Again, that’s a whole other topic that we’ll talk about.
Anyway, with that said, that’s some unique ways to get reviews… short and sweet today, some out of the box thinking, and as well, some traditional things. Whatever you do to be successful at Amazon, you’re going to need to get some reviews.
Again, whether you’re watching on YouTube, listening to iTunes, however you’re here, blog, thank you so much for being here and see you on the very next podcast.
Already an Amazon Seller? Interested in a little help, maybe validation of your product and market or need some marketing direction? Then take a look at my 1 on 1 coaching. I accept a limited number of people into my coaching program. Click here to learn more
Mark Scott Adams is a serial entrepreneur who has started, built and sold six businesses. He has sold millions of dollars of physical products on and offline over the last two decades. He is currently a speaker, author and successful Amazon Seller. To take his free amazon sellers training click here. To Get his free product checklist list click here