As sellers, especially private labelers, we know how important product reviews are to our product’s success. Without it, we won’t be able to get customers’ trust and confidence that would lead them to hit that “Buy Now” button. However, it’s undeniable that getting our much-needed product reviews have become increasingly difficult to get with the recent changes with Amazon’s TOS banning incentivize reviews.
In this article, we would help you find new ways to get that precious initial reviews for your Amazon listings. But before we dive in, let us know what Amazon means by “No Incentivized Reviews”.
Incentivized Reviews – BANNED
It was late 2016 when Amazon changed its review policy to no longer accept incentivized reviews. The following activities are no longer allowed by Amazon:
- Creating, modifying or posting content for a relative’s, close friend’s, employer’s or associates’ products or services. To make things simple, anyone related to you is not allowed to post a review for your product listing.
- Creating, modifying or posting content for a competitor’s product or services.
- Creating, modifying, or posting content in exchange for any kind of compensation such as free or discounted products, refunds, and reimbursements.
Reviews found to be violating any of the above will be removed by Amazon. In some cases, if the product was purchased under a discount greater than 50%, Amazon makes the review “unverified”.
Amazon has its ways to determine if a review is violating their TOS and so it’s always better to be on the safe side. Account suspension isn’t something you wouldn’t want to deal with, right?
So the big question is, how can you get your product’s initial reviews? Well, sit back and relax as we give you the top 6 LEGIT ways to get those product reviews.
Amazon Early Reviewer Program
When Amazon decided to ban incentivized reviews, they also released their “Early Reviewer Program” where a select number of customers will be asked to write a review for enrolled products. As a “reward”, the reviewers will receive $1-$3 Amazon Gift Card. For sellers, joining the program costs $60 for each product. Enrolled product/s should also have less than 5 reviews and only brand registered products can participate.
Amazon Early Reviewers KEY POINTS
- Cost of enrolment per product is $60 and will be paid after the product gets its first review.
- Only products on Amazon.com is eligible.
- Products to be enrolled should have less than 5 reviews.
- There’d be no assurance that the reviewer would leave a 5-Star review – which is what every seller hopes for their initial reviews.
- Product’s selling price must be over $15.
Amazon Early Reviewer Program offers a good value for the cost and may also be cheaper than “review clubs”. The downsides though are that results or reviews may be posted weeks or months after enrolment. And there’s the risk of your product receiving critical reviews.
Requesting Reviews to Customers who left a Positive Seller Feedback
A lot of buyers are confused between seller feedback and product reviews and they don’t quite understand that there’s a big difference between the two. This is why you may see quite a handful of product reviews posted as seller feedback which makes it very important for you to constantly check your seller feedback. Find time to check every day if possible.
Proactively email those customers who left you positive seller feedback. Most importantly those who left a product review and request them to repost the content as a product review. It would be great if you could provide a step by step process on how they could go about leaving a product review. Only a small percentage of buyers are willing to leave any feedback at all but those who left seller feedback are more likely to be willing to leave a product review too.
Solicit Reviews from Customers You’ve Engaged With
If you got the chance to have an actual conversation with a customer and you were able to make that customer happy, then you should grab that opportunity to request for a product review. Even if they were initially unhappy with the product as long as they were given great customer service, they would be happy to give you a great product review.
When we say “actual conversation” it’s not some automated email responses. This may include the following:
- Questions about the product before the order is made.
- After-sales technical support.
- Making an unhappy customer happy.
Product inserts are becoming more and more useful and powerful nowadays especially when Amazon allowed customers to “opt-out” from 3rd party seller emails.
Including small card inserts on each of your product allows you to directly relay your message to your customers. It’s important though that you DO NOT offer any reward for them to leave a review as it’s against Amazon’s TOS and may get your account suspended.
One effective and safe way to use inserts is to ask customers to register their product for an extended warranty or something similar which will require them to give out their email address. Once you are able to capture their email address, you can then include them in an email list where you can ask them for product reviews.
Run Promotional Campaigns with Steep Discounts
Offering steep discounts is one sure way to get more sales for your product launches. And by acquiring more sales you are increasing the chance of your product receiving product reviews. But since we are after “Verified Purchase” reviews, it would be best that you offer a discount not higher than 50%.
Send an Email Broadcast to your Email List for Product Launches
This last option though is only applicable to those sellers who had already built their email list. If you haven’t yet, you better start now or you’re missing out a huge opportunity to get loyal customers.
If you have an existing email list and you are launching new products, send them directly to your product detail page to accomplish two important things as follows:
- Your listing gets initial sales velocity.
- Your email list is more likely composed of initially satisfied customers who would be happy to leave reviews.
Aside from sales velocity is very important to Amazon, it’s also believed that Amazon rewards brands that produce sales from external sources like Facebook, Instagram, and Email Lists.
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