Why is the above mail so irresistible?
Because of the mouth-watering chocolate cake, with bittersweet chocolate frosting…? (You can see the full version, by King Arthur Flour here)
No! It’s because it contains clickable customer reviews. Reviews and rankings by existing customers are valued highly by your other subscribers. It stands to reason, customers don’t have to take your word for it, they can learn from people who’ve tried and tested the product. Customers also like that you want to listen to them!
This real life feedback is a close virtual equivalent of asking friends and family what they think of something. But it’s even better, because these strangers have the same product interests as them.
What’s the result of including reviews and ratings?
Below are 3 different test emails from an Experian study:
- With reviews
- With reviews and ratings
- With nothing
The second ratings and reviews email received the best results: a 16 % increase in revenue per email!
But to have reviews, you need to do the groundwork beforehand! Ie you need to encourage your customers to leave reviews following a purchase, such as this example from Marks & Spencer:
Below Loft actively encourages reviews by offering entry into a prize draw when you review:
Of course, reviews can skew results: people like to save time and will gravitate to the best performing products, sometimes making it hard for new products to make their mark. Similarly, a product with a poor review may continue in a downward spiral, unless there are other reviews to offset the negative viewpoint.
Some Amazon spoof reviews have even achieved online fame, such as the Three Wolf Moon t-shirt, which has a staggering 2800 customer reviews.
If you don’t have a website to collect reviews and rankings, you can still include customer testimonials in your emails (just get the written agreement of the person quoted).
Product recommendations work. In Monetate’s 2014 personalisation ebook there’s the following interesting stat:
Key takeaway: reviews are a win-win. Boost community engagement with your brand and share to drive sales.