There’s only one piece of the puzzle left for you to figure out: when to ask for reviews.
Congratulations — this is actually the easiest part, especially since we’ve already done the research for you. We’ve analyzed the data from hundreds of thousands of review requests and post-purchase emails from PowerReviews clients to determine the optimal time for asking reviews.
What we found may surprise you. Certain days of the week perform better for review collection. Ultimately, however, the best time to ask for reviews depends on the types of products you sell, as well as the demographic makeup of your audience.
Let’s dig in.
The Best Day(s) of the Week to Ask for Reviews
In general, we’ve found that Wednesdays and Saturdays have the highest conversion rate for review request emails. Maybe people are looking for a way to break up hump day, or they have more time on the weekend.
Whatever the reason, emails sent on these days tend to lead to more reviews. This is not to say requests aren’t effective on other days (we’ve seen plenty of evidence to suggest this is the case). But scheduling your post-purchase emails on a Wednesday or Saturday seems to give it the best possible chance of generating a review.
What Time Should You Email Your Review Request?
The best time to send your review request emails depends on your customer base, and their past interactions with your email campaigns. Review your email analytics. Based on that data, you can determine when your customers will be most likely to open and engage with your review request emails.
If you’re starting fresh with a review collection email program and looking for some general best practices, however, the best time slot is between 10am and 2pm. This timeframe captures people on their lunch break, when they have a little extra down time to leave a review. 6pm can be another peak time, when people have finished their workday.
When to Ask for Reviews, Depending on What You Sell
Now you’ve got two days of the week you can dedicate to sending your post-purchase emails. But how many Wednesdays, or Saturdays, should you wait before sending your review request?
You don’t want to send your email too early. You could come off as too eager, but worse, the person may not have even had a chance to try out the product yet.
The vast majority of people prefer to leave a review after they’ve used a product at least once or twice, and 34% of people would like to use it even more before writing their review.
Younger generations, in particular, prefer to be able to vet a product a bit longer before leaving their review. While 40% of Boomers are happy to write a review after using a product once, only 27% of Gen Zers are.
At the same time, you don’t want to wait too long either. People prefer to leave reviews while the product is still top of mind. 77% of people will write a review within a week of receiving or using the product, and 8% will write a review the same day.
There’s also a risk that if you wait too long, your email will get lost among all the other review request emails they’re getting. People order a lot of things online these days, and that shopping behavior has only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. 1 in 5 people buy something at least once a week. For 6% of Amazon Prime members, they purchase something every single day.
Getting the timing just right is key to maximizing your review submissions. You want to give people enough time to be able to leave a detailed review (customers rate longer reviews as more helpful), without waiting so long that they lose interest.
How long should you wait before sending your review request? Between 7 to 21 days, depending on the type of product the customer purchased.
Hard Goods – 21 Days
When we talk about hard goods, we’re referring to products that last a long time, such as refrigerators, washing machines, and computers.
We recommend waiting 21 days before sending your review request for these products. Why so long? With products like these, the person is expecting to use them for a long time. They want to make sure it works as expected, and they need time to confirm that.
Send your review request too early, and they may have only used the product a few times. With some of these products, like a new computer, they may have not even had a chance to set them up yet!
Soft Goods – 14 Days
Soft goods describe items that are used immediately and only last a few years, such as apparel, cosmetics, and personal care items.
We recommend waiting 14 days before asking for a review on these products. That’s a perfect amount of time for a person to have received the product and used it at least once or twice. With the purchase still top of mind, they’ll be in a good place to write a thoughtful review.
Perishable Goods – 14 Days
Perishable goods are used immediately and have a short lifespan. These may include food and beverage items, as well as flowers and plants.
Like soft goods, we recommend waiting 14 days before sending your review request email. Perishable goods are used quickly, and you want to ask for a review before the person has already forgotten about how much they enjoyed it!
Seasonal Goods – 7 Days
Seasonal items include holiday and seasonal products. They could be perishable, like holiday-themed foods and beverages. Or they could be a soft good, like apparel or decor. Regardless, many of these items are put to use as soon as they’re out of the box.
As a result, you don’t want to delay your review request longer than a week. 7 days is the ideal time for sending a post-purchase email on seasonal goods. The person has probably already used the product, if not multiple times, and you want to make sure you ask for a review before the holiday is over.
There’s another reason why you don’t want to wait too long to ask for reviews on seasonal products.
Reviews increase conversions by 115%, and there’s only a short window of time your seasonal products will be available. You have to make the most of that window to boost your review count — and your sales.
When to Send a Review Follow Up Email
If a customer doesn’t respond to your initial review request, how long should you wait before sending them a follow up? A good rule of thumb is 1 additional week, or 7 days. The product will still be fresh in their mind, but you’ve given their email inbox a little breathing room.
Do you really need to send a followup email? Yes, not everyone will leave a review the first time you ask them. In fact, only 68% of customers will. An additional 28% leave a review the second time you ask them. But 4% of people, you’ll need to nudge them a third time before they write a review. That’s why we recommend sending at least two emails as a best practice.
How many requests you’ll ultimately need to send can depend on the demographic makeup of your customer base, however. Our research shows that older generations are significantly more likely to leave a review after the first request. 74% of Boomers will write a review the first time you ask them, as will 70% of Gen Xers. For Gen Zers and Millennials, however, that percentage drops to around 60%.
The takeaway: If your customer base skews younger, always send at least two emails asking for reviews, if not three. Learn more about what drives customers to leave reviews.
Worried about being a pest? Don’t be. Our data shows that up to 80% of all reviews come from post-purchase emails. Asking for reviews over email can work wonders for your review collection, especially if you ask more than once.
Just take a look at the chart below. These are the review collection numbers for one of our clients, before and after they started sending post purchase emails. Can you guess what month they started asking for reviews?
That’s right. Simply starting a post-purchase email campaign skyrocketed this client’s review collection numbers to the tune of 900%.
It’s Always the Right Time to Ask for Reviews
Do what you can to get more reviews, by asking at the right time, and asking more than once. It’s worth it! Why? 97% of consumers typically read reviews before making a purchase and 81% of online purchases take place on pages with ratings and reviews content.
Timing your ask is just one part of a successful review collection strategy. From collecting and displaying reviews, to managing and responding to negative ones, there’s always more you can do to squeeze more value out of your customer reviews. Learn more in our Complete Guide to Ratings & Reviews for 2021.