If you’re like us, you’re savoring every last minute of summer. But we all know the holidays are just around the corner, and it’s time to start planning. There are emails to draft, product catalogs to update, and sales to promote.

If you work in ecommerce, you are likely bracing for what’s to come in the rest of the year. Keeping your head above water may be your primary concern.

Clearly, prioritizing your efforts in line with what will have the biggest revenue impact will be critical.

But considering 99.9% read reviews before making an online purchase, those who read them convert at 120.3% of those who don’t and 70% say access to reviews before purchase makes them less likely to return an item, your holiday UGC strategy should undoubtedly be on that list.

UGC in the Holiday Season

And UGC will be even as important as ever this Holiday season.

Our Holiday Survey conclusively backs this up. Nearly all (99%) of consumers will do at least a portion of their holiday shopping digitally this year (50% will do most of their holiday shopping online, and 13% will do all of it online). 41% of consumers plan to do more holiday shopping online this year than last (when we asked the same question last year, the comparative figure was 37%  – for context, that was right at the heart of the pandemic pre-vaccine availability).

Bottom line: how you show up online will be crucial to how your Holiday 2021 shakes out.

In this environment, ratings and reviews will be critical to converting browsers to buyers. In fact, our Holiday survey highlights how it’s second only to price in enabling consumers to determine whether to follow through with a purchase – with 71% saying they have an impact when considering gifts for others and 68% when buying Holiday items for themselves.

You need to be ready for this. In order to maximize your share of dollars for the Holiday and thereafter, UGC will be absolutely critical.

But – although this is undoubtedly the case – the Holidays also represent a fantastic opportunity to enhance your existing program. Make sure you’re doing the right things now, and reap the rewards in 2022 and beyond.

Get ready for Holiday 2021

As someone who works with leading brands and retailers on their UGC strategies day-in day-out (and has worked through my fair share of holiday seasons), I wanted to share some helpful recommendations for optimizing your ratings and reviews program at this time of year. 

Given you are likely to have a bunch of competing priorities for the Holiday season, we have tried to focus purely on four things you can realistically achieve for this blog.

Consider this a checklist to make sure you are doing the right things. If not, consider making some tweets. Because a few small adjustments can really go a long way.

Pre-Holiday Season
During the Holidays
Post-Holidays
Pre-Holiday Season

Optimize your current review collection methods

The Holidays are a big sales season. Like we very clearly outline above, ratings and reviews are proven to drive conversions. So to be successful this Holiday season, you’ll need a healthy volume of ratings and reviews on your site.

At the time of writing, we are a matter of weeks out so realistically – given time constraints combined with the likely resources you have available – you probably aren’t equipped to significantly alter your own review volumes.

Although – as an aside – there are ways you can do this should you want to: in fact, PowerReviews product sampling and “Receipt. Review. Collect.” programs are designed to enable brands and retailers to generate significant review volumes in short time periods.

Here, though, we wanted to focus on things you can and should do given the likely resources at your disposal.

And this means looking on the Holidays as an awesome opportunity to generate a ton of new review content to convert more shoppers down the line.

But you need to make sure you are best placed to capitalize: now is a good time to audit your review collection processes and consider if there are any improvements you can make.

Review Your Review Form

Take a look at your review form. 

Is there some type of feedback you are looking to collect for specific products that you aren’t currently gathering? 

The holidays are the perfect time to edit your review form as your review volume will be increasing. Instead of just comments and an overall star rating, ask additional questions specific to your product or consumer to get more detailed feedback. 

Are you currently collecting images and videos on your review form? 

If visual content strategy is going to be a focus for 2021, you might want to start. After all, our recent consumer survey highlighted the growing importance of this content to shoppers: 99% now actively seek out imagery and video content from other customers (this is up from 88% in 2016). And consumers who interact with user-generated imagery are 91.4% more likely to convert than those who don’t.

Would you like your reviews to be longer? 

Based on our own review interaction data (taken from an analysis of 1.5m+ product pages across 1,200+ brand and retail sites), longer reviews are more likely to receive “helpful” ratings by consumers. Consumers who engage with “helpful” reviews convert at higher rates than those who don’t. 

Consider Your Post-Purchase Email Strategy

Your shoppers’ email inbox is the perfect place to gather new reviews. If you aren’t currently, follow up with customers soon after they receive their purchases, and ask them to write a review.

People can get busy during the holidays. Make your shoppers’ lives easier by inviting them to submit their review right from the email itself. An In-Mail Submission enables customers to provide review content directly within review invitation emails.

inmail-review
Ulta Post Purchase Email

What about customers who purchase multiple gifts from you?

You can make their lives easier, too. Invite them to write multiple, shorter reviews all at the same time. 

Enable customers to write multiple product reviews on one form through the post-purchase email. These reviews collect the star rating, headline, review comments, and an image or video for multiple products from a single email.

Brands I’ve personally worked with have experienced exceptional results when implementing this capability — in fact, one generated a 54% increase in reviews displaying on site in the first 30 days of it being in use. Quite a shot in the arm for the entire program.

Now that your customers are becoming more comfortable with the idea of shopping in store, consider maximizing your post-purchase email by providing an in-store order feed. We recently surveyed shoppers on their feelings about shopping in store post a vaccination being available. 

Over 70% of consumers have no concerns about returning to in-store shopping, a 2.4x increase from our September 2020 holiday data.

Share Reviews Across Channels

To stand out during the Holiday season, you don’t just need to provide compelling validation on your own site. You also need to show up digitally wherever you are selling or people are talking about your products. So consider how you can grow your review coverage across other websites and even social media.

Do you sell your products on Amazon? 

Like it or not, it’s the first stop for most shoppers (93% of consumers anticipate doing at least some Holiday shopping there). How are you currently funnelling your customers to write reviews? At PowerReviews, our Share Button makes it very easy for your customers to syndicate their review content to your product page on Amazon and other major retailers. On average, 31% of customers click this button. That’s a lot of reviews!

Syndicate your review content 

Review syndication is by now a well-established practice for most brands – and for good reason. If you sell on Target.com – for example – you are competing against a ton of other brands. So you need to stand out.

How do you convince folks to click through from a main listings page – where consumers have the entire Target.com product inventory to choose from – to your product? Reviews are a highly compelling mechanism for driving this action. We offer the full breakdown on syndication here.

How about social media? 

81% of people use Instagram to research products and services.

At PowerReviews, our Share to Social button allows your customers to share their review content to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest — ultimately increasing your UGC on social media platforms, driving organic traffic to your product pages, and boosting your conversion rates. We even track clicks and coverage so you can keep an eye on things!

During the Holidays

Get More Out of Your Holiday Reviews

You want to be prepared once the reviews start flowing in. Bring your customer service team up to speed on review moderation best practices. Identify key opportunities to feature top-rated products on your site banners and gift guides during the holidays.

Finally, amplify the impact of your existing reviews content through email marketing and social channels.

Let’s start with moderation best practices.

Respond to Reviews

Always respond to reviews, positive or negative.

This simple task builds credibility with shoppers by demonstrating you care about what they have to say. Check with your Customer Success Manager to ensure that merchant response notifications are enabled.

Remember, negative reviews help to build credibility. Our research shows 96% of consumers specifically seek this content out and 46% are suspicious of products with average 5-star ratings.

Customers know things can happen. Something broke during shipping, or the wrong item was sent. What’s more important to them is how you deal with it. Your review response is the place to share that information. Showing customers that you are there to support them and make it right is just as powerful as the experience with the product.

By responding to your reviews, you have the opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive. Then, you can ask customers to update their review.

Leverage Your Review Content

Let’s concentrate on all the positive reviews you collect during the holidays. Think about how you can put them to good use.

You can include star ratings and review quotes in your Instagram posts and stories throughout the holidays.

You can also highlight reviews in your marketing emails as customer testimonials to build credibility.

bissell-email
During the Holidays

Increase Review Volumes

With your review collection methods all in order, it’s time to drum up more reviews — and all the sales that come along with them. Engage your followers on social media and leverage your email list to collect more reviews. Here are a few creative ideas to get you started. 

Generate Reviews Through Social Media

Have you considered asking for reviews on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? 

You may already have a community of engaged followers across your social channels, so why not ask these customers to write reviews for specific products?

Taking that a step further, do you have customers who are already raving about your products on social? Lucky you!

Rather than simply responding with a generic “Thank you, we’re glad you loved it,” why don’t you point the happy customer directly to your website to write a review? They are clearly impressed with your product, so this is the perfect opportunity to gather a positive review!

Ask for Reviews Through Other Emails

Do you plan to highlight specific holiday products within your newsletters or other marketing communications? 

If so, we recommend embedding your review form (or link) within these communications. This is especially impactful for non-eCommerce sites that are unable to send a post-purchase email. You could also highlight a product with low review volume to increase coverage prior to the holiday.

Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 10.21.10 AM

Host a Review Contest

We have had many clients find success with creating and promoting a giveaway contest to collect reviews. In this example, Bumble and Bumble offered ten $100 gift cards for customers who wrote a review within a specific time period. All the customer had to do was sign into their account and submit a review on any product that they’ve used. 

Once the contest was over, Bumble & Bumble was able to use our reporting to identify customers who had written a review within that time period, and they picked the winner randomly with that data. This specific campaign increased review collection by 1400% month over month.

Post-Holidays

Analyze Your Review Content to Iterate and Improve

Now that you’ve made it through the holidays, I’m sure you are ready for a much needed vacation but don’t head to a tropical beach just yet. We’ve got some essential things for you to consider when planning for the New Year.

Your holiday reviews are chock full of useful customer feedback and sentiment. You want to gather this content so you can share it with your internal teams for product enhancements, marketing, and more. 

At a minimum, we recommend thinking about the following:

4.5/5
4 & 5 star reviews
These can supply your product managers and marketing team with sound bites to leverage in campaigns.
1.5/5
1 & 2 star reviews
These can alert customer service and product development teams about common issues and complaints.
The Impact of Your Review Displays
Understand how visitors interacted with UGC on your site and how that impacted conversion. This should then be factored into any site redesign planning.

Take notice of the main trends you see in your reviews. Which products get the best (or the worst) reviews? Are any products having a harder time generating reviews, despite having similar sales numbers to other, more-reviewed products? If you made changes to a product during the holiday season, did it affect the reviews positively or negatively? 

Don’t forget your competition. Take time to review your competitors’ reviews, too. For similar products, how do your reviews match up against the competition? Is there anything you can learn from how your competitors respond to their reviews? 

When you’ve got thousands, hundreds — or heck, even dozens — of products, it can be tough to answer these questions without turning it into a full-time job. As you head into the next year, it might be time to consider looking into reviews analytics software. These platforms use AI to analyze reviews at scale, surface the most impactful trends, deliver competitive insights, and spin up smart, actionable reports for you to use when crafting your UGC success plan for 2021.

If you’re a PowerReviews customer, talk to your Customer Success Manager about your goals and objectives for UGC in 2021. We can be a partner throughout this process.

jakob-owens-o0OnkkvJHrg-unsplash

Wrapping Up

We hope that these UGC best practices were informative and will help you to prepare for the holidays. Start by reviewing your review collection methods now. Then work on generating reviews before and throughout the holiday sales season. Finally, gather actionable insights you can apply to next year’s goals. 

Good luck this holiday season. We wish you happy holidays, and lots of positive reviews!

Kelli Seaquist

Kelli manages the Enterprise Customer Success team at PowerReviews. Over the past four years, she has worked with our largest brands and retailers to provide strategic recommendations for collecting, analyzing, and leveraging user-generated content. Her passion for ratings and reviews has truly helped her thrive at her number one hobby: online shopping. Seriously, she rarely has to return a purchase!

Power Points:
  • Fresh UGC is essential to SEO. From reviews and Q&A to user-submitted images and video, UGC provides Google with a steady stream of fresh, keyword-rich content

  • Keywords are the foundation of product page SEO. If you want to improve your product’s rank, you need to include keywords in your title tag, meta description, H1 tag, and product description.

  • Additional product page SEO best practices include marking up images with alt text, using a clear URL structure, and implementing schema markup. 

As any marketer will tell you, there’s an art to crafting the perfect product page. You need to design with all the best practice acronyms in mind — CRO (conversion rate optimization), UX (user experience), and SEO (search engine optimization) — and then you need to account for the unique needs of your users and your brand.

Today, we’re focusing on the third of those acronyms: SEO (search engine optimization). 

Here are the 5 essential SEO elements to include on your product pages for improved rankings, traffic, and conversions.

1. UGC is good for SEO

First off, we’re a Ratings and Reviews company and we know all about the importance of UGC from an SEO perspective.

The top search results always feature product pages with lots of reviews and a good rating. That’s because Google knows people are looking for the best product, and reviews and ratings help Google determine that.

But reviews are just one aspect of user-generated content, or UGC. There’s also Q&A and user-submitted images and videos. Together, all three forms of UGC are essential to product SEO for a few key reasons:

  1. UGC provides additional content for the search engines to gobble up. The more content Google has, the better their understanding of your site.

  2. That content is often keyword-rich. Customers include all sorts of key phrases in their reviews, more than you could ever include in a snappy product description.

  3. The content is being generated on a regular basis, signaling to Google that your page is still relevant to people searching for these keywords.

Plus, people WANT to see UGC. 88% of shoppers specifically look for images and videos provided by other consumers before making a purchase, and after interacting with UGC, they become twice as likely to convert.

The takeaway? Give the shoppers what they want! 

Crocs features all three UGC elements on their product pages, with an interactive photo gallery, and a searchable Q&A and Reviews section.

Crocs product pages feature interactive image galleries and searchable reviews, along with specific ratings related to key words
Crocs product pages feature searchable Q&A sections for customers needing additional info

Ulta Beauty’s Reviews section includes clickable filters that make it easy for shoppers to hone in on reviews from people like them.These filters also highlight keywords that are relevant to Google, helping Google connect the dots that this product is good for someone with “sensitive eyes” or anyone looking for a “long lasting” eyebrow pencil.

Ulta reviews use filters to help customers find long lasting brow pencils or options for people with sensitive eyes

If you dig into the reviews, you’ll notice plenty more keywords. Take a look at how many we highlighted in this one: 

Reviews are a great source for keywords that help boost your product's SEO

It’s no wonder a recent study found that having keywords in your reviews is one of the top ranking factors for product pages! 

2. Use keywords in all the right places

Keywords are the foundation of SEO. Whether it’s “waterproof hiking jacket” or “color safe shampoo,” keywords are the words people use during discovery and it’s important to use them when describing your products.

If you want to increase your visibility in search engines, you’ve got to include keywords in all the key places (see what we did there?) on your product page. Your customers will already take care of keywords for you in your product reviews. Where else can you include them?

  • Your title tag
  • Your meta description
  • Your H1 
  • Product description

Title tag

Your title tag appears alongside your Google search result in Google. It lives in your site code, so you’ll never see it unless you go to Google. You can fit about 55-60 characters of text in your title tag.

Many retailers simply copy and paste their product name, but this is a chance to speak directly to what searchers are looking for. iRobot does it best, with a combination of their product name, and the keyword “best robot mop”:

google search for best robot mops shows irobot product based on title tags
Including keywords in your title tag is a great way to boost your listing in search results.

Meta description

Your meta description is the two lines of text that appear beneath your title tag in the Google search results. Like your title tag, it lives in your site code, not on the front-end of your product page.

Together, these two elements serve as a virtual billboard — advertising your product to people in the search results. Will your billboard encourage people to click, or to scroll on by? Add keywords, and they’re more likely to click. 

It’s common for Google to auto-generate their own meta description using text on the page. Still, it’s a best practice to write your own so you have more control over how your brand appears in the search results. You can include up to 160 characters. 

Vistaprint knows that people use a variety of keywords to describe their products, from “custom address stickers” to “return address labels.” They include them all in their title tag and meta description:

Google search where the meta description for a Vistaprint listing includes address lables
Writing your own meta descriptions gives you more control over how your brand appears in search results. Vistaprint takes full advantage of this.

H1 tag

On the page itself, you probably have a big bold heading that puts your product name in bold. This is your h1 tag, and it’s one more area where you can incorporate a keyword. 

For example, by adding the word “golf,” Bonobos is able to help Google differentiate between this performance polo and their other performance polos when people are searching for golf polo shirts.

Bonobos includes golf as a use case in the h1 text for this polo shirt

Product description

Finally, you can include keywords in the biggest piece of text on your product page: the product description. When writing your product descriptions, keep in mind the pain points people are looking for your product to solve. They may be searching for those very same things in Google! 

In their product description, Canyon Bakehouse makes sure to include important keywords a person on a gluten-free diet may be looking for, like “certified gluten-free” and “100% whole grains,” or a bread they can use to make “toast” or “sandwiches.”

Finding Keywords in Google Search Console
  1. Open up Google Search Console, and navigate to the Performance report. By default, the report is set to “Queries” at the bottom. 
  2. Toggle over to the Pages tab, and click on an individual page. 
  3. Then, you can toggle back to Queries to view the specific keywords that page is ranking for.
navigating the google search console to find the keywords your rank in for free

Of course, the Google Search Console report only tells you the keywords you’re currently ranking for. To discover keywords before they start trending in Google, you can look to your review analytics!

All PowerReviews customers using our Ratings & Reviews product with the Review Search feature enabled,now have access to Review Search Reporting. With this tool, you can see the specific keywords customers are entering in when they search through your reviews. 

For the clothing retailer below, it’s clear that their customers seriously want to know whether this product is waterproof. Search terms like “waterproof,” “water,” “rain,” and “water resistant” dominate the top search results:

PowerReviews UGC Analytics reports show what your customers are searching for in your content
Knowing what your customers are searching for in your review content can help you write better product descriptions.

The fact that customers are typing these words into the review search box may indicate that they’re not adequately addressed in the rest of the product page. Thanks to these insights, the retailer can now take action to incorporate waterproof-related keywords into the product page for a SEO boost. 

3. Mark up your images

Images speak louder than words. Nowhere is that statement more true than in the world of eCommerce. In fact, according to our recent study 80% of consumers find photos from other customers more valuable than photos from brands or retailers. Shoppers want to see photos of your product from all angles, in action, and in a lifestyle setting. 

Now, search engines like Google can’t “see” images (yet), but you can tell them what’s in your image, via a little thing called alt text. Like your title tag and meta description, alt text lives in your site code, where search engines can read it to gather more context. (People who are visually impaired also rely on alt text, as their screen readers read it aloud to describe what’s in an image.)

It’s easy to copy and paste the product name or SKU into the alt text field. It’s also a serious waste of a SEO opportunity. By adding descriptive alt text, you not only make your site more accessible to more people, but you also increase your chances of ranking for the right keywords — and for showing up in Google image search!

PowerReviews customers using our UGC Analytics solution can see the tops words and phrases customers use in their reviews.

Where can you find the keywords to add to your image alt text? Look at your reviews! Your customers do a fantastic job describing your products using the words other customers use. What phrases come up again and again? Things like “desk chair for kitchen office” or “favorite hot yoga shorts” would be perfect additions for your alt text. PowerReviews customers using our UGC Analytics solution can see the tops words and phrases customers use in their reviews.

Search engines read captions, too. If it makes sense, consider adding them to your images like  Room & Board does:

Room & Board uses image captions to boost SEO
Both shoppers and search engines skim your image captions, so it's a great place to put additional information or reiterate details.

Remember to markup other images on your page beyond the product gallery. For example, The North Face has alt text for the two icons on their product page: “our most sustainable product” and “recycled content.” Adding alt text to these images may encourage Google to show their product when people are searching for sustainable clothing.

4. Use a clear URL structure

There’s one more thing that shows up in the search results: your URL. 

URL structure is an afterthought for many brands, with the developers left to do whatever feels most logical to them. However, a clean, clear URL structure can make the difference between Google crawling your web pages with ease… or getting lost somewhere along the way. 

You want to avoid URLs that look like this:

  • www.yourbrand.com/us/shop/products/123/product-catalog/xty-1222

Whew, that’s stressful Looking at that URL, I have no idea what the page is offering. I can tell that it’s an ecommerce site, but that’s about it.

SEO-friendly URL structures, on the other hand, look something like this:

  • www.yourbrand.com/products/category-name

  • www.yourbrand.com/products/category-name/sub-category-name

  • www.yourbrand.com/products/category-name/sub-category-name/product-name

As you can see, there’s a clear hierarchy to this hypothetical website. These URLs say, “Hey, Google. We are a retailer and we list products on our website. You can find them via these category, sub-category, or individual product pages.”

Depending on the size of your catalog, you may not need multiple levels to your URL structure. For example, Clif Bar has one level. Look at these simple, keyword-rich URLs:

When you have a large product catalog, though, it becomes really helpful to have the different levels, as you can see in this example from Ace Hardware:

When you have a clear URL structure like this, Google will often display breadcrumbs with your search result. In the Ace Hardware example, that’s the “hard-sided-coolers” above the title tag. That breadcrumb information confirms to potential customers that they a) have the type of cooler they’re looking for and b) have enough of a selection for it to warrant its own category. That’s the kind of information that encourages more clicks and better SEO!

Beyond having a clear structure, you can boost your product page SEO with a SEO-first internal linking strategy. Link to your bestsellers in blog posts, and link to related items or product categories in carousels on your product pages. This improves the discoverability of these products, and gives Google additional semantic meaning about the relationship between these products.

For example, on the product page for their Advanced Night Repair Serum, Estee Lauder links to related products that speak to the same pain points, like their Advanced Night Repair Eye cream.

products related to estee lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye cream

Also keep an eye out for what other products customers mention in their reviews. For example, let’s say you’re an outdoor clothing retailer. Do reviewers regularly mention one of your jackets in their reviews of your hiking boots or hiking pants? Feature that jacket in your Related Products carousel. 

5. Implement schema markup

Think back to the last time you were shopping online. Have you ever noticed how the search results for products look different than normal results? For example, they often display star ratings, price, and in-stock information.

Once you start to look for them, you’ll notice these stars show up all over Google:

Crocs uses Google review schema to display star ratings in search results

This extra information, especially the stars, is called rich snippets. Rich snippets stand out to shoppers browsing the Google search results. Rich snippets also expand the size of your search result. Either way, searchers are more likely to click through when they see them. 

To enable rich snippets, you need to add schema markup to your website. Schema is code that speaks the search engine’s language and tells them key information about your product, like its price, availability, ratings, and more. To improve your product page SEO, consider adding these schemas to your product pages:

If you’re a PowerReviews customer, good news! We already take care of this for you. Our Review Display comes with schema markup built in.

Psst… Speaking of our Review Display, we just released our 4.1 update which is packed with even more SEO goodness. Display 4.1 boasts a smaller JavaScript bundle size and faster load times. With Google’s recent Page Experience update and continued focus on site speed, these improvements will make our Review Display load even zippier than before. Google will love it, and your users will, too. 

From SEO to sales

If you want more conversions, you need more traffic — and that’s where SEO becomes critical. Implement the five best practices above, and see what it does for your rankings, your traffic, and your sales! 

Alyson Fischer

Alyson Fischer is our Product Marketing Manager, obsessed with using data-driven storytelling to deliver a best-in-class customer experience and inspire dynamic engagement across channels. When she’s not agonizing over writing this bio, you can find her exploring Chicago with her furry sidekick or watching a true crime documentary on Netflix.

Consumers depend on reviews, regardless of what they’re shopping for.

And the importance of this content is only growing. Recent research found that 99.9% (yes, you read that right) of consumers read reviews when shopping online at least sometimes, compared to 97% who said this was the case in 2018.

What’s more, shoppers seem to have a nearly insatiable appetite for review content. 68% of consumers say that ideally, a product should have 26 or more reviews. And nearly a third feel that a given product should have 100 or more reviews!

The Ideal Number of Reviews a Product Should Have, According to Shoppers

Brands and retailers that don’t collect this content aren’t meeting customer expectations — and are quite literally leaving money on the table.

Not convinced? Our analysis of 1.5MM product pages from more than 1,200 brand and retailer sites during 2020 found that there’s a 120.3% lift in conversion among those who interacted with ratings and reviews.

That means brands that don’t provide this content are missing out on a simple, yet impactful way to grow sales.

The Impact of Reviews on Conversion
Ecommerce UGC Page Visitor Overall
3.4%
Conversion for Those Who Interact with Reviews
7.6%
120.3% conversion lift when visitors interact with reviews

Cleary, the onus is on brands and retailers to collect reviews — and plenty of them.

How Incentives Motivate Shoppers to Contribute Reviews

Ideally, every customer would write glowing reviews about every product they purchased. But that’s just not how the world works, sadly.

Our research found that about half of consumers (52% to be exact) write reviews multiple times per month. The other half submit this content far less frequently –and 2% never do.

Review Submission Frequency

Fortunately, there are several strategies that are proven to increase review volume for brands and retailers. One particularly impactful way to generate more content is to offer an incentive in exchange for a review.

Frankly, incentives are the single most effective way to generate a ton of reviews fast.

Overall, nearly three-quarters (73%) of consumers say they’d be motivated to write a review if they were offered an incentive. And (perhaps not surprisingly), incentives motivate shoppers of all generations.

Incentives Motivate Reviewers Across Generations
Boomers
73%
Gen X
74%
Millennials
73%
Gen Z
73%

Four Impactful Types of Incentives for Generating Reviews, According to 10,000+ Consumers

We know incentives are enough to motivate 73% of consumers to write reviews. But what incentives actually work?

The short answer is that it depends. An incentive that works well for one brand might not be as successful for another.

However, we recently surveyed more than 10,000 consumers to understand what motivates them to write reviews — and there were four incentives that rose to the top. Let’s dig into each of them so you can determine which might be a good fit for your brand.

Incentives Leading to Review Submissions
Receiving the Product Free of Charge
91%
Receiving a Product Before It's Available to the Public
85%
Discounts with Store or Brand
67%
Loyalty Points with Store or Brand
59%

1. Free Products

Let’s face it: people like getting free stuff. So it’s probably not terribly surprising that receiving a free product is the most effective incentive for getting more reviews. 91% of consumers said they’d be motivated to write a review if they received a product free of charge.

So if you’re looking to generate a high volume of reviews fast, product sampling might be just the ticket.

The concept is simple: send free samples to consumers — and then ask them to write a review. But it’s incredibly effective. At PowerReviews, the average submission rate for product sampling campaigns is 85%. That means 85% of those who receive a free sample go on to write a review.

Reviews that result from product sampling campaigns are also high quality. We’ve found that reviews generated through a sampling campaign are 83% longer, compared to those captured via other methodologies.

This is great news, as 56% of consumers say that the length, depth, and detail of review content are factors that matter to them.

2. Receiving a Product Before It’s Sold to the General Public

Getting early access to a product can make a customer feel valued, special, and, quite frankly, a bit like a rock star. It’s a pretty cool feeling to know you have something that hasn’t officially hit the shelves.

Early access to a product can also motivate consumers to write reviews. 85% of consumers say that receiving a product before it’s sold to the general public would motivate them to write a review.

If you’re releasing new products, consider doing a pre-launch product sampling campaign. The consumers who receive early access are likely to write reviews — and that means you can officially launch the product with plenty of reviews already in place!

What’s more, the feedback you get in those pre-launch reviews can help you understand where your product shines — and where it falls flat. Then, you can use the insights you uncover to tweak the product before it officially hits store (and digital) shelves.

3. Discounts with the Store or Brand

Consumers are constantly on the hunt for great deals and discounts. According to a survey from Valassis, 72% of consumers make it a priority to save money by using coupons and discounts.

Who wants to pay full price when they don’t have to? No one!

Offering a coupon or discount can also increase the likelihood that a shopper will write a review. 67% of consumers say they’d be motivated to write a review in exchange for a discount for the store or brand.

So if you’re looking to increase your review volume, consider offering shoppers some sort of deal in exchange for writing a review. For example, you might provide a code for a percentage off a future purchase or free shipping percentage off a future purchase that’s “unlocked” after the customer has submitted a review.

The right discount or deal will help you generate more reviews, and as an added bonus, it’ll give your customers an excuse to shop with you again. The same survey from Valassis found that 54% of consumers said that receiving a coupon or discount has caused them to make an impulse purchase.

4. Loyalty Points with the Store or Brand

Consumers are loyal to the brands they love. According to Motista, customers that feel emotionally connected to a brand stick around for an average of 5.1 years, compared to 3.4 years for customers who aren’t emotionally connected. What’s more, the lifetime value of emotionally connected customers is 306% higher.

A great loyalty program can help you further engage your happy customers — and keep them coming back for more. And if you have a loyalty program, offering points in exchange for reviews can be a great way to generate more of this conversion-boosting content.

After all, 59% of consumers indicate they’d be motivated to write a review if they had the chance to earn loyalty points with the store or brand.

So if you have an established loyalty or rewards program, consider leveraging it to generate more reviews. For example, a customer might earn 10 loyalty points for each review they write.

And once they accumulate a certain number of points, they can redeem them for a coupon or some sort of promotion — such as a dollar amount off their next purchase.

How to Promote Your Chosen Incentive

You’ve chosen the incentive you plan to offer to customers in exchange for reviews. That’s great! Now it’s time to make sure your customers know about it.

Sometimes, a consumer will write a review without being prompted. But in most cases, they need a gentle reminder in the form of a post purchase email. Here at PowerReviews, we’ve found that about 80% of reviews are written as the result of a post purchase email.

So if you’re offering an incentive in exchange for reviews, be sure to prominently promote it in your post purchase emails. When possible, include the incentive in the top portion of the email so your shoppers will see if — even if they don’t scroll through the entire email. For example, this one from Bissell makes it clear that those who write reviews will be entered in a sweepstakes to win a prize.

You can also include these promotions in your packaging like this insert from Derma E.

How to Maintain Transparency (and Preserve Trust) When Incentivizing Reviewers

Consumers value reviews because this content is provided by fellow shoppers sharing their real experiences, rather than a brand trying to sell a product. In order to preserve consumer trust, transparency is a must.

When you display reviews, be sure to include fine print or a badge that indicates when a consumer received an incentive in exchange for a review. That way, future shoppers will have a clear idea of who wrote each review.

For example, it’s clear that the person who wrote this review for Wander Beauty is a verified buyer who received a free sample in exchange for their review.

Start Generating More Conversion-Boosting Reviews with the Right Incentive

Reviews are more important than ever before, regardless of what a consumer is shopping for. Brands and retailers must make it a priority to collect plenty of this content — or risk losing customers to a competitor. Offering the right incentive can be a great way to supercharge your review collection — and boost conversion across your website.

Andrew Smith

Andrew is an experienced ecommerce technology marketer. When he's not thinking about his day job, he's running around after two small children in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood.

Power Points:
  • Emails are a key medium for review collection. Between 60% to 90% of all reviews originate from an email request.

  • PowerReviews review request emails have an average open rate 59% higher than ecommerce benchmarks.

  • Retailers can optimize email open rates with stronger subject lines. Pro tips include personalizing subject lines, offering an incentive, and A/B testing.

There’s a direct relationship between review collection and sales. When retailers add reviews to their product pages, they see an instant bump in traffic and sales. In fact, consumers who interact with ratings and reviews convert at 108.4% the rate of those who don’t. This probably isn’t surprising given reviews are such an important part of the purchase consideration process – with 99.9% of consumers now claiming they read them

There are a number of ways retailers can boost their review collection efforts, but none are more powerful, impactful and widely-used as email.

Emails are a key medium for review collection. According to our data, between 60% to 90% of all reviews originate from an email request. After implementing review request emails, one of our customers in the home improvement space saw over a 1,000% increase in review volumes the very next month!

After implementing review request emails, this company's review volumes increased by 1,042% in one month.

If the data tells us anything, it’s that if you send a post-purchase email, a review is good as collected. There’s only one thing standing in your way. Customers have to actually open your email.

A Quick Review of Email Open Rates

According to Mailchimp’s latest benchmarks for 2021, the average email open rate is 21.33% across industries. For ecommerce, it’s 15.68%, and for retail, it’s 18.39%.

There’s good news here. At PowerReviews, our open rates for post-purchase review collection emails are all either in-line, or above, Mailchimp’s benchmarks — suggesting that consumers are even more interested in opening emails that request they share their feedback with a retailer. 

Our overall unique open rate is approximately 25% (which is 17% higher than the average from Mailchimp’s data). Our open rates are 59% higher than Mailchimp’s for ecommerce, and 35% higher for retail. (These figures are based on nearly 175 million emails sent from 600+ merchants, as of June 22, 2021.)

PowerReviews Lift vs. Average Open Rates in Key Business Areas
Any Email
(data from Mailchimp)
Percentage Lift of PowerReviews Benchmarks*
All Industries
1 %
+ 1 %
Ecommerce
1 %
+ 1 %
Retail
1 %
+ 1 %
*Calculated on average open rate of 25% across all emailed review requests sent via PowerReviews technology

The data tells us consumers want to write reviews. Earlier this year, we surveyed more than 10,000 active shoppers in the U.S. and nine out of ten reported that they write a review at least once every six months. The better news? 91% of those who do, are motivated by a desire to share a particularly positive experience. All retailers need to do is get them to open their email so they have a chance to.

If you want to increase your email open rates, it all comes down to your subject line. It follows, then, that if you want more reviews, you need to optimize your email subject lines. Here are eight dos and don’ts to help you do just that.

5 Email Subject Line Dos

Follow these five email subject line tips to boost your review collection efforts.

1. DO personalize your subject lines when possible

Personalization is the holy grail of retail marketing. Why? Because consumers are much more likely to respond to something that is highly relevant to them. Customers are 29% more likely to open an email personalized to them, according to Mailchimp

Plus, adding the recipient’s name to your subject line helps your email bypass spam filters (since you’re using their name). Next time, try an email subject line like “We want details! How would you rate your recent purchase, [Name]?”

2. DO be descriptive, but keep it short

Shorter is always better in today’s world of short attention spans. No one wants to read a paragraph. Write shorter email subject lines, and you don’t have to worry about your subject line getting cut off. Aim for around 40 characters, or 7 words. 

This best practice is especially important if the majority of your customers read email on a mobile device (as most people do nowadays).

3. DO include a promotion or contest

Predictably, incentive-based emails get the best open rates (who doesn’t want a chance to win free swag?). However, we’d recommend exercising caution when running a review promotion because ISPs sometimes identify these emails as spam. To avoid your email getting marked as spam, try:

  • Testing your email with a smaller set of customers before launching the campaign to everyone.

  • Including the contest language in the email header so it shows up in the preview instead of the subject line.

Don’t worry too much about sounding spammy. If you’ve emailed these shoppers before (which you probably have when you sent their order confirmation emails), their ISP may already recognize you as a trusted sender and send you straight to their inbox anyway.

Here are some of the top-performing email subject lines we’ve seen:

  • Your review is worth $1000!
  • Review and Earn at [your brand]
  • Review and Win!
  • Rate your purchase for a chance to win!
  • Tell us what you think!
  • If you loved it, let us know! 
  • Review Your Purchase and Receive $10 off Your Next Purchase

According to our data, emails with subject lines mentioning a contest or gift also consistently top the list for review completion rate (meaning that customers actually click through and submit a review after opening the email). One of our apparel clients implemented a review sweepstakes for 45 days and saw a 290% increase in collection rates during that time! They now run it sporadically throughout the year and have more than doubled the amount of user-generated content they collect in a year.

4. DO send at the right times

You can craft the most fantastic, intriguing, ultra-optimized email subject line — but your effort will be completely wasted if your customers never see it. Make sure to send your emails at the prime time to optimize both open rates and review completion rates.

When should you send your review request email?

You want to give your customers sufficient time to use the product so they feel comfortable leaving a review, without waiting so long that you’re no longer top of mind. We recommend sending your review request email between 1 to 3 weeks after the customer purchased the product. Here are the benchmarks we found work best for different types of products:

  • Seasonal items: 7 days
  • Soft goods: 14 Days
  • Perishables: 14 Days
  • Hard goods: 21 Days

If customers don’t open your first email, send them a follow up email 6 to 8 days later.

The best time of day to send emails is around 10am, 1pm, and 6pm, according to Hubspot. Those are averages across industries, and across email content. To find the best time to send review request emails for your brand, you can perform A/B testing, which brings us to our last tip.

5. DO consider A/B testing

Remember that your customers are unique. The “average” best practice may not apply to them. In addition to testing different send times, test a couple variations of your email subject lines. Track which subject line drives the best results, and iterate from there.

3 Email Subject Line Don’ts

Avoid these three email subject line mistakes when sending your post-purchase emails.

1. DON'T send from “do-not-reply” email accounts

No-reply email can be a death knell for your email delivery rates. Many ISPs filter emails sent from no-reply addresses as spam. Plus, it provides a frustrating experience for users — and for you. If there’s a problem with your review collection emails, but customers can’t reply, you’ll never know.

Instead, set up a dedicated email address for your review collection efforts, and ensure it’s monitored in case your customers reply.

2. DON'T include other marketing or sales calls-to-action

You know how they say, “Keep it simple, stupid”? The same goes for your emails. Don’t confuse your customers. Keep the call-to-action focused on review collection, and review collection alone — in both your subject lines and the email copy itself.

3. DON'T go crazy with hashtags and punctuation

Too much punctuation can make your subject line look spammy, especially if you use a lot of special characters (e.g. !!! or $). Hashtags (#) can also be flagged by spam. Stick to normal punctuation, and your email will appeal to customers and ISPs alike.

Get inspired with these top-performing email subject lines

Suffering from email writer’s block? When in doubt, rely on what works. These four examples have driven open rates above 40% (that’s a 61% increase over our average open rate) and review completion rates as high as 10% for brands and retailers we work with.

  • “Please review your [brandname.com] purchase”
  • “We’d love to hear what you think”
  • “Review your recent order!”
  • “Tell us about your new [brand name]”

If we could leave you with one last tip, it’s this. Make the ‘write a review’ action stand out. Make it clear to customers what you’re asking for, and you shall receive!

Alyson Fischer

Alyson Fischer is our Product Marketing Manager, obsessed with using data-driven storytelling to deliver a best-in-class customer experience and inspire dynamic engagement across channels. When she’s not agonizing over writing this bio, you can find her exploring Chicago with her furry sidekick or watching a true crime documentary on Netflix.

Guide for a 5 Star Summer

Since last summer is one we would all like to forget, we've rounded up some of the best-rated products from our rockstar customers to help you make the summer of 2021 one to remember.

Categories:

Backyard BBQ

Anything you need to solidify grillmaster status, backyard games, entertaining

Living Accents Square Propane Fire Pit

4.4
4.4/5

$179.99

Fire pit
@Rocky
Read More
No problem with burn bans makes it a big plus. With care it can be used as cooktop for wok or similar uses. Portable if tank moved separately.

Gray Adirondack Chair

4.6
4.6/5

$139.99

Better than we were hoping
@Young_family
Read More
Excellent chairs. Better than what we were hoping for. Perfect size, smooth finish, neutral color and easy for our young kids to climb in and out of.

Montreal Steak Seasoning

4.7
4.7/5

$5.98

Make Your Burger A Steakburger!
@M
Read More
Boring burgers? No more! The flavor is bold and has a great peppery kick to it. I love the chunky texture of the blend which allows the flavor to really enhance the burgers.

Burger & Slider Press

4.6
4.6/5

$15

Great Patty Press
@Sandy
Read More
Love this versatile press. You can make full size patties or sliders. Thickness of patty is determined by you. Easy to release patty and super easy to clean.

18.5" Classic Pit Barrel Cooker

5
5/5

$349.99

EASIEST SMOKER I'VE USED
@B_Smith
Read More
This exceeded all expectations. I added wood pellets to the charcoal to get that nice bark and smoke ring on the butt. It works exactly as advertised.

Kabob Grilling Baskets

4.6
4.6/5

$17

Grilling Game Changer
@Thera
Read More
We have been loving making kabobs this past summer, and were purchasing the bamboo skewers for these grilling nights. These little baskets make this dish so much easier! We just simply fill the baskets, grill, and enjoy.

2019 Merveille de Vignes Grenache Rosé

4.7
4.7/5

$24.99 $19.99

Great for hot humid nights!
@Jessilyn
Read More
Just pulled this out of the fridge and poured my family a glass. Fresh summer berries and a beautiful light finish. Yum!

Camp

Pack your trunks and get ready to eat s'mores and share ghost stories around the campfire.

Bug Guard Plus Picaridin Aerosol

4.7
4.7/5

$20

I would give this 10 Stars if I could
@Florence
Read More
I use it on our window screens to stop bugs, inside my dresser drawer when I rotate sweaters, inside clothing closets when I rotate clothes. Our windows and screens are almost bug free, but my neighbors not so. The best part is it doesn't hurt our cat.

Unicorn Ride-On Inflatable Float

4.3
4.3/5

$16 $12.80

Loved the UNICORN Float!
@anon
Read More
This is a fun float that my daughters really enjoyed! Thank you Big Lots for carrying this product. 🙂

Every Night Firelogs

4.9
4.9/5

$23

Brings warmth and joy easily to your gathering
@Anthoering
Read More
Firelogs are quick to start and bring the warmth and joy that can only come from an open fire. With the estimated burn time they give, it makes it easy to plan when to start your fire so it will end at the appropriate time.

GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars

4.5
4.5/5

$14.99

Absolutely Perfect Product
@Kate
Read More
I saw these online and thought "eehh, binoculars, OK". But when I received them to review I immediately changed my mind to "WOW these are awesome"! They are absolutely perfect and couldn't be better - worth every penny you spend on them.

Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair

4.6
4.6/5

$219.95

I sat in it every day for 8 months!
@Shae
Read More
Best camp chair ever! I love this chair! I do use it with an ottoman and can nap so comfortably, I have now had the chair for a year, it's worth every penny!

100% Recycled Polyester Shark Board Shorts

5
5/5

$34.95

Great swim shorts
@Tara
Read More
I've always bought Gap swim trunks for my son and they never fail. He wears them all summer and they still look as good as new by the end. Great fit not too tight or too loose.

Tuolumne River Rafting Near Yosemite National Park

4.9
4.9/5

$299+

This river trip was awesome!
@Diane
Read More
This is the perfect family adventure fun trip. Beautiful River, Beautiful People and just so much to do. Even a little sitting around....

CarryOut Duffel 60L

4.4
4.4/5

$135

This bag is the best, high quality at a good price point!
@Heidi
Read More
I've really been enjoying this bag! I use as a surf and travel bag. I love that the zippered end pocket expands and is made from OR's dry bag fabrics. After surfing, I can fit my full body wetsuit, booties, and gloves in the expandable end pocket and keep towels/dry clothes in the main compartment.

Fun in the Sun

A day at the beach, a picnic in the park, etc.

Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer

4.7
4.7/5

$28

Say goodbye to frizz this summer!
@Crystal
Read More
Since I have curly thick hair I always stay cautious about my hair drying out due to being in the pool or going to the beach alot in the summer, but this product has helped it stay hydrated and I love to use it to detangle my hair after I finishing washing it from a long day.

LiteRide™ Flip

4.5
4.5/5

$40

Please make more colors!!
@Nancy
Read More
This flip is true to size and I'm glad I found it! Crocs have been making their flip flops smaller in the last few years, but this one reverts to comfort for me. Clean styling, good support, and I will wear them out!

Elsie Sunglasses

4.4
4.4/5

$20.95

My favorite sunglasses EVER!
@KSTeacher
Read More
These sunglasses are SO stylish! I thought for sure they'd be stupid expensive, but not only were they affordable, FG has a great customer loyalty program that gives you a discount right away and free shipping! I snatched them up immediately and I have gotten SO many compliments on them. Taking good care of these so they last and last!

Jacks Flat Sandal

4.8
4.8/5

$128

I love these sandals!
@Liz
Read More
I love these sandals and just recently ordered a second pair because I've worn them so much since I bought them last year. When I first received them they felt slightly tight for the first day or so, but they quickly molded to my feet and have been very comfortable ever since. These are the best sandals I've ever owned!

Snappy Turtle Mower

4.8
4.8/5

$37.79

Great fun
@Maria
Read More
I bought this for my great nephew who just turned 3. He loves to "help" his mom and dad in the yard and this was a big hit with him to mow the lawn just like they do. He loves the little details with the gas can and the starter too.

Harbor Mate 3 & 4 Step Boat Boarding Ladders

4.7
4.7/5

$50 $40

4 step boarding ladder
@Alan
Read More
I was quite happy with the quality and price of the boarding ladder. solid enough yet light.

Printed Terry-Cloth Beach Towel

4.2
4.2/5

$12 $8

Great for the pool
@Amelia
Read More
Such fun designs and so soft! Great quality and perfect for the beach!

Walk Wipes for Pets and People

4.8
4.8/5

$10.99

Happy puppy toes
@Shannon
Read More
As someone who likes to take their pups out to bars and on walks around the neighborhood, it is absolutely essential to wipe their feet before they come inside. These wipes are easy to use and don't seem to irritate my dogs' skin, despite the fact that one of them is allergic to EVERYTHING.

Marlin 5

4.6
4.6/5

$670

Definitely I would buy this again!
@Zach
Read More
Best beginner bike. Perfect training on my legs and I can catch up with all my friends with $2000 and up price tag on their bike and they're surprised. Overall, this bike is perfect to develop your skills and level up.

Yeti Camino 35 Carryall

4.9
4.9/5

$200

Exactly What I Wanted
@Chris
Read More
I purchased the Carryall 35 about a month ago, since then its been used as a tool bag, suitcase, grocery bag, water tote when camping and a carrier for my dog Lemmy. I assumed that this bag would be durable and multifunctional, it has not disappointed!

Hit the Road

Why not take a road trip this summer?

SonicPro® Over-Ear Headphone

4.2
4.2/5

$29.95

Great sound for the money
@Marko
Read More
They have good bass and real nice mids and highs. They feel very balanced and offer really good sound for the price. Good build quality too. I play guitar for eight years now and considering that I have developed my ear for music I can really distinguish layers of sound with these.

Voxx MTG13UHD 13.3" HD Overhead DVD Monitor with HD Inputs

4.3
4.3/5

$429.99 $399.96

would buy this again
@Kimberly
Read More
My grandkids love riding in my car now the only issue is the headsets don't go small enough for little kids. The staff is great and was real helpful would recommend that branch to everyone

Honeydew Snow Foam Extreme Suds Cleansing Wash

4.9
4.9/5

$5

This product is amazing. I use it every weekend.
@Dayne
Read More
I was recommended this product by a friend, attempting to start a detailing buisness of my own and have cleaned multiple cars, of all colors. It's amazing. I will be buying it over and over.

Purell Prime Defense™ Advanced Hand Sanitizer

4.8
4.8/5

$4

Left my hands feeling clean
@Meg
Read More
Highly recommend! A little goes a long way. Left my hands feeling clean with no tacky residue but didn't dry them out. Will definitely purchase in the future.

Nitro Cold Brew With Lemon (12pk)

4.5
4.5/5

$36

This is the best home coffee drink I have ever had
@Kristen
Read More
I am, admittedly, a person who enjoys going out for coffee. That being said, the Nitro Cold Brew Lemonade is the best home coffee drink I've ever had. It smells amazing, it froths like the nitro cold brew in cafe locations, and it tastes great.

Himalayan Pink Salt Organic Popcorn

4.8
4.8/5

$12

I would buy this product again and again
@Misty
Read More
I think this tastes like heaven in your mouth. A guilt free popcorn that the whole family can enjoy. My son even devours this stuff, like the whole bag in one sitting.

ATMOS AG 50

4.3
4.3/5

$240

Wow...This is just superb to use!!!
@Dion
Read More
As soon as I put it on, it just felt like it was molded for my body personally by some kind designer. Sometimes, i just kind of forgot I had it on. Thanks Osprey, it just makes an older body enjoy his time in the mountains a little more.

Magellan’s Heritage Anti-Theft Hobo Bag

4.7
4.7/5

$88

Great travel bag!
@Ski
Read More
I wanted an ample sized bag for an upcoming trip to Italy. This one fits the bill! I also wanted the added anti theft features! Great bag!

Roam Portable Speaker

4.2
4.2/5

$169

A must own if you love music, travel and love the outdoors
@Diane
Read More
Just returned from Mexico. Used the Roam everyday out at the pool and in our resort room. It's lightweight, has great sound and looks good too.

Muttmover Luxe Backpack

4.6
4.6/5

$139

Comfortable for me and my cat
@Cat
Read More
This bag is so much more comfortable for both of us than my previous cat pack. All the pockets are nice for when we are out and about. The side zip panel is at the perfect size and level for my cat to sick his head out.

Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil

4.8
4.8/5

$35

Vavoline has always been my choice!
@BackyardSpecial
Read More
Valvoline has been my top choice of oil for the past 2 decades! I would not trust another brand besides valvoline products.

Self-Care Summer

After a year of keeping our distance we are ready for our close ups!

They're Real! Lengthening Mascara

4.3
4.3/5

$26

LOVE IT!!
@Olivia
Read More
I really love this mascara. It isn't clumpy and the wand it great for keeping my lashes separated. I find it works best when you start deep at the root and wiggle it all the way up. It doesn't give you a super dramatic or fake look.

SUPERMUD® Instant Clearing Mask

4.4
4.4/5

$60

The only mask I swore upon
@Aiyn
Read More
I've been battling with cystic acne on my jawline & neck! Been depressed for almost 3 weeks until I saw the result this morning after full 20 minutes masking SUPERMUD! My pores looking smaller & it makes applying makeup smoothly! I would definitely repurchase & repurchase! GO GET YOURS!

Madagascan Vanilla Bean

4.6
4.6/5

$12

They fooled me!
@Jacqlyn
Read More
I'm so picky about my creamer. I had tried other no-dairy options in the past just to be let down. I was expecting the same for these but the vanilla bean is absolutely heavenly!

Energize Deodorant

4.7
4.7/5

$19

Finally! A clean deo I L O V E
@Tiff
Read More
This is unusually awesome. It comes out of package wet but dries on skin-soft velvety feel with divine scent of bergamot. Love for all day wear as well as during workouts. Will buy this again and again!

The Nubian Eyeshadow Palette

4.9
4.9/5

$20

I ALREADY BOUGHT TWO!!
@ LaShondra
Read More
I used the darker shades to the lighter ones. The pigmentation is the bomb and I play around with it everyday to perfect application. I love Juvia's place palettes.

Into The Glow Brightening Serum

4.5
4.5/5

$44

GLOW UP!
@Jacky
Read More
This origins brightening creme is my new favorite. I use this every morning when I get up. It definitely revitalizes my tired dull skin! The smell wakes you up and makes you feel fresh and night to begin the day.

Creamy Coconut Natural Beauty Bar

4.8
4.8/5

$4.79

Staple for sensitive skin
@Tiffany
Read More
I have the most sensitive skin and this soap is my staple everyday soap. This soap is so gentle and is such a great product - I can't even put to words how much I appreciate it for what it is. Also, it smells like a light pina colada!

Summer of Sports

In honor of the Olympics, sporting gear, equipment and apparel

Ladies' Wellesley Knee-Patch Breech

4.7
4.7/5

$79.95

THEY STAY UP!
@Becca
Read More
The rise of this breech is amazing. It is a mid-rise and I can honestly say that these pants stay up ALL DAY! I work full time with horses and nothing is more annoying to me than breeches that I have to keep pulling up all day! Not to mention, the fabric feels like a much more expensive breech.

Boulder Insulated Water Bottle with Strainer

4.9
4.9/5

$34.95

Easiest water bottle to drink from!
@Nicole
Read More
The addition of a strainer is wonderful. My water stays so cold and I don't have to worry about ice getting in the way. I want to buy several of these!

Men's Nike Air Max 2015 Running Shoes

4.7
4.7/5

$180

THANK YOU FINISH LINE!
@Reggie
Read More
I've been looking for this shoe for years and couldn't find it!! I love it it's the most comfortable shoe on the planet and I worked in shoes for several years! You were the only place that I can find it in all sizes and especially my size! I love Finish Line and will only buy my Air Max and all of my shoes from you!

The Instant Badminton Court

4.2
4.2/5

$99.95

Clever item with excellent service
@Elaine
Read More
The item is amazingly clever with the container as the base. In the base are the racquets and shuttlecocks. You just pick it up and place it anywhere. My husband & I now keep it on the porch, then carry it down for a little game exercise whenever we want to.

Rubber Hex Dumbbells

4.9
4.9/5

$10+

I would buy these dumbells again
@Sammy
Read More
These dumbells are great, good quality, and easy to grip. They have been a life saver in this pandemic! Also, appreciate the excellent customer service.

Jumbo Square Trampoline

4.9
4.9/5

$2399

Great for all ages. Everyone loves it.
@Alannah
Read More
All three of my sons love it, especially my eldest. He has autism and adhd, and being able to run outside and jump around for five minutes ten times a day really helps him.

Element Skateboards Seal Black Complete Skateboard

4.9
4.9/5

$89.99

Love this board
@Justin
Read More
After 13 years of not having a board I'm glad this was my first one to get back into skating, rides super smooth and is just perfect.

Try Some DIY

Fire up those power saws and try not to break anything.

Snazaroo Face Paints - Ultimate Party Pack

4.1
4.1/5

$15

snazzaroo is my only choice
@Rosy
Read More
I'm a face painter for hire and I prefer to use only Snazaroo. Their paints are smooth and long lasting and glides under my brushes. The colors are vivid. They really are hypo-allergenic and the paints go a long way with a little bit of water.

Eclipse® Rapid Wall Repair Patch

4.6
4.6/5

$10

Good to repair small holes
@Karen
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This product is great for small patch work. It is easy to use on drywall. The finished repair blends in very well. It's won't repair structural damage, but does a nice job creating almost like a bandaid for the damages on a wall.

Comfort Kneeler, 2"

4.8
4.8/5

$39.95

After knee replacement, I can kneel again!
@Linda
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I had a knee replacement a year and a half ago and kneeling on that knee has been very painful. Then I found this kneeling pad and it has changed my life! I can get down on the ground and weed and plant again. Yesterday, I went strawberry picking and was able to alternate kneeling and sitting quite easily.

Heavy Duty Picture Rail Hook

4.8
4.8/5

$3

Nice strong hook
@Karin
Read More
We got these picture rail hooks after some cheap ones we got led to a 6'x4' picture crashing to the floor one night. These things are STURDY. I was worried that they would stick out too much, but they're fairly flat.

Ultragreen Lawn Fertilizer

4.7
4.7/5

$18

Revived and Thicken
@Meagan
Read More
I could see a difference just after a week of use. Our grass is growing nice and thick and extra green. Really revived the dry and dull areas! I like how easy it was to spread and the resealable bag is great for storing.

Personal Rise Garden

5
5/5

$279

Blown away by possibilities!!!
@Jackie
Read More
The technology of this light system allows for eight plants to grow at one time. I Love the idea that the trays are compatible with the larger garden and the plants are easily tracked with the App. And just like the larger garden the app tells me when to add nutrients, when I need to add water and when to harvest. I love the look and feel this garden gives my living space.

Smart LED Daylight A19 Kit

4.8
4.8/5

$39.99

YES!!
@Kyle
Read More
The set up was super fast and connecting it to my amazon Alexa was a breeze. The bulbs are so bright I used one where there used to be two so I got to do a second room for the price I planned to spend for one. I will definitely be buying more of these bulbs.

Power Points:

  • Reviews are made to be read, on your product pages and anywhere else they can help you sell. 

  • Repurpose your reviews, and you can enjoy more engagement, more clicks, and more sales.

Reviews – by their very nature – are immensely powerful validation of a product or service from someone who has actually used it. They therefore typically have way more credibility than any marketing in your own words.

As a result, brands and retailers are increasingly recognizing the conversion value of review content above and beyond the product page.

In fact, customer reviews are commonly now used in marketing emails, social media posts, throughout company websites — and even on in-store displays and product packaging.

Which – at the risk of repeating myself – makes a ton of sense given the inherent credibility and validity that comes with feedback from your customers in their own words.

If you’re not currently using review content left by customers in your marketing, this article is for you. But even if you are, read on to see how other brands and retailers are doing it to perhaps get your creative juices flowing.

Plus, it’s highly likely that at least some of these ideas will be brand new to you. Many of the brands and retailers we work with are getting super creative with how they use reviews in their marketing, and they’re enjoying tons of positive customer feedback as a result.

So, without further ado, here are 21 fresh ways to use reviews in your marketing this year.

Email marketing

Emails and reviews go together like PB&J. Here are five of the best real-world examples of using reviews in email campaigns that we’ve seen recently.

1. Use reviews to hype holiday promotions

Which is more interesting: A generic email telling you about a holiday promotion, or one that features a review from a real customer raving about what a great gift your product was? 

We love this example from LobsterGram because they use the review as the sales copy for a holiday email promotion. This is a super-efficient approach because not only do you save your marketing team the trouble of creating new copy, you probably end up being more persuasive as a result.

The holidays are coming, so now is an ideal time to start thinking about how you can repurpose reviews in your holiday content. And remember, you can use this technique for any holiday — back to school, Halloween, New Year’s — you name it.

2. Support your latest product launch

Incorporating reviews in your product launch is a great way to get buy-in. Get customers excited about your new product by telling them what other people think, like this example from Banana Republic. 

3. Make reviews the main event

Need some inspiration for your next email campaign? Elevate reviews to be the star of the show. 

This example from At Home is one of our favorites. They sent out an email with a subject line that read “You rated and reviewed; we rounded up your faves.” Talk about building intrigue! The call-to-action-based subject line invites people to open the email and take a look. The email itself featured top-rated products with star ratings and snippets from 5-star reviews.

4. Add to cart abandonment emails

The average cart abandonment rate hovers around 70%. Bring that number down by including reviews in your cart abandonment emails

For some shoppers, a visual reminder of the items they had in their cart might be enough to convince them to come back and buy. But many shoppers will need something more persuasive — like a 5-star review from a real customer. Here’s an example from Bowflex.

5. Augment broader campaigns and messaging

Do your emails feel like they’re missing something? If you’ve got some extra space, include a recent positive review in your marketing emails. 

It’s the perfect opportunity to highlight something positive about one of your products, build a sense of community among your customers, and, of course, remind people to leave their own reviews! Here’s an example from Saje:

Your website

Reviews don’t deserve to be siloed on your product pages. Feel free to repurpose them throughout your website. Here are four ideas to try.

6. Add reviews to your homepage

Your homepage is a centerpiece of your entire marketing strategy. Your messaging and presentation of that message needs to be highly impactful but also attention-grabbing and succinct.

Your customers are generally more persuasive than your marketing team and often talk in blunter terms that are more likely to directly resonate. Take a cue from Suja and highlight snippets from your reviews on the homepage.

7. Turn reviews into headlines

Your website is no doubt made up of a ton of headlines across category pages, product pages, landing pages, and so on. 

Struggling to come up with something that hits the mark?

Turn to your reviews like Molekule did. We love this approach because it’s unique, and it brings a sense of authenticity to the brand.

Whether you have a small marketing team or you just need a little inspiration, look to your reviews to see if you can pull anything from there.

8. Include review snippets in sliders

Traditional Medicinals features reviews in their image carousels (this example is taken from the homepage). We love this example because not only do they show the star rating with the review, but they also include a call-to-action.

If the person is a new shopper, they can click to read more. If they’re a returning customer, there’s a subtle reminder to write their own review.

9. Transform reviews into images

We’re starting to see clients utilize reviews as an alternate image in product photo galleries.

Pop your best reviews into your favorite graphic design tool and transform them into a graphic. You can use them as graphics in your own product gallery as well as on other retailer websites. 

Here are two examples from Soylent:

Social media

Social media is all about conversation. Why not use this marketing channel to promote all the wonderful things customers have to say about your brand? Here are five ways to get started.

10. Include reviews in your Instagram Stories

It’s tough to think up new Instagram Stories content daily — let alone multiple times a day. Give yourself a break and showcase your customers’ voices, like Continental Tires does.

11. Add them to your Instagram Story Highlights

After you share the reviews in your Instagram Stories, save them to your Story Highlights so customers can see them forever. Here’s what to do:

  1. Create a Story Highlight and name it “Reviews.”
  2. Then, whenever you post Stories featuring reviews, save the Story to this Highlight. 

Check out how Osprey Packs and Shindigz are doing it:

12. Feature reviews in your social media posts

You can also show off your reviews in your traditional social media posts, like Healthy Choice does. We love how they paired the review with a delicious photo of one of their meals!

13. Give your ads a boost

Reviews sell, so why not include them in the content you’re creating specifically to sell? (We’re talking about social media ads.) Saje Wellness shows how it’s done: 

14. Highlight reviews on LinkedIn

That’s right. You can even use reviews on LinkedIn. Just take a cue from The Hartford. 

Insurance can be a dry topic, but they keep it interesting by using reviews in their social media posts. They replace the auto-generated thumbnails for their LinkedIn posts with a positive customer review instead.

The five gold stars capture attention on the busy news feed and get people to read their reviews. Brilliant!

Other marketing communication

Our clients have even found creative ways to leverage reviews in their other marketing communications, including print communications and product packaging. Check it out.

15. Go from online to offline

Customer reviews offer more context to your product descriptions. Consider how you can incorporate them into your print catalogs and marketing materials.

This example from Trek Bikes is fantastic because it leverages social proof in two forms: industry awards and customer reviews.

16. Add reviews to product packaging

Make your product packaging multipurpose: highlight customer satisfaction while also boosting review volumes at the same time. Here’s an example from Derma E.

On the front side of their product insert, they include a QR code asking recipients to leave a review. On the flipside, they feature a positive review alongside instructions for using the product.

17. Augment with more specific directional detail

If you have extra space, give customers additional information to guide them in their research.

Hook them in with glowing review content, and then provide specific detail to help them identify whether the product is right for them (e.g. key specs like product dimensions or top-rated use cases). Here’s an example from Topo Athletic.

In-store

Did you know 70% of consumers want to access product ratings and reviews while they’re in store? Here’s how to give the people what they want.

18. Stand out in the product aisle

NYX Cosmetics includes star ratings in their standup display at a Target. The star icons arrest attention, and instantly convey that your product is trusted by shoppers. 

19. Display reviews on the shelf

Instead of listing out product benefits generated by their marketing team, Benefit Cosmetics displays stats generated from real people, like “94% said eyes look more wide open”

20. Use a QR code

You can only fit so many reviews on a shelf display. Invite shoppers to read more reviews by scanning a QR code. Just follow this example from Sensodyne. 

21. The product itself

Finally, you can always include reviews in the spot that’s so obvious you might have missed it — the product itself! Here’s an example from Yeti:

This example I found in a post by Surabu Pokhriyal, Global Head of Ecommerce at Colgate Palmolive, on LinkedIn. This was from her own personal shopping experience in Costco – she actually provides a super interesting take on this in terms of the blurring of store and digital channels and how they work together in the customer journey.

But from a reviews perspective, I love the way the packaging cites 40,000 reviews from a range of different locations. This builds exceptional credibility.

Kylie Sheehan

Kylie Sheehan is an Enterprise Customer Success Manager at PowerReviews. When she's not helping her clients optimize their Ratings and Reviews strategy to help them grow their sales, you can find her doing home renovation projects (and spending the majority of her time at Target and Home Depot)!

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