Statistics are the lifeblood of email marketing and we all know they prove beyond dispute. In some circumstances, the evidence is so overwhelming there is no need for percentages. With customer reviews, you just know that they are the best thing for increasing your profits.
Not convinced, then consider The Martian Kindle book. It was first published episodically in a blog. It was then made into a book and marketed on Kindle for free. The reviews were incredibly positive, gaining mainly four and five stars. The rest is history.
The cost wasn’t what generated its success as there were many other e-books for the same price, or lack of. Indeed, sales actually increased when a charge was made for the book. The difference was that potential buyers read the comments, written in a variety of 'voices', and by a range of readers, from intelligent nerds who loved the technical details, to those who just went along for the exciting ride. Reviews generated the success. They convinced.
In a series of articles, we will concentrate on reviews, meaning comments by a customer posted on a website.
We all know how effective word of mouth is, but inherent in the method is its slowness. A tells B how good the product is but before B tells anyone else, they must buy it. There is this time gap. Reviews, on the other hand, have the incomparable benefit of being able to reach potential customers immediately on publication.
As with most products bought online, email marketing depends on customers buying a product sight unseen. Reviews give them something to trust, to allow them to come to an informed decision.
We will cover creating a strategy for reviews in a later article, and also the law relating to their use. This is an overview.
Allowing customers to say what they like about an item on your website can be a bit of a risk. Even if you produce an excellent product at a reasonable price, some will complain. Even if their reason is spurious – many products are given one star if they are damaged in transit – some potential customers will just go by the rating. However there are ways around this problem.
Reviews vary in usefulness but can be used in different ways. A reviewer might limit themselves to too few words. ‘Great product’ is good as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough. Others will praise some aspects but not the one you want. You might even get factually incorrect reviews and this brings us to an aspect which costs; some form of moderation is essential if you want to avoid abusive ones, those that are spurious, and of course those which could give you legal problems.
Given the benefits, such costs are of no consequence. There can be little doubt that reviews are the cheapest and probably the most effective form of advertising for any company involved in email marketing.
It is surprising therefore that many companies fail to use them effectively, apparently having no overall strategy. We will help you set one up.