Amazon reviews are the key to success on Amazon, but sellers must get Amazon reviews the right way or risk account suspension or closure. Since Amazon values reviews from shoppers, it does much of the work for you. However, there are ways you can get Amazon reviews faster, and maximize the positive reviews that drive product sales.
The Two Types of Amazon Reviews
Before asking your customers for Amazon reviews, it’s important to understand the differences between the two types of reviews that Amazon collects, and which type of Amazon reviews matter the most to your sales. These include:
1. Product Reviews
Product reviews are the star-rating reviews prominently featured on a product page, just underneath the product title. They are the most important types of reviews on the Amazon platform. Here are 4 key things to know about Amazon product reviews:
- Product reviews are attached to the product listing page and center on the product itself, not a particular seller.
- Anyone with an Amazon account can leave a product review, whether they bought the item on Amazon or not
- Products with 4-star reviews or higher are proven to rank higher in Amazon shopping searches
- Nearly half of all online shoppers say they rely primarily on Amazon for product reviews, according to USA Today
2. Seller Ratings
Amazon’s Seller Rating is quite different from a product review. These star ratings are attached to the seller’s account, not to any single product, and are intended to report a seller’s performance history. Seller ratings are important because they influence buying decisions when several sellers compete on the same item.
Seller ratings detail specific information about the seller’s performance. To get Amazon reviews for this, your buyers fill out Amazon’s seller feedback form. Buyers access this form in their Amazon account Orders page, or from Amazon’s automated order confirmation and feedback request emails. Unlike product reviews, seller ratings are always connected to an Amazon sale.
Combined, good product reviews and high seller ratings are powerful sales drivers, so it’s important to target both in your plan to get Amazon reviews. But, getting less than 4 stars on either type of review can negatively impact sales. So, it’s important to sell a quality product and provide excellent customer service. If you do that, you simply need to ask for feedback to get Amazon reviews that rank high.
Now we’ll examine how to get reviews on Amazon in a way that helps you grow sales without jeopardizing your seller account.
How to Get Reviews on Amazon in 3 Steps
You can tap both Amazon orders and your own customer list to get Amazon reviews. However, the methods you will use differ. You must adhere to Amazon’s rules when contacting Amazon buyers or risk account suspension. You have more freedom with your non-Amazon customers. Here’s how to approach both in 3 simple steps.
Step 1: Understand Amazon’s Do’s and Don’ts
Amazon has very strict rules covering how sellers can interact with Amazon buyers and what’s allowed to get Amazon reviews and seller feedback. One misstep and your Amazon seller account could be suspended or closed permanently. Here is the top do’s and don’ts to remember when asking for feedback from Amazon buyers. We discuss these in detail below.
- Do: Contact buyers through your Seller Central Buyer Message system
- Do: Customize messages sent through the using your Seller Central Feedback Manager
- Don’t: Try to get Amazon reviews by offering incentives or coupons to buyers
- Don’t: Specifically ask for positive feedback or a 5-star review
- Don’t: Ask a buyer to change a negative review
Now that you know the basic do’s and don’ts of contacting customers to get Amazon reviews, let’s look at different ways to get Amazon reviews and feedback within guidelines.
Step 2. Use Amazon’s Automated Order Feedback System
Amazon knows the value of feedback and makes it easy for you to get Amazon reviews from orders that came through Amazon. In fact, you can set up your Amazon seller account to automatically send feedback request emails following order delivery.
You can customize feedback requests in the Feedback Manager in your Seller Central dashboard, but keep in mind the do’s and don’ts we covered above. To avoid running afoul of Amazon’s rules, stay away from language like:
- If you love your (product) be sure to leave us a good review
- Thank you for buying (product), if you’re thrilled with it, leave us a 5-star review
- Leave us a 5-star review and we’ll send you a coupon
Trying to get Amazon reviews with statements like these will get you in hot water fast, especially following Amazon’s 2016 crackdown on incentivized reviews. But, you can ask for and encourage feedback using these types of phrases:
- Your opinion matters to us
- We value your insight
- Share your experience with other shoppers
You have to use Amazon’s system to get Amazon reviews and feedback from your Amazon customers. But if you sell elsewhere, such as on your own website, you can use your own customer lists to get Amazon reviews faster than waiting for Amazon orders to roll in. Here’s how.
Step 3. Create Your Own Amazon Review Email Marketing Campaign
Amazon prohibits sellers from contacting Amazon buyers outside of Amazon. But, there’s nothing stopping you from asking your own website customers to review your products on Amazon. You can do this through a simple email campaign. Done right, you’ll gain a number of positive product reviews and might even uncover customer service issues. Here’s how to get reviews on Amazon using a 3-part email campaign.
Part 1: Initial Email
Email your non-Amazon customers a personalized customer satisfaction email using your usual email marketing solution. You can also do this using an email survey, but this approach tends to work best as a simple, personal email from a company leader, as shown in this example:
Hello [Buyer Name],
My name is [Your Name Here] and I’m the [Owner/Founder/VP of Customer Satisfaction/etc…] of [Your Company/Brand]. I see that your order was delivered recently and I want to make sure you are completely satisfied with your new [Product].
We hope you’re happy that you chose to shop with us and that [Product] exceeded your expectations. If it did, would you mind sharing your opinion with others? You can leave a review and share any additional details here. [Link to the product review page for your product on Amazon]
If you have any issues whatsoever, please let me know via a reply to this email and I’ll do whatever I can to make it right.
Once again, thank you for your order!
[Other Closing Information]
After sending, pay close attention to your email responses. If you need assistance managing the process, a virtual assistant service can ease the added workload. Tag the emails of any displeased customers. We’ll tackle them next.
Now watch your Amazon product review counts. You should see a bump up within a few days. Note, customers must have an Amazon account to leave a product review, but they can leave reviews even if they didn’t make the purchase on Amazon. You can mention this in your email if you wish. It’s likely many have Amazon accounts and will know just what to do, though most won’t bother and that’s normal. If you get Amazon reviews from about 2% to 4% of your emailed customers, you’re doing well.
Part 2: Resolve Dissatisfied Customer Issues
Next, you’ll want to address any responses from dissatisfied customers and try to remedy these problems. This is a twofold benefit for you. First, this outreach and problem-solving effort can help you keep an otherwise unhappy customer. Second, customers whose product complaints were resolved feel valued and are likely to leave positive reviews.
After you’ve resolved any product-related issues to your customer’s satisfaction, it’s time for the final step.
Part 3: Ask for a Product Review from Customers with Resolved Issues
In your final problem-solving follow-up email, ask for a product review from these customers and include the link to your Amazon product page. Remember, these are your customers, not Amazon’s, so you can be selective with these emails. Try to judge whether a customer will give you a positive review from the tone of their responses to your attempts at resolution. If it seems iffy, don’t request a review. It’s that simple.
Note, product review counts from these customers may be lower than the first bunch, but they might leave comments that commend your efforts to resolve product issues. These can be powerful in the overall makeup of your reviews since they paint a real picture, compared to having only near-perfect reviews which can look suspicious and fake.
Why Email Marketing Campaigns Work to Get Amazon Reviews
If you wonder if the email campaign we describe above is picking the low-hanging fruit for reviews, the answer is: Yes. But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this method. And believe it, customers that were completely dissatisfied have a way of finding your page and leaving a review all on their own. You might as well be proactive and try to get Amazon reviews from all of your buyers.
Besides, the above method is more than just review-harvesting. It’s a legitimate customer service campaign that thousands of companies use every day to gauge customer satisfaction and spot and remedy issues. While helping you get Amazon reviews, it also helps you learn what’s working, and what’s not, directly from your customers. This information is key to improving your products and service to drive higher growth.
3 Things Amazon Looks for in a Product Review
No discussion about how to get reviews on Amazon is complete without considering what Amazon considers a quality product review. Not all product reviews carry the same weight in your star-rating average. While Amazon doesn’t ask reviewers to include specific information, reviews that include the following 3 elements carry more weight than others in the star tally.
1. Verified Purchase Product Reviews
Amazon tags reviews that are connected to an Amazon order as a Verified Purchase so they stand out from the rest.
This tells shoppers that the review is from a legitimate purchaser of the product. Amazon also gives Verified reviews more weight in the rating average compared to reviews originating from other sources, like from the email campaign discussed above. That’s why it’s imperative to keep Amazon buyers as happy as possible. Their reviews matter more than the ones you gain through other means.
2. Text Length of Product Reviews
Amazon prefers that customers leave detailed, and lengthy, reviews. Typically, product reviews with comments that are at least 5 lines long carry more weight than a simple star review or a star and line or two of text.
3. User Images & Videos in Reviews
Amazon allows reviewers to upload images and videos within the review screen and these reviews carry more weight than plain star and text reviews.
Image and video reviews are terrific if you get a 5-star review from a happy user showing the item being used. It carries more weight than plain reviews in the ratings, plus potential buyers get a real-world visual of your product meeting a user’s need. Conversely, it can lower your product’s rating if you get a 1-star review with a picture of a broken item or a video of the item not working properly. We’ll show you how to handle that issue in the last section.
How to Get Higher-Quality Reviews on Amazon
As we mentioned earlier, Amazon restricts what you can say in your messages to buyers. You absolutely can’t outright ask for positive feedback or incentivize customers to give you a 5-star product review. But you can shoot for higher-quality reviews by encouraging customers to share their thoughts through words, pictures, or video.
Here are 3 ways to get Amazon reviews that rank higher without breaking Amazon’s rules:
- Your opinion matters! Please share your thoughts and don’t be shy, the more information, the better
- Pictures are worth 1000 words and you can include them in your review
- Make your review come alive by uploading a video
In truth, most happy buyers think giving a quick 4 or 5-star review and a “works great” is more than enough. They don’t think to elaborate in words or show the products in images. So, it’s not against policy to let them know they can do this, as long as you don’t nudge the messaging into a positive-review territory.
What to do About Negative Amazon Reviews
Try as you might, you can’t please everyone. Negative Amazon product reviews and seller ratings are bound to pop up from time to time. Depending on how many overall reviews you have, these can be extremely detrimental to your star ratings. And a negative Verified Purchase is even harder to overcome. It takes as many as six to ten 5-star reviews to overcome one Verified Purchase 2-star review. But you can try to remedy these, or at least mitigate some of the damage with these 3 tactics.
1. Immediately Contact the Buyer
If the review is attached to an Amazon order, you can send a message to your buyer asking how you can remedy the issue. Offering a replacement or refund in the initial message will often do the trick as well.
2. Resolve Issues to the Buyer’s Satisfaction
If at all possible, resolve the issue to the buyer’s complete satisfaction, especially if it’s a Verified Purchase review. If you don’t have many reviews yet, a few negative reviews can drastically lower your product’s star rating or your seller ratings from time to time. The cost of a refund or replacement can be worth repairing this damage since it directly affects future sales and thus, additional review opportunities.
3. Hope for a Review Update or Leave Your Own Comment
Sorry to say, once you’ve remedied the situation, changing the review is up to your buyer. Messaging Amazon buyers with requests to change negative reviews is an outright no-no for Amazon sellers. But there are two subtle approaches you can take to nudge them along.
Include Links to Seller Feedback and Product Review Pages
You can’t ask buyers to change a review or feedback rating, but you can make it easy for them to find where to do it. Simply add this generic line and links to the bottom of all of your buyer messages:
Your opinion on our products and service matters.
By adding the above line to all of your Amazon buyer messages, you’re not asking for any specific action. You’re simply just stating a fact: Their opinion matters. Including links to the pages where they can change or delete earlier feedback is just a convenient touch.
Use the Comments Section to Share Your Side of the Story… Nicely!
Did you know you can add your own comments to product reviews? Indeed you can. Using product review comments, you can mention that a reviewer’s complaint is resolved, show how you handled it, and express hope that the buyer is truly satisfied. Even if your buyer doesn’t change the review, other buyers will see your comment and, hopefully, appreciate your efforts.
The Bottom Line
Amazon experts across the board agree that Amazon ratings and product reviews, in particular, are a major sales-driving force. They influence almost everything when it comes to your Amazon sales, from your Amazon search results to shoppers’ buying decisions. So, managing the reviews side of your business is every bit as important as managing inventory, shipments, and accounts.
The good news is your product reviews don’t have to come from Amazon buyers alone. You can tap into your entire customer base with a proactive email campaign and send them to Amazon to place the product review. This is how many small brands and businesses build a respectable star rating that speeds up Amazon sales growth. Like many small business tasks, driving feedback and reviews takes planning and resources. But done right, the payoff can take your business to the next level.
Frequently Asked Question
Can I send a postcard asking for a review to the customer’s address?
Officially, Amazon frowns on any added “review request” efforts outside of the emails they send on your behalf. Adding a generic “leave a review” on packaging or order inserts (if handling your own fulfillment) is really the best way to handle this without running afoul of Amazon — plus postcard mailings aren’t cheap!