To begin, I'd actually like to first clarify; there are two types of "reviews" you find on Amazon:
- Product Reviews - found on the product listing page
- Seller Feedback - found on the seller's profile
Often times; we inter-mingle between the two of these terms when we discuss it online, in groups, etc. Most often, we say 'feedback' in general but really mean product reviews. I think it's important that we clarify, because many people actually do get mixed up and see/hear 'feedback' and think Seller Feedback and not Product Review. Whole purposes and advantages of trying to achieve more:
- Products Reviews - would be to increase your ranking for Amazon keywords, but to also to make your product listing more attractive so buyers will click through to your product page.
- Seller Feedback - would be to increase your seller score when you're fighting for the Buy Box and your prices are about the same. The winning edge will go to the seller with the higher overall score.
In the case of this blog post, we are going to focus on product reviews because our main mission is to rank our private label products. But... with that said; really these 4 points apply to both because they will have the same end-goal effect which is: customer satisfaction. I also want to clarify how the game of Amazon ranking goes in the big picture of things (you may have seen this previously on my other post 7 Ways To Rank Amazon Products To Top Of Search Results):
- More reviews = higher rankings + more clicks from buyers in search results
- Higher rankings + more clicks from buyers in search results = More orders and sales
- More orders and sales = More opportunity to get more reviews
- And repeat.
You see the vicious cycle there? Big products that rank high with tons of reviews are going to continue to get bigger, faster... while the smaller ones have a huge uphill battle. The whole point of getting more product reviews is to: Break into this vicious sales cycle. This is the 20,000 foot from the plane view on getting more reviews and feedback (articles on more specific nitty-gritty tactics are soon to come!)
1. The Golden Rule #1: Don't Sell Crappy Stuff
You'll find I re-list my two golden rules #1 and #2. Because they apply to every freakin' thing when it comes to winning in this Amazon selling game. Don't sell crappy stuff? Really... how's that going to affect my reviews? Because no one is going to leave any reviews for crappy things except negative ones! Want to know a secret about those products you see with 200+ product reviews? They are all high quality. There is no way they would of gotten there without the product selling and creating positive reviews by the quality itself.
I often thought that someone must of super-gamed Amazon's ranking with a secret black hat marketing method, but it's just not true. They may have implemented what you will read in #3 and #4 very effectively but everything is all white-hat and well within the rules of Amazon. Actually; Amazon prefers you to do this. The other thing too about selling a crappy product is that (from personal experience)... you are going to be playing a constant game of maintaining and damage control on reviews. That's the last thing you want... because if you really want to grow big; things like this should be organic and an after thought.
Most of your time should be on high-value activity; such as, sourcing more products, increasing rank, etc. etc. On the flip side; having a superior product is absolutely refreshing. I used to have a product that was superior to anything else my competitors were selling. The quality of it was really nice versus the others and also I had it priced a couple bucks below what the others were selling for.
The people who bought it were so impressed with the product and the value of cost to quality that they would almost felt obligated to leave a product review (seriously, people even created product review YouTube videos!). My conversions of orders to product reviews was insane, it was like for every 10 orders; I would get a positive product review... so about 10% conversions. Anyone telling you they get higher than this is either a) talking about seller feedback and not product reviews and/or b) exagger-lying like your uncle catching that 12 pound bass.
2. Ask Past Customers For Feedback
Ever heard this quote...
Closed mouths don't get fed.
I have. You know why that quote is so popular. Because it's true. If you want it, you have to ask for it, otherwise no one will ever have known. And now we come to Feedbackz.. (no shame in my plug game!). Seriously... the best way to ask for product reviews is to ask your buyers for them. But don't do it manually... that is a huge time suck. Use software like mine that automates that process.
Those products you see with 200+ product reviews, yeah they all automate it. But that ain't all folks... it's how you ask that makes the most impact. But before I go into that; I have to answer the biggest question about sending automated follow-up emails: But James, people hate spam emails.. they are going to get really angry and send hate mail and publicly tweet hateful things like never buy your product again, ever. You know what I learned from using Feedbackz when I used it privately myself?
That rarely happens, why? Because you don't sell crappy stuff (sell rule #1). If I sold you poop in a bag and then asked for a product review, yeah you would get mad. How do you have audacity of selling me crap then begging for a review? No, I'm not going to help you or your business out. But no, we sold you a shiny nugget of gold for less than what a nugget of gold goes for. We love you. Oh, you sent us an email asking us genuinely how our order is doing? It's going great. Oh, you sent us a second email asking us to help you out by leaving a review? Sure; I'll be glad to.
And that's exactly what happens when using Feedbackz. It's proven, the number called Balance in my Payments Summary box agrees with me. It'll agree with your FBA business as well. Seriously, why do I rave about Feedbackz so much? Not because I built it, but because I believe in it. I know it works. And it will make you successful. I apply rule #1 to everything I do. Which means it also applies to my apps, I don't sell crap. Feedbackz is a shiny golden nugget. If you don't succeed with it, you're not going to continue using it. Cliche but... your success is my success. We all win.
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3. The Golden Rule #2: Get More Sales
No-brainer here but it's with the upmost importance that you find a way to achieve a higher rate of selling more units than what your competitors are selling at. Because not only does more sales = more opportunities for more reviews, but more sales = MORE REVENUE FOR AMAZON.... which is what ultimately determines your rank. How much money can you make for Amazon in the shortest amount of time possible.
I'm going to dub this factor the MAMM Factor. (Make Amazon the Most Money factor) and I have an extensive article in the works on it.. especially how it compares to how modern day search engine algorithms work compared to what Amazon's A9 search algorithm works today.
The MAMM Factor is single-handedly the most impacting factor you can do for your Amazon search rankings. Without going too deep into it; you have to get smart and find ways to get your product sold without depending on strictly Amazon customers already on Amazon.com.. (what we call 'internal traffic'):
- A blog on your product with some really good content that drives traffic back to your listing
- Facebook PPC, Amazon PPC, Google PPC
- Hitting forums and communities like Reddit and gaining a following
- Getting featured on blogs within your industry
- Getting affiliate marketers who are already on Amazon and your niche to sell your product too
- And much more...
4. Give Away Product In Exchange For Review
And now we get to #4. If you haven't been exposed or keen to this tactic already, this is going to give you what I call an AH HA moment. That's why we read blogs on business, right? For that golden nugget of wisdom, advice, or tactic that will have a significant impact on our business. Best Way To Do A Give Away:
- Create a Promotion code to take off the complete amount of your product.
- Create a landing page. (probably the hardest thing to do technically for most, but there's tons of free website builders out there like LeadPages, wix, etc.).
- On this landing page, post a picture of your product, a headline that says you are giving the product away for free in return for reviews. A short list of bullet points of benefits and features of your product. And a big ol fat 'enter your email' field and submit button that says something like 'Get Your Free Code Now.
- Now... go on Facebook (or maybe forums in the same niche if they allow these kind of posts) and post a status with the product image and headline and link back to your landing page. Then "Promote" the post.. you can target by keywords and other things to narrow down to your exact target market of buyers. I would spend roughly $50-75 for your first promoted post. You may find that you have to stop it quickly to prevent too many give aways if you targeted your promoted post just right.
- - or - you can skip #4 and go straight to Facebook groups. For instance, if I was selling a sports product, I would go straight to the biggest Facebook groups of that particular sport.
- They land on your page, enter email, and you send them the promo code.
- They order, you follow up a few days later.
- You have a new product review. They have a good product. Everybody wins.
Riskier Ways To Do A Give Away: Paying services or software that 'provide' you this ___ amount of reviews. (insert: August 7th, 2014 - I have since changed my mind on these thoughts below. Well, actually some still are true but does not apply to every service/software that provide these services. #2: There is a tremendous difference in a legitimate provider (aka a real business) of these services versus those just wanting a quick buck. I cannot speak personally on the service itself as I have not used them myself yet but ZonBlast and ILoveReviews are two that are ran by good people. Good people usually do good stuff.)
- Im my opinion, Amazon is going to shut some of these guys down eventually; Amazon has already sued a few, and I'm sure a few left are already in research phase by their enormous team of lawyers. They will (if not already) flag your reviews and take them down and/or never publish in the first place. Not only that... now Amazon has a list of your account(s) that's used this service because in the supoena those guys were required to fork over the info. Trust... just like Google did with SEO guys (forums, etc. etc.) with moles/spies within the community; Amazon has their own army of moles in these services and groups.
- Don't be lazy; go after your target market niche.
- Do you really trust those services/software aren't filled with other PL'ers all looking for their next hit product? Congrats; your highly coveted, minimum competition PL product is now in the view of 100+ PL entrepreneurs.
With all that said; both best and riskier ways work for the time being. Somethings to keep in mind:
- Reviewers must leave disclaimers in their reviews stating they got the item via a promotion.
- Watch and create your promotion codes carefully. Last thing you want is your code to get and shared in the wrong hands (ex. with multi-use codes, one person could use your code numerous times and wipe out your inventory and you have to honor the sale).
Check out this screenshot of Amazon's rules page regarding give aways.
For the purposes of not getting too long winded on this post, I am going to leave this tactic with just the general steps above. This tactic is so good and effective, it deserves it's own post. I will write about this tactic in a more detailed and personal manner with screenshots on how I promoted my products and got tons of reviews. I actually would suggest waiting on seeing how I exactly use this method before you go trying it out. Unless you are, of course, already a seasoned internet marketer in which case you probably know exactly where I will be going with things.
As always; I hope this gave you some AH HA moments and you can take some of this and turn it into actionable steps that make a huge impact on your Amazon business. If you think my post was valuable, imagine how valuable my apps like Feedbackz would be? Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave comments, I’ll chat back with every single one.