I understand my word alone may not convince you of the power of consumer reviews so I’m bringing in some support from the bench:
o 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision - eConsultancy
o 90% of customers who recalled reading online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decision, while 86% said buying decision was influenced by negative online reviews. - MarketingLand
o Higher review volume and average rating correlate with order increases, according to top internet retailer’s data - Bazaarvoice
Now that you have my word and a couple of others who are on board with leveraging loyal customers to drive reviews, let’s talk about how to do it effectively. Below are three key ideas I’ve shared with my CPG clients to help build strong brand loyalty, and leverage it for the best return:
1) Email Engaged Customers.
Sending email messages to users who are engaged with the brand is a key first step. Ideally, if you can leverage the customer relationship soon after they have signed on with you to receive information, you will get the biggest return. Build a two or three-part email campaign to engage quickly and effectively with new customers.
2) Don’t be Afraid to Ask.
Reviews drive site visits, and higher review volume drives purchases. The most important piece of the puzzle is the “ask.” Don’t flash back to your senior prom rejection; today’s consumers want to say yes. A recent campaign with a leading CPG client generated 1,000+ reviews in three days by just asking loyal customers to post a review!
3) “Dating” the Right Customers Results in Above Average Ratings.
I’ve convinced you to ask, but now maybe you are concerned about the type of ratings you will receive. Let me assure you, if you target customers who have opted in to receive information from your brand, they are usually happy and loyal (based on the reviews we see from mailing opted in users). Aren’t those the type of reviews you want on your site? The campaign cited above, resulting in over 1,000 reviews posted to its site, targeted customers directly after they opted in to receive a corporate newsletter.
Again, I urge you not to just take my word for it – let the results convince you. The CPG client mentioned above had 1,730 reviews total in a one-year period on its site. After engaging with customers who signed up for a newsletter and asking them to write product reviews via a two-part email campaign, the company had over 4,600 online reviews in a two-month period. The numbers speak for themselves.
Richard Hurley is a senior account manager with 7+ years’ experience in email marketing. He works with some of Zeta’s largest CPG brands to create brand loyalty and a heightened customer experience. Richard attended Belmont University and went on to receive his MBA from Middle Tennessee State University. Outside of excellent account management, he enjoys white-water rafting and playing the guitar, reggae style.
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