5 Steps to Better Online Customer Reviews Using Email
Authentic customer reviews are often a dime a dozen, especially in the B-to-B sector. Many review programs and campaigns are mired by redundancy, confusion and even irrelevance. For B-to-B organizations and e-commerce sites dealing with purchasing professionals in particular, reaching end users directly for their authentic and timely feedback can be even more difficult.
Email marketing, contrary to what many believe, can be an effective medium to generate quick, authentic customer reviews — when implemented wisely and deliberately. If you're a B-to-B marketer or e-commerce manager, consider these five tips to soliciting better online reviews from your customers, all via email:
1. Get your timing down. Mastering your timing is the first step to successfully executing an email solicitation program. Create, queue up and push out triggered, automated email messages to your customers once they make a purchase. As simple as it may seem, the most effective time to reach a customer is usually once the product is in their hands. For example, if your customers wait an average of five days to receive a shipment, consider emailing them on day seven or day eight to ensure they have the product on hand to write an informed review.
2. Limit your requests. If waiting long enough to send your customer the first email is one half of a successfully timed solicitation program, then waiting enough time to send your customer the second email is the equally important other half. Understand that overwhelming your customers with review requests will deter them from participating, and in some cases may motivate them to post a negative review.
While striking the right balance can be tricky, a good rule of thumb is to limit your email outreach to one message and purchase per month — i.e., your customer should receive only one review request within a 30-day period. This is where waiting enough time to initiate contact can also prove helpful. For customers who place multiple orders over a short period of time, consider grouping together their orders in one email. This ensures they have the option to review all of the products without sending them multiple redundant messages.