One of the most important parts of running a successful Amazon private label business is making sure you are establishing your brand and products as high quality and reputable. A HUGE part of doing that is getting honest reviews from your customers. If you don’t know how to effectively get those reviews you’re going to have a very hard time building a successful sales channel. On this episode, Scott and his friend Chris Guthrie are here to walk you through the ins and outs of reviews – what makes a good one, why you need them, and how to get them. Be sure you take the time to listen. It could increase your sales tremendously.
Amazon is cracking down on reviews. Here’s how to keep your product reviews safe.
There’s a lot of talk lately about Amazon’s attitude when it comes to product reviews – and it’s actually more than JUST talk. Amazon has adjusted its terms of service and is cracking down on reviews that it considers being fake or in some way manipulated. There’s only one way to ensure that your product reviews are safe from the Amazon crackdown and that’s to get real, legitimate reviews in the first place. This episode of the podcast is dedicated to making sure you understand the right and wrong ways to go about that – including some thoughts about the use of review groups, so be sure you listen.
What makes a real review and what makes a fake review?
You hear the terms “real” and “fake” applied to product reviews on Amazon all the time. But do you know what constitutes a real or fake review? On this episode of The Amazing Seller podcast, Scott has asked his buddy, Chris Guthrie to come on the show and unpack the details of what makes a good review and what contributes to the kind of reviews that Amazon has been removing from product pages. It’s their hope that using the information you hear on this episode you’ll be able to not only safeguard your product reviews from being removed but also get better quality reviews in the first place.
Why you need to follow up with your customers via Amazon’s integrated email.
You may not even have known but Amazon provides an email contact option within your seller account that you can use to directly contact your customers. Using that email tool is the best and most effective way to follow up with your customers once they’ve purchased your product – and part of that follow-up strategy can and should include a reminder to your customers to leave an honest review for your product. We all need reminders now and then, right? Your customers are the same way. Find out how you can use the email solution Amazon has provided on this episode – and learn how you can automate it so you don’t have to worry about it ever again!
Keep seller feedback in mind – not just reviews.
This episode of The Amazing Seller podcast is all about product reviews – OK, well not ALL about reviews – there’s a section right toward the end of the conversation where Scott and his buddy Chris Guthrie chat a bit about seller feedback and its role in making sure your account and products stay in Amazon’s good graces. Sometimes in the rush to get good reviews we forget about seller feedback, which can be a mistake. Be sure you hear this part of the conversation. It could keep your account from being banned for shut down temporarily.
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
- [0:30] A LIVE review workshop coming up that you can attend for free!
- [4:10] Review clubs: should you be using them?
- [5:58] Does Amazon respect reviews that come from product promotions?
- [7:37] The purpose and reason behind getting legitimate reviews (social proof).
- [11:25] Why follow up email to customers is crucial – and how to do it!
- [14:58] Gifts you can expect from the upcoming free webinar.
- [25:30] Things to be careful of when asking customers for reviews.
- [28:50] Chris’ advice to get your first initial batch of reviews.
- [34:25] How does seller feedback relate to reviews and why is it important?
- [41:14] The importance of looking at your business and sales from a long term perspective.
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TRANSCRIPT TAS 246
TAS 246 : How to Get More “REAL Reviews” to Help Increase Your Sales
[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast, this is episode number 246. Today we’re going to be talking all about how to get more real reviews that help…
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…increase your sales. Now we’re going to talk about that and today’s episode I’ve got a special guest. His name is Chris Guthrie. You guys may or may not already know him, great guy and he knows a thing or two about this.
Also I wanted to make a special announcement. Chris and I are hosting a live workshop on Tuesday, August 30th at 3:00P.M Eastern Time. To register for that, head over to theamazingseller.com/reviewworkshop, all one word so https://theamazingseller.com/reviewworkshop. You could also find that link in the show notes if it’s easier for you to head over to theamazingseller.com/246. If you guys are listening to this after August 30th you can still go to that link and you can register to watch the replay and everything that we discuss on this live workshop will be there for you.
We’re also going to answer any live questions that you have, a little Q&A that we’re going to do as well because there’s a lot of people wondering what is the right thing to do about reviews and how do I get more real reviews so they stick? We’ve heard that Amazon is cracking down on reviews and as they’re cracking down on reviews it’s also making them go away. If you don’t play by the rules, guess what? They go away and you lose all that hard work.
The best way to get real reviews is to follow up with your customers that are buying through your listing on a day to day basis and for you to put email copy or email messaging in that actually gets people to open and actually do what you want them to do is key. If you can continually build your reviews you will start to increase your sales. Definitely, definitely come join us, I’m really excited about this.
[00:02:01] Scott: Chris is actually going to share some emails that are working really, really well. I’ve got one right now that we’re going to share with you guys that’s converting at about a 9% which is pretty crazy as far as email reader to a review. We’re going to share that with you as well. We’re going to give you downloads so you guys can download all the swipe copy, you guys can use them as templates, as inspiration, however you want to use them and we’ve got a bunch of other things that we’re going to be giving away as well so definitely come join us. To register on August 30th for the 3:00P.M Eastern Time workshop head over to https://brandcreators.com/reviewworkshop.
Let’s go ahead and get into today’s episode where I talk with Chris Guthrie all about how to get more real reviews that help increase your sales so enjoy.
[00:02:50] Scott: Hey Chris, long time no talk on the podcast, welcome back man, how’s it going?
[00:02:56] Chris: Doing well, thank you so much for having me and it has been a long time.
[00:02:59] Scott: It has, I looked back and actually you reminded me it was all the way back on episode 77 so that’s quite a while ago, when this one here is 246. it’s been a while so we’ve got some catching up to do here publicly. You and I both talk a little bit on Skype and stuff and we’re friends now so we get to talk but I really want to have you back on to dig in a little bit more to reviews and feedback and some things that I’ve been hearing and getting your take on things. I know that you run a software called Salesbacker which I use and works wonderfully. I just wanted your take on it because you do have to stay up to speed on some of the regulations and things that people are talking about out there and I wanted to hear your thoughts.
Also wanted to let people know about a workshop that you and I are going to be doing. I thought that this was appropriate because we are going to be able to break it down and really give people also another look and feel as to how to go out and get real reviews, not necessarily just looking for the reviews that we’re using through promos. A lot of people when they think about fake reviews they’re thinking that doing a promotion is a fake review and I don’t believe it is because you’re going after, I say if you’re going after the trusted sources, but it’s really about getting people that are raising their hands saying that I want to leave a review.
Those are review clubs and I think that they’re okay. What’s your thoughts on that before we dig in here?
[00:04:30] Chris: You’re touching a lot there but I want to unpack that. Thoughts on review clubs and just reviews in general. I like to draw a lot of similarities from what is happening with Amazon and just what will happen moving into the future was just general search engine optimization on Google. If you look back years ago they’ve always made different updates to their algorithm and they’re constantly influencing what types of links are valued more, rather more effectively for websites and sometimes less effectively. Since the same case with reviews, there are some strategies that were really, really effective before, even though like grey area type thing but then of course they’ve been losing some of their effectiveness.
With review clubs I think they’re fine but the thing is that Amazon can look at a reviewer and they can see, surf the web for every single review of a product that they’ve touched. If you go to a reviewer profile you can see every single review they’ve left on a product for. Of course they can look to see where they’re getting their reviews from, where they’re getting the products. If for some reason they don’t like that source then they can just discount everyone that’s they’re seeing the similar review profile.
Something to keep in mind is that a lot of the stuff that you can see that Amazon can do in the future is really just a huge parallel to what I’d seen with Google in years past. That’s something to just keep in mind as you go forward in trying to get your reviews.
[00:05:49] Scott: Today what I really want to discuss here and also what we’re going to be discussing on the workshop in great detail is really about how to get the “real reviews”. How to get your “real reviews”, the ones that you know will stick because these are from customers that actually purchased through not just Amazon itself but without a coupon code let’s say or without it being deeply discounted like a dollar or free or two ninety five where it’s an actual.
I’m actually hearing a little bit about that. I’d like to hear your opinion on this or maybe your thoughts or maybe you’ve heard some things because I know you’re surrounded by a lot of Amazon sellers as well. If you give away a product now for a dollar or two dollars versus giving it away for free, are you seeing anything there which Amazon is taking into effect as far as verified or unverified reviews?
[00:06:46] Chris: Yeah, they’re definitely discounting… They’re definitely, in some cases just not giving the verified badge to products that are reviewed that had been purchased at a substantial discount. This can vary too. I’ve seen some people report one way and some people the other. On my side since I’m associated with Salesbacker, the vast majority of people that I talk to they are getting their reviews primarily is through emailing their customers but sometimes I hear from them using different types of emotional strategies and then asking, “Hey, why don’t we see a verified badge? We had this promotion and now I can explain or we can have people explain,” so that might be the case.
[00:07:25] Scott: I just want people to understand too and I still use the launch for the very beginning of getting those reviews whether they’re verified, unverified, to me in the beginning it really doesn’t matter. What I want people to understand and that’s what I want to talk to you about is we’re out there ultimately trying to get people that are buying our products to review our products because I feel that that allows us to in the future sell more of our product.
Why don’t we talk a little bit more and really why it is important to follow up with those people, whether it’s using a tool like yours or just manually doing it or hiring someone to contact those people? How do you feel social proof affects your conversions or your sales?
[00:08:16] Chris: I gave example of last years rather, if you look at two customers that are on Amazon, they’re looking at a garlic press and they see all those being equal, maybe even it’s the same garlic press because often if you’re sourcing from China for instance you can end up sometimes with the same manufacturer but similar pictures or the same pictures and one garlic press has five reviews and the other has 500 reviews, more often than not the customers are going to buy from the product that has 500 reviews.
That example really just illustrates that the number of reviews that a product has helps to influence how well the listing can convert and then of course the conversions can help lead to better rankings and more long term organic sales moving forward. Really, every review that you get is sort of a vote for your listing and a vote of confidence from peers, other Amazon shoppers. In general, you want to have more product reviews than less if you’re trying to get a higher conversion rate for your listing.
Of course there are a plethora of other things you do influence your conversion rate and the reviews is one element there.
[00:09:22] Scott: I want to share something, I’ll share with you and I’ll share with everyone else listening. Last night I was on a call with Steve Chou and Mike Jackness and Greg Mercer, a few other guys and we were doing… It was like a private for Sellers Summit, you were there Chris at the Sellers Summit. We did a private one for people that attended that and we just did like a Q&A session. We were talking about this and Mike Jackness runs a pretty successful business even outside of Amazon.
He was saying that he split test on his home page having the reviews, this is on his own platform, this isn't on Amazon, he split test having the reviews above the fold. That, basically for anyone that doesn’t know what that means, it means just the very first thing that you’re displayed with on your screen before you have to actually scroll, that’s above the fold. He tested it with having that on there above it or having it down below it and it was a huge difference.
Amazon obviously has already done all that testing for us. That’s why they put the reviews right there in the right hand corner of your listing because they know it’s that important. What I want people to really understand is that the reviews are very, very important for conversions, whatever platform you’re using. What I want to do here and Chris wants to do is be able to help you get these not just in the launch phase but after the launch phase and I think that’s critical.
Some people say, “Most people, they are not going to leave reviews, why even bother?” I’m here to tell you that, currently right now I believe the last I looked I’m about at a five to a six percent conversion rate from doing my follow up which is okay. I still want to tweak that, I want to get that up a little bit higher. There’s another gentleman that I actually have in my class and he’s getting about a nine to a ten percent conversion and he’s actually using one of your premade templates inside of Salesbacker and that one’s working really well, it’s the humor one.
[00:11:23] Scott: Maybe we can talk a little bit about maybe the follow up, the communications, whether people again want to a software tool or not just the communications because that’s really what I think is a big difference in people when they’re responding, whether their responding as a big company or if they’re responding on a personal level. Maybe we can dig into that and get people some tips on how they can communicate with someone that just purchased their item.
[00:11:48] Chris: Yeah definitely. I think that even that example you mentioned where your friend was using the humor example. That idea that I have and then we’ve incorporated into Salesbacker was that when you look at the typical communication from companies to their customers, it’s really formal because everyone thinks that when they start a company, especially newer Amazon sellers, they think, “I’m a big business now, I need to look like and act like a big business,” but in reality you can act like however you want, it’s your business and you can decide how you want to convey yourself to your customers.
In the case of communicating with customers after they’ve purchased your product, you can do thinks like making jokes and this idea… Again I basically borrowed this idea from another guy that built up and sold his start up, Derek Sivers sold cdbaby.com years ago and he saw the same trend that most companies rather were saying, “Hey, here’s this product you just purchased and here’s when it’s going to be delivered,” and that was about it.
Then he said, “Let me do something that’s more unusual.” He was saying things like, “Your order is going to be delivered on my CD Baby jet,” and right now if you Google CD Baby jet you’ll still see millions of mentions of it and it was really effective for him to do that. I basically just borrowed his idea, Derek if you’re listening, thank you and applied it to the Amazon space. Most sellers on Amazon are again, it’s following that same script of being very formal in their communication and if you instead incorporate some humor into your brand especially if your brand, the person yourself can match that then that can work really, really effectively.
That’s one way you can do that.
[00:13:24] Scott: It’s important to understand that when you’re talking and communicating with your customers you have to understand that’s one person on the other end of that. We don’t really realize that especially if anybody’s done any email marketing or anything like that. We just write an email, we hit blast and it goes. We don’t realize that there’s an individual looking at that and if we can communicate or resonate with them a little bit better or even again put a smile on their face.
I always tell people, try to think of a way to make their day a little bit better so this way here they’re not just, “It’s just Sears sending me an automated email.” If it’s a way for you to actually interact in a way or even ask for feedback so they actually hit reply and that’s a huge one. I’ve done that for the past almost 10 years now online whenever I do a follow up sequence, even if it’s an automated one, I’ll ask them to reply back and let me know if there’s any questions or drop me a line and let me know, I’ll use language like that that makes it seem as though it’s me typing them a personal message which it really isn't but it is because I typed it up myself but in the same breath I want them to reply so then I will respond back.
It’s a way to start that conversation. Some people might make a listing going, “Scott, seems like, why would you want to do all this? Just get the customer, get the sale and move on to the next.” The thing is if you’re thinking about this as long term, I like to think about it like I’m building an asset within one person that’s going to possibly then keep either coming back or mentioning my product to other people.
I know we don’t have a ton of time on the podcast to do this but you’re going to share some of those emails that are prewritten that you’ve actually had people test and everything and they’re actually loaded inside of Salesbacker, but you’re going to actually give us those, read through them on the workshop and then also we’ll break them down, talk about some of the psychology behind them. Also I believe you said that you’re going to go ahead and give everyone a download of those, is that true?
[00:15:23] Chris: Yeah, definitely.
[00:15:24] Scott: Good, just confirming, just confirming that we’re going to do that. I want to give people, literally, like a copy and paste and they can just modify it whether they purchase your software or anyone else’s for that matter, I want them to have the tools to be able to go in there and just, even if you’re just going to copy and paste it. If you’re just starting, then just manually do it, go into your customer list inside of Amazon, click on that little name and then go ahead and send them an email. It’s really that easy. It’s going to be a little more manual intensive but it’s okay in the beginning if you only have 10 customers, email 10 customers. That’s your job.
Is there any other thing really quickly that we can give them before we move on is really like as far the communications or maybe we can talk about how many emails should we be sending? I heard some people say, “I only sent one,” I even heard some people say, “I send seven.” Have you seen a sweet spot there?
[00:16:20] Chris: Yes, I. Seven, that’s quite a few, I haven't heard anyone personally tell me that they’ve sent seven but three emails is usually a typical sweet spot. The first email would be, a great time to send out whatever bonus you might be offering. Another strategy too if you’re trying to invoke the act of reciprocity is to say give them a bonus, say you’re selling a barbecue grill brush, I’ll fall back on my example and you can give them a list of the top 10, your top 10 for your barbecue recipes and you could say, “These are my personal favorite best ones and these are what we use to help develop our tools and whatever else it is might be selling within that space.
You could do that in the first email and it can be something that you give unexpectedly and then the second email could be an email where you ask for either seller feedback or you could ask for a product review and then the third email could be the final email saying, “Hey, just wanted to make sure everything’s okay and if you haven't had a chance yet to leave a review please leave us the review and we really appreciate that,” or “We’re a family run company”. All those different types of things can influence the likelihood that someone’s actually going to take action with your email.
One other thing I want to mention too before we move on is I’ve got a lot of people that contact me just either directly or through customer support desk but they’ll say, “I want to do this in my email, I want to do that in my email,” and all those other things and it really comes down to I think a lot of this case if people just are familiar with email marketing. With email marketing you really want to focus on just one thing in your email, you want them to take one action and do one specific thing. If it’s “Open this PDF” or “Download this PDF”, that’s one thing, “Leave a review”, that’s one thing.
Don’t ask for anything else because it’s more likely that they’re just going to do nothing. That’s something else I wanted to point out.
[00:18:04] Scott: That’s true. When you’re writing that email especially the first part of that email it’s got to be something that’s going to grab their attention, it’s like a hook in a sense, in a good way. I do get people though that ask the question of, “Is it okay to ask for a review in my email? I heard that Amazon said they don’t want you to do that.” We always here this stuff, like reviews, people are saying that we’re not supposed to do promotions and give away our product anymore or give it away at a discount and that’s not true.
In their terms of service it does say that you can discount or give your product away in a sense for honest feedback on a product. It does not say in there that you can’t do that but you have to put that disclaimer in there that is true. The same thing goes, correct me if I’m wrong Chris but the same thing goes if you’re in there asking for a review it can’t be like, “Go leave me a five star review.” You can’t tell them what to put in there.
I’ve seen people put insert cards in there and go, “Leave us a five star review.” I’ve even seen people do this and I don’t say do this either is, “Click here,” or, “Go to this URL to leave a five star review,” or, “Click this link,” if you’re using a tool, “Click this link to leave us a five star review. If your review is less than a five star, email us and let us know why and we’ll make it better.” That’s still, I think, that’s still riding the line, you can’t do that.
[00:19:35] Chris: Even going back to your comment about just terms of service and hearing from Amazon, one of the biggest things is the struggles that Amazon has thousands of these tier ones seller support reps where they may not even be familiar with in some cases with their own terms of service. They’ll say something and then that gets parroted and communicated across various Facebook groups and in reality you just got to go back to the source. Sometimes people ask, “Can I include a link to a YouTube video for my products because it’s more complex and it’s more difficult to explain than just including a PDF with instructions?”
What we tell people is Amazon says not to drive traffic outside their website. They’re like, “I went ahead and asked them and I got permission,” and it’s okay. Even if you got permission from a tier one support rep it’s good especially if you have an email record about it but it could be an issue. It’s just because a lot of these areas can be somewhat grey and they end up being muddled and so it’s unfortunately a tough thing to advise people on other than to just stick with the terms of service if you’re in this for the long haul and you don’t want to deal with any hassles of your business getting shut down overnight type of thing.
[00:20:47] Scott: I agree. Guys we’re talking about really about the real reviews, we’re talking about the ones… These are assets for your business. When you’re doing a promotion, it’s really about just getting yourself on the map and people need to understand that. If you’re going to keep doing reviews like, and people ask me this too Chris, they’re like, “I just did a giveaway to get some reviews and to get myself on the map as far as ranking and stuff, how often should I do them?” My answer is that you shouldn’t really have to do anymore unless you ran out of stock or maybe you wanted to give a little bit of a bump but for the most part that really is there for the base of reviews.
If those reviews ever went away to me it would be disappointing but I wouldn’t care as much because I’m working on the real reviews that we’re doing here with our customers that are buying through our listing every single day through Amazon, through sales. That’s what needs to be really highlighted here. The way to do that is to send people follow up emails, not just relying on them to give it a review on their own and giving them value in those emails.
[00:22:03] Chris: Definitely. I’d like to say that the first hundred reviews or so if you’re being a little more aggressive in terms of your giveaway, those might come from your promotion and your initial launch but getting to a thousand are going to come from your real customers. Even going back to your earlier point about should I continue to do promotions throughout that, the only people that I see they’re doing that are the people that are in really, really competitive niches and they’ll be giving away products on a near daily basis because they’re within like the top 50 on Amazon. They’re doing the multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars with a few SKUs.
[00:22:35] Scott: Yeah, absolutely. For those of you guys that are interested in joining us on this workshop, we are going to do it live depending on when you’re listening to this but if you go to this link and maybe it’s over, there will be a replay so you guys can definitely check it out. Again, the registration for that is going to be at theamazingseller.com/reviewworkshop. Chis and I are going to be able to get on there and really dig in a little bit deeper and craft a message for you to use, different examples of what has worked and in this way here you can have that messaging be a little bit more personal but also grab the attention and get people to want to either leave a review or be a raving fan.
You know what? It’s like once you get through that point and you understand that then you can adapt that to all of your products once you roll out more than one product. It’s things that you could be testing as well. Maybe you’re going to start off with a certain messaging and then all of a sudden you hear people saying that they really wish it had something and then you create a free PDF with that something that they wish they had. Now you can add that to it because you’re able to listen to the emails that are coming back because you went in there and you really converse with your customer and that’s key.
This goes hand in hand with if you’re email marking outside of Amazon it’s still going to be the same type of format in a sense. It’s just you have to, obviously, you have to stick to the guidelines that Amazon is giving us. The one thing that I would say, when people are leaving a review or asking for a review rather, what I do in my email is more like, maybe in the second email, it might not even be in the first email it might be in the second email, I would be like, “Hey, just checking back in with you, making sure that everything is working out with your new garlic press and I wanted to make sure that you were able to receive that free download I just gave you in the last email. Just wanted to make sure everything was cool and oh, by the way, could you do me a quick favor? Amazon really wants to make sure that we’re taking care of our customers.
[00:24:35] Scott: Could you head over to our listing and give us your honest feedback and review? That would be awesome and we really just want to hear how well we did for you.” There’s nothing wrong with what I just said. We’re basically saying Amazon wants us to make sure we’re taking care of you so it’s totally in line with what they want. Would you agree with that Chris?
[00:24:57] Chris: Definitely. Ultimately, if you look at what Amazon wants, they want to first and foremost focus on the customer experience. They want the customers to be very happy using Amazon’s platform, they don’t want, this is why they don’t want to see review manipulation that’s why they’ve gone after these different types of services that have cropped up. Ultimately it’s all about the customer and so if you’re trying to enhance that customer’s experience and make sure they’re getting a great value for their product, everything’s okay then you’re doing things that Amazon wants you to do which then leads to them getting more sales.
[00:25:31] Scott: Yeah, absolutely. Now, what have you seen that might have changed since really creating Salesbacker? What has changed as far as where people have to be careful on what they’re putting on that email?
[00:25:47] Chris: I think the biggest thing, it goes back to some of the earlier parts that we were touching on. Really, it’s just you want to make sure you ask for an honest review, you don’t want to imply or suggest, “Hey, just leave us a five star review,” some of the things that we touched on before, those are the most common. The most stuff that we’ve seen in terms of the changes is just the general outside of the normal customers. The types of things where these different services have been sued, for example Fiverr uses some sales for getting… Amazon was going after them, their websites they were offering fake reviews.
Everything that seems like Amazon has just been basically attacking the fake review aspect of getting reviews whereas on the Salesbacker side the vast majority of everyone that’s using the service they’re using it to get reviews from their real customers. That hasn’t had huge influence, it’s more a matter of just making sure you stick to the guidelines that we tell people to do when they contact their customers, provide good value.
Also to go back to your point, it’s just definitely try and think about that customer and visualize them as you’re writing your emails because it’s really easy to write something for me in personal standpoint and not to think about the person that’s actually getting your product that you’ve worked so hard to actually put together the packaging, the product, everything you might have tweaked to make the product better than what’s out there on the market. You want to make sure you can incorporate that into your emails. If there’s something else that you’ve seen as well that you want to touch on to let me know.
[00:27:16] Scott: No, I think that’s perfect. I just think that, again, I mean the obvious. You can’t go in there directly link out to your website or something like that. Whatever you can do inside of Amazon because really the way that I’m looking at this is like using a tool like Salesbacker or any tool for that matter, you’re connecting into your account so it’s not like you’re really using an outside service you’re just using a service that goes in and logs in for you and sends that email on my behalf.
Imagine going in there and writing an email inside of your Amazon account, what does it allow you to do? It allows you to add an attachment so you can add an attachment. You got to be careful with what you put in that attachment, you don’t want to put in something there that could then draw a red flag, a PDF that’s giving useful information or helpful information is totally cool. Just be smart about that.
It’s hard visually here to show anything and that’s what we’ll be doing on the workshop. Again, if you guys want to register for that we’re going to be again giving you guys really, it’s really like a workshop all around, like communicating with your customer, really breaking down those emails that you’ve already created Chris. Again, I’ve got some input on that as well and just really like a copywriting stand point on how to really grab your reader and how to get people to open your emails but then also get to read them and then from there hopefully take action to leave feedback or reviews.
Again guys we’re going to give you these as a download, Chris has agreed to. The other thing that I want to mention is… Let’s say for example we are just getting started, we want to get some really, really meaty reviews. There’s a lot of review groups out there and there’re some that I use and I think they’re good but in the same breath, what would you say, and I know what you’re going to say but let me just throw it out there, what would you say the best way to get your first initial batch of reviews from people that are trusted with any Amazon review system?
[00:29:20] Chris: Honestly this is the best source I found. Some of this has been changed over the years now since I first heard of this but it’s really just the top Amazon reviewer page. If you Google Amazon top reviewers or maybe you’ll have this in the show notes but you’ll see a list of the top ten thousand reviewers. In that list that some of that Amazon keeps track of, it’s the reviewers that have left in many cases thousands of reviews and they also are really, really helpful reviews. There reviews are voted helpful by other Amazon shoppers.
You can contact these people and you can see what they’re interested and because they’re constantly getting free products that are offered to them and they have different interests that they have. You can reach out to them and say, “Hey, I have this product and I’d be interested in getting your honest feedback.” These reviewers can check out your products and leave a review.
I found this strategy a few years ago and I’m trying to remember how long ago it was and it’s still effective today. I found this by looking at these other seller that I could I tell was doing massive volume. They had hundreds of products and I went back through their listings and I could see that the very first reviews that they were getting were from these people and I would see their badges that show what they were at so top five hundred reviewer or top a hundred et cetera. Then I went back and I looked at this page and I found it and say, “Okay, these are great people to contact.”
It’s still effective and of course that list can continue to change over time but for the most part you’ll see a lot of the names on there. I look at it constantly and it’s almost like I should reach out to some of these people because I’m sure that I’ve in some way contributed to them getting thousands of products but I like to do that.
[00:30:55] Scott: Here’s the thing, it’s like anything. If you can get reviews from people that are in the top 10,000 reviews, like their own little club in a sense that Amazon has said these are legit reviewers, you’ve got a pretty good chance they’re going to stick. That’s another way again especially in the beginning, now here’s the thing, you could also create a list of people that after you respond… Now, it may take you to reach out to a hundred, 200, 300 different people and one tip I got from a top reviewer which I had on the show, she basically said, “Don’t sent a mass email.” Send individual emails to those people because they’re going to see that it was a mass email and then they’re going to say, “Not touching it.”
Be personal with them. Again, going back to being real, being personal, “Hey, I’ve got this new product that I’m rolling out I’m really excited about. I see that you’re into cooking, it’s a garlic press and we’ve spent a lot of time to design this or add these certain features and I would love it if you could go ahead and review our product.” That’s how you would present that. Again, being honest and being transparent and authentic I think is key.
A lot of people want to do the quick and easy which is get a list of a hundred or 200 reviewers and blast it out to those and then ask them so that way there I can only respond to the ones that respond back. I’ve found that even myself personally, whether it’s this or reaching out to other people that I want to have a relationship with in business or whatever, it’s always individual emails and making it more personal. You can tell, if it says, “Hello sir/madam”, you know what I mean? It’s like, “Okay, I’m deleting that.” I get those daily especially for the podcast, like, “We can help you get more people to listen to your podcast type thing”, I delete them immediately.
But if it’s someone that says, “Hey Scott I’m a big listener of your show. I love episode 172 where you talk about this, that and the other thing and I just thought that you might be interested in this.”
[00:32:58] Scott: I’ll read that more so than, “Hello madam or sir or whatever”. Just again, being open and honest and real it goes a long way. Now, Chris I know that you said also that you’re going to give us that top 10,000 list as current as you can get it right now so we’re going to give people that as well on the workshop so definitely show up to the workshop live. If you’re not there live we will have a replay so you can still go to https://brandcreators.com/reviewworkshop. Full disclosure here, Chris will be showing us also Salesbacker which I’m a huge fan of. A lot of people that I work with are also huge fans of and it’s just a great platform but he’s also going to show us how it can automate the process.
In the beginning it’s okay when you have a few customers maybe even 20, 25, maybe even just like five a day, you can handle that but once you start getting more than that you’re going to want to automate that process and Salesbacker does a great job of that. We’re definitely going to be showing you the inner workings of that and how we can streamline things and Chris has got a pretty sweet deal for you guys as well.
We’ll definitely be talking about that and showing you some examples. Also going to be like I said, we’re going to be breaking down those emails in detail. That’s going to be really, really valuable, I love going through the psychology of emails because it’s really important. The other thing real quick that I wanted to go over before we end up wrapping this up is really about feedback. We don’t really talk about feedback much anymore.
I was actually at one of our live events here in Denver not too long ago and I had an interesting conversation, we all did in the room about this topic so I want to hear your thoughts as far as feedback and reviews.
[00:34:53] Scott: Feedback for people that don’t know it’s basically on your entire seller’s account so it’s going to give your entire seller’s account a little bit more credibility within Amazon, a little bit more authority. Chris maybe we can just break that down a little bit here before we wrap up and why that is somewhat important.
[00:35:15] Chris: Seller feedback as a whole will help your overall Amazon account. Even going back to that other example where I found that seller that was using Amazon’s top reviewers, I also found that when they were launching new products they were able to seemingly rank products more quickly than sellers and that in part came back to the fact that they had thousands of seller feedback. Seller feedback as well can act as a vote to Amazon to show that this seller is credible and so having seller feedback in general, having some… It’s hard to know exactly the right number, at least several hundred plus as you go on that’d be a good target initially to reach for. Having seller feedback is also important beyond just having reviews. You want to make sure you have both and so that’s as soon as… I want to know what you think as well Scott. That’s my attitude.
[00:36:03] Scott: It was funny because we were at our event and we were talking about this and then two guys basically do a lot of reviews, they get a lot of reviews, they use their own customer base, they also use top reviewers and they use reviews through running promotions and stuff. The one guy said before he really started thinking about feedback, he was just going after reviews 100%. He was doing some pretty aggressive launching. He launched, it might have got a couple hundred reviews pretty quickly and he didn’t have any feedback and Amazon suppressed his account and said, “Woah, woah, woah, wait a minute here, you’ve got all these reviews, we got no feedback, that’s out of the norm. We normally get fire feedback from 200 reviews or whatever.” It was like it threw a red flag, it suppressed his listing and I think maybe his account because his account was so new.
Now, will this be the case if you are already established? Maybe not but I do believe that you do need that mixture and I believe the same thing Chris that you have to look at your Amazon account as a seasoned account, it’s like a domain name. If you have a domain website address that’s two months old or two years old or 10 years old, it’s going to be a little bit more trusted within that platform. For Google it would be a website address, for Amazon it would be that seller’s account because it gives it that backing, It gives it the history of how you’ve maintained that and like you said.
I’ve heard this from numerous people, people that are way more successful than myself or yourself and it comes down to having a seasoned account will help you launch future products quicker as far as ranking goes.
[00:37:53] Chris: Yeah, even going back, I draw some similarities between Google and Amazon and again even in this case Google has what they call the Google Sandbox where a new domain and if you’re starting to try and rank a website it’s going to take a while before you even can start to get to rankings because there’s just that national time period where Google is like, “Woah, what’s this new website? Do we trust it yet?” To a lot of us here there’s some similarities there to Amazon as well. That’s why I lean sometimes on what I see with Google over the past years doing that and then of course applying that and seeing where Amazon’s going to head in the future. A lot of these things that we see happen are things that I expected will happen.
[00:38:33] Scott: I look at it now like it’s the Amazon slap. They recently just came out with and I had Karon Thackston on and she’s great because she’s always up on all the optimization stuff.
[00:38:47] Chris: Definitely.
[00:38:47] Scott: Actually I just had her on episode before this, it was 245 so anyone that didn’t listen to that might want to check that out. Basically what she was saying is that they had this stuff behind the scenes that they were going to start implementing and they didn’t officially announce it yet but people were having their listing suppressed because of a title restriction that they applied but they didn’t tell everyone that they were applying yet. Then all of a sudden they announced it in July and then everybody’s like, “Wow, I better go change that,” or, “I’m going to lose my listing,” and all of a sudden listings started to all get suppressed.
If it gets suppressed that’s one thing, if it gets banned that’s another thing but again it’s like that. They’re doing changes to clean up their system and that’s what Google does. It’s a way for them to clean and for you that’s running a legitimate and an honest and ethical business, you’ll rise to the top. That’s why we need to conform to the rules the best that we can. Again, reviews is another thing here, it’s a huge component we know for conversions but it’s also a way for us to either A, lose conversions because the minute that we get whether it’s a negative review or we get a drop in reviews because maybe 50 of our reviews were from a review group that all of those people got banned because they were leaving fake reviews or whatever. Then they go through all of their reviews, through all the ones that they left and their account gets basically killed. Then all of their reviews go away and that’s why you lose those reviews. That’s a way that that can happen.
Again, the initial stage in the beginning, getting started with reviews, yes, we want to do that, we want to try to go to a trusted source and then from there we want the real reviews. Those real, real reviews are really from your customers that are buying on a regular basis and we can do that by using email to help push that along a little bit. I think that’s what I really wanted people to get from this podcast but also in the workshop.
[00:40:48] Scott: I really want to break that down and have you Chris really break it down and dive into those emails because I think if people can understand and wrap their head around that, that’ll just stay with you and it’s a lesson that will just continually help you grow your business, whether it’s now here in Amazon or outside of Amazon, it’s all the same. Chris, is there anything you wanted to wrap up here before we jump off and get ready for that workshop?
[00:41:14] Chris: Yeah, the main thing that I’d say is that you really should just look at the long term in any business that you’re building especially if even if you’re selling on Amazon and that’s your primary thing you want to think of it as a long term. A lot of times it’s easy to think about what the short term is and short term hacks to try and get some results but if you are looking towards a long term and trying to grow your business in that way you’re going to need much better setup so you could have something much more sustainable, much larger than if you’re thinking about just short term cuts.
[00:41:44] Scott: Absolutely, I agree and that goes in anything. We can try to take the shortcut but using the shortcut can also lead to getting hurt down the road. Definitely, I definitely stay with keeping yourself in the good column of Amazon and not going in the negative column, we don’t want that.
Chris, this has been awesome and I’m really excited to hang out with you on the workshop. Again, if anyone want to register that date, I should probably give you guys that date, I’m going to remind you guys again is going to be August 30th and that’s going to be at 3:00P.M Eastern Time or 12:00 P.M Pacific Time. You can go register for that at theamazingseller.com/reviewworkshop and again you won’t be disappointed. Chris is going to bring over those emails, we’re going to break them down, we’re going to give you those as a download. We’re going to also talk about the top 10,000, we’re going to show you some examples there and then also we’ll go through all of the different stages as far as getting yourself to where you have that social proof on your listing so it converts higher and hopefully really double if not triple, if not quadruple your sales by getting higher conversions because of those reviews.
Chris I want to thank you once again, I’m excited to jump on here. Guys, again, if you guys can’t make the live workshop that we’re doing for this, you can always go to that and register and you’ll be able to watch the replay as well. Chris, thanks again brother, I appreciate you coming by, always a pleasure and looking forward to hanging out on the workshop so thanks again man.
[00:43:29] Chris: Thanks Scott, it’s lovely to be here.
[00:43:32] Scott: All right man, take care.
All right, so there you go, another great episode. I love having Chris on. He knows a thing or two about reviews, he knows a lot about email marketing in general, he’s been in this business for quite a long time so it’s always nice to be able to talk about this review thing. A lot of people just don’t understand it and I think the lesson that you need to take away from this is not just Amazon related, it’s just business in general and marketing and being good to people.
If you want to attend our live workshop that we’re hosting together on August 30th, that’s a Tuesday and that’ll be 3:00 P.M Eastern Time, head over to theamazingseller.com/reviewworkshop. Again that’s https://brandcreators.com/reviewworkshop. If you want to head over to the show notes to this page and maybe get the link there, maybe it’s a little bit easier for you or if you just want to download the transcripts or look at the show notes or any of that stuff, head over to https://brandcreators.com/246.
Again I want to remind you that if you can’t make the live one on August 30th it’s okay, still go to that link. There will be a replay up for you to watch, definitely, definitely go check it out, I think it’s going to be very, very beneficial to you. You’ll be able to receive those downloads that Chris is going to give away, those swipe emails. This way here you can go ahead and model them and just adapt them to your market. Like I said in that conversation that I had with Chris, I have one student of mine right now that used the humor email that we’re going to give you and he’s getting a 9% conversion from customer to review which is just amazing so we’re going to give you that as well.
We really, really look forward to spending a little bit of time with you and sharing some of this because I think it’s that important. Then also answering some live Q&A so we’ll be on there doing that but again if you’re not there live, you’ll be able to listen to the live Q&A you just won’t be able to ask those questions.
Guys, that’s it, that’s going to wrap it up. Once again, remember I’m here for you, I believe in you and I’m rooting for you but you have to, you have to… Come on, say it with me, say it proud, say it loud, “Take actioin!” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode or I’ll see you on August 30th, that’s a Tuesday at 3:00 P.M Eastern Time or I’ll see you on the replay. All right guys, take care, bye.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/245 – Episode with Karon Thackston
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