If you have an e-commerce business, you already know that your customers’ reviews matter. Not only do reviews provide valuable feedback, they can also help drive sales and improve your SEO.
Although there are countless articles offering advice for ways to gather more customer reviews, few acknowledge the importance of testing.
“You’re going to want to experiment with email outreach and find out what works best for your business,” advises Steve Pearson, CEO of Friendemic.
But what does this testing look like, and how should you get started? Here are three ideas:
1. Experiment With the Number of Days After Delivery
It seems simple, but if you reach out to a customer too soon after a purchase, they might receive your email before they actually receive the item they ordered.
One recent survey found that 13% of online shoppers hadn’t written a review for a purchase made within the past week because the item had not yet been delivered.
To avoid this problem, we recommend that companies track delivery dates on all purchases and wait approximately one week after delivery to request a review. This gives customers enough time to use a product while keeping the memory of their experience with your website top of mind.
But depending on when a customer makes a purchase, you may want to adjust the number of days.
For example, let’s imagine that your company sells wedding dresses. Waiting one week after a purchase probably won’t be as effective as finding out when your customer plans to get married and sending personalized outreach after the big day.
You also might find that your customers are ready to review products sooner than the one week mark. For example, someone who buys a new car will be ready to write a review as soon as they drive it home. Similarly, seasonal products will require different outreach depending on the time of year; few people will be ready to immediately review a winter coat purchased in July!
Although general guidelines can be helpful, it all comes down to your specific customers and what you’re selling. Try different intervals of days and don’t be afraid to adjust throughout the year.
2. Try Different Times of Day
Are your customers opening your emails first thing in the morning, at lunch time, or late at night while relaxing at home? You might have a guess, but the only way to know for certain is to dive into the metrics.
Some tools can determine a user’s time zone and calibrate outreach to their local time. Others use their vast caches of data to predict the optimal time to send an email based on when past emails in a particular location have received the most engagement.
At Friendemic, we help clients master automated messages, which can help ensure you have reliable groups to compare. Instead of getting lost in the weeds of individual outreach, you can schedule batches of messages for specific times and compare the results to see if one is more successful.
With an informed sense of the best time to reach out to your customers, it will be easier than ever to collect more reviews.
3. A/B Test Your Subject Line
Your customers are busy people, and you’ll probably be competing for their attention as they juggle their jobs, families, and other responsibilities. One survey found that 47% of your customers will make a snap judgment of whether to read based on your subject line.
Next time you come up with two possible options for a subject line, try splitting your list of customers in half and sending both. You might find that one option is significantly better at driving reviews, and you can repeat with different variations until you settle on the best possible formula.
Just like the first two tests, there are plenty of ideas for best practices floating around online, but ultimately it will come down to what resonates with your specific customers.
“Regardless of when outreach is sent, be very careful that it’s genuine,” says Pearson.
By sticking with language that feels friendly and inviting to your customers, you’ll be one step closer to gathering more reviews.
Friendemic is Here to Help
We understand that small businesses are constantly busy. That’s why we created the Catalyst Suite, a set of reputation management tools that help you make the most of your customer relationships.
Our Reputation Accelerator Software takes the guesswork out of outreach by providing both automated and manual text and email messages that invite customers to write reviews.
Because Reputation Accelerator makes it so easy to request reviews, clients have experienced 400-500% increases in the number of 5-star reviews on Google and Facebook, along with increased engagement on social media.
To help companies manage the flood of incoming reviews, we also have a response team ready to respond to reviews 7 days a week, including holidays.
Interested? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started today.