Recently, Amazon cracked down on over a thousand fake review providers on Fiverr, going as far as to target them in a court lawsuit. A grand total of 1,114 ‘John Does’ were listed in the filing- the defendants were so named because Amazon didn’t have a list of their full names. This lawsuit came months after Amazon sued four websites for selling fake reviews, including the website Buy Amazon Reviews.
With Amazon going after fake reviews, you simply can’t risk creating them for the benefit of better product search rankings and appearance on Amazon’s Choice. However, getting real honest reviews is tough…or is it?
7 Ways to get Amazon reviews legitimately
1. Excel at customer service.
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It goes without saying that you should always provide a great customer experience. Whether or not the product is liked or even eventually returned, you should always strive to answer customer questions promptly, ship quickly, and address complaints as soon as possible. Likewise, you should always strive to provide the best and most accurate product description possible so that consumers don’t feel misled.
2. Write your customers.
Contact your customers personally and ask them for feedback. This can be automated through a free software platform like FeedbackFive, which is designed specifically for Amazon merchants. Alternately, you can email your customers directly and ask that they consider leaving you a product review. Emphasize that you are a small time merchant who is hoping to grow her online business, or state some interesting feature/benefit about your merchandise.
Try to send your customers at least three feedback emails that are interspersed over a period of two to three weeks. This ensures that your customers have had enough time to unpack their product and (hopefully) try it out. Also, a series of emails provides your customers with several opportunities to provide a review.
3. Solicit through your newsletter.
If you have an email newsletter, and some of your customers subscribe to your newsletter, then you should definitely solicit product reviews through that medium. Explain why you are seeking product reviews, whether good or bad, and then provide a handy link to your Amazon merchant page. To avoid any fallout from Amazon, do NOT offer to compensate your reviewers in any way for their reviews. This includes offering to review one of their products in exchange for their review.
4. Solicit through your website/blog.
If you operate a website or blog, devote a few pages or blog post paragraphs to soliciting reviews on Amazon. In this case, keep in mind that your readers must have purchased your product through Amazon (as noted in Amazon’s Review Creation Guidelines). However, if your readers have purchased your products through your website only, they can still provide a product review on your website.
5. Seek competing reviewers.
Within Amazon, you can look for reviewers of products similar to yours by going to your product pages and then the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” and the “Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed” areas. Technically, these customers and viewers are looking at your competition’s products. However, you might be abe to garner a review from these individuals by reading their past reviews, figuring out how invested they are in the competition, and then reaching out to them.
In many cases, it won’t be too difficult to locate reviewers’ email address or social media links through their reviewer pages on Amazon. Once you find this information, send an email to them and as if they would consider reviewing your product.
Here’s where you’ll need to have some product on-hand for your reviewers. If the product is a book or some other ‘consumable’ that is easily (and cheaply) distributed, you’ll be able to get many willing reviewers. Otherwise, you’ll have to bite the bullet and pay for wholesale product and shipping. You’ll simply have to consider this a cost of doing business and appropriate funds accordingly. Hopefully for your more expensive products, you’ll find honest reviewers who send your demo product back to you when they are finished with their reviews. To this end, you can provide return shipping stickers and boxes.
6. Check the top reviewers.
Amazon provides a handy listing of its top reviewers at the Amazon’s Top Customer Reviewers web page. Here, superstar reviewers are grouped by the number of reviews that other readers noted as helpful. In most cases, these reviewers also provide their contact email, enabling you to reach out to them.
In some cases, you may even find a reviewer’s specifications on what products he will (or will not) review:
7. Stick to a schedule.
You won’t get far with product reviews if you only ask for those reviews once in a great while. To be successful in this endeavor, you’ll need to systematically generate and send feedback emails to new customers and existing readers. You’ll also have to set aside X amount of money each month or quarter for demo product.
However, if you keep up with a given routine of review solicitation, you’ll soon differentiate yourself from your competitors who only have the requisite 14 reviews. Set a goal each month to accumulate 10 reviews, and it won’t be long before your product has hundreds of Amazon reviews.
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The Bottom Line
In the world of Amazon, product reviews are the coin of the realm, so to speak, helping to boost your listings to the top of this shopping engine’s search results.
With the recent actions taken by Amazon to end fake reviews, you certainly don’t want to do anything illegal when soliciting for product reviews. This includes the obvious no-no of going to Fiverr and buying fake reviews, but also includes the far more common practice of paying reviewers for their ‘unbiased’ product reviews.
Luckily, there are still many tools at your disposal for generating real reviews that bolster your notoriety on Amazon- legitimately.