A customer review can help a customer buy the right product and help a brand gain a little trust.

A few thousand customer reviews can completely change public perception. That’s the real gold we’re after at Reevoo.

We’ve spent ten years working on a ‘secret sauce’ when it comes to review collection – a methodology that keeps the numbers at an industry-leading high without letting in fake reviews or compromising on our values.

But it’s getting tougher and tougher to grab a slice of people’s attention, so optimisation becomes a constant process.

How many rubbish emails do you get in a day? Have you lost count? Do you even notice them, or do you reach straight for the delete button like an involuntary spasm? Add to that the ruthlessness and vigilance of a spam filter, and you can only imagine how many requests, invitations, and notifications you’re missing every single day.

Well, this is what we’re up against. To rise above the noise, you need more than just good luck and a cute logo. You need a tried-and-tested methodology.

Fortunately, we’ve got just that.

collecting reviews
The Reevoo review questionnaire.

How to be great at collecting reviews

Our ‘secret sauce’ gives us, on average, 20 reviews for every 100 requests sent to verified buyers. Here’s a closer look at the numbers across different industries:

Number of reviews collected for every 100 requests sent across industries (2016 data).

Here are the ingredients we use:

1. Email at the right time

Optimise email sending per product type, and by taking notice of their checkout and delivery dates. Don’t email too quickly or too late… Timing is everything.

2. Email everybody

Pay close attention to the purchaser data you receive from clients. Every time a customer buys a product, collect data… whatever the purchase. It’s essential that nothing slips through the cracks.

3. Deliver it to the right place

The last place you want your email to end up is in the spam folder. Hone your message (it takes time) to provide maximum cut-through and minimum attention from spam filters that trigger on certain words.

4. Compel with your subject copy

The subject of the email matters. Relevancy is important, and you don’t have much time to make a good impression. Today’s audience has no time, neither on the go nor at their desk, and will leave ambiguous emails unopened.

5. Give a clear value proposition

Once opened, your goal is to get the recipient to click. We’ve experimented endlessly to find the best way of doing this, and continue to do so. Be rigorous with the clarity of the first 10 words.

6. Include a call to action

Keep your layout clean and ensure there is a clear and concise call to action. Make sure the email is mobile optimised. It’s hard work – there are many devices and even more email clients.

7. Ask the right questions

Consumers who click the link land on the questionnaire. The key here is to be in line with expectation. For example, consumers asked to fill out three pages of forms just to review a toaster will walk away. Their effort needs to make them feel good about helping others.

8. Make sure the user experience is innovative

Make sure your questionnaire is responsive, when it comes to the format on different devices as well as providing an overall immersive experience. This ensures the best possible user experience. We optimised our review questionnaire to display across multiple different platforms, and our review submission rate on mobile devices has leapt to 32%.

9. Pre-publish screening

Try to catch things that do not pass moderation guidelines (swearing, mentions of price etc.) immediately on the page. Once submitted, all Reevoo reviews go through human moderation – we find it works better than software, but technology’s always advancing. Do not edit the reviews, but instead send back an email to the reviewer requesting them to address the issue and resubmit. Easy!

So why does having lots of reviews matter?

1. Increases conversion

The first reason is simple: more reviews = higher conversion. For consumers shopping online, a wealth of honest opinion translates to wealth of confidence. For retailers, it means an average uplift in revenue of 18%. Interestingly, conversion rates get higher as the volume of reviews increases. Even more interestingly, the same pattern arises whether people are reading reviews or just looking at the scores.

The more reviews available to read, the higher the conversion rates of those people that read reviews – as is shown in this graph:

Conversion rate rising as more reviews are displayed for a product. (2015 data)

Perhaps the most insightful part of this is that there is no real plateau. The conversion rates keep increasing as the volume of reviews increases, and a wealth of reviews offers valuable opportunities to use review content offline (in-store and in marketing & advertising).

Our Conversations product allows customers to ask questions of verified owners of the product. This alleviates an enormous sourcing problem for many brands who previously had to respond to every inquiry themselves, in-house.

It also provides tons of new user-generated content, as each owner response is a little gold nugget of content. By introducing this feature to a recent client’s website, we got 59,000+ owners to opt-in to answering questions and generated 14,000+ customer questions. That means more trust, more activity, and more confidence from consumers.

More reviews = higher conversion.

2. Improves your SEO

Embedding this content is also a valuable tool for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). More reviews = enhanced SEO activity. Search engines love fresh content – they value new information just as much as we do. Embedding reviews on pages and updating them frequently attracts a lot more attention from search engines. Pages that rank higher on search engines enjoy higher organic traffic.

More reviews = enhanced SEO activity.

3. Allows for more valuable insight

Thirdly, more content = more valuable insight. Customer content is great insight for product development and merchandising, and gaining a greater understanding of your customers. The more content available, the better decisions can be made. Our manufacturing clients have found user-generated content extremely insightful to get a better idea of what customers think about their products, and how to improve them. E-tailers can use the data to improve the user experience and customer service aspects of their business.

More reviews = more valuable insight.

Aggregation enables you to multiply the power of each review, and convert on purchases made no matter the retailer. - Highlight to share -

Aggregation, rather than duplication, is the answer

One of the best ways to get a lot of reviews quickly is to aggregate your reviews. Review aggregation basically means that if someone writes a review of a product you sell, you get it, regardless of where the product was bought. To do that, you need to make sure your review provider is collecting the product and service reviews separately. Aggregation enables you to multiply the power of each review, and convert on purchases made no matter the retailer.

Our methodology is the reason that while our competitors are creeping their review response rates up from 1% to 3%, our average is 20%. If that sounds high, it’s because it’s literally the best in the business.

More reviews sell more products, and create happy customers. So follow our rules (or call us) to make it happen.

How to collect a ton of reviews