Her books are about what to feed children in daycare. She had a sales page that described what the books were about — healthful, easy-to-make recipes, together with a shopping list for each one. If you want your recipes to get found in Google, make sure you are using proper recipe schema.
The Summary Box
Empathy And Likability
How To Use Empathy In Your Product Reviews
Your objective in the first few paragraphs of any review should be to tell the reader that you’re just an ordinary person like them, and that the review is your personal experience of using that product.
The reviewer clearly identifies that he’s just a “university student” stuck in a dead-end job. If you are in the market for Ramit’s course (which usually targets millennials), your eyes would instantly light up – this guy is just like me!
Identify Who The Product Is For
The Principle Of Pre-Selling
Pre-sales tactics are very effective in product introductions. It lowers your readers’ guard and demonstrates the product’s usefulness without the added pressure of making a purchase decision. Here are two ways you can pre-sell the product:
How To Introduce The Product
Then we talk about how Buzzstream is different – it’s a relationship building tool, not just a link building tool. Then we get people interested by posting a few relevant emails that resulted in a backlink:
Why People Read Product Reviews
Online reviews should touch on both pros and cons of a product, service or even a whole brand so that shoppers understand the key selling points as well as its market strengths and weaknesses.
A powerful product review should clearly point out who the product is for. Another reason why people read product reviews is even simpler. Users want to make sure the product is the best of its kind. Take marketing tools — people want to make sure they’re straightforward, user-friendly and generally easy to handle.
Moreover, people are curious about alternative solutions. Though, to be honest, they just want to make sure that the product they want to buy is the undisputed king of its category. Also, other users’ experiences aren’t meaningless. Readers want to confront as many opinions as possible before making an actual purchase.
How to Write the Perfect Product Review
1. Get Your Hands on the Product
Being an independent marketer and reviewer demands that you get access to products you are going to review. You might just go ahead and buy them or pitch the manufacturers and just ask for access. It’s quite likely that a company’s marketing representative will be happy to give you access to the product at least for the time you’d need to review it.
2. Become an Affiliate
This will come with additional perks like, for instance, a fixed and sometimes even recurring commission paid on each sale you referred. Being an affiliate makes sense because you’re promoting these products anyway, so why shouldn’t you get a cut and generate some passive income on the side?
3. Learn About Your Product(s)
Once you join affiliate programs or get access to products in any other way, make sure you do your research and study the product. You want to become an expert. Be curious and find out everything about the brand and the product itself. Include competitors in your research and the whole industry as well, before you get started on your reviews.
4. Be Honest. Don’t Hype It
5. Confront with Other Players
Product comparisons are crucial to any good review. They provide your readers with a clearer picture of the whole category. You readers will know what the options are and will feel more confident about getting the recommended model.
6. Get a Discussion Going
7. End a Product Review with a Take-Home Message
The last few paragraphs are perfect for expressing your private opinion. This is where you can get slightly subjective and speak your mind freely.
Recap all the key points you touched on in the review, disclose the price and tell the reader if there’s a free trial (remember, the word “free” is intoxicating — if applicable, sprinkle it throughout your article and emphasize free options to get people excited. It usually works wonders). Sum everything up and make the final verdict.
8. Implement 5-Star Rating and Rich Snippets
Such a visual rating score in the search results will certainly make your reviews stand out, boosting your CTR and drive more traffic. And don’t forget that the CTR translates to SEO results in the long run!
9 customer review examples (and how to get more reviews)
And anything you can do to make it as easy for your happy customers to write those reviews for you will help. For example, here’s a handy Mad-Libs-style customer review builder that you can attach to your message or email to the customer when you’re asking if they can write a review or testimonial for you:
Testimonials or quotes from your customers are one of the most common forms of customer reviews. You’re most likely to find them on a company website, typically on the homepage, or in their marketing materials.
These short (typically only one to two sentence) overviews of how your product or service impacted a company helps give your brand credibility. With quote testimonials, those impressive claims you’re making actually sound believable because they’re backed up by someone who’s, well, not you.
We list customer quotes as the easiest type of review to get because they involve very little effort for you and your customer. Because you’re in control of adding them to your website, all you need to do is ask your customers to share their experience in an email, in person, or over the phone.
How to get a quote review:
You might be on multiple social media platforms, so how can you keep track of all these messages? If you’re providing omnichannel customer service, you might already be using a tool that can consolidate all your customer conversations and communication channels into one handy dashboard. Like this:
2. Peer review sites
Reviews on peer-to-peer sites can happen organically, often removing the company from the review process entirely. (This can be a nightmare if you’re managing a small business, since one bad review can have a huge impact, but this also makes the reviews seem more authentic.) Customers don’t need to worry about if companies have edited them to be more favorable (or deleted reviews they didn’t agree with).
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything at all. These peer-to-peer review sites are often one of the first places a potential customer looks when considering a purchase, so ensuring you have some positive reviews on each is important.
How to get a review on a peer review site:
3. Social media
Social media is becoming just as much a resource for businesses that want to build brand awareness as it is for people who are interested in connecting with brands. But don’t just your social media campaigns to get prospects. Not only are customers turning to social media to ask brands questions or learn about their services, they’re also using their accounts to share opinions and reviews.
Like peer-to-peer review sites, the company usually isn’t involved in the review process—making them feel more transparent and honest. But one of the biggest benefits of having reviews on social networks is that prospective customers can get a feel for who the customer is in ways they can’t with testimonials or peer-to-peer review sites.
How to get social media reviews:
Encourage customer reviews on social media by creating communities where customers are empowered to share their experiences or purchases. For example, Aerie uses the hashtag #AerieReal to make it easy to see how customers are styling their items in real life:
4. Case studies
Case studies—unlike traditional customer reviews—are written from the perspective of the company doing the work or providing the product. Rather than the customer explaining how they helped, the company walks through what they did to help their customer reach their goals.
This perspective gives potential customers an idea of how your team works. It gives you a chance to show off your problem-solving skills and attention to detail, and it allows your potential customer to envision how you might help them.
How to respond to customer reviews
If you’re just allowing customers to leave reviews on peer-to-peer pages, social media, or their own blogs without acknowledging them or responding to them, you’re not making use of powerful content that has been known to convert leads.
How to respond to a positive review
Responding to a positive review is a lot less stressful than responding to something negative but just as important. Letting your happy customers know you’ve seen their kind words and you appreciate their feedback can encourage them to continue singing your praises.
- Make your message personalized. Customers will quickly realize if you’re just copying and pasting messages to all your reviews. Instead of giving a generic “Thanks!” take the time to write a thought-out, personalized message.
- Respond in a day or two. Fast responses show you’re paying attention. While you’re not expected to drop everything to respond to reviews, a quick response—especially on social media—can keep customers engaged with your brand. Reduce your response time by integrating your social media apps with your cloud-based communications system. RingCentral connects with top social platforms, like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, so you can easily respond without needing to switch platforms.
- Show your personality. This is your chance to engage directly with a happy customer, so make the most of it. Respond with some personality—humor, kindness, wit, you get the idea—to really connect with your customer. Regardless of your brand’s personality, be authentic. Your audience will be able to tell if you’re not.
- Give a recommendation. Now is a great time to point your customer in the direction of another product, a piece of content, or something related to their review. (This is a great way to personalize your response!) For example, if they say they enjoyed a product, recommend they look into a supplementary project, or suggest they check out a blog post that tells them how to make the most of their purchase. Your main goal is to keep them engaged!
- Ask if you can showcase their review. If someone leaves you a particularly stellar or unique testimonial, ask for permission to share it! Display it on your website, show it off on social media, or create user-generated content out of it. Showing off the kind words of your happy customers is more powerful than just telling people how awesome you are.
How to respond to a negative review
Negative reviews are much less exciting than positive reviews. They can be stressful, and responding can feel like a lost cause. But even the most unhappy customer can change their opinion with the right encouragement.
- Respond promptly. Again, you may not need to drop everything you’re doing to respond, but it’s more important to get to negative reviews quickly than positive reviews. If a negative review is posted for too long without a response, not only is it frustrating for the unhappy customer, but it can also leave a bad taste in prospective customers’ mouths. Do your best to get to negative responses in just a few hours.
- Put the customer first. You may not agree with what the customer is saying, but that doesn’t mean you should be on the defensive. Instead, listen and see where the customer is coming from—you have to identify where their frustration lies. Think about the response you would want in their shoes and try and find a solution.
- Respond publicly, but push the conversation to a private channel. You don’t want to get into a debate with an unhappy customer on Yelp, but you also don’t want it to seem like you’re not acknowledging negative reviews. Reply to unhappy customers on the platform they’ve left the review on, but encourage them to continue the conversation through a private message on social media, email, or phone call.
If you have a phone or communications tool, it can make this part easier. For example, RingCentral integrates with other popular social media apps to let you switch between platforms while keeping the integrity of your conversations:
Replying to reviews (both positive and negative) appropriately means having open communication with your customers. Bringing reviews in as part of your customer feedback cycle can help you identify communication gaps or other areas where you’re not meeting expectations.
Choose Products to Review
Products You Use
If this is a product you’ve created yourself, or an affiliate link to a product you own and use, it’s a fairly straightforward process. You’re giving your personal feedback on the product: not just its features, but authentic information about how it helped you in real life. If you’re new to affiliate marketing, Miles Beckler covers “how to be authentically helpful” in his affiliate marketing crash course.
If there are more, that’s also fine, but bear in mind you don’t want to overload your customer with information. What she’ll want to know most is how this product addresses her most pressing problem, need or desire.
Case Study: Translating Product Features Into Benefits
My Italian friends cannot believe that anyone would want to buy an electric pasta machine at relatively high cost when a bowl, a table and a rolling pin do exactly the same job at less than one-tenth of the price.
What does she feel about that? Perhaps frustrated. Guilty that she’s not able to be a “perfect parent.” Tired, if she tries to make pasta anyway… Stressed, because (at least in her mind) other parents seem to manage to provide healthful meals every day.
As well as thinking about the positives, consider whether there are any negatives in the product. It may be a missing feature, or a high price. It may be something very specific to the product: for one of my chicken incubators, for example, it’s the fact that high humidity causes some of the moving parts to rust.
If you’re reviewing your own product and it’s already live, look at what your customers are saying. If they’ve not said anything negative, ask them. Questions like “how do you think this product could be improved?” or “what’s the one thing you’d change about it?” are a good starting point.
If it’s an affiliate product and you can’t think of any cons of the product, look at some reviews. Amazon is a rich source of information. Review all the reviews: one or two stars are the obvious ones to read but sometimes reviews of 3 or 4 stars can give more nuanced problems people have come up against.
Task 2: Think through the potential negatives of the product you want to review and consider potential solutions to those drawbacks. Don’t forget to use the worksheet to keep specific notes.
What If You’ve Never Owned the Product or Tried the Service?
Writing about a product we own and love is obviously the best type of review. But we don’t always have the luxury of testing every product we think will meet our customer’s needs. I don’t have the money, the time or the inclination (well — maybe the inclination…) to try out all of Italy’s best hotels to review for my site.
Be careful about this. People’s memories can be selective, and individuals have differing ideas about what’s a necessary feature. Not everyone thinks having six kinds of tea in their hotel room is critical to their enjoyment of Florence.
Amazon and Expedia have become better at preventing fake reviews. They highlight those from people who have bought the product or stayed at the hotel. They’ve also prosecuted when they’ve found proven fake-ness — but the problem is still there.
The intent may well be genuine, but research shows that even with the best of intentions, people who receive goods in return for a review tend to be less critical and more positive, and they give a higher rating than others. (See, for example, this study). Be careful of this type of review.
What About Small Items?
Case Study: How to Review Products with Low Price Points
I love Christmas decorations and enjoy writing about them. But the fact that I love them doesn’t mean that everyone will. Unless I discover why people in my niche like to buy them (as opposed to why I like to buy them!).
It’s successful because it’s hand-made in Italy. It’s robust enough to become an heirloom. And I know this particular section of my Italian site’s audience: they’re very proud of their Italian roots, and keen to keep those roots alive for their children and grandchildren.
Whatever the product you want to review and sell, it all comes back to that same issue: put yourself where your audience’s emotions are. Use language that resonates and find a solution, or an item that satisfies their need or desire.
Time To Write A Product Review
1. Choose a Keyword
2. Create the Main Headline
Suppose you’re offering a program for your customer to cut down on her sugar intake. If you know that what she’s searching for is “sugar detox” then the question “Been eating too much sugar recently?” will hook her.
3. Draft Subheadings
Your subheadings also need to demand attention and convey value. They have a double imperative: to make clear why the text below is a must-read, and to stop your customer from scrolling endlessly — and leaving the page without buying.
4. Write the Content
The first paragraph is the most important in the entire review. Your customer will decide that either you understand where she’s at and can do something to help, or you have no idea and she should look elsewhere.
- To be effective, your review must focus on your customer, not on you. Seth Godin calls this “the only radio station people care about — “WII-FM,” aka “What’s in it for me?”!
- Do not start your review page with the price of the product. Talk first about the specific benefits, until your customer feels she has no real option but to buy your product.
- Remember: you’re not writing a thesis or a scholarly report. The way you learned to write at school or college is not the best way to connect with people, unless you’re in a scholarly niche.
- Keep sentences short. They’re easier to read and understand, and they improve the rhythm of the page.
- Don’t worry about starting sentences with “and” or “but.” If that’s the way you would talk to the customer if she was sitting in front of you, use it.
- If you want to really draw attention to a particular feature, try adding in individual words. Take an example from Apple’s ad for the iPhone X…
If you feel unwell one day, schedule your review for the next. But do not use this as an excuse to avoid writing at all! Every day you put off writing is a day’s potential income lost. It’s important to develop work habits and regularly make time to sit down and write.
Case Study: How to Write a Product Review Outline
What If You Haven’t Tried the Product?
5. Find Images, Testimonials and Ratings
Although you’re communicating key messages in your headlines, subheadings and text content, images can help sell a product. They help break up the text, they provide an emotional connection, and they show what the product looks like and how it works.
Product images are always good, and if you can include yourself in the image unpacking, assembling, holding or using it, so much the better. It helps create that personal connection — and shows it’s an authentic review.
Be creative! Do you make and sell your own products or provide a service? Take a photo of you painting / quilting / cooking / dancing / counselling / with a patient (don’t want to ask permission? Get your partner to play the patient, sitting with back to the camera so the focus is on you).
Remember: images are not only photos. Research shows that about 90% of customers say that video helps them make purchasing decisions, and roughly 64% say that they’re more likely to buy a product online after they’ve seen a video of it.
What if your product doesn’t lend itself to an image — for example, a Kindle book, or an online course? Share part of the product itself. You can do this by either allowing access to (for example) the first chapter / lesson, or by telling people in detail what it includes.
Use testimonials to counteract any issues you found in the research stage that may reduce the likelihood of purchase. An example might be that it’s too expensive: find testimonials saying “Yes, expensive — but so worth it!” or “You get what you pay for.”
Many affiliate marketing programs include resources to help you in writing about their products. Take some comments from the “review” section of the affiliate company’s site. State that’s what you’ve done — something like “Here’s what some people who’ve bought [the product] on [Amazon] are saying.”