Reviews can be a very important tool for companies to increase their sales. User reviews showcase the companies’ performance and quality of service. Ads and marketing come from the company itself, whereas reviews are written by its customers. The trust customers put in fellow customers creates opportunities for companies to build their own fan base.
Different concepts are used to define a company’s success. The production concept dictated that people will always buy a product due to its existing demand. The selling concept said that a good sales team can push people to buy products. Today, both concepts are fading fast as people are more aware of their options and seek out companies that offer better products.
The size of the company has little effect on its success. Businesses that offer the widest range of products or the lowest prices can easily be bested by others who offer a better customer experience and know-how to build trust.
Reviews as a Marketing Tool
Think of reviews as a social approval rating of your company’s product and services. A customer who praises you can lead to other people also taking interest in your company. Reviews can be a very important marketing tool by providing:
Brand awareness: A good word-of-mouth campaign on its own, each review will lead to more people reading about your brand.
Lasting impression: The review can be a great way for potential users to get to know your brand.
Better conversion rate: People are more likely to check out your services because reviews are more authentic than ads.
Increased repeat customers: Reviews are great for building trust and can lead to repeat business from happy customers.
Organic customer content: Reviews are a good source of user-generated content, which is always good for SERP.
Describing the concept of "social proof" in the book Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini said that if someone is doing a particular action or task, people around this person are more likely to do the same. When it comes to new customers, building trust can be hard. Reviews by other users help to build that trust and compel the readers to also check out your services or product.
A 2015 study also revealed that when the social proof is displayed in terms of numbers and sheer volume (how many users give a good rating), it seems to increase the customer conversion better than when the numbers simply indicate how many people used the service.
Let’s see how reviews can help you increase customer response to marketing efforts, and improve sales.
Enhancing Pay-Per-Click Performance
Google Ads uses a star rating system to showcase ads that have a good user rating. This rating is available to businesses that have at least 100 reviews with an aggregated score of 3.5 out of 5. When displayed, these stars can boost your sales as they create social proof right inside the ads. These stars are also displayed in Google Shopping and create more sales opportunities.
The stars also make businesses stand out, increasing chances of clicks on the ads, and not only attract new customers but also bring in old ones. This can (and does) lead to increased sales and a higher quality score from Google. The higher the score, the less you pay per click. As cost decreases per customer conversion, more company capital can be used elsewhere.
Google Ads is not the only channel where reviews can help in marketing. Other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can also be good channels. The channel you select is important, but what really matters is that there are reviews presented in the ads. There are different ways to do this on social media:
Individual: Using a powerful line from a single review
Customer number: Telling how many customers are satisfied (based on actual reviews)
Overall rating: The average rating achieved so far
Boosting SEOs Organically
Each review is a unique piece of content. Search engines love original, organically written text, and when your business name and other keywords are mentioned in a review, this makes it more likely that the engine will determine your brand to be of higher value than those of your competitors.
Detailed reviews give search engines a better understanding of your product or service, your company, and then ultimately the website itself. This increased understanding leads to the website being displayed more often. The best part: you don’t need to spend time and effort to write it all up. Let your customers do it for you!
Publishing user reviews isn’t the only option you have. If you have products and services displayed on your website, you can add in the option for users to give reviews where the product is displayed. The usage of Schema code can help search engines such as Google to have a better understanding of what your business is all about, and if you use Rich Snippets, search engines will prioritize your pages.
Extremely easy to implement, this added detail can have a significant impact. As more users leave reviews, search engines such as Google index them and can actually list them for people who use lengthy keywords to find exactly what they need.
You needn’t worry about these lengthy phrases. Users will write reviews about different aspects of your products or services, including issues that your product or service can solve or cater to.
Selecting a trusted review platform like Revain will give a confidence boost to your customers. There will always be a portion of your customer base (or potential customer base) that will be skeptical about the reviews published on your website. The first question that typically comes into their mind: is this review authentic?
Feedback from an independent website or platform where users can write reviews increases the chances of customer conversion. Visitors and customers will be sure that the reviews are not fake or company-sponsored, guaranteeing their authenticity. As the number of authentic reviews of your products on such a platform increases, you can bet that so will your customer confidence.
Email Marketing Powered with Reviews
Any digital marketer will tell you that email marketing is the holy grail for sales conversions. Mass marketing, yet with a targeted audience at the same time, the text within the emails can be finely tuned to convert first-time buyers and at the same time compel previous customers to make more purchases.
Email marketing has always been the most effective method for increasing sales. Unlike SEO marketing, email marketing offers more control over the type of traffic. Plus, it is cheaper than pay-per-click. A survey has shown that nearly 60% of the target audience is influenced by email marketing. Marketing professionals have noted that a properly segmented campaign can result in as much as a 760% increase in sales.
If the public likes organic reviews and email marketing is a proven success, why not combine the two? The marketing content of the text in the email can have information (from one line to an entire review) extracted from reviews and strategically placed to optimize for conversions. These can also be used for tailored emails. For example, one type of email could detail a customer’s complete satisfaction with your service, while another may speak to the extra benefit a user experienced from using your product or service.
In fact, many marketers suggest that every single email, whether marketing or a newsletter, should contain some information related to a review (called "testimonials" in the trade) that will generate public confidence and trust in your business.
Reviews can also be used independently in email marketing as part of a wide range of tactics. You can try displaying top-reviewed products during a specific season or tell tales of how your company listened to consumer feedback to improve an existing service or product (better packages, flexible billing, discounts, new features, etc.).
All these email review strategies can also be adapted for new customers. First-timers who will sign up to your business website won’t know what you offer. A well-crafted welcome email with single-line user comments of your specific products or services can incite the newcomers to check them out. If you select reviews about your star product or the one that generates the most revenue, your sales can soar.
If your business is offering products or services that use a digital cart, you’re no stranger to abandoned cart items. Buyers have a habit of adding items to their cart, only to place orders of selected items from it. These items remain ignored in the cart. Sending users autoresponder emails with reviews of the items that remain in their cart is a great way to jog your users’ memory and convince them to come back and make the purchase.
Until now, we have discussed how you can reach out and convince people by reviews and ratings through different digital channels. But what about your customers who visit your website? Let’s not forget them. A company website should also be optimized to not only attract visitors but also compel them to use or buy products. Emails, PPC, and SEO will attract them to your platform, but a lackluster presentation will hit the company hard as this is the point where you can close the deal.
Companies usually tend to concentrate on product displays, the cart, and the checkout section. Though this is pretty logical as these sections are where a customer makes the decision about their purchase, the main page is an opportunity that mustn’t be ignored.
The first impression is the last impression, as the saying goes, and the main page is a visitor’s first impression. Reviews here will have a higher chance of creating visitor interest in your products and services.
Try using catchy sentences (with a backlink to the actual reviews and feedback). We suggest the following ideas:
Aggregated ratings: Sentences such as “more than 95% of our customers have given a five-star rating.”
Star products: Highlight your best-selling products. Use attractive phrases like in demand, best selling, and customers’ favorite.
One-line reviews: Use small reviews that are a sentence or two in length.
Alternatively, extract a catchy phrase from a lengthy review. Give authenticity to these through a hyperlink to the original review.
The best part about this strategy is that it can be replicated on other landing pages on the company website.
Customer reviews on the product pages have a significant impact on conversion rates. Shopify estimates that almost 80% of their customers rely on other user feedback and reviews as much as someone personally recommending them. Other independent studies have also shown similar trends, with one determining that people trust reviews 12 times more than the product description.
All user-generated content is good (even when it’s bad), as it reflects what others have experienced. Yet, companies should prefer to go for images- or video-based reviews at this stage - especially if a third-party review platform such as Revain is used. This is because:
Up to 67% of consumers say images and media are important factors in making buying decisions
User-generated reviews are three times more trustworthy than the company’s claim.
The younger, tech-savvier age group tend to believe user reviews more often. Millennials, for example, trust online user-written content twice as much as traditional ones.
That being said, let’s not forget the other pages on the company website. Users will visit other pages and some can even land directly on these through search engine results. The problem here is that not every web page can integrate reviews and feedback(don’t worry - we have a workaround).
Headers and footers are oft-ignored areas. A small change in these elements to include your aggregated customer rating can go a long way and create an excellent opportunity to convince customers to buy your product or service.
Visitors can and will easily move onto the next website when they don’t find the information they want. Customer slippage, as it’s called, can have a significant impact on sales. It’s crucial for a business to identify these web pages and plug the metaphorical leaks.
The first place to check out is your post-purchase Thank You for Shopping page. One-off customers do contribute to sales, but it's the repeat customer that creates true success.
Place reviews and ratings here to show there’s still more to be found on your website. Use the power of data analysis to create a personalized customer journey. Find out what customers have browsed recently and show reviews of those products. This is also a good place to remind them of what great products are still in their cart.
Next, look for pages that have a high rate of exit. Google Analytics is a good tool to identify these. Your website’s Exit Pages report will list every page, detailing traffic volume and exit percentages. High volume and exit score pages should be looked at. Usually, the high-exit culprits are:
Lack of display: Sometimes there aren’t enough elements to convince a visitor to spend more time exploring the site. Try adding in a customer review here.
By now, you should have loads of ideas for how you can use reviews to your advantage, to boost marketing efforts, and ultimately your sales. Each company and website is unique, and you should strategically integrate reviews into your website, emails, and social media to ensure the best possible business performance.
To make the best of reviews, you can use Revain’s authentic third-party services. They offer reliable solutions that are designed to be authentic and free from manipulation. By using blockchain to record the reviews, we make sure that there’s no alteration to any feedback. Revain also enables companies to comment on reviews and to start discussions with users directly. And AI filters out the low-quality, misleading reviews, and guarantees authenticity in each and every review.