Let me ask you a question, even though I already have an idea of your answer. When you venture to buy something online, what truly influences your decision? Is it the overly creative advertising, the tempting price, the brand, or perhaps the conversations and opinions circulating on the internet?
As a marketing professional, I can't deny that advertising campaigns are still a daily staple for capturing the attention of our target audience. However, let's be honest, what really tips the scales in a consumer's decision is the voices of other users found on the internet. Whether it's on the purchase page, on social media, or those specialized blogs. And look, I don't want to downplay the work we do with those conversion funnels, which can sometimes be like mazes, but the truth is, if there's one thing I'm certain of in my life, apart from my name, it's that the comments of others can lead us to buy even the unnecessary. Have you ever heard a friend enthusiastically talk about their latest purchase just as you're about to embark on an online research marathon for your future purchases? So, without further ado...
1. The Impact of Reviews
What a whirlwind has unfolded in the world of online reviews and comments! I fondly recall the times when the marketing team's work was much simpler. We focused on creating creative advertisements that could be reused in multiple campaigns over months, and sometimes even repeated from one year to the next. However, with the constant evolution of media, digital platforms, social networks, and the rapid pace of trends, you'll find that an advertisement or social media post barely lasts as long as it took to create.
But the story doesn't end there. Creating attractive advertising is no longer sufficient to convince consumers to purchase a product. We've transitioned from simply highlighting the qualities of a product or service to the art of persuasive advertising and, finally, the management of comments, opinions, and reviews. Interestingly, these reviews often do not depend solely on the quality of our products but are influenced by a multitude of factors.
In the past, there was talk in the marketing world about how a negative word of mouth comment could influence up to eight people. However, in today's world, this phenomenon is far more complex, and its impact is even greater. A study conducted by SeQura has revealed that just five positive reviews can increase the likelihood of consumers choosing a product by 270%. Now, imagine what happens when instead of positive reviews, there are negative opinions, or worse, no reviews at all.
It's an undeniable fact that consumers are becoming increasingly cautious and informed when making a purchase, especially due to the economic challenges brought about by the 2019 pandemic and the political conflicts between countries. These events have driven consumers to seek detailed information before making their final decisions. Thanks to the omnipresence of technology, this process has become incredibly straightforward. Whether you're typing the product's name into Google or uploading a photo to TikTok, the preferred information-seeking platforms of the new generations, you have access to a wealth of data. Among these, reviews stand out as the most reliable source. According to Northwestern University, a whopping 95% of consumers consult online reviews before making a purchase, placing their trust in the experiences of others to make well-informed decisions.
2. Moving from the Web to Email
Incorporating reviews on your website has become essential for turning visitors into buyers, regardless of the size of your business.
However, it's not enough to simply display these reviews on your website and hope that users will come across them. As the old saying goes, if the mountain won't come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain. In other words, you don't need to wait for users to navigate your website to discover the praises of other customers about your products or services. Now is the time to tap into the treasure trove of content created by your own customers and make the most of this information.
Email presents itself as the perfect channel for sharing this information with your customers and enticing them to visit your website. When someone reads your emails and sees positive ratings and reviews from other customers about the products you're promoting, they are much more likely to be motivated to click on the call to action and complete a conversion.
3. How to Incorporate Reviews into Email
The first thing to keep in mind is not to overwhelm your messages with customer reviews. It's essential to consider the purpose of each email you send, just as you would in any marketing strategy. Even though you may have a wealth of reviews to choose from, it's crucial to select the most suitable ones. Here are some tips to achieve this:
- Optimal rating: The same study from Northwestern University revealed that products with an average rating of 4.7 to 5.0 have a lower chance of being purchased compared to those in the 4.2 to 4.7 rating range. Don't always aim for perfection; sometimes, a slightly lower rating can appear more authentic and credible to consumers.
- Quantity of reviews: The number of reviews is the second most important factor for online users, following the rating. In general, consumers want to see a minimum number of reviews to take them into account, and it's most common for them to consider between 3 and 5 reviews to be sufficient. However, this can vary depending on the context of the email you're sending.
- Age of reviews: Consumers tend to be wary of reviews that are over 6 months old since they know that the quality of a company's products and services can change over time. Therefore, it's important to select recent and relevant reviews to maintain the trust of your recipients.
Now that we've understood the characteristics of reviews that can be shared via email, it's time to make the most of this strategy by incorporating them into our messages in different ways. So, let's get to work and maximize the benefits of this approach!
Promotional or Launch Emails
I can't emphasize enough the importance of using videos in your email campaigns. Why, you may ask? Well, I'm someone who values their time and prefers to watch a 15-second video that provides all the information I need, rather than getting lost in a sea of words.
So, for a promotional email campaign, I recommend sending an exciting video that showcases your products in action. There's no better testimonial for a purchase than one that demonstrates the real benefits of a product.
In addition to the video, you can include up to three reviews that highlight the quality of your products, excellent customer service, and efficient shipping. I'm confident that this will encourage your subscribers to make a purchase.
Abandoned Cart Emails
Abandoned cart emails are one of the most crucial and exciting automation strategies. They present a challenge in preventing the loss of sales when customers have shown interest but left their carts to seek more information before making a purchase.
In these types of emails, it's essential to highlight the qualities and features of your products or services in an engaging manner. Keep in mind that you're establishing a personalized conversation with the user, so the more customizable elements you use, the better the experience will be. You can even include personalized videos in the email, but we'll delve into that topic in another article.
Now, you might be wondering: "How can I customize reviews from my own customers?" The key isn't to alter the reviews themselves but to carefully select those that align best with your recipients. For instance, you can send a review from a customer from the same country and language or even opt for a review from a customer with a similar age and gender to the person making the purchase. Imagine you're promoting a pair of children's sneakers; in this case, you could share a review from a mother highlighting the benefits she found in that footwear. On the other hand, if your product is a more specialized set of tools, it might be more effective to share a review from a middle-aged man who could resonate with that audience. But if you're looking to sell a pair of crystal glasses, I'd recommend using a review from a customer with a profile similar to your recipient.
It may sound like a lot of work, but it really isn't. Remember that with a good data collection system, you can create workflows that allow you to deliver the right message to the right person in an automated way.
An option that is often overlooked is including reviews in welcome emails. We tend to focus more on providing direct information about the subscription or our brand. However, taking a moment to consider it reveals that adding a couple of reviews to these emails can be very helpful. This is because reviews can reaffirm the user's decision to trust our brand. Just be sure not to lose sight of the purpose of these emails.
When a customer subscribes to our newsletter or registers on our platform, it's a sign of trust and interest in our products or services. It's the perfect moment to reinforce that trust and convince the customer that they've made the right decision by joining our community.
By including reviews in welcome emails, we provide social proof of the quality and satisfaction other customers have experienced. These reviews can showcase how our products or services have improved the lives of other people and create a sense of credibility and trust in our brand from the get-go.
It's important to note that, while reviews are a powerful tool, they should not overshadow the main purpose of the welcome email. This type of email aims to greet the new subscriber, provide relevant information about the subscription and the brand, and establish a personal connection with the customer.
Therefore, when including reviews in welcome emails, ensure they are brief and concise. Choose reviews that are relevant to the new subscriber and highlight specific aspects of our products or services that may be of interest to them.
In conclusion, the digital age has brought us to a new paradigm in marketing, where the influence of online users is undeniable. By understanding and leveraging this influence, you can boost your customers' trust and increase your conversion rates in your email marketing campaigns. It's time to make the most of this strategy and move towards success in the world of e-commerce!