Product reviews can make or break a new Amazon FBA seller. In fact, according to a 2017 study performed by G2 and Heinz Marketing, 92% of customers are more likely to purchase a product after reading a positive review.
Therefore, when you launch a product this year, it’s important that you know how to get reviews on Amazon — and how to get them quickly and legally.
In this article we’ll cover the nine most effective ways to get product reviews on Amazon, breaking the methods down into two categories: The Amazon Way and Seller Methods.
“The Amazon Way” features methods and programs Amazon provides to help facilitate customers leaving reviews for their purchases. “Seller Methods”, on the other hand, will offer strategies outside of Amazon’s infrastructure that third-party sellers can use to seek reviews.
Important: As of this writing, all of the methods listed below are viable ways to get product reviews and do not violate Amazon’s terms of service.
How to get reviews on Amazon in 2020: The Amazon Way
Amazon understands how important reviews are to your products. After all, if you aren’t making sales, they aren’t making sales.
Here are four programs Amazon has in place to help you get product reviews on Amazon.
1 – Trust Amazon’s automated follow-up system
Amazon has its own system in place for following up with shoppers who purchase products. These automatic emails encourage shoppers to leave a review and report any issues they had with a product.
Typically, Amazon only sends one product review request email. However, you can send a second request through the Amazon Request a Review functionality (see below). This method requires no effort from you as it is automatic.
2 – Use Amazon’s ‘Request a Review’ button
Amazon’s ‘Request a Review’ button is a feature within Seller Central’s Order Reports which allows you to send an automatic follow-up email to your shoppers within four to 30 days of purchase.
Amazon only allows you to send one review request. But, when coupled with the first email Amazon sends post-purchase, it increases your chances of scoring a review.
3 – Enter the Amazon Early Reviewer Program
Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program is a platform within Amazon that encourages shoppers to leave reviews for new products. After the shopper makes a purchase, Amazon sends the shopper an offer to leave a review in exchange for a $5 gift card.
To enroll in the Amazon Early Reviewer program, simply submit a product and agree to the terms of the program. Once they receive a review from one of the reviewers the seller is charged $60.
4- Enroll your product in the Amazon Vine Program
Amazon recently opened its Vine Program to sellers who have Amazon brand-registered products and fewer than 30 reviews.
In the Vine program, a seller submits 30 units of inventory. Vine reviewers then receive the product for free, test the product out, and write a review. I
In many ways, it is similar to the incentivized review programs banned by Amazon in late 2016. The only difference now is that the reviewers in the program are being vetted by Amazon.
According to Amazon, “25% of reviews received occur within 5 days of the order, while 99% of reviews received occur within 35 days of the order,” so (naturally) this is a game-changer as it helps newly registered products get reviews fast.
Currently, Vine is free for third-party sellers. However, we suspect that Amazon will start charging third-party sellers for the service as early as this summer. As of this writing, we do not know what the cost will be.
How to get reviews on Amazon in 2020: Seller Methods
The following methods describe how to get reviews on Amazon outside of the programs Amazon offers.
5 – Use third-party automated email responders
In addition to Amazon’s internal automated responder, many sellers use third-party responders to send messages through Amazon’s seller messaging system. One popular example is Jungle Scout’s Launch, which creates email templates for you to send to those who’ve purchased your products.
It’s important to note, however, that Amazon has begun to severely limit the quantity and types of messages that can be sent via its Seller Messaging System. We predict that this solution may not be viable by the end of 2020.
6 -Create a contact list for emails
If the seller messaging system and third-party automated responders are disbanded in 2020, you will want to find other ways to communicate with your shoppers.
Remember: as long as they’re buying your products via Amazon, they’re Amazon’s customers. To get past this hurdle, you will need to build your brand off Amazon and one of the best ways to do that is by building your own email list.
Thankfully, there are a number of ways to create an email list. You can build one through social media. Or you can create a blog that asks for people to subscribe. Another popular method is to add product inserts into existing products, encouraging people to join your list.
Once you have a mailing list, you can request reviews from those who’ve purchased from you.
7 -Utilize product inserts
Easily the most popular way to encourage shoppers to leave product reviews on Amazon is through the use of product inserts. Many sellers insert a card into their packaging, asking shoppers to leave a review.
However, product inserts have recently caught the attention of Amazon. They’ve noticed that some sellers have been breaking all three of the “guidelines” described in the “How to Get Reviews on Amazon (Without Breaking the Rules)” section of this article.
Here are some best practices for product inserts:
- Ask for product reviews, but remain neutral. Telling people to leave you a five-star review — or even showing a picture of five-stars — is against Amazon’s guidelines.
- Give useful information about the company and the product. Make sure people have ways of contacting you if an issue comes up. Good customer service goes a long way to prevent negative product reviews.
- Incentivize in other ways. While you can’t financially incentivize reviews with a product insert, you can incentivize people to join your email lists or to follow you on social media. This will help you in the future.
8 – Mitigate negative reviews
You can mitigate poor reviews of your products proactively by ensuring that your product is top-notch and worthy of a commendable review. Reactively, you can address any customer service issues that may arise.
Plus, by using a tool like Jungle Scout’s Alerts, you can be notified whenever you get a poor review. That way you can immediately address the problem by leaving a comment on the review.
Note: Amazon no longer allows you to reach out directly to a customer who left a negative review through its seller messaging system.
9 – Launch products on promotional marketplaces
Many sellers launch new products on Amazon promotional markets like Jump Send. And, thanks to the money-saving promotions offered by these sites, some shoppers feel an obligation to leave positive feedback with the Amazon sellers.
Keep in mind, however, that an Amazon promotional marketplace cannot ask a shopper for feedback in exchange for a product. Therefore, getting a review from a heavily discounted or free product is not a given.
Don’t forget to follow the rules
Amazon takes its product reviews very seriously. In fact, many sellers are suspended from the platform due to review manipulation.
When you’re trying to get reviews on Amazon, it’s important that you understand the difference between legal methods and black hat tactics (which can get your business suspended from Amazon).
Here are some essential Amazon product review rules you should know — and follow:
You can’t incentivize reviews
As recently as 2016, you could offer products at a low price — or even for free — in exchange for a product review. It was a strategy that helped countless sellers build up their reviews and gain popularity.
However, Amazon discovered that, more-often-than-not, this led to over-inflated reviews. So, because far more products were receiving a 4-5 star rating than were warranted, Amazon banned this practice in 2016.
Some sellers still offer discounts and rewards on the back end for positive product reviews. This is a black hat practice, though, and could get you suspended.
You can’t cherry pick reviews
Another thing Amazon has put a stop to within the last couple of years is “cherry picking” reviews. In other words, sellers cannot ask for reviews from customers they know had a good experience while ignoring those who’ve had neutral or negative experiences.
You can’t use manipulative language
This is a new rule and one that many sellers find confusing: Amazon now prohibits the use of manipulative language in review requests.
Manipulative language includes phrasing like, “If you feel this product is worth a five-star rating, please leave us a review, otherwise contact us”. Even mentioning that “we are a small, family-run business” or “we make our products in America, so please support local businesses” is considered to be manipulative.
Good luck with reviews in 2020
Hopefully the information in this article has given you good ideas for how to get Amazon product reviews in 2020. And, as things change, we will be sure to update the material found within.
At the minimum, use Amazon’s methods as they are 100% free of any “gray areas”. And always make sure to play by Amazon’s rules. Remember: a few extra sales garnered by using a black hat tactic isn’t worth putting your entire seller account in jeopardy.
To learn more about Amazon’s terms of service be sure to read our breakdown of Amazon’s product review terms of service.
You can also read about what happens to sellers who incorporate “black hat” tactics in their selling strategies.