Let Reviews Do The Talking

As we ramp up for the holidays, finding new and engaging ways to help your customers shift from window shoppers to buyers is going to be a key factor to driving sales. Expanding on this theory, fellow Email Insider Chad White, also author of The Retail Email Blog, predicts that product reviews are going to play a key role in customers' buying decisions this year.


Back in the day, product descriptions written by a copywriter offered up all the info customers seemed to need. But these days, your potential customers are interested in hearing what other people -- you know, the ones who aren't on your payroll -- are saying about your products. By featuring these reviews in your emails, you're adding a layer of authenticity that's priceless.


Over the summer, Crate and Barrel dedicated this email to its product review feature. While the creative is definitely compelling (notice the stars), it's stll missing a few important calls-to-action: hamely, "read more reviews" and "write a review." Plus, they haven't featured product reviews in subsequent emails, so the effort feels a bit abandoned.




An oldie but goodie dug out from the archives, this Bliss email gets right to the point. The creative is clean and the reviews take the driver's seat as far as copy goes. Now that's a refreshing thought! Why not let your customers' reviews drive the entire story? Done right, it could be very compelling.


Lucy scores big-time with a review from a yoga teacher for this email, adding even more credibility and authenticity to the company's story. Notice the incentive in the banner just above the feature and the cool video content in the lower bucket. This email is the perfect example of how you can truly wrap editorial content around a savings offer.


REI members take their gear very seriously, which is why there is such a robust library of reviews for customers to read before they make a purchase. To support their efforts, REI features a product review in the "What's Hot Now" content bucket in every one of its monthly newsletters, like this one. Notice the eye-catching stars and call-to-action that invites people to read more reviews.


Paws down, this PetCo email does a fabulous job of integrating product ratings with price comparisons. This approach leaves consumers feeling good about choosing top-rated products for their animals, plus they feel like budget kings for saving some cash at the same time.


Sent to people who traveled with REI Adventures, this particular email does double duty by soliciting trip reviews as well as showcasing reviews from fellow travelers. This approach not only inspires people to write their own reviews; it just might entice them to look into another trip. 


If you're just getting started with your product review program, now's the time to really beef up your acquisition efforts before the holiday craziness gets rolling. Ideally, every product should have a minimum of five reviews to give the whole idea credibility. To build up the reviews quickly, dedicate an entire email to the effort and potentially include an incentive for contributors, just as CB2 and giggle did.

3 comments about "Let Reviews Do The Talking".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Trevor Stafford from Red Canary, September 15, 2009 at 12:08 p.m.

    We're still seeing email that emulates print ads or webpages -- and so most of these fall flat for me.

    Despite its failings only the Crate and Barrel ad reflects (A) Modern design trends and (B) A style that is neither quite web nor print.

    IMO, the others are too small, too crowded/busy and too damn dull.

  2. Daniel Pearlman from medelia, September 15, 2009 at 12:41 p.m.

    That was very insightful - thank you Darrah and Lisa! We have seen a huge uplift in results since focusing on consumer testimonials..

  3. Daphne Kwon from Expo, September 16, 2009 at 9:28 a.m.

    Thanks for citing so many examples; there is clearly a wide range of usage. As social media becomes important to integrate, we're finding some brands are including our video product reviews into their promotions. Adding real faces can add to the credibility of the review and differentiate the visual impact of a newsletter.

Next story loading loading..