If you’re running a business, you need to find ways to reach out to prospective customers and make them see that what you’re offering is worth their money. Although you can (and should) tell them that yourself through traditional marketing, why not also let your former happy customers do the talking for you?
In this article, let’s look at fun and creative ways to use customer reviews to make more sales.
Why Use Customer Reviews?
Customer reviews provide the social proof you need to show prospective customers that your product or service is of high quality. Your former customers are persuasive advocates of your brand for two reasons: first, they are perceived as authority figures (since they had experience with your product). Second, they are seen as impartial.
When other people vouch for the quality of your product, first-time users get the assurance they need to push through with the purchase. Customer reviews help establish trust between a consumer and a brand.
People have a natural tendency to follow what other people are doing. So, when consumers see many people have purchased your product and loved it, they are more likely to do the same thing.
Here’s another factor you might not know: customer reviews also boost your search engine optimization (SEO) performance. If you have reviews organized in recognizable rich snippets, Google can pull those and reward you with a high rank in search results. When that happens, you can get more traffic, and therefore more potential conversions.
In other words, customer reviews are crucial to your business success.
How to Use Customer Reviews
Good ecommerce platforms such as the many Shopify alternatives on the market allow you to put customer reviews on product pages. When consumers are on the product page, they are already seriously considering purchasing that product. Customer reviews can give them the final nudge they need. However, this is just the beginning of the power of review marketing.
Now that you know customer reviews are essential, let’s discuss how you can leverage them in creative and fun ways to get more sales. You don’t have to do all of these to begin with. Just choose the ones you think will work best, master those, and then scale your efforts. I’ve also added some examples to inspire you.
1. Include Customer Reviews In Marketing Emails
Email marketing is still tremendously powerful, and marketing emails are a great place to include your reviews. According to McKinsey, the average order value of an email is 17% higher than that of social media. And the median ROI of email marketing campaigns? A whopping 122%, according to Digitalstrike.
You don’t need to clutter up your emails with too many reviews. Just choose one or two that you think will have the most impact and will persuade consumers to buy.
Check out this marketing email from fashion retailer Forever21:
Although there’s only one customer review there, it is strategically placed: below the main image and right before the call to action. If the consumer is leaning towards making a purchase but isn’t 100% convinced after seeing the product picture, the customer testimonial can give that final nudge for them to take action.
Need to give your email recipients additional incentive to click that “buy now” button? Why not offer an option to pay in installments through a solution like Splitit? You’ve built excitement for the product with your images and customer reviews, so offering a flexible payment option can allay any final doubts about cost.
2. Highlight Them on Social
Social media is a great platform to generate leads and get conversions. According to Sprout Social, Instagram and Facebook have become two of the top channels for people looking for products to buy online. That makes them great venues to share customer reviews that can give people that final push to make a purchase.
Splitit does a stellar job of leveraging customer reviews on social media. Take a look at these examples from the company’s official Instagram account:
Note that each customer review is the focus of an entire Instagram post. Since the customer reviews stand out, they become more powerful and persuasive. Splitit also includes a call to action in each caption, so consumers convinced by the testimonials can make a purchase immediately.
Splitit mixes the customer review posts with other types of posts to give variety:
3. Use Customer Reviews in Infographics
Whatever sales channel strategies you’re using, you can leverage customer reviews in infographics to highlight the benefits of your product or service. Infographics are visually appealing to consumers and can make complex information easy to digest. If you combine those characteristics with customer reviews’ power to persuade, the result is a potent tool for conversions.
You can create an entire infographic based on those customer reviews, like this customer feedback survey infographic from Cloudways, a hosting provider:
Or you can include reviews in an infographic that talks about a customer’s pain point. The customer reviews would then serve to introduce your product as a potential solution.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re selling a cloud-based software system. You could create an infographic on the pros and cons of using such a system. The infographic would conclude that businesses should use cloud-based software systems because they are more secure. And then, at the end of the infographic, you’d introduce your company and include testimonials from your former clients as social proof.
You can also create an infographic that compares your product with your competitor’s. You can then include customer reviews to emphasize that your product is better. Check out this example:
Instead of customer testimonials, you can also use average star ratings and the number of reviews your product or brand has received.
4. Leverage Video Testimonials
Customer reviews don’t always have to be in a written format. You can use videos, too. With video testimonials, consumers can hear unscripted opinions about your products. They put a face to the people talking about your business, which also humanizes your brand and helps build a connection. According to Uscreen, videos have a 95% retention rate!
Keep it concise, though. People don’t like videos that are too long. According to Vidyard, the rule of thumb is to keep videos under two minutes. On websites and landing pages, the optimal length of videos is 30 to 60 seconds, just like a typical TV commercial’s length. If you go over that, make sure that the video is substantive and offers genuine value to the viewer.
The optimal length of videos on social media varies, depending on the platform. On Facebook, for instance, it’s 20 seconds. On Instagram, it’s around 30 seconds long. Video tweets should be 20 to 45 seconds long. So you might need to repurpose or edit your video for different platforms.
You can use video testimonials elsewhere, too. For instance, if you’re selling an online course, you can run a short webinar on relevant customer pain points and show the video testimonials at the end to introduce your course as a solution.
5. Use Review Badges
Review badges allow you to showcase reviews from a third-party platform on your website. Instead of showing lengthy customer testimonials, you showcase a small graphic linked to that third-party platform. When website visitors click on that graphic, they are directed to that other website.
Here’s an example from Instasmile, which uses a Trustpilot carousel on its website:
Other popular examples of review platforms include Sure Critic and TripAdvisor.
You can only use badges, of course, if most of your reviews on that other site are great. The idea is to persuade your website visitors to purchase your product. You can’t do that if most of your reviews on the third-party platform are poor or lacklustre!
Review also beget reviews, and displaying a badge will encourage other satisfied clients to click through and leave you a testimonial.
Customer reviews are crucial to your business’s success. No one wants to take a chance on a new product, service, or company without getting the assurance that their money will be well spent. Customer reviews give that assurance. They help establish trust between the brand and the consumer and provide the social proof people need to push through with a purchase. As an added bonus, reviews even help boost SEO!
In this article, we looked at five creative ways you can use customer reviews to help you make more sales. Be inspired by the examples I’ve shared, and experiment on your own to see what works best for your business.
If you invest the time to get those reviews and make your brand the best it can be, you’ll generate more leads and increase online sales. And your brand will be on its way to success.
Guest Contributor Bio
Jimmy Rodriguez is the COO and co-founder of 3dcart, an ecommerce software to build SEO-friendly online stores. He’s dedicated to helping internet retailers succeed online by developing digital marketing strategies and optimized shopping experiences that drive conversions and improve business performance.