Customer reviews are vital if you want your business to succeed. Interchangeably, we’re going to refer to them as either reviews or testimonials, but regardless of what term you prefer, reviews will define how successful your business will be in all areas.
After all, take a moment to think about how you use reviews in your own life, such as when you’re shopping online. The chances are you’ll ignore all products with three-star ratings or below, and you’ll hyperfocus on those products with tens of thousands of five-star reviews.
I remember shopping on Amazon for Christmas presents, and I would find something that looked interesting, and I immediately found myself scrolling down the page to the reviews. If they were generally bad, I would click out of the product and move on.
I’m not alone in this, and statistics back this up. Research shows that customers are 270% more likely to buy a product with five-star reviews than none. Here are some more examples to cement this;
- Around 95% of customers will refer to reviews before considering making a purchase
- 72% of customers won’t take purchasing action before reading reviews
- 92% of customers trust the reviews of strangers more than the recommendations of their own friends or family
So why is this the case, and why is this so important?
To cut to the chase, customers will always be wary of businesses. Companies have products and services they want to sell to customers to make money, and that’s always going to be the end goal. Therefore, customers need to be aware of whether they can trust the business to treat them well or whether they’re going to be screwed out of their hard-earned money.
With this in mind, reviews help solve this problem. Customer testimonials are unbiased reviews or recommendations written by peers and are, therefore, far more reliable. They remove some of a customer’s concerns about making a purchase and, as a result, make it easier for them to make a decision.
Basically, reviews cut risk. If a product has 10,000 five-star reviews, then you can probably buy it to be sure you’re getting a five-star product. But then this begs the question of how can your business make the most of customer reviews to then drive more sales since this is what your customers are looking at.
While you can use your customer review content everywhere, today, we’re going to help you get creative by highlighting five powerful ways you can use testimonials and reviews in your email marketing content.
1. Include brief product reviews in your emails
There’s no doubt that the best testimonials are short and to the point because they convey the information your customers want to know rapidly. This same logic applies to pretty much all kinds of content, so when you’re writing your emails, try to include brief product reviews to help drive the fact that you’re offering a high-quality product.
These reviews quickly highlight key messages about your brand and product, thus making your customers understand that it’s not a risk to buy anything from you and that you have their best interests at heart while offering them a positive experience.
Consider your key value propositions and find testimonials that best represent them; it’s more credible and impactful to have customers share this information than it is to make such bold claims yourself. You should also use reviews that mention specific details about your products to show your customer exactly what kind of benefits and value they can expect.
For example, if you’re priding yourself as an eco-friendly and sustainable business, then you need to think about highlighting reviews where people are talking about how much they love this aspect of your business. Really hype up the core values and beliefs that your company shares with your customers through the reviews you’re sharing.
Don’t forget, you can get your reviews from anywhere on the internet, including your own eCommerce site, social media, and reputable review sites like TrustPilot:
You can also request reviews through email. Just keep in mind that a good testimonial is brief, to-the-point, and product-specific—don’t be afraid to snip one relevant, punchy line from a longer review.
2. Make sure you’re making the most of user-created content
UGC is everywhere right now, and it’s so important you’re making the most of it within all your avenues of content, including your email marketing content. UGC, or user-generated content, as the name suggests, is content that your customers are making.
If someone buys a t-shirt from your clothing store and posts a picture of them wearing it on Instagram with a caption saying how much they love it, then this is one of the best testimonials you can get. Research backs this up, stating that over 79% of people say UGC has a significant impact on their purchase decisions, compared to only 13% who say brand content has a significant impact.
While customer testimonials are considered user-generated content, you can and should go a step further by incorporating customer social media posts, images, or videos to increase the impact of customer testimonials.
“Using this kind of content not only gives the reviews more credibility and authenticity but also increases customer engagement by encouraging them to participate in your campaign, and it makes your brand more relatable by showing customers images of people just like them using your product” shares Charlotte Harris, a marketing blogger at Boom essays and Lia Help.
Social media, of course, is a great place to find user-generated content for your emails (just be sure to get permission from customers before using their posts). You could also run a campaign to encourage users to create and share images of themselves using your products with the added incentive of being featured on your social walls. This not only fosters a sense of community but also showcases authentic experiences with your brand. You can also create a unique hashtag for customers to use on Instagram and other social media platforms.
The key takeaway here is to combine testimonials with customer images and posts. It gives your emails more credibility and makes the products featured even more appealing.
3. Make use of video testimonials
In today’s world, video is widely used in email marketing. That’s a good thing since 68% of people say their preferred way of learning about a new product or service would be to watch a short, easy video on it. Use this to your advantage.
This means if you’re able to include video content in your emails, you can rest assured that your subscribers will be pleased. This also means you don’t even need to worry about making high-quality or expensively produced content. You can simply use user-generated content or literally create case-study videos of your reviews and testimonials.
This is a great way to add a human touch to your content. However, you will need to ensure you have the users’ permission, so you can share review videos that they have uploaded.
Alternatively, you could work with social media influencers to create a video in which they give an honest review of your product. In any case, video is an excellent way to show off third-party supporters of your product.
4. Create detailed customer case studies
Case studies and customer success stories are highly persuasive because they go above and beyond your typical reviews. If you’ve hooked your customers in with previous emails and they’re at a certain point in your sales funnel, then you may want to think about sending them some email content like this.
Through this content, you’ll be able to dive into the success story a customer has had with your product or service, all while going into the exact detail of just how good you were. Of course, this is likely to sway so many customers into wanting to buy from you.
Stories aid in the solidification of abstract concepts and the simplification of complex messages. One of the greatest strengths of business storytelling is relating a lofty, intangible concept to concrete ideas.
As above, these kinds of emails are ideal for customers about to make a purchase. Customer success stories motivate people to take action, so ask your loyal customers for their stories. It will be even more compelling to obtain data and/or images to support the story.
Choose the most evocative stories to include in your campaigns once you’ve finished collecting them.
5. Make testimonials personal
While this could be deemed a general email tip, it’s essential to mention it because it’s a tip that makes such a big difference, and you’re missing a trick if personalisation isn’t part of your email strategy. Personalisation, according to 98% of marketers, strengthens customer relationships. Email is the most personalised marketing channel, with 78% using personalisation.
The best way to use this strategy with testimonials is to highlight customers who fit the demographic of the recipients. Everything about the brand is spot on. They include a customer story that includes short, specific reviews and images of the customer wearing the company’s products.
You can do the same thing by using testimonials from people similar to your target market, and it’s important to ask whether you already have buyer personas in place already?
“It’s not enough to make assumptions about your customers. It takes time and effort to truly understand who your target audience is. Examining common patterns in your audience is critical. Create buyer personas by conducting extensive research into your target audience’s demographics, pain points, and desires,” explains Tina Berry, a business writer at State of writing and Paper Fellows.
You may even want to consider segmenting your subscribers into groups if you want to personalise your emails even more. This is especially useful if you sell various products aimed at different types of customers. You can categorise them based on demographics, location, interests, past purchases, and behaviours. Then, for each group, send emails with the most appropriate testimonial.
As you can see, there are lots of different ways you can use social proof, reviews, and testimonials in your email marketing content, but the main thing you need to remember is that you’re not showing off and trying to brag about how good your company is, but rather you’re trying to provide value to your customers, showcasing how there’s no risk to them working with you and that you have their best interests at heart.
Christina Lee is a marketing manager and freelance consultant at UK Writings and Academic writing service. She writes about marketing news and trends for small and big businesses alike and posts over at websites like OX Essays and others.