Customer reviews act as social proof, where people use the behavior of others to guide their own actions. They believe that if other people are doing it, it must be the right thing to do.
In the world of digital marketing, customer reviews give potential shoppers the confidence they need to convert. When deciding to make a purchase, they want advice from a real person, not the reassurances of the brand trying to win their business.
User-generated content (UGC) builds confidence in your brand. But it also provides you with free content to enrich your marketing efforts.
Types of customer reviews
1. Independent review sites
Sites like Trustpilot, Feefo, and G2 are trusted, independent, peer-to-peer review sites. Having a presence on these sites alone demonstrates your brand’s integrity, being open and willing to hear feedback from customers.
2. Product reviews
You can collect customer reviews independently or using your own systems post-purchase to get feedback on your product or services. Collecting reviews on specific products can smooth the customer’s path to purchase. Including reviews on product pages can answer any questions a potential customer may have before converting.
3. Customer testimonials
Customer testimonials from a happy customer can persuade others to try your products or solution. By seeing that other people are having positive experiences with your brand, they’ll be ready to convert faster. Customer testimonials can also address your whole offering, so if you offer express shipping or one-to-one consultations these can be included to give potential customers a holistic view of your brand.
4. Customer ratings
Star ratings are a great way to give customers a visual indication of your customers’ satisfaction. Customers on-the-go will be able to understand a star rating while flicking through your emails or across your site.
5. Social media mentions
Another form of social proof, brand mentions on social media channels are some of the purest forms of user-generated content. Keeping an eye on your tags and mentions will help you get an idea of how customers are using your products and can be used to amplify your brand message.
How to use customer reviews to boost conversions
Collecting reviews alone is not enough to boost your conversions. You need to be using them in your marketing to drive customers to convert.
1. Welcome emails
Welcome emails land in a customer’s inbox at a vital stage of their journey. This is one of the very first one-to-one interactions they will have with your brand. As such, you need to make sure you’re making the best impression and giving them a reason to convert.
Enter: customer reviews.
Including reviews or customer testimonials will demonstrate why they should choose to convert with your brand.
2. Abandoned cart emails
Reasons for cart abandonment are varied, but very often it’s simply because a shopper hasn’t decided which brand to shop with.
By including customer reviews, you can use UGC to convince them to pick you. We’ve already mentioned how people trust the word of their peers more than brands. Put this herd mentality to use with well-selected reviews in your abandoned cart automation program.
Reviews that feature common blockers to your path to purchase are great. For example, a review that mentions express shipping and free returns prior to the final purchase is a great way to demonstrate the quality of your customer experience.
3. Post-purchase emails
As well as using reviews to convert, collecting reviews post-purchase or after onboarding can keep customers engaged for longer. Asking for feedback can help create a deeper bond between you and the customer, as you demonstrate that you’re a brand that cares about their opinions.
Also, by asking recent customers for feedback, you can get vital insights into your current service. This can help you identify areas that need improvement or optimization.
4. Re-engagement programs
If a customer has lapsed, is in danger of lapsing, or has not engaged with your emails for a while, customer reviews are a great way to get them back on board. Including a “bestsellers” product-focused email in your re-engagement program, you can highlight top customer reviews.
These act as a reminder to the customer about why they choose to interact with you in the first place.
5. Product releases
When you’re releasing a new product or service, you go through rigorous testing to ensure you’re meeting customers’ needs. You should be collecting feedback during this beta stage to use during the release. By highlighting existing reviews of a new product, you can help usher customers through the funnel faster.
6. Retargeting ads
Email marketing isn’t the only way you can use reviews to boost conversions. Pulling strong reviews about your services, products, or brand and using them in visual retargeting ads will drive customers back to your site.
7. Product pages
In the same way, you use reviews to convert undecided shoppers in your abandoned browse emails, including them on your product page helps dispel any doubt customers might have.
By displaying customers’ reviews, they can help answer questions about sizing, delivery, shipping, and returns, all without them ever leaving the page.
Customer testimonials, reviews, and star ratings are all fantastic tools to engage customers from the second they land on your site. By immediately seeing the positive things people have to say about their experience with your brand, the hard job of converting is made much easier.
Boost sales with customer reviews
Customer reviews and social proof can improve every area of your marketing performance. It helps build trust and awareness in your brand. This form of UGC will drive conversions, boost sales and help your revenue soar.
Check out our cheatsheet: Boost sales with customer reviews for more hints and tips.