March 04, 2008
How To

How a Simple Email Increased Customer Reviews 1000%

SUMMARY: The more confident prospects are about your products, the more likely they'll become customers. An easy way to boost confidence is with customer-written reviews.

See how one marketer used a simple email to generate more than a 1000% increase in daily customer reviews at his company’s website. Includes email and landing page samples.
Consumers love reviews -- about 58% of ecommerce buyers prefer websites that have them, according to MarketingSherpa’s 2007 Ecommerce Benchmark Guide. Some consumers even rate reviews more valuable than advice from friends.

Still, it’s not always easy to get those opinions. Michael Klazema, Director, Web Marketing and CRM, DYMO, was lucky to see two or three customer reviews a day for his firm’s label printers in 2006.

“There’s various people and books out there telling you that in the end, when it comes down to customer satisfaction, you only need to ask one question: ‘Are you satisfied, yes or no?’ I thought, perhaps asking that basic question first is a great way to start a conversation,” says Klazema.

In January 2007, Klazema and his team started that conversation by emailing customers 30 days after registering their label printer at DYMO’s website. The email asked simply: “Are you satisfied?”

“For the categories that are mostly affected, we now have thousands of reviews,” he says. “This is the only thing that changed. We didn’t do anything else. The website didn’t change. We didn’t send out any other information about product reviews.”

Here are the three strategies Klazema and his team followed to design an email to get customers to speak up. They’re glad they did: because of the changes, their product reviews by customers have increased 1066%.

-> Strategy #1. Create the email

When customers register their label printer at DYMO’s website, they are automatically subscribed to a series of emails.

- Email #1. The first email is sent immediately after registration. It’s a basic “thank you for registering” that asks customers for their name and product information.
- Email #2. The second email is the “are you satisfied” email. Klazema and his team made the email easy to read and click through.

With the second email, they wanted to:

- Be specific
To catch their attention, they address customers by name and show a picture of the product they registered.

- Keep it simple
There is little to DYMO’s “are you satisfied” email: a title bar with text and a product image; two sentences of text; two button links; and a CAN-SPAM footer.

The email reads: “Thumbs up or thumbs down? Tell us what you think. We’re working hard for customers like you -- to create an outstanding label-printing experience. So now that you’ve had time to put your new {PRODUCT NAME} to the test, please tell us …”

The email’s call to action are ‘yes’ and ‘no’ buttons. The buttons are big, obvious and brightly colored (green for yes, red for no), making it easy for customers to understand and navigate. “It’s the shortest email we send out,” Klazema says.

-> Strategy #2. Design the landing pages

Other than the CAN-SPAM links, the email has only two places to click: the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ buttons. Each button links to a different landing page. Of those who click through, 80% write a product review.

- ‘Yes’ landing page
If users click ‘yes,’ indicating satisfaction with their label printer, they are taken to a product review page. The page is programmed to receive a review of the customer’s registered printer.

Only five pieces of information are required:
o Review headline
o Overall rating
o Comments
o Nickname
o Location

There are seven optional pieces of information customers can enter. This process means that a satisfied customer is brought to a product review page in only two clicks (opening the email and clicking ‘yes’).

- ‘No’ landing page
Customers who click ‘no’ are brought to a special customer-service page.
That page offers:
o Two telephone numbers customers can call
o Two links to provide a product review

On this page, the product review links are above the fold but not quite as prominent as the ‘Yes’ page. The review link on the left reads, “Not satisfied with your {PRODUCT}” with two lines under it and blue bullets:
o We’re here to help
o Write a review

The other link is positioned after the text offering the telephone numbers.

“We don’t want to stop these people from writing product reviews,” Klazema says. “We publish all product reviews -- good and bad -- but we definitely want to make a point of pointing out to people the support options they have if they feel that something is not working for them.”

From research, Klazema and his team determined that unhappy customers are those who aren’t using their products properly. “It’s often due to an inability to discover a certain piece of functionality. What we’ve learned from our customer services group is that once they get these people on the phone they can quickly and easily explain how it works.”

-> Strategy #3. When to send the email

They wait 30 days before sending the email so customers have enough time to use the product, but not so long that they forget they registered.

“We want people to have a bit of experience with our product before we ask them if they’re satisfied or not. Obviously, they can’t be very happy just by unwrapping the box. I think it’s a great second email, but I wouldn’t make it the first one.”

Links related to this article

Creative samples from DYMO’s customer reviews:

Past Sherpa article: Dramatic New Data on How User Reviews Influence Purchasing Decisions:


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