While Amazon does not provide a native solution to setting up an automatic email service, they do send out review & feedback requests 1 month after delivery, but often those emails get overlooked. To mitigate that sellers can send their own messages to buyers, either manually or through a third party API.
Should I use a Third Party API?
There are pros & cons to using a third party tool. You have to grant access to your seller account, and most tools have a subscription fee (although there are a few we favor that have great free options). For companies with a high number of daily orders or who have a more complicated follow-up system (multiple email system, schedules that differ by products, specific customer targeting, etc), third party automated email services can manage this more efficiently.
When Should I Send Requests?
Our recommendations are to send an email within 2 weeks after delivery, but that is not a hard and fast rule. A lot depends on the type of product you sell, your history with complaints, and more.
For example, if you sell baby furniture, you might want to wait a week or two after delivery, because the customer needs time to build the furniture, and may not even be ready to use it yet. Such items are also frequently gifted, so again not likely to be used right away.
However if you sell an item that is consumable, or perhaps is fragile, you may want to send an email upon delivery. This opens up an immediate line of communication with your customer, which allows you to tackle problems immediately before they go public in a review.
How often should you email?
Once is ideal. There are situations where additional follow-ups make sense, such as defects, recalls, and refunds. However, in these situations, you will most likely be manually following-up to specific consumer replies.
The decision to set-up multiple messages that are always sent relies on other factors such as warranty information, supportive information, or reminders to reorder. If you have a limited warranty, it can be a good idea to inform your buyers what that is and send follow-ups during the warranty period so you can address any concerns before they go public in a review. Additionally if your product is something that is normally reordered, such a as a supplement, or perhaps even is part of Subscribe & Save, you could send follow-ups reminding customers. Granted this latter suggestion is not likely to garner you a review or feedback, but may still provoke a customer to either a) reach out about problems/concerns that would prevent a reorder, or b) reorder and offer a second chance at a review.
How Do I Craft an Effective Review Request?
Regardless of method, there are some key points to keep in mind when crafting your feedback request email:
- Buyers often see feedback request emails as spam
- Amazon often tacks on a “was this message helpful” survey for your customers
- You cannot include links to any website, logos that link to your website, marketing messaging/promotions, promotions for additional products or referrals to third party products/promotions.
What you should include in your emails:
- A distinct email subject
- Saying thank-you and showing your appreciation
- Share product info directly related to the purchased product
- Provide links for drivers, downloads, manuals
- Include an opt-out/unsubscribe option
- Use language specific messaging:
- Who is your target?
- Which country are you selling in?
- What is the product?
- Use your company’s voice:
- Are you more informal/quirky?
- Are you multicultural or dual language?
- Politely ask for a review (you can include a link)
Also, make sure to avoid these email mistakes:
- Begging for reviews/sending multiple emails
- Sending emails with coupon codes for a different product
- Sending marketing information about your company (unrelated to purchase)
Adhering to Amazon’s TOS
Amazon does have specific rules about using the buyer-seller messaging system. Specifically, you cannot direct customers off-Amazon. All customer support must be conducted through Amazon, and Amazon will redact any contact information such as email or phone number that is provided (on both sides of the conversation). Additionally, you cannot direct customers to your website or store for returns/refunds/exchanges/discounts.
You also cannot offer anything of value in exchange for a review. This means you need to be very careful how you phrase your review requests, since it is still considered acceptable to offer return customer incentives.
Another importation point o be aware of is that you cannot expressly request positive reviews & feedback. This seems counter-intuitive, but it’s because Amazon doesn’t want you encouraging people to refrain from being honest by not posting anything negative. Of course your desire is to get a positive review, so just be careful how you phrase things. Do not say “leave us your positive review,” instead say “please leave us a review; if you have any problems please contact us so we can fix things.”
You cannot solicit feedback or reviews in any way.
Do not offer discounts, free products, etc in return for a review. Do not otherwise solicit reviews. It is acceptable to send feedback requests as long as there is no compensation or exchange. It is also acceptable to send a thank-you email (prior to or after feedback), and such emails could include a special promo code. You can also work to correct a negative situation with a buyer via email prior to a negative review. You cannot say any promo is in exchange for or because of a review. Your reviewer cannot say they were solicited for their review. Amazon is very serious about this and will pull violating reviews, not the mention possibly suspend your or the buyer’s account