Keeping up with Amazon’s rules can feel like a full-time job, and when you’re busy trying to maximize sales, it’s easy to miss an update that can have a major impact on your account.
A case in point is Amazon’s ban on incentivized reviews in 2016. In the “old days,” you could give away your products in exchange for five-star reviews. Some sellers offered a discount or cash bonus to incentivize action, and they got away with it for years before Amazon decided to ban the practice.
Get Product Reviews without Gaming the System
Though there’s no doubt that gaming the system in this way compromised the integrity of the reviewing system, it did help brands seed their product pages with dozens of positive reviews quickly. Unfortunately, this tactic left buyers doubting whether the product they were about to spend their hard-earned money on was worth the hype.
Even though Amazon dropped the hammer on incentivized reviews, there are still plenty of legitimate, white hat methods that can get you an impressive collection of reviews quickly.
How to Get More Product Reviews on Amazon
In this article, we’ll cover four proven methods to help you get more product reviews on Amazon. We’ve also included a couple of tactics that could get you in trouble for violating Amazon’s terms of service, so make sure you avoid crossing the line into that territory.
- Leverage Amazon Vine
Amazon Vine is the closest thing to incentivized reviews that don’t violate Amazon’s current rules. To be eligible for Vine, you have to sell your product via Amazon FBA (fulfilled by
Amazon), be the owner of the brand through the Amazon Brand Registry, and have less than 30 reviews.
Even if you’re an established brand, you might not have a lot of product reviews, especially if you’ve launched a new SKU or you’re steadily adding to your brand catalog. This is where Amazon’s Vine Program comes in.
Here’s how it works:
- Send 30 units to Amazon.
- Amazon sends your product to a community of reviewers your product to test.
- After these users try your product, they are required to leave a review.
So far, the program has a 99% compliance rate, so you’re virtually guaranteed a healthy influx of reviews quickly. Amazon used to charge a hefty price tag for participation, but as of 2022, the fee has been eliminated.
- Use Review Automation Software
There are several third-party software apps and extensions that will send review requests to your customers. Be careful here and make sure that you are only using a product that complies with Amazon’s ToS. Jungle Scout and eDesk Feedback are two available options.
These software programs can be customized to send a request within a few days to a few weeks after a transaction. You can set up rules that delay certain requests or prevent certain types of customers from getting notifications. In addition to being highly effective, this method is also a significant timesaver.
- Request a Review Through Amazon
Typically, you’re not allowed to directly contact buyers who ordered your product on Amazon. The rationale is that these buyers are Amazon’s customers, not yours. Still, Amazon recognizes that there are some instances where you’ll have to do outreach, including the following scenarios:
- Resolving issues related to fulfilling an order
- Requesting information required for order completion
- Scheduling delivery or service appointments
- Requesting reviews and feedback
Notice that the last point on this list does give you the option to contact a buyer to request a review. The review can be either for your store or your product. You’ll see a button on the Order Details page that says, “Request a Review.”
When you click the button, Amazon will send an email on your behalf. You don’t have any customization options, and the message will contain Amazon’s brand identity.
- Use Third-party Automated Email Responders
If you have a buyer’s email addresses, you can reach out to them directly and invite them to leave a review. One ninja trick to get these email addresses is to invite customers to sign up for an extended product warranty (or something applicable) by including a product insert in your package.
Then, direct the customer to a landing page where they’ll give you an email address. From there, you can send emails from your own CRM requesting a product review.
Tactics that Violate Amazon ToS
You’re probably thinking outside the box and wondering what you can do to get a ton of reviews to your product page quickly. You might have even considered ways to bend the rules, but we recommend that you avoid the following:
Sending Incentivized Product Inserts
Yes, we recommended product inserts in the section above for recommended tactics, but there’s a huge caveat. The inserts should not contain any incentives.
It can be tempting to include an insert in your packages asking someone to leave a review in exchange for cash or a coupon. Remember, incentivizing reviews is a no-go. Some sellers have successfully included product inserts that simply request a review, and that’s considered kosher.
Getting Reviews from Friends and Family
Asking people you know to buy a product and leave a review seems like a surefire way to get legitimate, verified reviews while skirting any tracking Amazon can do to prove the reviews were incentivized.
Amazon is smart, though, and they’re tracking a lot of data. If they get even a whiff that someone connected to you is buying your product and leaving a review based on your relationship, you could get your account banned. The things that can connect your account to a friend’s or family member’s could be:
- IP address
- Shipping address
- Shared accounts
Some people have said that doing this on a small scale presents a low risk of account suspension, but in our opinion, it’s not worth the risk.
What About the Early Review Program?
Amazon’s policies change at the speed of light, and you might have heard of the Early Reviewer Program. This program was an Amazon-sponsored initiative that gave customers gift cards in exchange for reviews.
Sellers paid a fee to be a part of the program, and even though the reviews were technically incentivized, Amazon was okay with it because they got a piece of the pie. Amazon also made it clear that customers were instructed to leave honest reviews only. This program was sunset in March 2021, removing yet another option for sellers to get product reviews.
The Bottom Line
As Amazon has gotten stricter with what’s allowed in the review space, it’s become more challenging for brands to get a large number of reviews, especially when an SKU is new to Amazon. At Click Fluency, we have proven tactics that will help your product get traction quickly. Contact us to schedule a call.