by: Drew Estes
Getting reviews on Amazon is one of your most important tasks as a seller. A high product review count helps shoppers trust you, which means a higher conversion rate, and therefore more sales at a lower cost to you. When you’re launching a new product, a lack of reviews (especially positive reviews) can lead to expensive ads and a total lack of sales.
Before you start throwing money at services to grow your review count, you need to understand which services are effective, and more critically, which ones are safe to use. This way, you can get more Amazon reviews safely, and without risking an account ban (or worse).
There are two key routes to get more Amazon reviews, and we’ll explain them in two sections: using the methods Amazon provides you, and going through third-party services.
Amazon offers services to effectively get your early reviews, and to increase your review rate per sale. We highly recommend using all three of these, but just bear in mind these services are limited, and you’ll need a more developed strategy once you hit 30 reviews.
The next route to get more AMZ reviews is via third-party review services (read Part 2 below for these). These can’t guarantee reviews anymore (because that would violate Amazon policies, which we’ll explain next), but they can be an effective way to drive up your review rates, and they offer a quick way to get more daily sales, which is key to growing your search rank.
According to these terms, “Amazon has a zero-tolerance policy towards any customer reviews violations.” If you violate the terms, you might face the following consequences
The point being, if you want your business to last long enough to become profitable, you’re better off following the rules (lest ye be crushed under the corporate weight of the big JB).
If you’re still tempted to, you might want to read our post about why you shouldn’t buy Amazon reviews.
If you're ready to learn how to get more reviews on AMZ using legit methods, read on! You can also watch this video for an overview of the 6 total strategies:
Here are the three main tools Amazon provides merchants to get more reviews, all accessible within Seller Central.. They’re a great way to get started building your review count, but they’re only the beginning.
A cool and easy way to spur customers into writing reviews, the Early Reviewer Program was a no-brainer for products that were new or under-appreciated.
The Early Reviewer Program let you add any products with a low review count, directly from your Amazon Seller Central account. It was a great way to get your first five reviews for only $60 per SKU
Unfortunately, Amazon ended the Early Reviewer Program on March 10, 2021 (with some extended service through April 25 for existing members), and promised anyone who’d already paid and wasn’t getting reviews to get their money back.
It’s doubtful that this program will return, namely because it violated Amazon’s own policies of paying for reviews.
It wasn’t a perfect solution, but the Early Reviewer Program was definitely worth the minimal cost and effort for any new product. RIP.
Opened to third-party merchants at the end of 2019, the Amazon Vine program shares a lot of DNA with the Early Reviewer Program. But in many cases, it’s much, much better.
At its most basic, Amazon Vine for Sellers works like this: Amazon has a group of top reviewers called Vine Voices. You give them a free sample of your product, and they write a review.
Well yes, but with some hurdles and caveats, of course. We’ll get to those in a moment.
Thankfully, the Amazon Vine program is nearly a guaranteed review. You get Amazon’s best, most-trusted reviewers talking about the merits of your product. When that happens, it’s awesome, and it helps your sales a lot.
Additionally, the only program cost here (as of this writing) is the product you provide, since you’re giving it away for “free.”
The Amazon Vine program is invite-only. Head over to your Amazon Seller Central account and click on Advertising. If you don’t see Vine, you’re not invited. A call to Seller Support might get you on the list, and has worked for a few people. But it’s much more likely that if Vine isn’t already available, you haven’t yet met the program requirements.
As far as we can tell, the primary (only?) requirement to be Vine-eligible is being listed in the Amazon Brand Registry. Being brand registered has a bunch of other benefits, so if you want to speed up the process, read about the Amazon IP Accelerator.
Another downside is that much like the Early Reviewer Program, Vine has limitations. Instead of capping you at five reviews however, Vine allows for 30 reviews. (That is: You won’t get Vine reviews for products that already have more than 30 reviews.) While it’s an improvement, those 30 reviews alone aren’t enough to launch your Amazon business into the stratosphere..
The Bottom Line
If Vine reviews are available in your account, absolutely go for it. (At least until it gets too expensive.) And if you’re not yet brand registered, do that first. Not only will it get you access to this and other valuable resources, but it also helps defend your brand and increase customer trust and loyalty.
Asking customers for reviews is much easier than it sounds. Amazon has created a frictionless system that doesn’t require much from you — no calls, no writing, very little effort. It works for all sales channels, whether organic or sponsored, and every seller should be leveraging this today.
They did this with the Request Review button inside Amazon Seller Central. After any customer has purchased a product from you, you simply click the button and let Amazon message the buyer to ask them to review your product. It’s simple. But thousands of sales mean you need to click thousands of times. A good problem to have, sure, but tedious nonetheless.
Again, it’s easy. It costs nothing. And it is a very good way to increase your organic reviews. We used this button consistently, and in our user testing we found it boosted organic review rates by a little over 300% (by about 354% in some tests).
Clicking that button is fun for a while. Each click was a sale! But it quickly grows repetitive and becomes more of a hassle. If you’re anything like us, you try to automate any repetitive tasks.
To tackle this one, our team put together a Chrome extension for Massview users (called Monocle) that automates the “request review” process. (It also has a sales estimator, profit calculator and more, but we’ll let you discover all that when you use it)
The other downside of Amazon’s button is that, much like the Early Reviewer Program, the Request Review button requires you to get sales before you can request reviews.
The Bottom Line
We’ve clicked this button. A lot. And we keep clicking because it works. It’s our recommended way to do “organic” review solicitation. We like it better than email, and our results are improving.
As an added bonus, you’re not going to upset Amazon for sending too many messages in Amazon Seller Central. If you want to save your hands from getting tendinitis though, check out the Monocle Chrome extension and enjoy the other merchant features that come with it.
Now that you’ve exhausted your Amazon-provided review services in Seller Central, it’s time to step up your review generation strategy with some third-party services. These review programs are safe to use, and they comply with Amazon’s policies. We recommend using a couple of these strategies and pairing them with the Auto-Request Review button to maximize your review rate.
Facebook Messenger Ads are a truly underutilized advertising tool: you can reach out to customers directly to have them buy your product. Better still, you can integrate your ad campaign with a chatbot like Masschat, which can offer customers discounts when they provide their email address. This gives you direct communication to request reviews, alert them to new sales, and even offer them complementary products.
Masschat’s “Action Deals” generate about 20-30% review rates and provide you with valuable marketing content in the process. Plus, Masschat is backed by Snagshout, so customers have a reputable brand to purchase through — and it’s all integrated with your Amazon listing.
Since Amazon doesn’t give you the tools to build mailing lists, this is a great way to stay in touch with your customers. It gives you a line to your existing customers (which you may want to use to collect feedback), but more importantly, it’s a great way to sell more products to customers who are familiar with your brand (and have already bought from you).
If they bought a frying pan from you, here’s your chance to offer them a fancy spatula or some oven mitts (maybe at a small discount). Pair this with the Review Request button, and you’ve got more feedback for multiple products.
Additionally, using Facebook ads lets you broaden your audience, while still targeting customers in your niche. If you’re selling frying pans, you can easily set your target audience to shoppers interested in cooking, even if they’re not actively searching for a new frying pan on Amazon.
You have to be careful to avoid spamming your customers. When a customer gives you their email, they’re allowing you direct communication with them, so it’s important you respect their time — and their inbox.
You also need to be careful with Amazon’s review policies here. If you’re considering using email to offer customers discounts or products in exchange for reviews, take note: while Amazon might not see it immediately, all it takes is one annoyed customer to complain about your business.
The Bottom Line
Building a mailing list is one of the best ways to get better conversions at a lower cost, and create a better connection with your customers. It gives you a more personal touchpoint to make sure your customers are satisfied, and even ask them to leave reviews.
Bear in mind that when asking for a review via email, it’s always a best practice to ask for an honest review. Don’t try to push customers to write only positive reviews, and don’t redirect them elsewhere for negative reviews. Amazon hates this, and they’ll come after you for it.
That said, if you’re trying to improve your product, your mailing list is a solid way to have customers fill out surveys about it, and there’s no AMZ policy against that.
Remember that to a certain extent, your review count is more important than the overall rating itself. And ultimately, the biggest advantage of the mailing list is your ability to cheaply increase sales. More sales = more reviews.
This strategy comes with a big disclaimer: coupons don’t work as well as they used to. That said, you can easily create coupons for any of your products through Amazon, and then use third-party sites to promote the deal, giving the code to people who claim it. If you want to combine these codes with landing pages or to access new audiences, you can also run coupon campaigns through marketing platforms like Massview.
In the past, you could offer coupons in exchange for a review, but unfortunately this direct trade has been banned, so you’re limited to requesting reviews in your promotions (which helps), as long as you don’t require the customers to write the review in order to get the deal.
You can get some extra sales and reviews, and discounts can be a nice incentive for new customers. It’s a great way to get some more attention on your product, and can even help your search ranking a bit.
These days, coupons have a lot of downsides. A highly discounted product will only get you unverified reviews, which aren’t weighted as heavily by Amazon’s algorithms. Shoppers have learned to look for the Verified tag on reviews, which means these unverified reviews won’t help your conversion rates as much as a Verified review (from a full-priced sale) would.
On top of this, Amazon limits the amount of unverified reviews you can have, in part because it can drive up your review count with potentially illegitimate reviews.
The Bottom Line
Feel free to use coupons to get some easy sales and some feedback for your product, but definitely don’t make this your primary approach. Think of it more as a little extra assistance to your main strategy.
And now we turn to one of the most effective and sustainable ways to get those sweet sweet reviews on Amazon: rebates, AKA offering cash back.
Again, we’re not suggesting you offer people money in exchange for reviews! You can’t do a tit-for-tat exchange, but you can still request reviews from your customers. This is why Massview rebates are no-strings-attached, to comply with policy (though we strongly encourage customers to help out our merchants, so most of them are happy to oblige upon request).
There’s a lot to love here: super high review rate, Verified Reviews, higher ranking in search results, scalability, and great ad integrations. This is a lot, so here’s each point in a little more depth:
As we mentioned above, when you offer rebates with Massview’s Action Deals, this can help you get a solid 20-30% review rate, especially when you use the Auto-Request Review feature in our Chrome extension.
The other upside to the rebate strategy is that rebates get you full-priced sales, so even when a customer doesn’t leave a review, their purchase is still driving up your sales for the keyword you’re trying to rank for.
This helps you show up higher in search results, so more shoppers will find your product organically. Plus, you get the “Verified Purchase” tag on these reviews, which helps new customers trust your brand and drives up sales at a lower ad cost.
This rebate-based review program is also sustainable long term, because it scales well. As long as your review rates don’t skyrocket to 50–75% (causing Amazon to raise a questioning eyebrow), you’re going to get a lot of organic sales. You’re free to scale up as you see fit, and the health and strength of your Amazon account will increase with it.
And there’s another bonus: this integrates perfectly with Masschat, so you can acquire customers with rebates and build your email list in the process.
This should be obvious, but it's sometimes overlooked: you need to have the cash required to fund the cashback/rebate program. Offering rebates can get expensive, and you need to make sure your product keeps getting sales once it reaches the top of search results. (You can read our other post to learn more about validating the profitability of your product if you want to be safe before launching a new product)
The cashback method requires a considerable amount of extra bookkeeping, as you need track and process rebates on top of everything else. And if you don’t have a platform to promote this rebate on (while also showing that you want reviews), you’re going to have a hard time getting customers.
This is a lot to manage at once, which is why we will now shamelessly plug the rebate feature in the all-in-one marketing platform we’ve developed, because aside from boosting your sales and review count, you can’t beat Massview’s prices.
The Bottom Line
Every big seller we know — especially those who have been crushing the Amazon game these past few years — is using some flavor of rebate program to drive sales, increase reviews, and boost their rank on Amazon.
In recent news, Amazon now allows Brand Registered sellers to contact customers who left critical reviews of their products. In doing so, they’ve put some control back into the hands of the seller, creating more opportunity for communication and an improved customer experience.
Have you ever gotten an Amazon delivery, opened it up, and found a little card offering a sweet deal like a discount, bonus product, or even just money? Turns out these product insert cards are insanely useful for boosting your review count, too.
The product insert process can take different forms. For Massview’s product insert setup, shoppers can just scan a QR code or go to the provided website to fill out a survey to claim their prize. Then, they’re asked if they’d like to leave this feedback on Amazon too, and are seamlessly taken there to write their review. The process is simple, fast, and easy, so most customers are more than happy to do it.
Product insert cards provide great incentives, they’re hard to miss, and they work for ANY type of physical product business, so you can use them off of Amazon too. Plus you can customize them to offer whatever kind of deal you want. Pair this with the fact that you can request customers to leave you in-depth product feedback, these inserts are a great way to learn how to improve your product
It can be a bit of a hassle to design a product insert card, set up a QR code, and get them all printed and organized. That said, with the 2021 cancellation of the Early Reviewer Program, Massview decided to double down on product inserts to get reviews, so Massview members can easily set up product inserts under the New Campaign section of their Massview dashboard.
The Bottom Line
As Amazon cracks down on every conceivable method for getting reviews effectively, product packaging inserts are rising up and proving to be one of the most effective ways to get reviews in 2021. They’re a little tricky to set up, but Massview provides services to do the legwork for you, and provides plenty of templates to choose from.
Amazon is constantly hunting for fake or illegitimate reviews, and sometimes real reviews get deleted by accident! Here are some common ways it happens:
If your shoppers are all coming from a single website or traffic source, it can look suspicious, so it's important to diversify your marketing strategy. You might also raise flags if you get a 100% review rate, even when they're all legit! Review rates are almost never this high, so it doesn't look good.
No matter what strategy you use, it's important to deeply understand the systems you're working with, or at least work with an expert who does. This is why we took things a step further with Massview, and developed a full Amazon seller video tutorial, so you can master Amazon FBA step-by-step and avoid making expensive mistakes.
Aside from this, we offer a full-service product management setup, where our Amazon experts will launch your product for you and get it to the first page of search results, guaranteed (for everyone who follows our instructions, so some conditions apply). Plus, the team will teach you everything you need to know to continue getting great results.
Massview automates the entire rebate process. You’re in full control of a key rebate system that lets you:
Want to learn more? Sign up in the sidebar, or get started with Massview for free