I want you to think about the last time you purchased something online.
No, not your groceries. I'm talking about a new phone or a pair of sneakers. Something that you researched and thought about before dropping a couple hundred dollars.
What finally made you realize… yep—this product is the right one for me?
If I hazard a guess, good reviews from other customers maaayyyy have had something to do with it. If that's true, you're not alone. In fact, 93% of shoppers say online reviews impact their decision to make a purchase.
For online vendors, getting these reviews from customers should be at the top of the priority list. And one of the best ways to do it is with simple request emails that give shoppers the tools and instructions to give you an amazing review—and drive other customers to the checkout.
In this guide, we will talk about why reviews are so important, the anatomy of a great review request email and some real-life examples to learn from
Let's get started 👇
Why Are Review Requests Important, and How Can They Increase Your Brand's Value?
Reviews are arguably the best source of organic word of mouth an eCommerce store has access to.
They can bring in more customers, help people build trust in your products, and provide valuable feedback to help improve your store. And then there's the big one: reviews play a huge role in the decision-making process of potential customers. Before buying something, most customers will read reviews to see if the product has a thumbs up from other people.
Just look at the benefits of sending out requests:
- Reviews are currency. People look for good reviews to make a purchasing decision. If your customers are saying your products are good, it'll be easier to get others to the checkout. But they can also have the opposite impact—92% of customers are less likely to buy something if they read negative reviews.
- Better feedback. Not all reviews will be positive. But negative reviews can still be super valuable as they provide valuable feedback that can improve your products or customer service.
- Reviews = Google gold. Reviews are also an important factor in search engines and getting your store seen on Google reviews. The more positive reviews your store has, the higher the product will rank in search results.
- Increased customer engagement. Requesting reviews shows customers that you care about their opinions and are invested in their shopping experience. Get this right, and it can increase loyalty and repeat business.
- More brand awareness. Positive reviews are an amazing tool for word-of-mouth referrals for your store. If a previous customer loved their product and gives a killer review, it can help win other shoppers over and make them feel more confident about buying from you.
I know what you're thinking. Well, this all sounds great… but how does one email convince a customer to spend time actually writing these reviews? 🤔
Let's take a look at the anatomy of a review request email that gets noticed.
How to write an email asking for a review request
The funny thing about reviews is that happy customers are usually happy to talk about the great experience they had with a store.
A BrightLocal study showed that 76% of those who are asked to leave reviews will do it. But here's the kicker. Not many stores follow up and ask for a review. This is the equivalent of leaving money and brand awareness opportunities on the table, as reviews are one of the main drivers of bringing new customers into an online store.
If you're not already using review request emails, you need to start sending them like… yesterday. It doesn't have to take weeks to build out an email for customers, but there are some core rules you should stick to when you send out a review request:
- Think about brand guidelines. Make sure the email sounds like your brand. If your store is fun and quirky, make sure your review request email speaks to that. Or if your products revolve around another message, like environmental or social causes, lean into this and tell the customer how much their review will help with the store's mission. Whatever path you take, make sure your brand's style doesn't get lost in the weeds.
- Keep it short and sweet. You are asking the customer for a favor. Don't make them read through a 500-word novel about how great your product is. Get to the point and leave a comment box, star rating, or link to your site so it's easy for them to leave a review. The same goes for a review request email subject line. Keep it short and intruiging.
- Be polite and grateful. Customers are buuuusssyyyyy. And so are their inboxes. If they open your email, it means you've cleared the first hurdle. Acknowledge this by saying thanks and let them know how much you appreciate their time and honest feedback.
- For more detailed reviews, offer a reward. If you are asking for a review that goes beyond a star rating, think about offering something in exchange for the customer's time. A discount on their next purchase, free shipping or even a gift can go a long way to convince them to review a product.
Like any email you send out to customers, there are also some habits to avoid 👇
How not to ask for reviews over email
We get it—it's not always easy to ask for reviews.
But sending review request emails is arguably the best way for many businesses to get positive feedback or deal with an unhappy customer. When you build a review request email campaign, just remember to avoid some common mistakes:
❌ Don't ask for a review straight away. The fastest way to leave a sour taste in a new customer's mouth is to come across as disingenuous. Ask for a positive review too soon, and your customer may think you only care about getting 5 stars instead of their experience with your store. It's best to hold off for 7-12 days after delivery and build the relationship first.
❌ Don't make the customer do all the work. Provide the customer with clear instructions and a hassle-free experience to make the review process as easy as possible. Employ a user-friendly review platform to enable customers to conveniently leave a review and share their desired level of feedback.
Asking for reviews is a delicate process. A lot of vendors are worried that anything less than 5 stars is a failure. But there are so many types of review requests, from simple star ratings to full-blown feature feedback forms, that you can use to build trust with customers and improve your product.
Let's take a look at 10 types of review requests you can use to get more customers 👇
10 Amazing review request email examples
Asking for reviews is a crucial part of any business's marketing strategy.
However, crafting the perfect review request email can take time, especially if you're not sure where to start or what review platforms to use.
To help you get started, we've compiled a few examples of review request email templates that you can use as inspiration for your own emails.
Example 1: The Follow-Up Email
Let's start with the most obvious review request email type: the follow-up.
These are sent to customers who've recently purchased something, and you want to know what they think. We love this clear and simple review request by Casper:
It leans big on helping other shoppers and highlighting how important the customer's opinions are. And if they do leave a review, it gives Casper the chance to respond to any feedback—good or bad.
Example 2: The Incentive Offer
Offering an incentive like a discount code or free gift is a great way to encourage customers to leave a review.
This Shapewear review request email gets it right:
Not only is the pun-tastic copy totally on point, but the reward for the time and effort from the customer feels right. Asking customers to fill out a comment box is a bigger ask than a star rating, but Shapewear recognizes that their customer's time is important. So, the 20% off is a hefty discount in return 👌
Example 3: The Simple ask
Sometimes, less is more when sending out review requests.
A simple request, like asking customers for a quick star rating, can have a huge impact on click-through and conversion rates from sites like Google. One study by CXL found placing review stars in search engine results can click-through rates by as much as 35%.
Check out this simple review request from BarkBox:
We love it because:
- It's timely. The review is sent to the customer within the same month that they ordered their BarkBox
- The branding is on point. BarkBox's branding is (very) clear as soon as the email is opened. Extra points for the cute pooch.
- It's simple. All the customer has to do is give a score from 1-10 and they're done.
Simple review requests are sometimes the most effective.
Example 4: The Personal Touch
Personalization is key to grabbing your customer's attention in an email—and review requests are no exception.
Including little touches like the customer's name, when they purchased the product and the product itself, can help jog their memory. Of course, sending these emails manually is a non-starter… Just imagine the time it would take to pull all that data together!
That's why we created Sendlane Reviews! This product allows you to set up review requests to send automatically and dynamically to include the product details and a link for them to complete their review on site.
The best part about this?
It'll land in your customer's inbox automatically, depending on the timeframe you choose. Sendlane will gather feedback and reviews in the background, and you can use them in future marketing campaigns to draw in more customers. 💰
Pro-tip: Check out our guide on 5 Powerful Email Sequences to Boost eCommerce Sales to see how automation can help your store!
Example 5: The Social Proof Email
We all know how powerful social proof is to sell a product.
Ever wondered why so many people will wait in long queues just to buy a new Apple iPhone or pair of sneakers? 🤔
It's human nature. If we see that others love something, we want to experience it as well. The social proof email leverages positive reviews from customers to draw others to your store. Just take a look at this email from Appointed:
Now, this isn't a review request email itself. It's more like a taster of what's to come. It uses reviews it's already asked for as a way to convince the reader how good its products are. And if Appointed can turn the reader into a paying customer, they can then follow up with a review request email and add another positive review to the pile.
Talk about a positive review loop!
Example 6: The Feedback Review Request Template
Getting a simple rating is one thing, but asking for in-depth feedback?
Yeah, that's a more difficult task.
Sending out a feedback request email should make the customer feel like they are contributing to your brand (and that you are listening to them). We love this fun and eye-catching request from Parade:
The "In a sentence" box jumped out at us as it's a fun way to give customers the power to summarize how they feel about the product and brand. These one-sentence data points can then be gathered up and analyzed easier than paragraphs of information. It'll only take a few minutes to gauge customer sentiment!
Example 7: The Detailed Review Request Template
Sometimes with customer feedback, you've just gotta jump in with two feet.
After all, customers are the best source of information to understand product fit and shopping experience. And the result of getting this right is a (whole lot) of satisfied customers. So every now and then, it's worth your while to ask them to review the whole hog.
Just look at this review request from Ukies. It asks for… a lot:
On the surface, you might be thinking… who has the TIME to fill out a customer feedback form like that?
Well, Ukies has added a generous $25 voucher for the customer's next purchase without any strings. Feedback from customers about the fit, feel, and demographic of a particular shoe can be worth much more if it helps Ukies fine-tune the product to give other customers a higher level of satisfaction.
This one is a win-win.
Example 8: The Benefits Email
Add a benefit like a discount or coupon in exchange for feedback to get more customer reviews.
Obvious? Yep. Effective? Absolutely.
However, some of the best benefits are those that are a little outside the box. If you don't want to offer discounts or cash bonuses, think about what else your brand has that customers want. For example, Nasty Gal rewards customers with a chance to chat with the brand's creators in real life in exchange for taking a feedback survey:
This is a great way to build brand loyalty amongst a community without losing revenue in the process!
Example 9: The brand-heavy email
Use your brand voice and remind customers why they purchased from you in the first place.
A consistent visual style and tone of voice in a review request campaign will make the email more recognizable to customers. It also gives you some freedom to play around with different copy to (hopefully) convince customers to share their thoughts. We love this brand-heavy survey request email by Kate Spade:
It ticks all the boxes: It's fun, focused, has a clear call to action and a reward that makes it worth the customer's while ✅
Example 10: The short and sweet email
If you just want a lot of quick reviews, the best way to get them is to keep your request short and sweet.
And it doesn't get much easier than a single click, which is all Gainful asks from its customers:
Although it doesn't have much detail, it's a quick way to gauge how happy a customer is about a product from 10,000 feet. This can then be used as a springboard to send out more detailed feedback requests if the customer shops with you again!
When you should send review request emails (and how to get more responses)
Here's the kinda bad news: there's no straight answer to this question.
It depends purely on your product and how long it'll take your customers to start seeing benefits and form an opinion. For example, skincare and beauty products will take longer for customers to test out, so you may want to wait a week or two. Clothing or tech brands may want to follow up sooner, as the customer can decide as soon as they try the product out if they like it or not.
However, there are a couple of tweaks you can make to your follow-up process to get more reviews:
- Avoid sending requests on weekends. People are busy, and they probably won't prioritize reviewing a product if it gets in the way of their weekend. Send your emails during the weekdays—preferably early in the week. Statistics say Tuesdays and Wednesdays are best!
- Experiment with different times and days to see what works best for your customers. Every store and demographic is different, so take general email benchmarks with a pinch of salt. What timings work for another vendor may not be a great fit for your store.
The key to timing your review request emails is to be patient and strategic, so it's always best to put a few days in between the customer's purchase and your request.
At Sendlane, we recommend leaving four to 12 days between your customer getting their product and sending out a review request. You still want to be at the top of their mind when that email lands in their inbox. The exact time frame depends on what you're selling, so test out different strategies and see which ones work best.
Or better yet, put it all on autopilot with an email marketing tool. With Sendlane, you can build automated review request email sequences to send out to customers after they buy something. You’ll create your branded email within your post-purchase automation and include the reviews block which will pull dynamic product information upon each send.
And if (fingers crossed 🤞) a customer does leave a review, Sendlane will ping your team so you can read it, say thanks and deal with any bad reviews straight away:
It's that easy!
Want to automate review request emails for your eCommerce store and connect with your customers post-purchase? Use Sendlane Review Request Emails to win over more customers and build brand loyalty.