Say you were out on a much-needed solo vacation across the United States. But instead of painting an Instagram-worthy picture, let’s talk about the realities of travel for a moment.
You are hungry and you are standing by a long stretch of road. It’s hot, it feels lonely, and you trundle on to a square where you see a couple of small restaurants run by local vendors.
Because you have health issues (and can’t eat anything, anywhere), you check out Yelp or Google reviews for local vendors (where you are).
You are likely to do what most people do: fire up Google (or Yelp), look for some quick reviews, see if you can spot the local deli, and walk right in (and might even try out their most recommended seafood platter?).
You are not alone: it’s a phenomenon few businesses care to understand while the entire eCommerce industry is actually driven by it.
Reviews are pure Gold -- the best thing that ever happened to small businesses and eCommerce businesses. Online Reviews take the power of “Word of mouth” and dial it up several notches, at scale.
Why are Reviews Important for eCommerce?
You don’t trust the paid marketing dollars of a large brand as much as you’d trust someone else “like you” -- this is what the very fabric of humanity is based on. You’d trust your family, friends, and acquaintances first.
Beyond that, you’d even trust strangers.
The last place you’d actually read -- like it’s gospel truth -- is the actual ad that brands spend money on (this is, truly, the last resort when there’s no evidence). 91% of 18-34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
6 Examples Of Using Reviews In Ads and Emails
Want to see how it looks when you use user generated content -- such as reviews -- for your eCommerce ads and email campaigns? It’s one of the most powerful advertising angles you’d take.
Gary Halbert -- one of the greatest copywriters ever, in his popular book The Boron Letters -- has nuggets of gold (if you’d like to understand how to write to make millions or more, to understand consumer behavior, or to just watch pure genius at work) -- has several examples of ads that went on to make millions of dollars for businesses then.
I, however, wanted to show you one specific ad titled: “Amazing New Formula From Beverly Hills Lets You Look Years Younger”
See what Gary does, right at the beginning of the ad (left section, highlighted)? Uses testimonials from previous users of the product -- this is on top of the bold “Top Hollywood Stars Absolutely Love it”.
See how reviews work? Do you see how they instantly put the spotlight on your products? This is nothing new, of course.
For generations now, it’s reviews, others’ inputs, casual breakfast conversations, water cooler discussions, or a casual “Internet browsing thing” done (in various forms) that’ve always influenced our buying decisions.
Use what others say in your ads, and you don’t have to worry about “copywriting” at all. Just use the power of reviews in your ads and emails.
Recently, I posted a Twitter thread on How to promote reviews in your marketing and take advantage of user generated content, social proof, and reviews.
Here are a few examples of reviews and testimonials used in eCommerce ads:
Purple: Reviews in Ad as a eCommerce Mattress Brand
Purple is an eCommerce store that sells beddings, mattresses, pillows, seat cushions, bed frames, and more.
On top of all the eCommerce marketing best practices that the eCommerce business practices, here’s what I like about this recent advertising campaign by Purple.
- The complete ad copy is a simple testimonial/review and a 5-star rating by a previous customer “Nothing but pure sleeping bliss” ~ Patrick H.
- Short-form ad copy, hitting at exactly what matters to you for much-needed sleep.
- An image that shows not only an actual image of a person but also the product being used.
Skims: Reviews as a Fashion eCommerce brand
- Did you know that “#FoundOnAmazon” is a popular hashtag --it’s popular because people love it when others actually buy and recommend products. This Ad campaign from Skims featuring their Cotton Plunge Bralette makes use of a real person “talking” about their product. Absolute winner.
- We think it’d get even better if they start with "A friend recommended..." or "I've read thousands of reviews" or "Tiktok made my buy it"”
WildRefill: A Deodorant & Wellness brand, suing reviews in Ads
How about not just “talking” about a product but actually having the confidence to use a product in front of a camera? Even more powerful, if you ask us (plays nice with a few products: like deodorants, perfumes, electronics, and so on).
That’s exactly what WildRefill does with this campaign (along with a few other best practices)
- A real person talking about WildRefill’s Wild Natural Deodorant -- the lady in the ad actually puts on the deodorant, on camera.
- Use of emojis is well-done.
- Phrases like 100% effective, delivered straight to your door, no harsh chemicals, and that No.1 In UK -- they all help, of course.
Native Flow’s Welcome Email in using Reviews to introduce the brand
Welcome emails are powerful not only for what they do but they also have benefits as far as branding, first impressions, effective onboarding, and more.
This welcome email from Native is a gem. Take a look:
- Glowing testimonials, 5-star reviews, and using the power of “word of mouth” or its digital equivalent never gets old.
- Native uses several testimonials within the welcome email
- The use of product images, right next to testimonials, is a neat touch
A Email in your Welcome Flow should feature reviews
Here are a few more exemples for you to see - if you haven't implemented this now, you should!
BriogeoHair’s New Product Launch Email
Continuing with the tradition of showcasing reviews, testimonials, and the “good word” inside promotional campaigns, see what BriogeoHair’s email sequence looks like:
- The use of the header space within the email with product images is classic.
- Testimonials, neatly laid out -- one below the other. You won’t miss those, even if you tried.
- The testimonial from TeenVogue -- let’s new (and old) customers know that they are getting noticed.
Use Reviews when Launching a Product
Here are a few more examples:
Here are our favourites emails featuring reviews
Ohne specializes in cycle care for ladies who bleed (calling them “babes”) with 100% organic cotton, biodegradable period products. Ohne has their brand insignia and the tone of voice within their emails as well.
Take a look:
- The images (in the form of a collage) as an email header? Nice touch
- The brand’s tone continues unfiltered in the email -- as it were, from their users in their own voices.
- Before and after pictures, from users themselves. It doesn’t get better than that.
Also, notice this one from Glossier.com:
See our curated list of brands and campaigns that promote reviews in marketing campaigns (including ads and emails).
Use reviews and testimonial-driven email campaigns as a way create:
- A strong and captivating lead to a story that you’ll write in your ads or emails.
- Human-driven stories for ads.
- An incredibly effective way to personalize your ads, emails, and landing page copy (as long as you are targeting the right audience)
How do you use reviews in your ads and email marketing campaigns? Do you use user generated content as inputs for your ads or email marketing campaigns?
If you’d like to power up your email campaigns and make your ad campaigns more effective, learn from some of the best brands that make their campaigns work to push up revenues and profits.
Get inspiration, curate campaigns, and benchmark your own campaigns against the best campaigns in eCommerce by using Panoramata.