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Improve E-Mail Results With Product Ratings

  |  January 10, 2005   |  Comments

How to effectively use consumer endorsements in e-mail campaigns.

The theme of using testimonials as a means to add credibility to email creative prompted me to consider other ways to accomplish this objective. A recent Pew Internet & American Life Project survey of 1,399 Internet users got me to thinking about using product or service ratings, too:

  • 26 percent of adult Internet users (about 33 million people) have rated a product, service, or person using an online rating system.

  • 30 percent of Generation Y Internet users (ages 18-27) have posted a rating.

  • 23 percent of baby boomers have posted a rating.

  • 33 percent of users who live in a household with an income of more than $75,000 have posted a rating.

  • College grads have posted more than those who hadn’t attended college.

  • Broadband users have posted more than dial-up users.

Like testimonials, peer reviews are strong third-party supporting arguments to confirm value proposition claims. If 3,489 people have positively reviewed or rated your product or service, publishing that fact gives potential buyers a solid degree of comfort. Using that information in marketing messages could prove to be quite valuable in improving results.

If you don’t know what people think about your product, visit product ratings sites ASAP and find out! At the very least, if you find information that turns out to be problematic, it’s a signal to become more consumer-centric in your marketing.

So how do you use ratings information effectively?

Suppose you sell LifeStyles Cross Trainer aerobic exercise equipment. Your email and Web site would include benefits and features, testimonials, and comparisons against other equipment.

The copywriter for the Cross Trainer might hop over to Ratings.Net and discover of 12 rated products, the Cross Trainer is in the top five. You could then add copy like this to your email and Web site, linking to the relevant page:

Rated among the top five aerobic exercise equipment on Ratings.Net.

You can find user ratings and qualitative comments at a number of sites that rate and review products, including Consumer Reports, Epinions, BizRate, and Consumer Democracy (to name a few).

You might also consider adding a ratings system to your Web site. Use the comments and ratings that come out of it in email marketing messages. Some of the major e-commerce sites incorporate user ratings, including eBay, Amazon.com, and Moviefone.

You could harvest some great stats that would add an important degree of legitimacy to your email campaigns.

Keep reading...

Want more email marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our email columns, organized by topic.

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Paul Soltoff

Paul Soltoff is the chief executive officer of SendTec, Inc., a direct marketing services company specializing in customer acquisition. SendTec combines extensive direct response experience with proprietary technologies to produce scalable results. Principal services include performance-based online marketing, offline direct response marketing and direct response television. SendTec represents advertising agencies and advertisers such as RealNetworks, AARP, Monster.com, AAA, Punch Software, MyPoints, Grey Worldwide, CosmetÍque Cosmetics, Columbia House, and Euro-Pro. Prior to starting SendTec, Paul was a founder and EVP of Saatchi and Saatchi's DRTV division in New York and has over 25 years of advertising, media and direct marketing experience.

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