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 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.
Want more email marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our email columns, organized by topic.
ClickZ & CMO Council Seek Your Views
ClickZ and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, in cooperation with the Promotion Marketing Association, seek your views on where and how technology is effecting and influencing promotional strategies, activities, processes, functions, and outcomes. With interactive and digital media channels showing the greatest rate of growth among all promotional disciplines in 2003, we are most interested in your perspectives as a strategic marketing professional.
Please take 10 minutes to complete this online questionnaire. We’ll share the results with all participants and provide a full report in mid-January, 2005. Of course, ClickZ will share the results with our readers. You can also request a report of this survey at the end of the online questionnaire. More information on the CMO Council is available here.
Please go to the survey site now via this link.
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