How To Get More Reviews On Amazon FBA w/ Sam from Feedback Whiz – #18

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The Brand Builder Show
How To Get More Reviews On Amazon FBA w/ Sam from Feedback Whiz – #18

Welcome to this week’s episode of the Brand Builder Show where we are joined by Sam from Feedback Whiz – one of the most well know tools in the space. We talked through how Amazon sellers can generate more reviews for their products – an essential part of growing a successful Amazon business.

Key Topics:

  • What the buyer / seller messaging platform is, and the best practices of using it
  • What metrics private label sellers and resellers should each be focusing on
  • How to create a great customer experience that leads to more positive reviews

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Ben Donovan  0:00  
Everybody knows that reviews on Amazon are absolutely essential, but how do you get them? Well, in today’s episode, we’re joined by Sam from FeedbackWhiz and he’s going to run us through what kind of strategies you should be using and shouldn’t be using when it comes to buyer seller messaging, when it comes to review request automation, when it comes to growing your review presence on Amazon. This is an interview that we did with Sam live inside of our FBA Freedom Challenge recently, and it was super valuable, full of loads of nuggets, specially if you’re at the beginning stages of your journey, understanding what you can and can’t do on the buyer seller messaging system. So we thought we’d bring it to the podcast. FeedbackWhiz are one of the leading tools in the space. And so I know you’re going to get a ton of value out of this episode today and let’s get right into it. 

We’ve got Sam here from FeedbackWhiz. How you doing, Sam? 

Sam  0:50  
Wonderful. Thanks for having me, Ben. Really excited to start today. How’s it going across the pond over there? 

Ben Donovan  0:55  
Yeah, good. The sun is out, you know, and still freezing cold. But the sun is out. And it’s been a good day so far. It’s 3pm in the afternoon, I think it’s morning time for you, right? 

Sam  1:06  
Yeah, well, I’m in New York. It’s blistery-cold. We have what’s considered a bomb cyclone coming this weekend, which I didn’t know it was anything until about four years ago. But yeah, it’s pretty chilly here. 

Ben Donovan  1:15  
Wow. Yeah. Yeah, it’s cold here too. So I wanted to stay cold, though, because I’m going to the mountains next weekend for some snowboarding. So I needed to stay cold in the in the Europe region. But yeah, that’s good stuff. Awesome. Well, we are going to talk all things getting reviews for your Amazon products, Sam. What do you reckon? Ready to  take over? 

Sam  1:34  
I think so. And I think it’s just a great opportunity with, especially with reviews, with everyone kind of coming on now like and really starting this out as either as a side gig or trying to scale like, there’s no better time than now to start that review strategy. You can really set it and forget it and just let it scale. We’ll get into all that specifics. But I’m excited and ready to go. 

Ben Donovan  1:54  

Sam  1:55  
All right. So I am with FeedbackWhiz. I’m just gonna share my screen. And can you guys see that?

Ben Donovan  2:03  
Yeah, looks good to me.

Sam  2:05  
All right, so. So I’ll just do kind of a quick overview of, excuse me, …, here we go slideshow present. Alright, so we’re FeedbackWhiz. We’re mainly known, as you can say, feedback, that’s going to be a big, big surprise that we’re going to be involved with seller feedback, right, and getting feedback. But we also do other things, we do order management, we have a profits and P&L tool. We just launched at the beginning of last year to help with deeper insights data into your sales, and then also product monitoring and notifications. So you know, obviously trying to get the buy box up alerts or anything in terms of protecting from hijackers. But today we’re going to focus right on the section of reviews and feedback automation. And one of the things that’s funny is we get a lot of events, and we see several sellers and they could be advanced sellers, you know, seven, eight figure sellers that don’t necessarily have a review strategy, they just know that their product is working. And that’s great, you know, review strategies are, you know, it’s not like one of these one size fits all, it’s going to be very unique to every single business. So every single one of you are going to be applying a different strategy. But that being said, there are some best practices we can go into. 

Now I always make fun of people on webinars and presentations when they start with a quote. But this one kind of like hits and resonates with us. Obviously, it’s Jeff Bezos. And just think about kind of this when we talk about FeedbackWhiz and getting reviews is, this is a quote, I believe, from 2015 or 2014. And, “hey, we see our customers as invited guests to a party and we are the hosts, it’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” So you think about that, it’s kind of Jeff Bezos saying, “Hey, this is like the bread and butter of Amazon, you know, we want customers to be able to interact with our customers to improve the customer experience with the sellers or with the business.” So you can see kind of why customer reviews and, and product reviews and seller feedback is a really integral part of Amazon’s business. It’s pretty much the longest standing way to sustain success is through reviews and feedback ever since its inception. It’s basically been a huge part of the Amazon business model. And you see other companies like Yelp, Google kind of taking after a Walmart, for instance, kind of taking after the Amazon model there. 

So reviews are, I believe, always been around, they’re not going anywhere. They’re a big part of the algorithm that Amazon uses. Unfortunately, the average review rate for Amazon products is about one to 2%, that depends on the product and that depends  on where it’s being sold, or you know what marketplace it’s in. Also, this has been pretty much a best estimate because Ben, as you know, Amazon doesn’t really release numbers. So this is kind of the standard industry that most companies use across the board, is anywhere from 1 to 2%. There’s several ways to do that, right? So get some different pictures here. Do that through comment cards. If you say, hey, you know, leave us a review, when you put into your products, you know, every time you send out a product, there’s a little card right cut part of inset card, you can have your own unique email list that you scrub you can send out to. Amazon has the vine program that has been going through some issues last couple years, but it’s still there to kind of help you generate reviews. 

But also through Seller Central, probably the best way to do it is through the request to review button. Now with that it’s you basically go into Seller Central, you go into the order details, and you click the little request to review. So when you do that, here’s what the email looks like. I’m sure we’ve all gotten it because we’ve purchased stuff from Amazon. But essentially, it just looks exactly like this, the buyers will receive a templated email from Amazon, the request can only be made between five to 30 days after delivery. So that’s pretty important to remember, automatically translated into the buyers preferred language, that’s great. So if you have somebody that’s buying it in France, and they speak French, like on Amazon will automatically translate that into French. Same thing for Spanish in Mexico, for instance, or you know, wherever whatever marketplace you may be, wherever the buyer has put in their preferred language doesn’t go through Amazon’s BSM system. So we’ll go we’ll explore what VSM means buyer seller messaging. 

And the same opt out list as buyer seller messaging is also applied here. Unfortunately, buyers cannot reply to the email. So this is basically the easiest way for for sellers to get reviews. And you can see this is how the template looks like this is what works. The problem is you have to press this every time that you want to send a review. So you can imagine like maybe if you’re doing 50 orders a month, you can do that. But if you start to scale, then and you get to like you know, 1000, 2000, 5000 orders a month and that’s the goal I’m assuming for everyone, that can be quite tedious and painstakingly, painstakingly hard, you know, no one wants to press a button over and over again. Now another way through another thing that name is mentioned a second ago was buyer seller messaging. 

And what that is it lets you in, and this is kind of just a screenshot that we took from from Seller Central explaining what BSM is, you can find all this information on Seller Central. And it’s basically just a way to communicate with the buyer via email through through via email or Seller Central, excuse me. There’s encrypted, there’s encryptions there that Amazon does, that basically will make everyone kind of unique with an alias. So the information is never shared. And the best part about the benefits of buyer/seller messaging, is that it keeps a record. So these are all available on Seller Central in terms of what BSM is, if you want to kind of send out your kind of more personalized emails, right? Personalized communications with the buyer. Amazon allows you to do that, but you have to adhere by their rules, right. And this is nothing new. Anytime you sell, you got out here by Amazon’s rules.

And here’s some of these rules. So you can only send it for order or shipping confirmations. You can only you know, messages that say only “Thank you”. Or if you want to help the buyers if they have any problems, maybe any issues on warranty information, for instance, you can only ask for, this is the important one, you can only send one review or feedback request per order. That’s very important to remember. You can’t send more than, you can’t send two, you can’t send three. You know used to be back in the day, I think that maybe two or three years ago, you were allowed to send, you know, two to three, I think three follow ups was the most you were allowed.

Ben Donovan  8:46  
That has fun. I think it was a time when there wasn’t even a limit. I remember someone saying yeah, I would send five or six to their customers. I’m like, wow.

Sam  8:53  
Yeah, I mean, I do remember in August of 2020, these these new rules came out. So I think there was five or six, right, people would just kind of hit them five, six times in a row. So Amazon’s changed that over the last few years. You can’t you know, add language that incentivizes the buyer to leave your review. You can’t say like, “Hey, if you enjoyed my product, please leave a review.” You can’t do that. That’s just something they won’t allow. Now, sometimes this does get through the system, but eventually Amazon’s gonna find out or you won’t even or you’ll just be suspended or restricted, which no one wants because then all you have to do is use the you have to use the request to review button if you’re and just kind of go from there very systematically pressing that button over and over again for reviews. 

You can’t request removal or an update of an existing product review. That’s a no-no. And if like “if-then” statements you can obviously you can include. We can’t ask for compensation, right? Like, “Hey, here’s a gift card for $5 on Amazon if you leave me a five. Nope, that’s a no-no. And so you probably see in the news over the last you know, six months to a year that has been a lot of suspensions, account restrictions based on these rules. It’s very hard. I would say Amazon’s really cracking down specifically over the last year on these new BSM rules. But within the BSM emails you’re allowed to send secure working links, right? So make sure that it’s HTTPS, not the HTTP. And that are necessary for order completion or links to Amazon. You can put attachments, but only for product instructions, such as warranty information or invoices, those are the really really the only things that are allowed, I think some some part instructions in the how to how to, you know, build something. And logos. You can have logos, but those logos cannot have a link directly to your website. 

So those are just some some reminders there. If you are caught, unfortunately, you’ll have a 30 day restriction from sending emails. You can initiate a conversation with the buyer, you can still send out the request to review. You can still hit that button for feedback and reviews. And you can still send the critical messages that are in brackets that say “important”. So that would be something like for instance, Ben, if you know, somebody says “important”, you know, you got to send something that could be flammable, right, like or something that needs to be opened in two to three days. So if you’re selling a product that could potentially you know, violate or you know, be, you know, a safety concern, you are allowed to send that. Just don’t take advantage of that. Because Amazon will know when you’re sending out something that’s as important in your asking for, you know, review or feedback. That’s a big no-no. You can still sell, so it doesn’t pick that impact your ability there if you are suspended. And you can still use the request to review button, as we mentioned a second ago. And if I’m going too fast, please let me know. And if anybody has any questions, love to hear, I’d love to make this interactive as possible.

Ben Donovan  11:54  
Sounds good. But no, this is really good, really good information helpful to really ground everybody in this knowledge. And definitely anytime we’ve got questions coming through, well, we’ll definitely bring those up.

Sam  12:05  
Perfect. Excellent. Thanks. Um, whoops, I believe I missed a slide, excuse me one second. All right. So here’s the best practices, right? So we talked about what you can’t do,  what you shouldn’t do? What can you do? And one of the best practices to make sure that that reviews are driven not only do the reviews, go through BSM, or through the request to review button, but you want to make sure not only are you are they going through, you’re getting reviews, right? So this is kind of comes down to a little bit, maybe some personalization, some customization. But within that you there’s also things that you can do, by with the Request Review button to make sure that you’re optimizing for reviews, right? 

So the first thing is the right message at the right time. That is really important when it comes down to product. So for any of you selling supplementals, you probably are most likely you’re going to want to wait 30 days before you ask for review, maybe 28 days just to make sure it’s in that 30-day range. But you’re gonna want to wait the 20 days because that product isn’t necessarily going to show improvement or benefit the buyer the next day, maybe it will three or four weeks later. By comparison, you know, let’s say somebody bought some headphones, and chances are they’re going to use put those headphones in right away, plug it into their phone, iPod, whatever computer or laptop, if it’s working right away, then that’s great. What you want to do is make sure that you get them while they’re hot, you know, you want to make sure that you personalize to that product. So for something like electronic, you’re going to want to get that feedback as soon as possible. 

Now I know when you send with a request to review button, there’s a five day window. So maybe this is something where an email, with three buyer seller messaging rules, maybe a day or two after the product has arrived, right? This is something that you would want to kind of take advantage of to get more reviews. Obviously, you can’t send more than one review request email or one feedback request email. But if you do send one both review and feedback requests must be in the same email. You can’t ask for one or the other. And then another one, it has to be one for both. You don’t ask for review using BSM emails and Amazon’s request to review button for the same order. You can’t do that though that will give you a flag and you potentially could be suspended. Obviously you can use suggested language, avoid the conditional statements, this goes back to the “if-then”, right? So “if you liked our product, leave a review” or “if you had any issues”, can’t do that. And just ask for reviews in a neutral manner. Like you know just say basically say like, will you leave a review and that’s it, right? That’s all you have to do. 

No external links outside Amazon. No marketing content in the email. No attachments unless it’s something that we said, like product instructions. Don’t write an essay. Keep it really short, concise. Hey, you know, we’ll get into action. We’ll get into examples later on. But even something like two sentences would be fine. But I think the most important thing to remember, the biggest takeaway from this live for our audience here, depending on the product, you’re going to want to put in a strategy that’s going to be based on either getting product reviews, or improving seller feedback. So if you’re listening to this right now, and you have a private and your private label seller, you have your own product. It’s unique from your competitors, there’s whatever makes it unique. Your strategy should be to increase product reviews, you want to stand out from your competitors, because you have this unique product. If you’re reselling, though, you want to focus on improving seller feedback, how was the transaction? Did you have any complaints about when you bought it, that kind of thing? You want to focus on the actual transaction, and how easy it was to buy something off of Amazon. Private label, product review. Focus on how great your product is, and make sure that message gets to the right audience at the right time.

So there’s also a couple of things when this first message where it says the first … , this first bullet, which has the right message at the right time. This also can be applied not necessarily to the product review request or the seller feedback request. For instance, you might have somebody that had requested a refund or a reimbursement, you’re probably not going to want to ask them for review. Because what might happen if they ask for a refund, and five days later, when they ask for review what might happen from that person from that buyer?

Ben Donovan  16:44  
I can leave you a bad review. 

Sam  16:46  
Sounds right? That’s what’s gonna happen. I mean, most of the time when people leave reviews, they feel compelled to based on some type of negative interaction. So you want to kind of mitigate that, to make sure that maybe that person doesn’t get a review request, or maybe that person doesn’t get a feedback request. If there’s something that needs to be put together, you want to make sure that maybe a day or two before delivery, maybe product instructions are sent to that buyer, right? So if it’s something that takes five minutes, 10 minutes to set up, and maybe everyone’s in is paperless world, all digital, maybe there’s something at the factory, which the instructions weren’t put in. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to send out product instructions on how to put something together or any type of information they’ll need to make sure that this product works as good as possible. 

In this situation, more information about the product ahead of time before delivery is the best best solution. Best way to get ahead of that. Alright. So this is where we kind of start talking about what best practices what we do at FeedbackWhiz.  So through our tour, Amazon TLS compliance, so we have to meet with Amazon and hear by their, by their standards, so that we can go on to the Amazon Seller app and or sorry, Amazon Store app, and people can can download or, or you know, use our software, … subscription on the software. We actually have the ability to help buyers, excuse me sellers, set up campaigns using customized emails through the buyer seller messaging of Seller Central. You can set up campaigns to trigger Amazon’s request to review button so you can automate that. And that’s probably what’s been mostly used over the last year from our new users and our existing users. We set up a system in which you can automate and trigger Amazon’s request to review button. The amazing benefits of that or a lot of our users have been suspended in the past, they are still suspended. But they’re still able to automate the RR button because it’s going directly through Amazon and triggers Amazon sending that button. 

Some really, really unique experiences from  sellers that are selling multiple products is you can set up kind of a hybrid model between the two. So for instance, you set up a campaign to trigger a send after the item has shipped. This could be an invoice or product instructions. And then with the second campaign, right or a second email campaign, you can set up just the Amazon request to review button. So even if you’re suspended your one email campaign can be the let’s say you’re selling a volatile product or something, or something that’s not volatile, that’s a bad word but a product that does need the “important” brackets there. That could be your custom email campaign versus “Hey, sending up the Amazon request to review button.” You can set up campaigns by ASIN or ASIN groups for instance, and schedule the emails to send out X amount of days after shipment or delivery. So this goes back to the situation where you’re selling headphones or somebody here selling headphones. You can really get a head start on that product review and start getting part reviews much faster than your competitors. By scheduling emails like a day after delivery, right or delete the day after two days after shipment, whatever. 

Just you know, different products have different periods for reviews, right? Goes back to the headphone versus supplemental example we used earlier. You can track emails and trigger review requests, right? So you’ll have queues and delivers for every order, you’ll have the information right there in front of you. So you know, when an email supposed to go out, you know what email went out. And if you even got some, you can filter that data by, hey, I want to see only two or three product reviews, I want to see only the four seller feedback reviews that we got as well. And the big one mitigate negative reviews. So one thing we were able to do is, is help you set up exclusion lists so that people that are getting refunds or reimbursements aren’t getting those emails. So you can set those exclusion lists. So with let me ask you a question real quick, Ben with a refund and reimbursements. Do you know how that works? And from a from a buyer versus a seller perspective? And then going through Amazon?

Ben Donovan  21:14  
In terms of if you were to manually reimburse them, refund them?

Sam  21:18  
Yeah. So just going back from the from the actual, like how much time takes between a buyer actually submitting for a refund or reimbursement or return, to how long an actual seller will get that information? 

Ben Donovan  21:33  
No, no, no, I’m not aware of that.

Sam  21:34  
Yeah, it’s actually something that’s we don’t really do a great job explaining this to people. But this is a great opportunity for us. But I don’t think Amazon does a really great job of explaining this either to sellers, but we’re so we’re trying to get the message out. So when a buyer submits that information, the seller won’t get notified by Amazon until the refund or reimbursement has already been processed through Amazon. So that’s when the the seller gets notified. Unfortunately, that could take a day or two and by then the review request could be sent out based on your on your triggers. So one thing we were able to do is go through the and then from a seller perspective, you’re right, like it’s I mean, this could you know, this, this could take, you know, bait, this could take, you know, two three days it can take, you know, you’re kind of at Amazon’s mercy. 

So one way that we’re able to do that is we actually through our API and through working with Amazon, as soon as the customer is able to hit that refund or reimbursement, that’s actually triggered on our end to working through Amazon’s triggered on our end to make sure that, hey, this is no we got this notified, we have this alert. And that puts up a kind of a flag for our system puts a flag in Amazon system to say to our technology, hey, there’s a refund reimbursement coming. Like, if it’s an exclusion list immediately real time it happens. We’ll go into that I can kind of show you how that works in just a minute. But it’s kind of a really unique thing that I don’t, I don’t think a lot of feedback software, review software is able to complete that just through our it’s our API is kind of unique in that regard. So we’ll get into kind of a little more specifics and I’ll show you what that looks like in a minute.

We’re also able to build a built-in review, Smart Campaign detection, prevent from activating multiple review request campaigns. So our software will make sure that we’re not triggering Amazon to send out an email if there’s already been one on that order. So you don’t have no risk of being suspended exclusion rules that kind of mentioned this a second ago, returns, refunds, blacklisted orders, you know, if there was a promotion potentially might not be a good fit for review, or, or feedback, you can set those rules. Repeat buyers, this is kind of as you scale, you know, and as everyone here in this, you know, in this session, start scaling and turns this into a full time business. Or if you’re already there looking for unique examples and best practices on review. Setting up email request based on purchase count, right? So if you have a customer that’s purchased, you know, 2, 3, 4 times from you, chances are they really like you. Ask for seller feedback, “hey”, you know, “how was the transaction?” They’re gonna give you a five, they’re gonna give you a four. 

So if you’ve already reached that level of scaling, where you don’t have to worry about product reviews or seller feedback anymore, there’s no harm in setting up like, “Hey, I don’t want reviews. Just build my seller feedback so I keep getting fives and fives and fives,” right? And just let that scale and soar to the point where the organic search on Amazon it’s going to go to you because you have such high reviews and high feedback from the buyers. 

Custom labels. So if you want to label each campaign for better management for you or across your teams, this can be anything from a product category like, you know, electronics or fashion to maybe it’s something unique within your business that you want to label for yourself. You know, you can monitor, track and analyze all reviews and feedback if you’re seeing that one of your products is only getting three stars and every one of your other products are getting five stars. Maybe we’ll start evaluating the product, maybe let’s start evaluating how you’re asking for reviews there. We also have several blogs and support guides through that we offer basically I mean, there’s we have a ton on BSM. We have a nice article and if you want I can share this with your entire audience. 

We have a great, great blog on the BSM, and the review request, in con, excuse me, information that a Seller Central has that we kind of, we put out there for everyone to see. And then how that works and how that applies to you as a seller. And then also we have free email template audits from our support team so they can check out your email templates. Let’s say you’re getting flagged, a lot of emails aren’t going out, our support team is able to dive in there and help you out. And we do have pre-built email templates as well to ask for. We have templates built-in for warranty, seller feedback product review, I can show you what those look like as well. And we have translations for 20 marketplaces as well, which is absolutely incredible. We just released five, this week. I believe it was Czech, Polish, Dutch, Swedish and Turkish. 

Ben Donovan  26:35  
That’s incredible. I didn’t even realize we’ve got an up to 20 marketplaces already translated for all of them. It’s amazing.

Sam  26:41  
I think Amazon came out with 20. Yeah, we’re actually connected to all 20. We have a nice article on the new Amazon marketplaces. I think it’s called Europe’s but I think most of them were in Europe. Actually the five, I mentioned. Maybe not Netherlands, that’s been there for a while maybe I think it was just maybe it was four, off top of my head. I don’t remember. But I do know Sweden and Poland were there. And I believe Turkey as well. But yeah, from 16 to 20. Up there. Excellent. Alright, so which one’s better, better for you. And this isn’t like, again, this isn’t like a be all end all like one size fits all type of tool. It’s very customizable to your business and what you’re doing. So if you are looking to say, “Hey, what’s a better way to scale my review strategy building … strategy. You know, when you do the Request to Review button, it’s 100% compliant with Amazon messaging policies. Templates are automatically translated to buyers’ preferred language, I think it’s huge. That’s great. So if you’re selling across multiple marketplaces, it’s wonderful to do. 

Displays the buyers name can be used even if restricted from buyer seller messaging. So even though you’re restricted from sending emails, you can still click that review button, which I think happens quite often. I’ve seen it happen a lot more over the last year to be honest. And it’s a 5 to 30 day window after delivery window, excuse me. So if you have a product that you’re selling that could fit into that five to 30 day window, if you’ve got a lot going on, maybe this is your side hustle. I would say the request to review button is probably your best way to get more reviews from your buyers. That being said, there’s nothing like customization. There’s nothing like personalization. It’s the best way to deliver a great experience to the customer and to deliver great customer experience. You know if you can customize the subject line and content as long as the BSM add logos and attachments, buyers can reply to emails, which is great. And you can send anytime within 30 days right so if you want to get that immediately after a day, the emails are the way to go. And again, I mentioned this earlier, I do want to preface this again, feedback versus reviews, private labels – you’re going to want to put a strategy together for product reviews. Resellers you’re gonna want to put a strategy together for seller feedback. That makes sense. 

A little delay in my presentations here. All right, here we go. So just some more helpful strategies. We kind of gone through a lot of this already. I’ll just be very quick. You don’t use the same request window for all your products. Create product instructions, warranty documentation for all your products as well never give the buyer an opportunity to look for anything. You want to give them the your complete store. You want to give them your complete business right in front of them. Deliver the product and all the instructions and warranty to your customer. Don’t let them look for anything. Deliver them a great experience. Determine which request method is best for your products you can do either or, you know our or VSM emails. 

They’ll be tricky with subject lines, just be direct. Amazon may modify them a little bit but the best ones, regarding your Amazon order number, enter here, info about your Amazon order number enter here, those are the best ones. We see those open rates climb very high. We actually keep the with because of Amazon’s TLS rules. And because we want to make sure that the seller has all their data to optimize for their business not for ours. We actually don’t go into and see the open rates, mainly because of Amazon, right. So you can’t really see the open rates, but from what we’re told by our customers and our users, these are the consistently the best subject lines for deliverability and for open rates. And then determine whether feedback or partner views are more important. Buyers understand the difference, they’ll mostly just click on one of the links, you know, like you see one, you say one for product reviews, or feedback, they’ll just click on the on the first one, they don’t necessarily know the difference between product reviews, and seller feedback. 

So tell them, you know, make it easy for them. Just deliver one link, if you’re looking for seller feedback, or if you’re looking for product reviews. If you want to do both, great! You know that you can get either or, that’s not a problem. But if you’re starting out, I would say when you’re starting out, it’s very, very important to figure out exactly what you want to go for. And again, Private Label, Product Review, reseller/seller feedback. And then this was kind of changed a little bit always upon a negative reviews and feedback. 

You can’t directly comment on the negative reviews anymore. And you can’t directly comment on the negative feedback anymore. Amazon took that rule out late of 2020. But what you can do is if there’s answer any questions that, specifically through emails, because buyers can reply to the email and you can get that, is you can answer the questions for them. You can answer you know, let’s say that they write back. Hey, I just thought this was awful. And I wrote on the as the comment. That’s it’s okay to respond and be like, What did you like least about it? How can we improve it like when they when they reply directly to you, you are able to have those questions answered.

Ben Donovan  32:07  
Yeah, a few a few questions from the group a couple from myself as well. My first question is, so if a buyer has opted out of buyer seller messaging, firstly, what do you know any stats on that, like how how many in terms of a percentage that is.

Sam  32:22  
So unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t really give any of their information out. So I can’t give an exact percentage. I do know that, that’s only come up a few times when talking to some of our users, different sellers at different events, regular standard rates of opt outs are around like 4 to 5% universally across the board. I can’t imagine Amazon being any different in terms of you know, there are obviously people are on their phones. So I would say maybe maybe 3 to 4% would be my best guess. But again, because I don’t want to like quote, I don’t want to say that that’s set in stone because Amazon is very private about releasing that data. My best guess is just because it’s across the board, it’s usually around 3 to 5%.

Ben Donovan  33:08  
Because my thought is if it was quite high, whether you could set up like an automated email for the benefits of that customization. But then also have the bias the review request going out just to catch anybody that doesn’t, or whether that would flag as an issue. But maybe just if it’s quite a low percentage, then that probably doesn’t matter too much.

Sam  33:26  
Yeah. And I know I’ve heard a story before, too. There was an event in Miami called …, I believe it was November. And I heard a unique story from one of our users that they actually did have somebody of like, write a negative review, or sorry, not write a negative review, but actually find their website, send them an email and say I wanted to write a review, but I can’t because I found out later that they had opted out of that policy. So they weren’t getting emails, they’re missing out on I think warranty information. And I believe it was also a product information, too. If I remember correctly, I don’t remember specifically, but it was once I think warranty was one of them. 

It ended up being a blessing because he was able to help me like, “Yo, you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t opt out of this. You shouldn’t do this buyer uptight. I think it looks like that’s what you did.” But nothing but great with that customer for the, for one of our users since then. So there’s some help. There’s some good things that happen sometimes, but that for the most part, I would say you know, you can’t really plan for it for those people that are going to opt out. That’s universal across the board that’s going to affect your competitors as much as affecting you. So it’s not necessarily the worst thing and you know, it’s gonna happen sometimes.

Ben Donovan  34:47  
For sure. That sounds good. Then the other one you mentioned about feedback and then showing up in organic ranking, is feedback, seller feedback, factor in organic ranking.

Sam  34:59  
It’s more so Product Reviews there, there is a factor but product reviews of the product as a primary factor in the I believe what is it the A10 algorithm now for Amazon is a 10 or 11, eight for the Amazon algorithm. But seller feedback is a way to stand out versus like somebody who’s had that product, or has that product selling on Amazon versus you have seller feedback. If you’re looking for the exact same product, the feedback one will help organic, it’ll help excuse me, it’ll help a bit organically more than say, if you have negative like there’s a 4.3 versus a 4.5, you’ll probably be on the same page. At the end the day though you’ll probably be higher in terms of that specific product.

Ben Donovan  35:40  
Gotcha. Okay, questions from the group, then when you request a review within Seller Central to a customer, is there a way to check who has been requested and who hasn’t?

Sam  35:53  
That’s a very good question. I believe there is a way in the Seller Central but the dashboard isn’t necessarily user friendly. Yeah. And it does require a little a little bit of searching. I know on the and I can show that slide again. And we can send that information out there is specifics on the Seller Central forum that go into how you can find that information. But most likely, I think what happens is users aren’t able to press the Request to Review button. Because there’s like a tab that comes up on Amazon says like this has already been initiated. So you’re using the Request to Review button, Amazon won’t let you. That being said it takes a lot of manual searching on Seller Central’s dashboard for you to find that. So yes, there is a way it’s just, it can be a little time expensive. But as soon as you find it like riding a bike, you’ll be able to look through it regularly.

Ben Donovan  36:44  
So you’d follow that up at the end of their comment with guests, I guess where that’s where good software comes in?

Sam  36:52  
Well, I think that’s a great plug. 

Ben Donovan  36:55  
Lisa says, “it’s really great highlighting a difference between feedback and review.” Paul says, “buyer seller messaging email customization is an awesome feature.” Lee says, “that’s awesome for new sellers.” Claire says, “Excellent. Looking forward to using this.” Matthew says, “great.” … says, “thanks for the info. Besides deciding between reviews and feedback and the level of engagement one wants, is there any real deep strategic decisions that we should be thinking about? It all sounds pretty turnkey.”

Sam  37:21  
Yeah. And look, that’s, I think what happens is like, because each business is different, each Amazon bit store is different, is that you’ll find something that potentially could come up based on your product and your business, right. The most I can give you is the most common example, is the exclusion lists. And setting up exclusion lists that people won’t potentially negative reviews won’t leave negative reviews anymore. Or maybe you’re seeing something that you know, you’re selling two or three separate products, and one product’s continually getting two stars, another one’s getting four or five. You know, with that, you might want to consider pausing that campaign on selling that product just for your brand reputation, you know. 

At that point, your product’s no longer reliable. I’m not saying that’s the case for anyone. But this is probably the most common user cases right there is strategies around who you want to mitigate, exclusion lists, I think refunds returns are our most common. And then also,  tracking what products are not doing well? It just gives you deeper insights in real time very quickly to seeing “hey, look, there’s there’s obviously an issue here. Let’s explore it. Let’s see what’s going on. So again, I can’t give you a specific answer. Other than being able to have that data and getting real time customer insights into what exactly if there’s an issue and what exactly that issue is? Most of the time, I’m going to be honest, most of the time, the exclusion lists are for refunds and returns, because that’s pretty much the easiest way to kind of get ahead of a negative review. 

Ben Donovan  39:01  
Yeah, for sure. I think I would add as well, from our experience, using the automated Amazon template has definitely helped increase the number of reviews, maybe not the quality of reviews, because it’s so easy, just because you can just tap the star and it’s done. It does mean you get more ratings, but it means you get less written reviews, because people don’t need to, they’re not forced to leave a written thing now. So, you know, there’s positives and negatives there, isn’t it?

Sam  39:27  
Yeah, and that’s a good point. Ben, I should have brought this up earlier. But you’re absolutely right. Like, you know, I mean, I think this change was made maybe a year ago, two years ago, where buyers now can just give a star they don’t have to leave a comment or anything. Previously, you would have had to leave a comment as well. But now they don’t have to, you can just give a four star five star. You’re absolutely right. That’s something that we do hit on our blog and be in the BSM blog that we have but I did forget to mention that so thank you for bringing that up. You’re absolutely right.

Ben Donovan  39:56  
Good, good. Good stuff. I think the … says the goal of email autoresponders.

Sam  40:04  
Thanks, John. And John’s here. I know he said the average review rate is one to 2%. But John, I think you’ve had some very good response, some very good rates as well. And if you can, like, just let us know, how much is that review rate that you’re seeing for you and your customers?

Ben Donovan  40:23  
Yeah, definitely. Yeah, he’s, he’s in on the Facebook stream. So, sure, put a comment in there. Based on that, in a sec. I will read the end of kind of the questions that are there in the group at the moment, and obviously, just come into, you know, towards the end of that our time together, is there anything else that maybe I haven’t asked that you feel is worth adding anything else that you think, you know, is a hot tip for anyone that’s just starting out looking to generate more of use, anything else that you’d like to add?

Sam  40:50  
Yeah, I would say, um, look, I mentioned at the beginning of the session, and we can go in, I can show you exactly just how easy it is to use, we’ll do that in a second. But I can’t stress enough, like, you know, because I mean, there’s, there’s some negatives to I mean, that I guess, but there’s some, you know, kind of uphill battles we’ll have to fight, because you’re just starting up. That being said, one area that you can get a leg up on immediately, immediately to help you scale is through the product, or is through a review and feedback strategy. You know, a lot of these bigger businesses are, they don’t need to, they don’t need to have a product, they don’t need to have a feedback review strategy, they’re going to get like 1000 orders a month; they’re going to get 100 likes; you know, they’re 10,000 orders a month are gonna get 100, they’re gonna get to, you know, 200 types of reviews they have. 

They’re just doing so much volume. They don’t have to really worry about that. And this is where smaller businesses and newer sellers can actually get a nice benefit is if you see someone, if you see these are normal 1 to 2% review, you can increase that 7 to 10%. People can see reviews on using our, our software, sorry 10% increase, I should say, excuse me. And if you mean, it’s just it’s so easy to set up, if you’re not doing a lot of volume, you’re not doing a lot, you know, you’re not selling a lot of products, because it only takes about five minutes. And then you can actually just sit there and just like forget about it, you know, come back in every like two or three weeks to the software and see oh, yeah, you know, I got like six reviews here. I got like 10 reviews. You know, it’s just it’s something that’s so easy to set up if you’re not doing a lot of volume. That it’s just it’s hard not to want to do this as soon as you start selling on Amazon because you can just basically set it and forget it.

Ben Donovan  42:29  
Yeah, we appreciate you taking the time out. It’s awesome. It’s been very informative. And I know, like I say all of the comments in the group in how valuable it is so and there’ll be tons more catching up through the day as people over on the West Coast wake up. And, you know, through the night we’ve got some Aussies on as well. So as they start to engage I’m sure there’d be lots more comments in there and people had in your way so anything else you want to say before we fully wrap up?

Sam  42:55  
Yeah, just please, please if there’s any questions, we’d love hearing them! We’re always excited to talk about our product. Always tight talk about feedback management, P&L like send me an email, sam at feedbackwhiz dot com or support at feedbackwhiz dot com or info at feedbackwhiz dot com. Any of those three words: support, info, or sam at feedbackwhiz dot com. We’ll get your questions answered. We’ll get you squared away. If you need help using the software, if you sign up,  don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to help you out and help you get your slice of the digital pie man like it’s just a great time to start selling and turn that side hustle into something legit. So I think this is great what you’re doing, Ben, I love it. Thank you. I’ve been following you a little bit on Twitter in the last few weeks through, it’s been great. I highly recommend everyone follow obviously I think everyone is following Ben on Twitter but you you drop some great knowledge every now and then it’s been it’s been a real pleasure learning with you. Thanks, man.

Ben Donovan  43:47  
Thanks, man. Appreciate it coming on. Appreciate you taking time out. Thank you, Sam for coming on to the show. So good to hear his thoughts, hear his expertise from an angle of being one of the leading software providers in the space. If you do want to check out FeedbackWhiz, we’ll leave a link in the description below. Highly recommended piece of software; highly recommended group of people, just great, great group of people, and definitely worth checking them out. If you’ve enjoyed this episode today, let me know I’d love to hear from you. Email us Hello at Brand Builder Uni dot com or leave a comment down below if you’re watching on YouTube. Hit the thumbs up, subscribe, leave us a review all that good stuff helps us know that you’re enjoying this content and helps us know that we can keep getting on the greatest guests to help you on your journey to build a life changing brand: a seven figure brand in three years or less. That’s the mission we’re on. We want to help you do that. So check out the links in the description for all of the resources to help you do that. And we will see you in the next episode real soon.