Marketing · Strategy

What motivates users to write reviews?

Awais Yaseen Visionary Tech Entrepreneur

December 8th, 2016

I'm in the process of developing a review-driven site, and I'm wondering how so many reviews get written on a site like Amazon when there's no incentive to do so (from what I can tell.)

The incentive on a site like Yelp seems to be badges and awards given by other users to your reviews. How do you get people writing reviews on your site?

Many thanks for your advise!
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William Morgenstein 20+Yrs Business/Finance Consultant | Funding Broker | Construction/SBA Loans | Author | Autobiography by New York Guy

December 8th, 2016

Although my book has 42 mostly Five ***** reviews in Amazon and in other venues I find it extremely difficult to motivate readers to take the time to write one.. Often they send me congratulatory emails but getting them to directly post to a site is problematical. I will not pay or trade for a review and all I ask for is an honest one. I won't compromise my principals for the sake of a 'write up'.

Steve Simitzis Founder and CEO at Treat

December 8th, 2016

Two motivations are: (1) To be heard and (2) to pay it forward.

If you have a big enough platform, your users will spout off their opinion for no reward other than social validation.You can start this off by seeding your reviews. (ie. beg your friends and early customers to write reviews) If new users see fresh reviews, they will be less shy about writing their own.

The other strategy is to send a follow-up email after each purchase, with a simple up-or-down question and two big buttons. "Did you enjoy [____]?" with two side-by-side buttons (thumbs up/thumbs down). After they click, take them to a very simple, focused landing page where they can write a quick review. You tell them it's to help other people just like you learn more about this product or service by sharing your experience.

Combine the two as needed.

David McKeen

December 8th, 2016

Usually around 1-3% depending on the type of product/service.

Peter K Chen

December 8th, 2016

The gamification is an effort to drive up engagement but I wouldn't say it's a direct incentive to write reviews. It's similar to any crowdsourcing or community-driven platform and open-sourcing. You need enough traction and initial value add that will drive users to pay it forward.