MAKE IT POP!: Am I Hot or Not? Customer Reviews

We’re star-struck! As websites roll out customer reviews, marketers are rolling them into their email programs. Here are three tips for integrating ratings into email with blockbuster performance.

(1) Show Your Stars (or Paws, or Produce…)
The Home Depot uses a classic gold star motif, the most obvious customer ratings visual cue. (A Chiminea!? You learn something new every day!)
PETCO.com shows puppy love with pawprint rankings. (To be sure they didn’t come from my pets, who don’t love Frontline.)
• Betty Crocker cooks up fun with spoon and strawberry star systems. (Super-cute!)

(2) Create Context
Discovery Channel shows only 5-star items, which can feel over-edited. (Although how could a Dino DVD be anything less than awesome!?)
Pillsbury mixes it up by including recipes with as few as 2-and-a-half stars, lending the ratings more authenticity and empowering higher-ranking content. (Mediochre Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake, anyone?)
Macy*s increases accuracy and creates context by
showing ratings to the decimal point
, as well as the number of reviews from which the rating is calculated. (Who doesn’t adore that mixer? It’s like a national icon.)

(3) Encourage Participation
Chefs’ email program makes heavy use of customer ratings. To kick off the effort, they sent a dedicated email incentivizing review creation. (I like the instructional component of this one.)
Boden recognizes reviewers by including quotes from those who’ve “been there and bought the t-shirt.” (Scooter’s mom is famous! Sweet, Johnnie!)
Netflix acknowledges DVD returns with a simple email featuring 5 dark stars just begging to be lit up. (Check out my Netflix email experience review, too!)

Superstar Bonus!: Our team of in-house scientists conducted an enormously complex astronomical survey, studying the email galaxy to determine which brands have enough star power to get VIE (Very Important Email) status. Using a secret formula devised by a team of MIT mathemeticians in Vegas, we paired the top 10 VIEs with 10 VIPs. Our findings:

Edmund Hillary: 4.5 stars, REI >
The Princess and the Pea: 5 stars, Brookstone >
Jimmy Buffett: 20 stars, Chefs >
Mr. Wizard: 20 stars, Discovery Channel >
The Best Grandma in the World (Mine!): 25.5 stars, Bisquick >
Scooter’s Mom: 26 stars, Boden >
The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man: 26.5 stars, Pillsbury >
Tim Allen: 42.4 stars, Home Depot >
Martha Stewart: 43.7 stars, Macy’s >
Team Beckham: 74.5 stars, Sports Authority >

My stars!

Until next time,
Lisa Harmon of Smith-Harmon

–>Read other Make it Pop! posts.