Ask the Expert Part One: 3 Easy Hacks for Collecting Even More Customer-Generated Content

Key Takeaways:

  • Optimize your emails by testing subject lines, sending a follow-up email after the initial review solicitation email (RSE) and using features like Inbox Submission to make content collection frictionless.
  • Use Syndication to deepen the content from large brands and widen the content from smaller brands for a better coverage rate.
  • Launch a sampling campaign to drive interest in high-margin, low-volume items, give your evergreen products a sales volume boost, and build a better rapport with your brands.
Ross Reitman headshot

TurnTo Customer Success Manager Ross Reitman

You’ve integrated a Customer-Generated Content (CGC) solution like TurnTo into your eCommerce site and are now basking in an abundance of Ratings & Reviews. That’s step one.

But there’s still room for improvement. Step two is adopting some best practices to collect even more Customer-Generated Content for your site.

In Part One of our “Ask the Expert” blog post series, TurnTo Customer Success Account Manager Ross Reitman—our in-house expert—shares some of the tricks he’s learned to help our clients gather the highest volume of Customer-Generated Content with the least amount of effort.

(In next week’s installment, we’ll take a look at some techniques retailers and brands can use to maximize the value of all the great content they’re collecting).

And now, Ross shares 3 Super Easy Hacks to collect even more Customer-Generated Content for your site:

1. Optimize Your Emails.

Email is really the biggest driver of your content collection strategy. If you don’t have a lot of time to try a lot of things—but want to collect more content—you have to optimize your emails.

I tell all of my clients to send an initial review solicitation email [RSE] and then at least one follow-up email after that. Really, I’m curious about the incremental lift from the follow up email.

Are you getting 1% more reviews from the follow up email? Then it’s probably not worth it.

But I’ve seen clients get 20% increases in their content collection with very little effort with a follow-up email. However, you don’t want to barrage your customers with too many emails, that can result in an increase in opt-outs.

I also tell clients to test Inbox Submission. [Inbox Submission is a TurnTo product that allows email recipients to submit the entirety of their product review from within the body of an email.]

Inbox Submission basically eliminates a friction point from the review collection process, and you can use it with either the initial email, the follow-up email, or both. One of my clients saw a 300% increase in their collection rate with that approach.

There are a bunch of other variables that you can also test with emails. One is the subject line, which I think more people should be experimenting with.

We actually built a product that let one of our large office supply retail clients prioritize the SKUs that they showed a customer in the review solicitation email.  That way they could show new products, or private label products, earlier in the email for multiple SKU orders. It helped them get more content for specific products.

2. Go Broad on Syndication

Women holding hands

When it comes to Syndication, retailers usually start with their big brands. That helps deepen how much content they’re getting—you have 100 reviews on an HP printer and then you get syndicated content and that becomes 800 reviews, which is valuable.

But if you’re interested in increasing your coverage—the percentage of your products that have some type of Customer-Generated Content attached to them—then you have to start looking at smaller, long-tail brands. Syndication is a good way to get more of those reviews in a scalable way.

Our syndication service lets retailers gather reviews from pretty much any brand source, regardless of whether the brands are our clients. And it’s free—we don’t charge either the retailers or the brands for the service, which really helps us collect a higher number of product reviews for our clients.

3. Tap Into Sampling

Sampling is the other easy way to quickly scale your Customer-Generated Content. It’s a good way to get reviews for higher priced items that don’t sell at a high volume, or for items that you’d like to promote to get a pop on sales volume.

One of my fast fashion clients has some more evergreen products. Their director of eCommerce wanted to give some items that were going to be available through the holiday season a boost, and sampling seemed like a natural way to do that.

Sampling is particularly effective for larger retailers and retailers that have good partnerships with their brands. They can go to brands, pitch a sampling campaign, and build stronger relationships while gathering more content.

Retailers can also go for a double whammy where they pitch brands on sampling and then tee them off for syndication as well.


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