Feedback Friday: Feedbackwhiz Talks About Amazon Review Generation
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On May 10th, 2018 our own Andrew Maff sat down with Henson Wu, CEO and co-founder of Feedbackwhiz to talk about Amazon review generation.
Henson Wu: So Feedback Whiz, we're a service, a software service for Amazon sellers. So when you sell on Amazon, the main things that you need really is to get product reviews. Right now it's hard to get product reviews unless you try to get them from your existing buyers, so one of our main tools is email automation. We have a very sophisticated email automation tool where we can help you get higher conversions through asking your existing buyers for product reviews. Not just for product reviews, you could do it for seller feedback, or preventing negative reviews, or sending out emails for brand awareness or attaching PDF files for your product information, things like that.
Henson Wu: We also offer services for managing product reviews, so any time product reviews come in, we notify you. Or things like hijacker alerts or item tile changes, light box changes. So we offer all these different tools to help Amazon sellers manage, automate, and save time and money.
Andrew Maff: Nice. So it's set up basically like an automated email, correct?
Henson Wu: Yeah. It's very easy to set up. We pull your data from the Amazon API, so the data comes in, we can see when someone purchases your product, we have the data on that, and then you can set up these very engaging email templates to automate to send out after certain events happen. So for example, let's say you wanted to send out a message when your product gets shipped. So now we have the data and you can set up a specific template. Messaging could be, "Thanks for purchasing our product, here's a contact us link, and here's a free e-book on how to use this product," right?
Henson Wu: So these are things you can automate and send out automatically whenever someone buys your product. And then let's say a few days or a few weeks after the product has been delivered, and you can send out an email to request for a product review or feedback. So you can also say if there is any problems with the product, please contact us, and give them the opportunity to reach out to you to try to prevent getting some of the negative reviews or feedback. That way you can [inaudible 00:02:34] directly, so that's our email tool, which is very standard. Most sellers on Amazon will use something like this.
Henson Wu: What makes us stand out, makes our tool a little different, is it's really easy to make really nice, professional templates. So for example, if you wanted to put in your brand logo or put in your custom buttons that look like you could click on it versus regular text links, or putting in animated GIF's that have a funny message or something more personalized or engaging, it's really easy to do in our system. It's literally just copy and paste, and it will spit it right out to exactly what you want it to be.
Andrew Maff: [inaudible 00:03:18]
Henson Wu: Oh no, I lost your sound again. I can't hear your ... You can hear me, but I can't hear you though.
Henson Wu: Can you hear me?
Henson Wu: You can hear me right? Can you hear Andrew?
Andrew Maff: Can you hear me now?
Henson Wu: Okay, now I can hear you.
Andrew Maff: I'm just going to take you off headphones. It's going to be a bit of an echo, but we'll have to deal with it.
Andrew Maff: So how long you guys been around?
Henson Wu: Sorry. Can you speak up a little bit, because I can barely hear you for some reason.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. How long have you guys been around?
Henson Wu: We started in 2017, so it's been a little less than two years for us.
Andrew Maff: Nice. So last year when they changed up the rules for being able to send automated emails, how did you guys cope with that?
Henson Wu: Which rule were you specifically talking about? When you said-
Andrew Maff: Well, I know, I think it was last year. I want to say it was over the summer when they changed the rules on when someone unsubscribes, they officially unsubscribe from everywhere else, so there was a big drop off in the availability of emails that you could actually send.
Henson Wu: Oh okay, I see what you're saying. Yeah, so you're talking about the buyer unsubscribed, right?
Andrew Maff: Yeah.
Henson Wu: So the buyer has the ability now to not receive any communications. Yeah, so one of the rules that Amazon imposed is that if they unsubscribe, you're not supposed to email them, but you wouldn't know unless you send out an email, right? So you have to first send out that first email. Once you send out that email, our system can detect if they opted out, and if they opted out, then we will automatically not send any more emails to them. Basically block all communication.
Henson Wu: Now in terms of getting less reviews or less engagement, we haven't really seen any drop off, because really this group of people that decided to opt out, they're most likely unlikely to leave you a review in the first place. These people are not the kinds of, hey I don't want to get your emails, I'm not willing to leave you a review anyways. So it didn't really hurt in general, but I'd say the statistics I think is around 20, something around 20% of the people that opt out, could be a little bit more depending on the audience that you're selling to. But the other 70-75% of the people, they're still open to getting email messages, so this is where you have to focus on those guys and make sure you have the right message to them to get the conversion.
Andrew Maff: Okay. So what do you guys know as best practices, best strategy for sending out emails? Do you always suggest just sending one right away? Do you put them through some kind of funnel sequence? What do you guys always suggest?
Henson Wu: Right now, we currently suggest to send two emails, no more than three, because Amazon is kind of ... They haven't specifically stated that you can't send more than one email or less than a certain amount of emails. I know there's been a rumor going around for quite awhile about how many emails you can send out, but if you look at the latest buyer TOS, there's really no clear language on how many emails you can send out.
Henson Wu: However, there's recently been a letter going around that Amazon's been sending to a lot of sellers saying that, hey you might have violated one of these 10 things. One of the 10 things it says is sending excessive emails. So, it doesn't really say how many emails are excessive, but as a shopper, I wouldn't want to get more than two emails from someone, right? Usually that's probably the limit. What we recommend is, we send out one email when the order gets shipped. This email is where you can include a contact us link, tracking link to the order, and then maybe some information like a PDF file or a video link to how to use the product. So that email, you don't want to solicit or say, hey leave us a review or feedback because they haven't gotten the product. There's no reason to ask for that.
Henson Wu: So that's the first email we recommend sent out. That's to get some engagement with them, and that way if something does happen when they get the package, they can contact you. You can help resolve the issue.
Henson Wu: The second email usually is the one where you want to ask for either seller or feedback or product review, depending on if you're PL or you're doing retail arbitrage. This one, it depends on when you want to send out. You can send it out, with Feedback Whiz you can choose a specific date and time when you want to send it out. So you can send it out five days after the order has been delivered, or two days after, or 15 days, and that really depends on what kind of product you're selling. If you're selling a cell phone charger, it could be a couple days because they can plug it in and know if it works or not, but if you're selling vitamin supplements, you might want to wait three weeks or something, because they need to test it out and see some results.
Henson Wu: So yeah, we usually recommend two, and some people send three because they might have a third reminder maybe a month later. Just to see if they can get a review in case they missed the second email.
Andrew Maff: Okay. So I have an interesting black hat question for you. So everything we do here, even if it's in a gray area, we don't do it, but I did hear of one the other day that was pretty interesting. So in that first email I know you can send, it's usually a little more value-driven, and you can include a PDF or something, right?
Henson Wu: Sorry. I'm still having a little trouble hearing you. The first email you can send a PDF, right, yes.
Andrew Maff: Yeah. So if you do that ... So in the email, we all know Amazon's probably indexing those, so if you have your website or you have your phone number or something in there, you'll get flagged that you can't do that. But, what if you do it in the PDF and it doesn't actually get scanned from whatever it is Amazon's got running? Do you think that you can get away with that?
Henson Wu: You probably can, because I don't think their algorithm right now has the ability to detect attachments, but if someone does report you or complain, it's very easy for them to look into your account and look at your sequence and say, here's a PDF attachment with all your information, and they'll suspend you.
Henson Wu: This Amazon world is really how much risk you're willing to take. Some sellers are willing to do a lot of black hat stuff and they get away with it and it might help them, but if you're a big company and you're making a lot of money already, then you wouldn't want to take the risk of doing any of these kind of things. So what you mentioned there, it is still against terms of service, so if they did do it, they might not get caught immediately, but there is a record of that somewhere stored in their server, so if they ever want to bring it up, they would be able to find it. I wouldn't recommend doing it.
Henson Wu: A lot of sellers, what they do is they will put their brand logo and even their website information on there, and even with the whole discussion not just email automation, but with product inserts. A lot of the big supplement companies, if you look, they do have a lot of stuff that's very questionable inside. If you look at it, they will have a buy one, get one free coupon, or fill out our product warranty survey, it takes them back to their website. A lot of sellers wonder, how would I get away with that?
Henson Wu: Well, the main difference that Amazon actually allows that is because they actually have different channels of distribution, not just Amazon. They do eBay, they do your website, they do everything. So as long as you're doing consistently through all the channels, and not just specifically Amazon, Amazon will usually, as I'm talking today, will let that go, because they will actually test buy. Buy your product from, let's say, your website, and they want to see if the product insert is the same product insert you're using on Amazon. If it's exactly the same and you're a manufacturer and say this is how I have my current label, so and I'm using it through Amazon, then they won't flag you for that. But if you're specifically trying to circumvent some of the rules just for Amazon and they catch you for that, that's where you'll get into trouble.
Andrew Maff: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. It's definitely not something I would suggest, ever. It's just I heard it the other day. I was like, ah I think you could get away with that, but I don't think I would do it.
Andrew Maff: So how does the whole structure work? In terms of how you guys choose to do out pricing and everything, do you do it based on order volume, or do you do it just based on a monthly fee? What is your preference?
Henson Wu: Right now, we offer unlimited emails, so it doesn't matter if you're sending a million emails or you're sending a thousand emails or one email. The pricing isn't based on emails you send. It's based on the products you monitor. So half of our service is monitoring your listing, monitoring your product reviews. So let's say, the structure is really based on how many you want to monitor, so that if you're selling less than 100 products, you can be on our basic plan, which is $30.00 a month, which is really affordable for any intermediate or beginning sellers.
Henson Wu: But if you're a large corporation, where you might have 1,000 or 20-30,000 ASINs in your inventory, then the cost will go up based on the number of ASINs you want to monitor. So the pricing structure is right now, as of today, really just based on the number of ASINs we monitor.
Andrew Maff: Perfect. Look, I really appreciate it. Obviously I'm sure you know, I love keeping these short and sweet, otherwise we just lose people. But really appreciate you chatting with me. Obviously anyone who watches this at any point, no matter where you're watching it, because we'll have it on YouTube and our blog, and it'll stay here on Instagram, feel free to comment. Let us know if you have any questions. I'll happily send them over to Feedback Whiz if he doesn't see them. Henson, if you don't mind, would you just give everyone your closing remarks, let everybody know where they can find you?
Henson Wu: Yeah, thanks for having me on today. I really appreciate that. Yeah, our website is [4yweb 00:13:48].feedbackwhiz.com. You can sign up there. We have a 30 day trial so you could test out all the functionalities. Our goal here is to help Amazon sellers, so if you have any questions, you can reach out to us, and we'll help you, see what we could do for you. Really appreciate you having me on today. Thank you.
Andrew Maff: Thanks Henson, appreciate it. Have a good night.
All right. Take care.
Andrew Maff: Bye.
Henson Wu: Bye.