Are you looking to increase the number of reviews you get on Etsy?
Positive reviews don’t only help you feel good, they also are a powerful tool for getting even more sales. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about asking for them.
In this article, I’ll share several ideas you can use to encourage more people to leave reviews. I’ll also include a few templates you’re welcome to copy-and-paste with your own customers as well.
While the right strategy can double or even triple the number of reviews you receive, certain activities may get you into trouble with Etsy. So, let’s get into it!
1. Use An Insert Card
One of the easiest ways to encourage more reviews, is to include an insert card with your purchase.
Always remember that the time that your customer is most excited about your purchase, is right when they open it for the first time.
So, this is the perfect opportunity to capture that excitement, and help them share it with others in the form of a review!
Good insert cards have the following in common:
- They make it about the customer first – such as offering an easy way to contact you for support.
- They encourage customer loyalty or repeat purchases – such as including a small, exclusive discount for future orders.
- They encourage word-of-mouth advertising for you – such as sharing a photo on social media with a certain hashtag, or leaving you a review.
On a competitive marketplace like Etsy, asking them to leave you a review will have the most impact. While some people have tried to do both, studies have shown that if you ask someone to do too much at once, they will end up taking no action at all.
Note that you cannot give discounts, incentives, or free products to people in exchange for positive reviews, as this is against FTC guidelines and may get you into trouble not only with Etsy, but the government as well. We’ll talk more about things to avoid later on.
So, where do you get the insert cards?
If you’re just starting out, I recommend handwriting them, as this personal touch is part of what makes Etsy so great. This is an additional ‘wow factor’ the customer won’t be expecting, which may encourage even more reviews.
If you’re selling more than you can handle however, I recommend using a service like Printrunner.
Most product inserts can fit on a standard business card, which Printrunner sells for as little as 3 cents each!
2. Send A Message Prior To Shipping
Another excellent idea to encourage more reviews – and win over some customer service points, is to send a message prior to shipping.
Etsy has directly encouraged this, and their suggestion has been backed up by enormous amounts of data across their platform. While this would probably come across as annoying on a website like Amazon, it’s the personal touch of Etsy that appeals to so many people.
So, by sending a message after a buyer has placed their order, it can really go a long way to generating positive reviews later on.
So, when sending a message to a buyer prior to shipping, make sure it includes these following points:
- You acknowledge and thank them for your order.
- You let them know that you’re working on it, and hope to get it to them as soon as possible.
- You show that you’re emotionally invested in hearing their thoughts, and that you personally value their opinion. Note that I don’t recommend directly asking for a review at this stage – it’s all about planting the idea in their mind, and letting them come to that conclusion themselves.
- You keep lines of communication open, and encourage them to reach out to you if they have any questions.
People appreciate it when they know that you’re there for them, even if they never end up actually contacting you. Psychologically, this also opens up the feeling of reciprocity – customers may feel an increased need to ‘pay you back’ for being so generous with your time to contact them.
Here is an example template you can send to buyers prior to shipping:
“Hi (Buyer Name),
My name is (your name) and I just wanted to reach out to thank you for your order! I have already began working on it, and expect to have it shipped out to you within (your shipping window.)
Once it ships, you should receive an email from Etsy with the tracking details. I’m excited for you to receive it, and would love to hear your thoughts once you do!
Of course, if you have any questions at all in the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out. I try to respond to all messages as soon as I can, usually within 24 hours.
Thank you again!
– (Your Name)”
Again, the goal with this message is not to directly ask for a review now – just to plant the idea, and improve your perceived customer service. If you directly ask for the review later on and you do it now, that could come across as spammy or annoying – which can actually have the opposite effect.
3. Send A Follow-Up Message After They Receive The Product
Next, you may consider sending a follow-up message after the product has been delivered.
Just like the pre-shipment message, you want to avoid asking for too much, and instead focus on the buyer, and how you can help them.
After the product has been delivered however, buyers finally become eligible to leave a review. So, this may be a good time to ask for one in a more direct manner, especially if you don’t use an insert card along with your product.
Here is an example template you’re welcome to use:
“Hi (Buyer Name)!
Thank you again for your order – I was just checking the tracking, and saw that it was delivered (today / on X day).
I just wanted to check in and make sure that there weren’t any questions or issues that you had with it. If there’s anything at all that I can help with, please let me know and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
If you are enjoying the product, would you mind leaving a quick review to let others know? The entire process only takes a few moments, and it really goes a long way towards helping other buyers decide whether or not it’s right for them. On a personal note, I must admit that it helps me out too. 😊
Anyhow, thank you again for your order, and I’m always here if there’s ever anything I can do for you.
– (Your Name)”
Note: Consider personalizing this message for each product class you offer. For example, on baby clothes you may consider asking if it fit alright, and offering to exchange it if it didn’t. Personalize your support for each product class, and it will be nearly impossible for buyers to know you’re working off a template.
4. Follow These Review Best Practices
Did you know that even something as simple as the time of day can drastically affect the number of reviews that you receive?
There are a number of best practices you should be aware of not only to encourage more positive reviews, but also to lessen the number of negative reviews that you receive.
Let’s look at a few of them now.
1. Send Review Requests Between 2-3 PM, and 6-7 PM
According to public review data, these are the hours in which people are most likely to leave reviews for businesses on Google.
It goes without saying, but it’s best to ask for reviews when people are likely to actually leave them.
If you ask for reviews in the middle of the night for example, they may not see your message in the first place – let alone take the time to write something thoughtful out!
2. Avoid Asking For Multiple Things At Once
Generally speaking, you want to have just one call-to-action in your marketing messages.
So, instead of asking them to leave a review and take a photo and share your listing on social media, instead just ask them to do one small favor – leave you a review.
If they have a picture they want to share, they’ll do it anyway, without you asking them to.
Still, when you give people too many options or request too much from them, it can feel overwhelming – causing them to shut down, and do nothing at all.
3. Avoid Sending Multiple Requests After Purchasing
This one is important.
Etsy already sends them a direct email asking them to review their purchase. Additionally, the templates above also have you requesting a review as well.
Multiple emails can very quickly become annoying, especially if you are asking for a favor within them. Some buyers will take this personally, and leave you negative reviews out of spite – even if they genuinely enjoy the product.
So, post-purchase I recommend sending no more than one follow-up email, while still focusing it on what you can provide for them, rather than what they can do for you.
4. Respond To All Customer Service Issues Quickly
Speed is what I consider to be one of the 7 pillars of great customer service.
In fact, people consider a speedy response to reflect even higher on you even if the answer you have to give them is bad, and wasn’t the answer they were hoping for.
Always remember that reviews are not always objective – they are emotional in nature, and reflect the buyer’s unique experience with the experience. They are not only a reflection of the product itself, but with your service as well.
So, the better your perceived service, the more likely you are to get a better review.
5. Avoid Breaking Etsy / FTC Rules Regarding Reviews
Finally, you should avoid doing anything that can break the rules of Etsy, as well as the FTC.
Most commonly, this includes using financial incentives to skew reviews. Examples of this include:
- Offering free products in exchange for reviews.
- Offering discounts – on existing or future orders, in exchange for reviews.
- Offering money, refunds, coupons, or other incentives for editing or removing negative reviews.
Note that Etsy states broadly that you cannot do anything to undermine the integrity of the reviews system, but what this exactly constitutes is up for interpretation.
This means that you should err on the side of caution, and avoid doing anything that may considered even slightly unfair or uncompetitive.
Additionally, this likely applies to competitor reviews too. Just like you shouldn’t pay someone to boost your own reviews, you shouldn’t pay someone to leave negative reviews on your competitors’ Etsy listings either.
Tip: Take Advantage Of Templates When Possible!
Within this article, I have shared a couple of different small templates to help speed up the process.
The truth is, utilizing templates within your customer service is a great way to…
- Drastically speed up the time it takes to contact each customer.
- Keep a strong and consistent brand voice, even if you end up having multiple people handle customer service.
- Have clear system in place to handle all common customer issues.
This ultimately leads to a higher level of customer service. And with well-written templates, they do not feel impersonal either.
That is why I’ve put together a package of 30+ customer service templates for you to use, that will handle just about every customer service inquiry that you’re likely to experience on Etsy, such as:
- The buyer wanting to change their address.
- The customer messaging you about a delivery delay.
- Customers asking you to ship faster.
- Customers claiming the item didn’t arrive, but tracking shows it as delivered.
- Prospective buyers asking you for a discount or coupon.
- …And many more!
Each template gives full examples on how and when they should be used, and can quickly be copied down to handle customer messages up to 8x quicker.
You can purchase the customer service templates pack for $19 through my products page here – and never struggle with what to say to a customer again!
Having a strategy for your reviews on Etsy is a fantastic way to get more of them – and end up with more sales as a result.
As you can see however, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about asking for them. While a gentle nudge towards leaving a review can prompt people who otherwise would have forgotten to leave one, doing too much can have the opposite effect – or even get you into trouble with Etsy.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and that you’ll use these tips to help grow your business on Etsy. If you have any other ideas of your own or you have any questions, please ask them using the comment form below.
Finally, if you are interested in other customer service templates for the common questions you’re likely to experience as an Etsy seller, consider purchasing my templates package from my products page here.
Thanks for reading, and wishing you success,
– James McAllister