Writing product reviews is something that a lot of marketers shy away from because they don’t want to come across as cheesy or salesy. However, there are ways of writing effective reviews that sell and still come out smelling like roses.
In this article, you will discover how to create product reviews that don’t alienate your readers but still generate loads of revenue for your site.
The first thing you need to understand is the process that customers use to search for feedback about products or services they are about to purchase.
It usually goes a little something like this:
They type + into the Google search bar
They are greeted by tons of star ratings, review sites, etc. on the screen with half the titles reading ‘Is this product a scam? Don’t buy it before reading this!’
They tentatively click on one of the results which don’t look like obvious click bait, with a domain name that looks trustable, such as HonestProductReviews.com 🙂
They land on a webpage that is completely sold out to that products owner, and is filled with calls to action, 100% positive reviews, and so on.
If they are lucky, they’ll find a rehashed product description.
Frustrated, they click back and try three or four more sites only to get the same results. They close the browser in a rage, without any idea whether or not to buy the product!
Does any of this sound familiar to you? (I can’t count how many times this has happened to me, Ugh!)
As a marketer on the other side of this equation, it’s important to note that if this is the kind of game you’re playing, even if your product reviews rank, they won’t generate nearly as much income (if any) as you would get with the proper, more effective kind of product reviews.
The reason for this is that these days the majority of people are fairly well educated when it comes to sketchy affiliate websites that sell in this way.
And so while it’s still possible to make a few sales like this, the simple truth is that there is a much better way that will not only boost your income but will also keep your readers happy, too.
What are you talking about, Steven?
I’m talking about being honest, understanding the best way to write product reviews where you’re not afraid of being critical of the product, and having your readers’ best interests at heart.
This can and will pay off in a massive way while setting you apart from the rest of the lousy online reviews in your niche.
So, if you haven’t been finding great success with your product reviews, now is the time for you to clear the board, forget everything you ever knew about how to write reviews – and learn from expert writers and content marketers how to craft product reviews that really sell!
According to the most successful product review writers, there are generally two simple things that characterize all the best customer reviews:
- Trust with the review author
- Bringing together features and benefits using real-life examples
With those two important things taken care of you can now focus on the 8-step format for writing great product reviews that will earn you tons of commissions on your affiliate products.
Step #1: Create a Product Summary
At the top of the product review page, you want to include a short summary of the product in question. In fact, an even better idea is to put it into a sort of ‘summary box’. This section of your product review does a couple of things.
First, it captures those highly-motivated buyers. These are the people who just want a quick opinion prior to making their final buying decision.
Secondly, it summarizes the entire review and gives those of your readers scrolling back up another call to action that they can click on.
Here are some of the important elements that an ideal summary needs to have:
- At the top, include a short sentence which identifies the product as well as its intended use.
- Your review can include product ratings under various headers, such as effectiveness, support, value for money, and so on. A good way of making these more visual is by using icons.
- Include a summary of pros and cons – make sure you include cons because if you don’t, your review is going to feel biased.
- Have one or two short paragraphs that summarize the entire review.
- Include CTA text made up of actionable copy.
- A lot of your readers may decide to purchase or not depending on the factor of price, so make sure you include the product price in your review summary.
You can create such a summary box using tools like Thrive Content Builder and other similar page builder tools.
Step #2: Empathize with Readers
Now it’s time to focus on those readers who are actually going to consume your content. This is your chance to get personal and stand out from the rest of the competition.
Don’t be one of those reviewers who are more interested in listing the features of a product than actually helping people solve their problems.
These types of reviews are all over the web but they do a miserable job when it comes to helping readers. They are the reason why so many consumers meet with such frustration when trying to figure out whether to buy a certain product or not.
You need to understand that when buyers read reviews, it’s not to see the product’s features – they can find out about those directly from the seller’s website.
Potential buyers want to learn if that product can actually help them solve their problems!
At this point in time, they are not concerned about all the awesome cool things that the product is capable of doing. They just want you to show them how it performed for someone else in the same situation so they can see that it could work for them too.
And that’s why the first step when it comes to writing great product reviews has to do with empathizing with your reader.
We won’t go too much into the psychological principles relating to persuasion and how you can use them to sell more right now, but suffice it to say that empathy is directly correlated with your likability, and this has a massive effect on how much your audience trusts and follows your advice.
4 Ways to Use Empathy When Writing Product Reviews
Here are four simple tactics that you can use to empathize with your readers and become more likable so you can create effective reviews without coming across as salesy.
1. Have a friendly voice
Write in the first person, with a casual style that is conversational.
Do your best to come across as though you are talking to just one reader who is a friend, and who you are gently guiding through their problems.
2. Share your own problem
Before even mentioning the product, it’s a good idea to talk about your own problem and touch on how the product helped you solve it.
You can tell an effective story of the situation you were in before you used that product and then paint a picture of you after using it.
3. Pressure the pain
Use rhetorical questions like ‘Do you spend too much time blogging but don’t see any results?’ to pull in your readers and make them silently empathize with you.
4. Be authentic
As a marketer, you likely already know that most people empathize a lot more with another person than they do with a brand.
That’s why it’s important to put a face to your business, use real pictures that draw readers in, and address your reader directly using ‘you’.
Your main objective in those first few paragraphs of the review is to explain to your reader how you are an ordinary person – just like them.
Tell them how the review you’re writing is the result of your personal experience using that product (but only if this is true, of course!)
This instantly makes your prospects’ eyes light up when they realize that – hey, this person is just like me!
So for example, if you are in the online marketing niche where you help people start their own online businesses, you might want to start with something that identifies that you were once where they are, and now you are where they want to be, before showing them how exactly you’re going to help them achieve the same results you did.
As long as many of your audience find themselves in that same situation, then your battle is half won.
You aren’t a nobody anymore in their eyes, and your narrative will make them want to know exactly what happens to you in the end – and this is one of the easiest ways of keeping them engaged on your page.
Step #3: Who Is the Product for?
Your next step is to identify who, in particular, the product is meant for.
Unfortunately, this is something that most reviewers miss. In their quest to reach as many prospects as possible, they write their reviews for everyone, including those people who just aren’t a right fit for that particular product.
The problem with writing in this way is that you attract a lot of tire-kickers who will then waste their own and your time reading the product review when they’re not really going to take any action.
That’s why the third step when crafting great product reviews is to clearly identify your target market.
This is actually quite simple and straightforward.
Just include a section within the review to explain exactly who the product is for. You can add a subtitle near the top ‘Who is this product for?’ so you can save everyone a lot of time.
In fact, it’s a good idea to state, in no uncertain terms, if the product is not for specific segments of people.
For example, say you’re reviewing a fat loss product that requires discipline and patience, you can state that: This product is not for you if you expect instant results. Or something to that effect…
Include a FREE Alternative
Counter-intuitive – I know! This isn’t something that a lot of marketers do when writing product reviews, but it’s a good idea to include a free alternative to the product you are reviewing.
For instance, if you are reviewing an email marketing platform like GetResponse, you might ask your readers how serious they are about building their list.
If they don’t plan on having over 2000 subscribers within the next few months (or ever), then you might recommend that they opt for something a lot simpler such as a free version of MailChimp.
Including a free alternative actually does two things:
First, it qualifies prospects and if someone is not a good candidate for your product, they can just leave at that point with no one having wasted their time.
Next, it helps to build your credibility.
By telling unqualified people that they shouldn’t buy that product and identifying one or more free alternatives, this shows your readers that you are not just after getting them to part with their money, but that you also want to help them get the best product for their specific needs.
That earns you a LOT of trust.
Step #4: Introduce the Solution
At this point, the reader is very clear on the fact that they have a problem.
They’re searching for answers and they trust you. Now is the perfect time for you to introduce the solution to their problems.
One way of doing this is by giving readers a brief product overview to show them exactly what the product entails, its capabilities, and the types of results that they can expect from using it.
You can do this in a video if you want, and then put your review on YouTube so it can generate traffic as well. This also gives your post a nice multimedia feel.
Essentially, in this part, your job involves simply pre-selling the product.
We’ve reached the halfway point, so stay tuned for the second part of this post:
Part 2: How To Write An Effective Must-Read Product Review
Feel free to post your comment below. An email address is required but it will not be shared with anyone, put on any list, or used for any kind of marketing, just to alert you if there are any replies. Thanks and happy hunting!
Updated: Originally published June 16th 2019