Congrats to our EIS Awards Finalists Dr. Scholl’s and Sazerac!
examples of customer reviews

Review Vs. No Review: We Test Everything

You can’t reliably extrapolate the results from one A/B split test across other products and services.

Can customer reviews boost email response rates and revenue? According to three A/B split tests conducted by Alchemy Worx on behalf of three different clients, it depends. As in: it really depends.

There is no doubt that reviews can impact sales. According to studies by ratings-and-review company Power Reviews:

  • 74% of consumers say that ratings and reviews are a key way they learn about products they’ve never purchased before.
  • 9 in 10 consumers say they consider reviews when making a purchase decision. 
  • 98% of shoppers say reviews are an essential resource when making purchase decisions.
  • 45% of consumers won’t purchase a product if there are no reviews available for it.

But do they work in email campaigns? The three tests Alchemy Worx ran involving reviews showed wildly differing results.

Reviews Work: EZ Contacts

In a test for EZ Contacts, the campaign with the review outperformed the campaign without one, driving 17 percent more revenue and 31 percent more orders.

Reviews Work Sometimes: TireBuyer

In a test for TireBuyer, no review outperformed the campaign with the review, driving 22 percent more revenue and 42 percent more orders.

However, the non-buyer segment of TireBuyer’s file responded slightly better to the campaign with reviews. 

“I think this rest indicates that buyers are confident in what they’re purchasing and who they’re buying it from,” says Allan Levy, CEO of Alchemy Worx. “Non-buyers may need a little persuasion.” 

Reviews Don’t Work: Vänt Panels

In a test for contemporary furniture retailer Vänt Panels, the no-review campaign drove a whopping 121 percent more revenue than the campaign with a review.

“With quick purchases that are highly emotional, reviews can help boost sales by inspiring consumer confidence in their decision,” says Levy. “However, on bigger purchases where we need to help alleviate complexity, reviews can be a barrier to sales.”

Taken all together, the three tests highlight the importance of always testing everything, he adds.

“You can’t reliably extrapolate the results from one A/B split test across other products and services,” says Levy. “For example, if we were to go by the Vänt Panels test alone, we would conclude that adding reviews to an email campaign is a recipe for failure. But that’s not the case for some other products and services. Whether or not to add reviews is a case-by-case decision. That’s why we always test.”

Moreover, in the case of TireBuyer, the test highlights the importance of segmenting audiences and treating the segments differently.

Alchemy Worx will continue testing adding reviews to email campaigns, but will always test first, to make sure reviews are a fit for the product and the audience segment.

At Alchemy Worx, we test everything. You should, too. For more information on how to partner with Alchemy Worx, contact us.