Dustin and Kris welcome the founder of FeedbackWhiz, Henson Wu, to discuss new policy changes Amazon is making starting in November 2020. Henson will cover the new rules and things you as a seller should be doing to your messages.
See more of Dustin and Kris on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCImqJsK7Ru_hC2ZLnBC_f_Q
Hear more from the Two Amazon Sellers and a Microphone podcast here: https://anchor.fm/2amzsellersandamicrophone
– Hello everyone. And welcome to episode 12 of “Two Amazon Sellers and a Microphone”. I’m excited about today’s podcast. With me as always is Kris Grahamlich. And we have our first guest for the podcast, Henson, Wu from FeedbackWhiz Henson, how are you doing?
– Good, I’m doing great. How are you guys doing?
– Doing great. We are excited to have you on here. The topic today is gonna be some of the terms of service changes that Amazon is gonna be rolling out in the future with the buyer-seller messaging. And certainly the automated feedback messages that we as sellers have been sending in the past. So we’re excited to have you on to get some clarification about these new ToS that are coming out from Amazon. Kris, how you doing, man?
– I’m doing good. I’m excited for this podcast. There’s a lot of confusion in this category. So we reached out to the best in the business FeedbackWhiz, these guys know all about the changes. A good tool to check out. So I’m excited to learn what we as sellers need to be doing moving forward. So we don’t jeopardize our accounts and that we follow the terms of service the correct way and not get our account banned or anything like that. So super excited. Henson, why don’t you go ahead and tell us about FeedbackWhiz, what it is, how you got started, what you guys do, and kind of just give some background about it.
– Yeah, so hi. I’m Henson. I am the co-founder and CEO of FeedbackWhiz. I used to be an Amazon seller back in 2014. And when I was selling on Amazon, my actual job was actually being an engineer. So I’ve worked in this software and Amazon world for a very long time. And basically, that’s how we came about building FeedbackWhiz. And our goal was really to build a tool to help sellers increase brand reputation and their profits. The first tool that we created was for buyer-seller messaging, automated emails, to try to automate the communication between the seller and buyer and make it as efficient and maximize the conversions, get as many reviews as possible and try to, prevent negative reviews. So with the communication guidelines, if you’ve been selling on Amazon for a long time, you’ve probably been using some kind of email tool to send out messages to sellers or to buyers, excuse me. A lot of sellers have been using this platform more as a tool for marketing or trying to increase reviews in ways that are somewhat, unfriendly with Amazon’s policies. So this is why Amazon updated their communication guideline. I think it was September 8th. And they’re basically saying these new policies will take effect on November 3rd. So you have about a little bit less than a month to understand what the changes are and just fix if you’re using buyer-seller messaging emails to send out for reviews, or if you’re sending out order shipment emails and things like that, you have to understand the changes and what you need to do to prepare for these upcoming changes. So I’m gonna just go over, what are the main things that changed and what you need to really look out for because there are some consequences which we’ll talk about what happens. For sellers that have been using buyer-seller messaging, if you violated some of these guidelines already, actually Amazon has been enforcing this for almost six months to a year, and they’ve been slapping people with a 30-day proactive message restriction. So that’s kind of a background of what’s been going on.
– Good stuff there.
– So to dive in onto what this new policy, by the way, you can find this policy inside your Amazon Seller Central by logging in. September 8th, they had the new section. So in the new section on September 8th, you’ll see a communication guideline update. And there’s a PDF file that you actually click and download. So the actual guidelines haven’t been updated yet on the Amazon pages. So if you go to the Amazon buyer-seller messaging rules and pages, you’ll notice that it’s still the old stuff. So I think they’re not gonna update it until probably closer to November 3rd.
– Hey, Henson, let me jump in real quick and ask a question. Just so we can get even more clarification. What are the basic terms of service right now? Like as an existing seller, if you’re using the messaging system. I use it too for feedback and for reviews and just basic customer service. What are the current, just the basic terms right now of what you can and can’t do?
– Well, the basic terms are kind of vague, right? So the main thing is they don’t want you using buyer-seller messaging as a marketing tool. Mainly people use it to get reviews or feedback, right? So they don’t want you sending like coupon codes. They don’t want you like directing them to your website, right? They don’t want you to try to manipulate them to leave you a good review or update reviews, remove reviews things like that. And that’s mainly what sellers use it for, right? Or they send out like messages saying, “Hey, your order has been shipped. “Here’s a guide on how to use your product.” So something like that. But the rules-
– That is something that I currently do with a lot of my products. And that’s still okay, correct?
– Well, as of right now is okay. But like I said, there’s some rules that are set in place. Like, people using the important tag to bypass the opt-outs to send unnecessary messages. Like these are all rules that have been in effect, right? The thing is just Amazon in the past had these rules. They just never really enforced it. And I think it just got to a point where things started getting out of control and maybe the buyer experience started to deteriorate a little bit. Buyers are complaining that “I am getting too many messages “from every order that I’m placing.” They introduced the opt-out a few years ago. And that’s cut down a lot of stuff. But at the same time, I think Amazon kind of just wanted to level the playing field, make it a more buyer-friendly type of environment. As a buyer, you don’t wanna continuously getting these unnecessary messages or, these stories about, “Please leave me a positive feedback or review.” And like, “I need help,” things like that. So I think they just got tired of it and that’s pretty much why they updated the policies now. And they’ve literally is like four pages long. So they just pretty much written as much as they could to tell people this is what you can and can’t do.
– Interesting. All right, well let’s dive into what are the upcoming changes going to be and once we know those changes, what are the steps we can take to protect ourselves from violating them?
– So basically they’ve defined a couple of terms like permitted messages and proactive permitted messages. So permitted messages are basically where if the buyer reaches out to you, you have the opportunity to respond to them to resolve their issue, right? So they consider this as necessary as part of, as a seller, you have to provide the service as a customer service. So they emailed you and asked you for instructions for your product. Or they said that “My product got damaged.” Then it’s your responsibility to reply to them and fix the problem, right? So this is the buyer sending you the message first. And then there’s the proactive permitted messages. This is where the seller initiates the contact to the buyer first. And most of the rules are really surrounding the proactive permitted messages. Because Amazon doesn’t really care about what the buyer asks the question to you. You can say whatever back to them as long as it’s pertaining to the message. But as a seller, if you started sending things that are not necessary to complete the order or that are violating some of these rules, they put in place, this is where they’re gonna come after you. So with the proactive messages, what they’re basically saying is that you can use an app, which is great. Because in the past they never really said anything about using a third-party app or platform or using the API. They just basically said, “Oh, you can just use “buyer-seller messaging say at Seller Central.” So they’ve come out and finally said that “Hey, apps are okay to use.” Even though everyone was using it, everyone knew was fine. They made that clear. So that’s good news for third-party apps, right? But they’ve also said that you can only send out proactive messages for the following reasons. So resolving an issue with order fulfillment, like requesting additional information required to complete the order, asking a return related question, sending an invoice, scheduling delivery of a heavy item or like a home service appointment. Or if it’s a custom design where they have to respond to in order to fulfill the order. So these kinds of reasons are why you would be allowed to send a proactive message, but they also did very clearly say, “You can send the proactive message “to request a product review or seller feedback.” So that’s great because they are still allowing you to use buyer-seller messaging to request a review. And that was, I think the biggest confusion was that, with this whole proactive message suspension that happened in the last six months, a lot of sellers were messaging Amazon and Seller Support we’re telling them, “You can’t use buyer-seller messaging “to ask for reviews anymore.” “You can’t ask for feedback.” And there was a lot of false information going back and forth. But they’ve clearly defined. You can ask for product reviews and feedback. So that’s great news. However, if you’re sending an email for order shipment, they don’t want you doing that anymore. So they’ve also defined what you can’t do for proactive messages. So that includes order and shipment confirmation messages. That’s because Amazon sends that already. So they don’t want you to sending a duplicate message, Messages that say, “Thank you only.” Or, “Contact us if you have a problem.” Marketing, promotional messages, coupons. We already know that’s pretty obvious. And then they’re really looking out for when you’re asking for a review, the type of language you’re using when you’re asking for a review. So they don’t want you to try to incentivize them, for example, to submit a positive review by offering some kind of compensation, whether it’s like gift cards, money, a discount, rebates, things like that. The review has to be asked in a very neutral tone, right? It can’t be suggestive. So like, “If you had an issue with our product, “please contact us first before you write a review.” Or, “If you loved our product, “please leave a five-star review for us.” So Amazon views this as suggestive language, and you can’t have that kind of language when you’re asking for a review. So hopefully that was a lot of information. And hopefully, people kind of understand what you can and can’t do. And the actual biggest change I would say because a lot of these are kind of obvious, right? If you’re a seller, you pretty much know you shouldn’t be doing this. But the biggest change is really that they only allow you to send one review request or feedback request per order. So in the past, a lot of sellers used to have, message sequences set up where they’ll send one review request after five days, and then they’ll send another one after 10 and then another one after 20. So now they’re saying you can only ask for a review once per order. So that’s really the biggest thing here is if you’re using a tool or if you’re sending it manually, make sure you’re not sending it more than once. Because if you send them more than once, it’s gonna trigger on their system and they will restrict you from using buyer-seller messaging.
– Interesting. Does that include the button as well as the review request button inside? And can I do that and another email or those both count?
– Yes. So that’s a great question. I was actually just gonna touch that, but yeah. So the request a review button, although it’s a different mechanism than buyer-seller messaging, it’s not connected together that is considered asking for review. So if you’re using the review request button to ask for a review, don’t use buyer-seller messaging to ask for a review and vice versa. So you have to pick which one you wanna use because we’ve noticed a lot of people getting restricted, they didn’t understand that. And they were using both methods to ask for reviews. So that’s considered two requests per order. So you definitely don’t wanna do that.
– Guilty as charged.
– That right there just saved me.
– I mean I’m doing the same thing. I’m sending follow-up emails and then every week I’ll do the request for review. Same time.
– Yeah, you wanna avoid that, especially coming to November 3rd, you gotta decide which method you wanna use. And the other thing too is as a seller on Amazon, you’re either doing private label or you’re doing like retail arbitrage, right? So you need to figure out, are you trying to get product reviews or seller feedback? Because Amazon is saying that if you’re trying to ask for both, it has to be in the same email. Because that’s how the request a review button works, right? Both requests are in the same email. So you can’t send a separate product review request email, and then send a separate seller feedback request email for the same order. So you gotta make sure to put it in the same email or my suggestion is to figure out which one’s more important for you, right? If you’re a private label seller, then don’t even bother with seller feedback. You need product reviews and just focus on getting product reviews. So just having it simple for that.
– Wow, so in short, you can still send a review request in emails moving forward past November 3rd? That still is prohibited. You could still do that?
– Yes. So you’ve made it clear in writing now. So there’s no confusion anymore on whether or not you can use buyer-seller messaging emails to ask for reviews. You can absolutely do that. It’s just, you don’t wanna use buyer-seller messaging and request a review at the same time for the same word. There’s also some other restrictions now in terms of when you’re sending these emails out and they’re more towards the content of the email itself. So the other restrictions are that any type of links you put inside of the email, it has to be secure working links. So secure working links, meaning HTTPS, right? No, HTTP so that’s very important. And these external links, they don’t want any external links outside of Amazon pages. So don’t put any external links to your website, to your social media channel, right? It has to be pages within Amazon. So whether it’s the storefront page, whether it’s the page to leave a review, whether it’s a page to leave feedback, whether it’s a product video page, whatever. It’s very clear now the external links are not allowed unless they are working links and they’re Amazon-related pages. Now there is a little bit of a give and take. So for example, if you have a link where they have to register for a warranty, that goes to your website, that’s actually okay. So they just don’t want it to be a link to try to divert them to buy products on your website or go to your social media channel, things like that. They’ve also said that they don’t want any type of attachments that are not related to product constructions, warranty information, or invoices. So if you’re attaching pictures of your product or something else, or even let’s say you’re putting in a guide on how to let’s say, for example, I’m selling a blender and I’m attaching a PDF guide that says, “These are 10 recipes “you can use to complement your vendor.” That’s not considered something they want you to attach anymore. Although it’s related to your product, it’s not really directly pertaining to, the necessary function or safety of the product. But if you had product instructions on how to use this product properly, or how to register for your warranty for this product, that’s perfectly okay. So keep that in mind with attachments. They’re allowing you to put your logos inside the emails as well, as long as they don’t have a link to direct them outside of it. So they click on your logo, make sure you don’t have a clickable logo linked to your website. The other big thing really is they’re not allowing emojis and pictures anymore. So if you’re using emojis or if you’re putting in pictures of your product or pictures of anything, they don’t want that. So no more pictures, no more emojis. The only pictures that you can put in again are just gonna be your logo. So keep that in mind. The other things are kind of obvious. Like you don’t wanna put like your email address, your phone number, a link to your website, right? Any type of foul language, offensive pictures or things like that. You just don’t wanna put it. So those are kind of more obvious. The other bad thing too, is that they no longer allow tracking pixels. So for people that don’t know what tracking pixels do, tracking pixels are used for third party providers that track the open rate of your emails. So when you use like FeedbackWhiz or whatever, they’ll tell you what the open rate is, right? And the way that that works is we put in this tracking pixel on the email, when they opened the email, it basically opens up this blank picture that they can’t see. But we get the data saying that “Hey someone opened this email.” So they no longer want you to track open rates. So we have to disable that. And everyone has to disable that for now. We don’t know if Amazon is gonna provide this data in the future, but for now, open rate data will be gone. So you gotta now figure out, all right, what subject lines give you the highest open rates? So that’s something that you gotta either test now before November 3rd, or I usually tell people for subject lines, the best subject lines are something pertaining to your Amazon order, right? But don’t give too much information about what that content of the email is. So if you’re saying like, “Please rate our product. “Please write us a review, right?” If that’s your subject line, you’re gonna get very low open rates because it’s too direct and people already know what it’s about. Or you may be sending in a time of day where they don’t have time to react to it. Once they skip it, they won’t come back. So the best subject lines are like, “Regarding your Amazon order ID number,” put in the order ID number there. Or, “Information about your Amazon purchase,” order ID number. So it doesn’t give too much information about the content of the email, but it sounds important enough that they know it’s something to do with their Amazon product. They’re inclined to open it. So that’s gonna give you the highest open rate. So I suggest you if you don’t know what subject lines to use, use one of those types of subject lines.
– That’s interesting. There’s gonna be a lot of adjustments I’m gonna have to make. I wanna touch on a couple of things you said, I got a question. Let’s say you’re a fitness product and you attach a workout guide with it. So is that related to the product? ‘Cause, it’s not directions on using it kind of its exercises you can use with it. It’s like a workout guide. Would that be crossing the line?
– That’s crossing the line, yeah. Because they made it very clear that the attachment has to be product instructions, warranty information, or invoices. So if the fitness product you’re attaching a guide on how to safely assemble the product itself, that’s probably okay. But if you’re giving them exercises on how to do it, that’s not really something that’s necessary for the seller. That you can put inside your packaging. You could put it inside.
– That’s interesting now in the past, ’cause I’m curious about the sequences that you would roll out now. In the past, I’ve done sequences like you talked about where, “Hey, congrats, “your order has shipped.” Then you send an email out, like the day after delivery, “Did everything arrive okay? “If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know.” And then a third follow-up where you subtly asked them for an honest review or honest feedback. With these new terms of service that are coming out, what are the kinds of sequences that you would roll out for products?
– Yeah, the sad part is there’s not much of a sequence you can use anymore. Because of the restriction with the one review request. However, I do suggest everyone that has a product to go get some product instructions or warranty information created. Some kind of guide or PDF, right? Because they’re stating that you can send out these things as a message, right? So in my mind, the only sequence you can really do is having some kind of product instruction email when the product ships to send it to them. In that email you can say, “Here’s the attachment for how to safely use your product,” or “In case you have trouble with using, “In case you don’t know how to assemble this product, “please see the attached product instructions.” And then you can write something where like, “If you have any questions or concerns about this product, “feel free to reply to this email, contact me.” That’s okay. You’re not asking for a review in that email. And then on the following email, you could choose whether or not you wanna use the request a review button for a review, or you can use your customized buyer-seller messaging email and then send that out, X amount of days after it’s been delivered. And then that one, again, you just have to follow the rules. No incentive language, no suggestive language. Just a very friendly, neutral kind of tone asking for review. And you can put like contact information, like contact us if you have any questions, but just don’t tie that, “Contact us if you have any questions “before you leave a review.” Kind of message in there. Just keep it like very separate. That’s pretty much all you can really do these days. I mean, Amazon has really just cut it down, right? They just wanna eliminate all the different things that people were trying to get away with.
– What are you guys doing over at FeedbackWhiz now to be ready or maybe already been doing to be ready for these new changes? Are there things that are changing with the templates? Or are you practically reaching out to your clients? How has this affected FeedbackWhiz, and what do you guys do moving forward?
– Yeah, so some of the other changes that I did, well, some of the other requirements that I didn’t go through yet. It’s like, so right now Amazon coming November 3rd, Amazon is gonna say, “All right, you’re gonna have to put “that 17-digit order ID somewhere “inside that email to identify it.” So that’s one of the requirements. The other requirement is that if you’re selling in an international marketplace, that email to be in the buyer’s preferred language. So that’s a big one. So for example, if you’re selling in Europe, let’s say I’m selling in France, that message requests or whatever message you’re sending has to be in French. If I’m selling in Japan it has been in Japanese, right? So not only do you need to know what your seller preferred language is, you have to send it out in that language. If you’re sending a Japanese guy an English template, they’re gonna ding you for that. So those are two big things that as a seller you have to understand, but as a third-party provider, we actually have to identify for you guys to know that, all right, they are Japanese preferred language. We have to make sure that your templates in Japanese, if it’s not in Japanese, we’re going to block it for your safety. And then we’re also gonna automatically put in the 17-digit order ID inside your template as a requirement, right? There’s also some styling kind of things they restricted on. So they don’t want you to trying to override the message margins or using different line spacing or heights, different types of color or fonts. So they try to keep it more uniform. So before we have like a Wysiwyg which is an editor that allows you to basically create any type of message you want. So we basically have to restrict it down to a point where we don’t want you getting in trouble. So we’re only gonna allow you to do what Amazon allows you to do, right? Besides that, our campaigns, when we fire out emails, we’re gonna detect so the way that FeedbackWhiz works is that you can create multiple campaigns and group different products per those campaigns. Because not every single product you’re gonna ask at the same time for a review, right? You shouldn’t be. If you’re selling all the products, you gotta understand that some products might take, you may wanna ask 30 days afterward, 10 days after, right? We got to make sure that you’re not creating duplicate review request campaigns. So we have ASIN restrictions to make sure that, hey, I didn’t ask somebody to create a campaign that includes the same ASIN in another campaign. And then accidentally asking for two review requests, right? ‘Cause, that’s something that’s very easy for a user to make a mistake on. Things like that, we also are gonna release a brand new set of pre-built templates that we’ve created, that we feel like it’s gonna be 100% ToS compliant. So you guys can use it as a baseline, give you an example of what kind of emails you can send out. Then we’re also in the process of translating all the templates in all the different languages for the different marketplaces. So if you are selling in international marketplaces, then you don’t have to worry about translating those templates. You can just use the pre-build translated template set up and then we’ll send it out for you.
– Sounds like you’re ahead of the game.
– Yeah, we have to. I mean, I think every company, has to do this right now. If you have some kind of email service. If you’re not then it sucks because as a seller or, you might not be aware of all these things. And our goal is to help you guys succeed. We don’t wanna see you guys getting restricted. We wanna make sure you guys keep growing. So we’ve got to do our due diligence to make sure that if you don’t understand the rules, we’ll do as much as we can to help you. But as a seller is still your responsibility to understand what you send out, right? We can’t control what you write in the templates. So you still need to understand that, “Oh, I can’t use suggestive language. “I can put it in my coupon codes, things like that.” But we’re not gonna allow you to like, make your font size, like 50 and send it out.
– Yeah, it sounds like you’ve got all the safeguards in place to help us out to not make those mistakes. And it is a constantly evolving landscape. So I know that you have to constantly stay on top of all of this. That’s a lot of work.
– Yeah. That’s the problem is that it keeps changing. Like they’ll pass I don’t know, like 12 months, like there’s just been so much ambiguity. Whether or not like, can you send emails out anymore? Can you ask for reviews? Like nobody really knew the answer. It’s just so much confusion, but this is good because they finally came out with, some documentation now that people can follow. There’s not too much vagueness anymore, right? Now it’s like, we pretty much understand what you can and can’t do. Now some sellers might figure out ways to bend the rules a little bit. But we don’t know how long. We have to test this out, right? Some people might like you said, they might try to attach the now product instruction They may try to attach an exercise program with, is Amazon gonna check that? I don’t know, maybe right. If they do, are they gonna ding you for it? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s because they’ve been restricting people for the last 12 months pretty aggressively for a lot of these things. Whatever checks they have in place, I don’t see them like relaxing the rules. Yeah, I would definitely recommend everyone to make sure that they understand all these rules and then they implement the changes. Because the consequences are if let’s say you’ve never used buyer-seller messaging to send out emails and you just started selling in Amazon today. But you didn’t know that you can’t send a coupon code out, and you’ve been sending it out. And then Amazon dings you and says, “Hey, you can’t do this. “And you got a 30-day message restriction.” That’s fine, they’re gonna give you that first 30-day warning. You can’t send out emails. It gives you time to fix it. But the second time you do it, they’re gonna ban you from sending buyer-seller messaging emails. So you can’t use a buyer-seller messaging system anymore to send out proactive messages. So that’s a biggie. So if you got hit in the past before, you got to make sure you’re compliant, because you’re not gonna get a second chance. But however, getting banned from sending proactive messages on buyer-seller messaging, isn’t the end of the world because you can use it to request a review button, right? That’s a separate mechanism. And that’s something that all sellers can always use to ask for reviews. And the other thing is it doesn’t really affect the ability to sell on Amazon. It’s not gonna shut down your Amazon store because they’re just not gonna let you send proactive messages. Now, if this buyer came and messaged you for a problem, you can still use it to reply, right? Or let’s say you had a product where it requires customization, like a name tag where they have to give you some information for you to ship it to them. You can still use the important tag in the subject line to bypass, not only your restriction but also the opt-out for the buyers. So that’s still available. You basically missed out on sending product instructions, warranties, and asking for reviews through buyer-seller messaging.
– Good stuff.
– Yeah. Go, Kris.
– So what is that period? When you say ding, what’s that period that a seller would get suspended from sending messages? Is it like a 30-day period? 45 days, 60? What’s that period like?
– It’s gonna be 30 days. I don’t know if they’re gonna change it in the future, but as of right now it’s 30 days. And then if you do get permanently banned, I believe you will get an email from Amazon saying that you can no longer send messages through buyer-seller messaging. I know in the past like when they first started restricting it, they gave people a couple of chances. Because I’ve seen people get multiple 30-day restrictions, but now they’re not gonna give you that second chance anymore. So you’re gonna be very careful about it.
– Well, for everybody listening, there is a really good blog FeedbackWhiz has, that explains in detail, everything that Henson just covered. I would recommend going over to feedbackwhiz.com Checking out that blog. It’s gonna give you clear cut answers to all the questions you have. I would also re-listen to this podcast ’cause he covered a lot. We covered a lot today, but it would be worth a second listen, just to make sure that either service you’re using make sure your templates are following these new guidelines, especially come November 3rd. You wanna make sure you’re following these rules moving forward. You don’t wanna get dinged, just play by the rules here.
– And in terms of getting reviews, like, I guess the biggest question now is whether or not you should use buyer-seller messaging or you should use a request to review button? So if you guys wanna touch real quick on the pros and cons-
– Yeah, for sure.
– That’s kind of like the big question now, right? It’s like, should I still use buyer-seller messaging? Should I go have all these different headaches about, making sure everything’s compliant or should I just use the button? So let’s talk about the request for a review button. So the benefit of that is that Amazon is sending out this message for you, right? You don’t have to customize your subject line. You don’t have to figure out the right insight. You just need to press that button. And actually, with FeedbackWhiz we have the automatic campaigns now. So we can trigger that button on your behalf. So you can set up campaigns to trigger that button. So you don’t have to use buyer-seller. There’s both methods. You can pick which one you wanna use, right? So the benefits are, yeah, it’s 100% compliant with Amazon messaging policies. The templates are automatically translated into the buyer’s preferred language. So you don’t have to worry about translation or anything like that. Amazon knows which language this guy wants it in. They’re gonna send it in that language. They’re gonna put the buyer’s first name in there, which buyer-seller messaging cannot do because Amazon doesn’t send the personal data anymore to the API. So they can’t see their name. They can’t see the address and things like that. They removed that like I don’t know last year. So it’s a little bit more personalized that has their name on it. However, you can’t put your logo in there, right? You can’t customize your subject line. So the logo is one of the big things that people still want with buyer-seller messaging, ’cause it gives them the opportunity to display their brand name. Then with the review request button, you can only send out this email after it’s been delivered from five to 30 days. So you’re restricted to a five to 30-day window, right? So that’s basically the request a review button. However, a lot of people have said that request a review button has given them great results, right? And whether we don’t really know why it’s giving them better results. Some people have said buyer-seller messaging has been given them good results. The common myth was that the opt-out for the request a review button is a different opt-out than buyer-seller messaging. So we looked into that and we debunked it because the request a review button and buyer-seller messaging emails, both go through an opt-out called seller communications. So as a buyer, you have the ability to not receive any more communication emails. And then both of these fall under seller communication. We tested it out. So we’ve opted-out multiple accounts for seller communications and triggering the button and getting emails from Amazon, asking for reviews. So that’s not the reason. I don’t know what the exact reason is. Maybe Amazon is just using these emails because they’re trying to promote it, right? They created this request a review button because they wanna try to cut down on the buyer-seller messaging emails. And at the same time, make it easy for sellers to send out review requests, without having too much headache.
– Maybe you could answer this real quick. From my understanding, the request a review button sends it to a customer and it’s just a rating. They don’t have to write anything. They can just rate the product. Whereas if the buyer-seller message, it takes them to the review page where they have to write something. Maybe I’m wrong. But if you got any clarification on that.
– Both of them take you to the same page. Amazon introduced ratings. I don’t know, not too long ago. So ratings is just a simple way for them to click on the stars without writing a review. So either method will allow them to write a rating or a review. It’s up to the buyer, what they wanna do. However, in the request a review button, you do have those blank stars in there. So visually they can see that “Oh, I can click on these stars to leave a review.” However, with the new restriction of buyer-seller messaging, they said no more images, right? So you can’t put those blank stars anymore. It sucks. And I’ve asked Amazon, “Can we put those blank stars?” They’ve said, “No.” So I’m like, okay, do it. Even though it’s the same thing as the request a review button, right? So that’s one drawback. However, with buyer-seller messaging, like I said, you can customize the subject line. You can customize the content inside, right? With the review request button, the problem is that the subject line is always gonna be the same. So after a while, naturally as a buyer, you’re gonna get that same email for every single seller that sells you something. And after a while, you might just get insensitive to where you say, “I’m not gonna open it,” or “I don’t care about it.” At least with buyer-seller messaging, you can be a little bit craftier with the subject line, and then you could be more personalized within the template itself. You can’t really say too much, but sometimes you can change the message a little bit to make it a little more friendly catered to the audience that bought your product. Or you can even put your contact information and say reply to this email. So that’s one of the other key points is that with the request a review button, the buyer cannot reply to that email. It’s a no-reply email. So if they had an issue with the product, they can’t reply and say, “Oh, I hate your product. “I need a refund.” With buyer-seller messaging, if you send out that email, they can reply to it. And then that message will go directly to you. And then you can resolve the issue if you need to. So that’s another drawback of the request a review button that buyer-seller messaging has to-
– You make a good point there. I’m getting a lot of those emails that say, so-and-so wants to get your rating for the product and it’s all the same subject line. So I’ve gotten to the point where I’m like, just archive, archive. But when I get a buyer-seller message from a product that I buy and it’s unique, and I don’t know there was I’ll open it. I’ll check it out and open it. So you make a valid point there that eventually customers are gonna get immune to this subject line. ‘Cause, it’s all gonna stay the same. And so they’re just it’s gonna be the same thing over and over again. And the open rates will probably go down and they may not do it anymore. It is torn in there ’cause buyer-seller messages was doing really well. Or I mean, the rating review was doing really well. But now just seeing what you said there, as far as like they can reply to you, you can control the subject line, and you can kind of control with your logo. I’m gonna have to test it out again. So you as a seller you just got to test each one out, see which one works best for you.
– Yeah, absolutely. And that’s what I would say, just test which one works best for you. Maybe you can just try if you’re selling multiple products, try one of the methods on one of the products, for like a month, and then see how many reviews you get. And then switch it to the other method and then test it for another month and see how many reviews you get. I mean, if it’s pretty even then, it’s up to you, right? If you see a huge difference and say the review request button is way better then I would say just stick with the request a review button.
– Yeah, this is great. There’s some things that I’m definitely gonna be testing out now. ‘Cause I didn’t even think of it from that angle, but it’s possible now that a lot of sellers are moving to that review request button because it’s easier. I mean you can click one button and have the review requests go out. And I’m wondering now, if you stand out more, if it’s gonna be more unique in the future to get a buyer-seller message with people opting out of doing it, ’cause they’re concerned about terms of service. If you do it right, it might be that you can really stand out as a seller and just have another value add to your customer. So that’s some interesting points that I did not consider at all with this. This has been unbelievably informative Hanson.
– Yeah. I’m glad that I’m able to give you guys
– Kris, do you have any other questions?
– Yeah, nothing off the top of my head. I mean, this is probably why we love this game on Amazon and sell on Amazon because it’s always changing. So this is just another hurdle that you as sellers are gonna have to get over and figure out what’s best for your business. But this is what keeps us coming back is like it’s all-
– Yeah. I think Kris cut out there for a second, but I totally lost you Kris, but now you’re back.
– Sorry. I’ll get into it.
– Yeah, no, I totally agree. I also think that in the long run, these changes help make Amazon a better place. It’s gonna cut back. I mean, there’s, reasons they’re making these. I mean, there’s so much review manipulation and stuff that goes on for unfair competitive practices that this is just gonna help out. And so for us sellers that are playing the long game and trying to do all of this right, this is gonna be helpful, I feel like. I feel like everything that you laid out Henson was just great tips. It made me rethink about how I’m gonna approach things after this and just this is really, really helpful. So we can’t thank you enough Henson for coming on and sharing your knowledge and we encourage everybody that’s listening and watching out there to go check out FeedbackWhiz. It’s a great platform. Henson, you’re obviously way ahead of the game on staying on top of this. So if anybody’s looking to make sure that their emails are safeguarded, you are the man for that and FeedbackWhiz is the place for that. Henson thanks so much for coming on and we really appreciate it.
– Yeah, thanks for having me on Kris and Dustin. It’s great to-
– Yeah, you bet.
– Come on.
– We’ll follow up back with you in the future.