So you want to write a review? We’ve been getting a very large number of requests for reviews especially in the past month. With all these requests and the large number of orders we have a limited amount of time for making free sandals. We aren’t trying to be cheap but have to give our attention to our paying customers. With all of this in mind we have decided to publish a few tips for potential reviewers and let you all know what we are typically looking for in a reviewer.
1. Reliability: We have had problems in the past of sending out sandals for review and then not getting a review. Another problem is getting a review but having it be out of date by the time it is published. We like to see that you have a plan (a timeline is at least) and it’s nice to have some evidence that the review will actually be published.
2. Credibility: Who are you and how knowledgeable are you? Sure any barefoot/minimal enthusiast with a blog can claim that they have experience but we need to see that you are serious. Can you write well and compare the product to a variety of others in a professional manner? Your name should hold some weight within some part of our customer audience. If nobody really knows who you are then it doesn’t do much good for us to have you review our product. Show us your credibility somehow.
3. Audience: This is probably the largest factor. Who is your audience? How many people actually read your reviews? What kind of people read your reviews? We want to know that your audience is similar to ours. We have to see that your review will reach a large number of people who are actually interested in what you have to say.
4. Related Content: When someone sends us a review application the first thing we do is visit their website/blog/magazine. We look at other things that have been published and what the general theme is. It has to be related. Some “running” blogs out there start out with related material and eventually turn into just another family blog with stories of what their kids did over the weekend. While there is nothing wrong with that, it attracts a different audience and doesn’t make sense for us to have a review published.
5. Critical and willing: We actually want to see reviewers being critical and fair. We’re not just looking to exchange a pair of sandals for a few extra sales. We really want people to be able to get to know our product before they purchase. It doesn’t help anyone if customers buy one thing when they are expecting something else. On the other hand it’s nice if a reviewer is willing to give a product a chance and try them out in a variety of conditions before coming to a conclusion. We also like to see when a reviewer has done his/her homework and can tell customers what other options they can get with Unshoes.
6. Aesthetics: If we are repulsed by a poorly designed website then chances are that other people are too. A nice looking blog or website makes you look so much more credible. Of course this isn’t the most important factor but it helps get you get above other requests.
7. Unique: What makes you different (in a good way) from all the other people asking us to send them free stuff? Don’t be afraid to tell us.
8. Timing: If we are swamped in orders we are going to be much more picky about reviewers. We see the most requests for reviews right after we get a review published. If you see a review published about us then it’s probably a bad time to email us. Wait a little while so we can space reviews out just a little bit.
9. Little things: One reviewer send us a draft of the review along with a proposed release date before he published it. He gave us the opportunity to make sure all the facts were correct. I was impressed. Little things like that are great. Often it’s the little things that make a review more professional.
Remember that when you submit a request for review there are probably a handful of other people doing the same thing around the same time. There is some competition out there. Also we get so many that it does take some time to review all of them and reply so if you’re one of those still waiting for a reply… we’re not just brushing you off.