This blog post was guest written by Audrey Warren, Bazaarvoice Community Manager.

I recently sat down with Brian Witchel, Internet Marketing Manager for Mighty Leaf Tea, to learn more about their philosophy for incorporating UGC into email marketing campaigns

Bazaarvoice: You seem to have really embraced the idea of incorporating UGC into your email campaigns – so many of your regular emails contain review snippets and your “five leaf” ratings. What helped you make this decision?
Mighty Leaf: We’ve incorporated ratings and reviews into our emails for a couple of reasons. First, we wanted to raise the awareness that we have reviews on our site. We did some research on the subject and it all pointed to the fact that products with more reviews and higher ratings sell better, so we want to continue to gather more reviews on all of our products. Also, a lot of companies will call out a product or products as a “customer favorite,” but they don’t really have the numbers to back it up. Saying “over 1,000 units sold” sounds too TV-kitschy for us. We want to highlight how much our customers love our products, not just which products sell best. It’s much more compelling to say that 40 people have rated this product five stars, and pull out a review snippet to back that up.

Bazaarvoice: Have you increased your use of UGC in emails lately? Why?
Mighty Leaf: We really wanted to ramp up our number of reviews because we recently launched a brand new site design. It seems like the more reviews you have on your site, the more reviews you get. It snowballs. On our site, reviewers leave comments in response to other comments, almost like a dialog: “I agree with Josie in Chicago. This tea is perfect in the morning…” – things like that.

Bazaarvoice: When you’re talking internally at Mighty Leaf about using UGC in marketing campaigns what does that discussion sound like?
Mighty Leaf: Reviews are really helpful in supporting our email campaigns. With each new promotion we have to decide what we want to promote, what’s the angle of the promotion, and how can we fit in a user review. We look for reviews that support our marketing angle. If we want to spotlight the flavor of a spicy tea, we use the workbench to search reviews on that product that include the word “spice.” That’s tremendous! It saves a lot of time reading through reviews and we get really fantastic copy.

Bazaarvoice: What has been your most successful email with UGC and what do you think made it so successful?
Mighty Leaf: (laugh) I might have to go back and look through them all! I like the promotions where we can pull in full reviews or longer comments. I try to pick reviews that are written recently so that when the customers go to the product page, the review from the email campaign shows up on the first page of reviews.

Check out Mighty Leaf’s beautiful new website to see how they incorporate ratings and reviews throughout their online store.

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