eSpares, the UK’s largest electrical appliance spare parts retailer, found that a link to customer reviews in emails outperformed all other links in its email, including other text-based links and a “buy now” button. In addition, incremental traffic to the Web site from the “read reviews” link ended up generating additional revenue, 2.5 times that sold through the “buy now” button.

The online retailer, which sells over half a million products from 500 manufacturers, sent its regular e-newsletter to subscribers on 20 November 2009. The email, titled “The most annoying dishwasher faults and how to fix them,” was meant to drive traffic to eSpares’ Advice Centre, featuring links to online articles and videos.

They featured one product: limescale remover.  This section featured a photo of the remover, a few sentences about its use, a text link that read “Limescale and Detergent Remover customer reviews,” and a “buy now” button.

While buttons – particularly “buy now” buttons – generally garner higher click-through rates, eSpares was surprised to see that the “customer reviews” delivered 488% more click-throughs than the “buy now” button.

Even better, they sold a high volume of limescale remover based on this link. The reviews link delivered more than 2.5 times the orders and revenue than the buy now link did.

This was eye-opening for eSpares, proving to them that customer opinions are very impactful in consumer purchasing decisions.

Matthew Henton, Marketing Director at eSpares, said, “We were so impressed at how well the UGC link performed that for our last email, where we didn’t really have room for both a UGC and a Buy Now call-to-action, we just went with ‘Read all customer reviews’ for the 3 featured products.”

Going forward, eSpares plans to incorporate user-generated content and customer reviews more heavily in their marketing campaigns, in order to highlight community activity for the brand and increase sales.

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