One of my big goals for our new ecommerce store is to generate as much user generated content on the site as possible.

This includes reviews, testimonials, images, user tips, guest posts, videos etc.

We are living in an age of review, recommendation & complete transparency and so in my opinion the best content for conversions on the site is going to be user generated content.

So to this end I went looking for the best review platform I could find.

What I discovered is that it is imperative that you really dig deep into these things and research the best possible option for you while also being careful not get seduced by bells and whistles! (Step away from the Bright Shiny Objects!)

I started with a company that wanted to charge me $16k for everything I wanted and ended with a company that charges only $15 / month and gives me everything I need!

How I Went From $16k to $15 per month!

The most important thing for me was that my customer didn’t have to leave their email platform to submit a review. This came about after I bought a wall calendar and received an email to leave a review.

I’m not a big review person mainly because of time & priorities, but due to the ease of simply clicking the stars in the email, writing my comment & clicking submit without having to click through a link, go to another page etc, meant I left a review.

If it works for me it will work for others I thought!

Therefore finding that ‘in email’ review feature was my most important priority.

Example of ‘in email’ feature;

in email review feature

Naturally I went back to the service that originally got me to take action, which was a review service by the name of Yotpo (not an affiliate link btw).

My Thoughts on Yotpo

I guess I should have suspected a high price when I couldn’t find any prices on the website. Install for free it said and call for a demo.

The installation was quick and easy and a demo appointment was scheduled for 5am a couple of days later. I was incredibly excited about the software. It had the ‘in email’ feature plus lots of different, creative and very social ways to attract user-generated content!

Some Yotpo features;

  • In Mail Technology
  • Social Push
  • Community Q & A
  • Integration with Instagram
  • Photo Reviews
  • SEO
  • Trust Badges / Widgets
  • Coupons
  • Yotpo Ads
  • Upsells etc

It really was the full kit and caboodle.

I was 100% bought in before I got on the call and for me the demo was just a paper exercise.

Regards the pricing I was expecting a fairly hefty price tag at maybe $200 – $400 / month depending on the package you chose. I was going for the ‘Pro’ to start with and would upgrade at a later date as my site grew.

I wasn’t disappointed with the demo. It had everything I needed and more, but I was pretty shocked when the prices were revealed.

For the ‘Pro’ which was the most basic plan we could use for our needs it was $4800 / Year. So the starting price was at $400 a month (although I couldn’t pay monthly, more on that shortly).

This included the ‘in email’ features, up to 1000 emails only, social push, some basic SEO and some badges & widgets. Put it this way, as a growing site, we would very quickly outgrow this plan.

If I wanted the Instagram Integration with that for photo reviews and displays on my site I needed to add $8400 / year to that price.

The next one up – ‘Powerhouse’ was $8400 / year and included 35000 emails / month plus some more in depth SEO, direct Ads to Facebook & Q & A on your site.

Again if I wanted Instagram Integration with that for photo reviews and displays on my site I needed to add $8400 / year to that price.

This would be the one that would probably do us long term, but in total that would cost $16,800 / year for all the funky features.

The big one – Enterprise was $14400 / year. I can’t honestly remember everything in that one. I think the number of emails was the main upgrade, but again if you wanted the extra Instagram visual marketing stuff it was another $8400.

For a second I honestly did consider the Pro package. Hefty price tag yes, but bearing in mind a site like Amazon is fuelled by reviews probably one of the most important elements of an ecommerce website!

Here was the real stinger though, they didn’t offer monthly payments. I would have to pay all in one go.

Well that was that. I didn’t even give it any thinking time.

No Way!

In order to just get off the starting block I had to fork out almost $5k on software that I didn’t even know would make that much of a difference and as a starter site making around 20 sales / month, the software was simply 100% out of my budget.

I actually felt a bit angry that the cost was so high and set about looking for similar software at a much better price.

Clearly I am not their target market!

I next came across a platform called TrustSpot.

It had many of the bells and whistles Yotpo had but was a fraction of the price!

I got very excited again!

I instantly arranged for a demo to see where the gaps might be and set about trying to install their demo version.

It wasn’t quite as simple as Yotpo, so I left it until I had the meeting. Sure enough it had the ‘in email‘ feature I was looking for and loads more;

Trustspot Features included;

  • In Mail Technology
  • Company Profile Page
  • Community Q & A
  • Photo Reviews
  • SEO
  • Trust Badges / Widgets
  • Facebook Page Review Tab
  • Visual Marketing

Unfortunately you couldn’t test it out for free so they gave me an account for 24 hours to test it out. It wasn’t quite as pretty as Yotpo, but would do the same job or so I thought…

On installation I noticed that reviews could only be left by email. You couldn’t leave a review directly on the site.

As one of our strategies is to get reviews from past Amazon customers this was no good for me. I needed the facility to leave a review directly on the site.

I should have just stopped right then, but sometimes I’m like a dog with a bone and so spent a good 45 minutes trying to find a solution, by which time of course I was getting very frustrated that the most basic feature of simply being able to click a box and leave a review on the site clearly wasn’t available!

I sent the support team an email, but by now I was feeling a bit disillusioned with the review software I’d been looking at and so while waiting for a response thought I’d look once again at the review app market and see what else was available.

That’s when I came across Judge.me

At first glance the website looks empty. Nothing attention grabbing at all, but a quick click to the pricing page (not an affiliate link) and my eyes lit up.

$15 / month for all that?

Not only did it have the ‘in email’ feature I was looking for it also included;

  • Unlimited email review requests
  • Total email customisation to include upsells etc
  • Social Push
  • Trust Badges / Widgets
  • Photo Reviews
  • SEO
  • Facebook Page Review Tab
  • Visual Marketing
  • Coupons

Plus an onboarding concierge service which included the complete importation of product reviews from other sites.

No demo required, no complicated installation or setup. No extra packages or upgrades except Free to paid.

It just did what it said on the tin.

Within 5 minutes I had the ‘add a review’ function set up in the site.

Another 5 and my email feature was ready to go.

Within a day they had customised the site so my review stars would show on all my products.

Within a week I had imported product reviews from Amazon and was starting to receive email reviews from buyers!

in email - judge.me

In the meantime Trustspot had emailed me with a long complicated explanation of why ‘add a review’ directly on the site wasn’t immediately available and to their credit they had said they were sure they could set that up for me but by then it was too late.

The setup with Judge.me had been too easy and too smooth for me to consider any other option.

Coupled with an extremely affordable price plan for a new site starting out no other platform stood a chance!

You know the old adage, if you think it’s too good to be true it usually is? Well I’ve never believed that saying!

Provided you’re prepared to put the work in and go looking for the best solutions you can find then many times you can find something that is too good and absolutely true!

So in summary….

If you want a phenomenal reviews collection service which is easy to install, has extremely helpful and responsive support, looks great on your site and provides a smooth and intuitive user experience, look no further than Judge.me.

You don’t need to pay $16, or $8k or even $197 / month.

For just $15 / month you can have it all and they even have a pretty robust free option!

Sometimes bells & whistles can completely complicate and overwhelm the purpose of your offer.

A friend once said to me Focus Jo, Make the Main Thing the Main Thing!

That’s what Judge.me have done so efficiently.

Please note I am in no way affiliated or associated with any of the platforms I have reviewed here, this is simply my opinion & observation.

Hope it helps! :)
 
 


 

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