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Friday, December 16, 2016

Why You Should Stop Writing Emails That Sound Like Emails

Jirsak/Shutterstock


Without a doubt, writing best emails is the most effective way to reach influencers. A survey by Good Technology revealed the average American first checks their emails at 7:09 a.m., 50 percent check their work email while still in bed, and 69 percent will not go to sleep without checking their work email.

Consequently, email communication is evolving. Today, emails tailored from templates are frowned upon; business partners are welcoming more personal messages similar to networking conversations. Nobody appreciates reading a run-of-the-mill email first thing in the morning or right before they go to bed. We want to connect with real people and authentic brands.

Here are 7 ridiculously simple ways to make any email more personal

1) Simulate having a short conversation
Pull up your business partner’s profile picture from Twitter or Linkedin and place it to the right or left of a word document while you write your email. Pretend to have a conversation. This will help you to avoid using worn-out phrases like “hi” and “sincerely.” In a real conversation most of us say “good morning” or respond with “John, good to see you;” and, we never ever say “sincerely.”

2) Give first – take later
Unless your email is a first contact email find a reason to thank the recipient, for instance, by writing “Thank you for sending...”
If nothing else comes to mind you should always assume that your recipient responded as quickly as possible and thank them for doing that. This will encourage your recipients to respond even quicker in the future because they notice that you value their efforts.

3) Avoid the word “I” like the plague
Using the word “I” too often will turn any email into a me-mail. Nobody enjoys talking to egocentrics. Therefore, look for opportunities to replace the word “I” with “we” to point toward team building efforts and team spirit.
If you absolutely have to use the word “I”, never do it at the beginning of a sentence. After writing a first draft, add adverbs to “soften the impact” of the word “I.” A few examples are: “Certainly, I will...”, “Unfortunately, I can’t...”, “Obviously, I’d rather...”, and similar phrases.

4) Section your email into paragraphs
Have you met people who talk without taking a breath, at networking events? It is exhausting to listen to them. They give you no room to think about what they say, or to ask a question.
Avoid making a similar impression by sectioning your emails into paragraphs, for easier understanding and faster decision making.

5) Use links and attachments
If you were to meet with your business partner in person you would give him a brochure or an information package, but you would not read the content of this material to them out loud. Create that same effect by keeping your email concise and attaching all relevant information instead of presenting it in the body of your email.

6) Always check if you spelled the recipient’s name correctly
This sounds banal, but anybody whose name has more than four letters knows that people misspell others’ names.
More than 100 years ago, Dale Carnegie told his students that people like hearing their own name best. Equally, misspelling a person’s name in an email could be considered a cardinal sin.

7) Set the stage for the arrival of your email
Remember that Linkedin profile picture or Twitter picture I suggested to pull up when you started writing your email? Before you send off your email, re-tweet or share one of your recipient’s postings, so they can see that you care about them and their business, on all platforms.
*
Only 20 years ago, business people had conversations and also wrote business letters. Our increased mobility led to these originally two different forms of communication morphing and evolving. It’s time to throw away old fashioned templates and network-email!

Follow Gisela Hausmann on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Naked_Determina
***

Gisela Hausmann is an email evangelist,
the winner of the 2016 Sparky Award “Best Subject Line,” and the author of  
NAKED WORDS 2.0 The Effective 157-WordEmail” and  
NAKED TEXT Email WritingSkills for Teenagers.”

Her work has been featured in the SUCCESS magazine, in the Entrepreneur, and on Bloomberg (podcast)

http://www.amazon.com/Gisela-Hausmann/e/B000APN192


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© 2016 by Gisela Hausmann

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

1 Simple Trick That Leads to More Reviews & SALES!!! (there are 6 more tricks that help even more)


1.    It is nothing new that today reviews influence potential buyers’ decisions to actually buy, or – not.
2.    8 out of 10 shoppers consult online reviews before they buy.
3.    90% of potential buyers won’t buy a product that has been reviewed with an average of less than 3 stars.
4.    In other words, businesses whose products receive lots of great reviews sell lots of goods.
5.    This explains why Amazon and other eCommerce sites have been plagued with fake review issues. (Unfortunately, some organizations like to cheat.)




 *

6.   Knowing that Amazon can only try to play catch up with the latest “cheaters’ efforts” I decided I am going to give away 1 of my expert 7 tips – for free – to help US businesses.
7.   Bloomberg's Spencer Soper interviewed me about this topic; please listen to the podcast (~30 minutes).

 *

8.    To see one of my simple solutions to get product reviews – easily – the proper way – please click here.

Please share with your friends and business partners. They will thank you. Today, every business needs reviews and all of us want to read honest, authentic reviews.

 ***

Gisela Hausmann is an Amazon top reviewer and eCommerce expert. She is also the author of  “NAKED TRUTHS About Getting BookReviews” and NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Product Reviews on Amazon.com: 7 Tips to Boost Sales.

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Naked_Determina



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© 2016 by Gisela Hausmann

Friday, November 4, 2016

How to Double up or Triple up on Your Book Promotion

by Gisela Hausmann, author of the “naked, no-fluff marketing books”


Creating a successful book promotion is not easy, but there are ways how authors can double up or even triple up on promotions. Success attracts success.

Here are the simple facts:

If you want to write a bestseller, you’ll need to sell thousands of books to get the momentum which will prompt all eCommerce bookstores to feature your book in a top position where “everybody” can see it. It is almost impossible to achieve that just by collaborating with social media friends.
Here are the well-tested ways of promotion. You can

  • buy ads/promotions  - - - [can be costly depending on the service]
  • network on social media platforms  - - - [free, but time consuming]
  • get on TV (local and national)  - - - [one hour of time to write a well-crafted pitch + one (1) autographed paperback copy for the anchor]
  • get on well-known podcasts, and - - - [one hour of time to write a well-crafted pitch + one (1) autographed paperback copy for the host]
  • get your book featured in national magazines. - - - [one hour of time to write a well-crafted pitch + one (1) autographed paperback copy for the editor]

The key to launching a super successful PR campaign is to see each individual element as a cogwheel, which pushes the others forward; thereby carrying the effect farther. If aligned correctly, even a little cogwheel can move a big one. 



1) Being seen on local TV won’t sell thousands of books, but it will earn you something  incredibly valuable (even if you mess up) – a screen print of you getting interviewed on TV.  You can post it on your website and on social media platforms. Being interviewed on TV is not really that difficult; after all, you know your topic inside and out. Local anchors will always help you to present yourself best; it is in their interest that they/their program looks great. If you do well, your local TV-station might make you their “to-go”-person for your field of expertise.

The more often you get featured on local TV, the better your chances are to get on national TV. Naturally, the  anchors of national TV programs prefer guests with on-air experience. Additionally, you can also add the words, “a frequent guest at XYZ-TV-station” to your resume, your marketing materials, and your author pages.

2) Trying to get interviewed on a well-known podcast follows the same principle as getting on TV – you have to pitch the podcast’s host.

3) And, even getting your book featured in a magazine follows the same principle. You have to pitch the editor of the magazine where you want your book to be featured.


Each one of these PR-methods will get you access to a different target group – the people, who like to watch their news on TV, the people who spend hours sifting through magazines, and the people who like to listen to new information in the car, during their morning commute.

If you launch an ad campaign at the same time, it too will support the other elements of your PR campaign, and multiply the effect. People who see your book featured at any outlet will check it out (and its ranking); the better the ranking is, the more people will buy.

Having coached many authors, I know that most authors do really well pitching either one of the different mass media outlets. Then, they stop and wait. It is the biggest mistake authors can make because: Success attracts success. 

The perfect way to promote your book is to combine all forms of PR, including ads/promotions.

When one of my books was featured in the SUCCESS magazine, I immediately contacted the host of a well-known podcast. Impressed, he booked me for the following week. I also sent the magazine to the TV-station where I had been a guest already twice; the anchor booked me for two segments, three weeks later. I also announced the podcast as well as my appearance on TV at my social media platforms thereby increasing the multiplication factor on that end. Lastly, I approached the Barnes and Noble bookstore, where I purchased my copy of the SUCCESS magazine that featured my book and they too booked me for a book signing during the week that they ’ll introduce “books relevant for success in 2016.”

When you combine appearances in any mass media outlet with ads/promotions, the effect each one of these promotions has doubles, triples, and even quadruples.

So, how do you pitch professionally?

Never talk about your book! Instead pitch a topic closely related to your book, something readers or viewers will be interested. This system also works for books in all fiction genres.

In about 100 days Valentine's Day is coming up.

If you write romance novels, you could pitch:

“7 gifts your spouse will appreciate more than chocolates and flowers...”
“How to create a beautiful and truly personal Valentine’s card yourself – in 10 minutes”
“Have a Valentine’s picnic! 5 truly romantic spots less than one hour of ... (your city/region) ...”

Or, whatever other great idea comes to mind. The local TV-anchors will appreciate you “doing the work for them” and in return introduce you and your book on TV. Since you are in charge preparing this pitch you can take as much time as you need to prepare something truly outstanding.

What if you write historic novels?

You could pitch:

“3 historic practices celebrating Valentine’s during the days of yore that you have never heard of...”

Wrote  cooking book?
“How to cook a delicious Valentine’s dinner in under one hour...”

Wrote a children’s book?
“How to celebrate Valentine’s with the kids; and still find time to be ’romantic’?”

Wrote a horror novel?
There is no Valentine's Day pitch - You should pitch around Halloween!

Pitching any media outlet is limited only by your imagination.  You yourself have seen many interesting  stories in magazines and on TV, including some which might have prompted you to think, “How’d they come up with that?” Well, maybe the editors, hosts or anchors didn’t, but a clever author did.
~*~

Gisela Hausmann is an mass media expert; her work has been featured on various TV-stations, in the SUCCESS magazine, on the reputable 'The Brutal Truth about Sales & Selling PodCast', dozens of radio talk shows, in dozens of newspapers, and more than one-hundred online publications.  

She is also the author of

https://www.amazon.com/Gisela-Hausmann/e/B000APN192

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Naked_Determina



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© 2016 by Gisela Hausmann

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Was Amazon Hersteller und Vertreiber unbedingt wissen müssen um konkurrenzfӓhig zu bleiben

Die Autorin dieses Blogs ist die Amazon Toprezensention und eCommerce Expertin Gisela Hausmann. Die geborene Österreicherin lebt seit zwanzig Jahren in den Vereinigsten Staaten und ihr Deutsch ist leider bereits etwas "rostig."




Für Amazon Anbieter könnte dies der wichtigste Business-Blog sein, den Sie heuer im ganzen Jahr lesen werden. Er zeigt auf, wie Review-Clubs und chinesische Hersteller Amazon's Marketing System ausnützen um ihre Waren zu Bestsellerrang zu puschen, was natürlich gleichzeitig "ehrliche" Amazon Anbieter benachteiligt.

Dieser Blog zeigt auch auf, was "ehrliche" Amazon Anbieter machen können um diesen Aktivitäten entegegenzuwirken.

Wie weitgehend bekannt änderte der Internethӓndler Amazon am 3. Oktober 2016 seine Community-Richtlinien und sendete damit Schockwellen durch die Kreise der Amazon-Händler.

Diese radikale Änderung ist der letzte Schritt in einer Serie von Aktivitӓten, mit denen Amazon unvoreingenommene und objektive Amazon-Rezensionen garantieren will. Nachdem Amazon den ersten „getürkten Rezensions“-Skandal damit überwunden hat, indem sie 1,114 Rezensenten klagten, die Produkte und Bücher im Austausch für finanzielle Entschädigung rezensierten, wurden "stimulierte" Produkt-Bewertungen populär.

"Stimulierte" Produkt-Bewertungen sind Rezensionen die Hersteller und Verkäufer erwerben indem sie kostenfreie Produkte im Austausch für Rezensionen  anbieten. Um in Einklang mit Amazon's alten Richtlinien zu bleiben muẞten die Rezensenten in ihren Rezensionen bekannt geben, daẞ sie das Produkt im Austausch für eine Rezension umsonst erhielten. Obwohl dieses System anfangs sehr gut funktionierte dauerte es nicht lange bis verschiedene Organisationen begannen dieses System für sich auszunützen. 

Sogenannte Review-Clubs errichteten Internet-Plattformen um Amazon-Anbieter mit Leuten, die gerne Waren umsonst erhalten wollten und willens waren eine Rezension zu schreiben, zusammenzubringen. Dabei strebten die involvierten Parteien mehr nach Quantität als nach Qualität der Rezensionen.

Darüber hinaus überschwemmten chinesische Anbieter Top-Rezensenten wie mich mit hunderten von Angeboten für kostenlose und reduzierte Produkte. Ich persönlich erhielt pro Woche zwischen drei und zehn Email-Offerte von China (von denen ich kein einziges akzeptierte).

Der ganz offensichtliche Grund für diese "Groẞzügigkeit" war und ist noch immer: Es ist eine bewiesene Tatsache, daẞ die Anzahl und Qualitӓt von Rezensionen dazu führt, daẞ der Hersteller mehr Waren verkauft.

Heutzutage konsultieren acht von zehn Kӓufern Rezensionen bevor sie kaufen; entsprechenderweise wird die Kaufattraktivitӓt eines Produktes von der Anzahl der gegebenen Rezensionen direkt beeinfluẞt.

Ausserdem gibt es eine klare Beziehung zwischen der Zahl der gegebenen Rezensionen und der Bereitwilligkeit neue Rezension zu schreiben. Wenn ein Produkt bereits hunderte von Rezensionen hat, sind neue Kӓufer eher geneigt auch selbst eine Rezension zu schreiben. Das funktioniert nach den zwei Mottos: "Wenn es allen gefӓllt, kaufe ich es auch," und, "Wenn soviele Leute eine Rezension schreiben, schreibe ich auch eine."

Vor dem 3. Oktober führte das zur folgenden Situation:

1.Wenn die "Rezensenten"  die zu rensensierenden Produkte auch bei Amazon bestellten, stieg der Verkaufsrang dieser Produkte automatisch an.

2. Viele Produkte, die zusӓtzlich zum verbesserten Verkaufsrang auch noch "stimulierte" Rezensionen erhielten endete auf Amazon's Bestseller-Listen.

3.Interessierte Kӓufer, die sich auf Amazon-Bestsellerlisten neue Produkte ansahen kauften vieler dieser Produkte, die dann entspechenderweise auf den Bestsellerlisten blieben.
Um den Erzeugern und Vertreibern von qualitativen Produkten zu helfen publizierte ich im Februar 2016 mein Buch "NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Product Reviews on Amazon.com: 7 Insider tips to boost Sales" (Die Nackte Wahrheit Über Produkt Rezensionen Auf Amazon.com : Insider enthüllt 7 Tipps für Mehr Umsatz.")

Mein Ziel war Erzeugern und Vertreibern von qualitativen Produkten aufzuzeigen, wie sie Qualitätsrezensionen erhalten können.

Am 3. Oktober 2016 bannte Amazon "stimulierte" Produkt-Bewertungen - komplett. Zusӓtzlich kam Amazon auch noch mit einer weiteren wesentlichen Änderung der Amazon Community-Richtlinien heraus, nӓmlich, daẞ nur Kӓufer, die bei Amazon Waren um mindestens 50 Dollar gekauft haben, auch Waren rezensieren können. Diese Regulierung soll verhindern daẞ Leute mehrere Amazon Konten eröffnen um mehrere Rezension für das gleiche Produkt abgeben zu können. Nunmehr müssen Schwindler, die zum Bespiel zehn Schwindler-Konten eröffnen wollen mindestens 500 Dollar "investieren", woraufhin sich das ganze nicht mehr rechnet.

Wahrscheinlich würden die meisten von uns vermuten, daẞ Amazon's drastische Aktionsschritte das "Schwindler"-Rezensionensgeschäft beenden würden, aber - weit gefehlt!

Nur zwölf Tage nach der Ankündigung von Amazon's Änderungen, habe ich bereits ein Dutzend E-Mails erhalten, die anbieten,

• "... Wir haben unseren Service in den USA neu gestartet und wollen mit der Bereitstellung von ...x... KOSTENFREIEN Geschenken starten ..."

• "... Ich schreibe dieses E-Mail, um ein Update in Bezug auf die letzten Änderungen von Amazon's Review Policy zu geben. Ich bin sicher, Sie haben schon gehört, dass es nicht mehr erlaubt ist kostenlose / diskontierte Produkte IM AUSTAUSCH für eine Rezension zu verteilen. Allerdings, ... ... KÖNNEN WIR Ihnen unsere diskontierte / kostenlose Produkte einfach so  zusenden. Bewertungen (Rezensionen) werden nicht mehr verlangt."
Und auch die Chinesen sind schon wieder zurück

• "... Wir wünschen, dass Sie unser Produkt durch die Bestellung von uns, die auf der Regel der Änderung in Amazon basiert (Amazon erlaubt die Bereitstellung von kostenlosen oder ermäßigten Produkten im Austausch für Bewertungen nicht mehr).
Wir geben Ihnen eine Amazon-Geschenkkarte, bevor Sie unsere Waren von Amazon bestellen. Der einzige Antrag, den wir für Sie beten, ist, dass Sie nicht sagen können, dass "das Produkt frei ist oder Sie die Waren mit unserer Geschenkkarte bestellen..."
[ original: “... We wish you can review our product by ordering from us which is based on the rule of change in Amazon(Amazon no longer permits providing free or discounted products in exchange for reviews. )
We’ll give you the Amazon gift card before you order our goods from Amazon. The only request we pray for you is that you can’t say “the product is free or you order the goods with the gift from us...]

Sind Sie fassungslos?

Ich war schockiert.

Dieses zuletzt erwӓhnte "chinesische Konzept"  soll folgendermaẞen funktionieren:
Der chinesische Verkäufer sendet eine Geschenkkarte als digitales Geschenk. Der Empfänger kauft die Ware, was den Verkaufsrang der Ware "verbessert" und die Ware auf "Bestseller-Kurs" einreiht. Und, falls genügend Empfänger das "Geschenk" auch noch rezensieren tritt das gleiche Szenario wie das vorher Erwähnte ein: Die Ware (das Geschenk) kann Bestsellerrang erreichen und gleichzeitig genügend Bewertungen um dort zu bleiben.

Logischerweise kann Amazon dieses neue chinesische System nicht stoppen. Amazon kann nicht  den Verkauf seiner Geschenkkarten aufgeben um zu verhindern, daẞ vielleicht eine Geschenkkarte für solch eine Transaktion verwendet wird. In der Realitӓt kann Amazon "stimulierte" Produkt-Bewertungen erst löschen wenn Amazon's Algorithmus sie auf seiner Webseite postiert findet.

Aber ich kann ich etwas tun, um das Spielfeld gleichzustellen...

Und ich mache es auch - mit diesem Blog.

Im Interesse der deutschen und österreichischen Wirtschaft habe ich beschlossen, einen der sieben Tricks aus meinem Buch zu veröffentlichen, in der Hoffnung, daẞ genügend Hersteller und Vertreiber von deutschen und österreichischen Qualitӓtsprodukten diesen Blog lesen und sofort entsprechende Schritte ergreifen. Nicht nur wird das dazu führen, daẞ sie die Rezensionen die ihre Produkte verdienen auch erhalten, es kann auch dazu führen, dass Konsumenten so viele ehrliche und unvoreingenommene Bewertungen zu sehen bekommen, daẞ "stimulierte" Produkt-Bewertungen kein attraktives Deal mehr sind.

Daher ist hier mein Beitrag zur Verbesserung der deutschen und österreichischen Wirtschaft:

Bitte teilen Sie dieses Blog, sodaẞ alle deutschen und österreichischen Hersteller und Vertreiber den Verkauf ihrer Qualitätsprodukte steigern können.

Ich ermutige auch alle Konsumenten, ihre ehrlichen und unvoreingenommenen Meinungen zu teilen, nicht nur über Produkte, die sie auf Amazon gekauft haben, sondern auch über die Services von Kleinunternehmen, die sie besuchen, und alle anderen rezensierungswürdigen Kӓufe.

Ich darf erinnern, daẞ acht von zehn Kӓufern online-Rezensionen in Betracht ziehen bevor sie kaufen. Daher zӓhlt jede Rezension!

Wenn Sie rezensieren "stimmen" Sie für einen Wirtschaftstreibenden Ihrer Wahl!

Gisela Hausmann
Amazon Top Rezensentin und
mehrfach preisgekrönte Autorin

~*~



Gisela Hausmann ist eine Amazon-Top-Rezensentin und eCommerce-Expertin. Sie ist auch die Autorin des Buches "NAKED TRUTHS über das Erhalten von Produkt-Rezensionen auf Amazon.com: 7 Tipps, um Verkäufe zu steigern." (Zur Zeit ist nur die englische volkommen aktualisierte Ausgabe erhӓltlich. )

Folgen Sie ihr auf Twitter: @Naked_Determina


http://www.giselahausmann.com/


© 2016 by Gisela Hausmann

Picture credits (all via Shutterstock): Reviews glassy orange button by faysal, blank containers by Anteromite, GMO free natural product icon by Arcady, Vector 'Made in USA’ icon by FMStox, Stamp: 100% Recycled by Jason Winter, Pictograms for the recycling symbols by NoPainNoGain

Thursday, October 13, 2016

1 educated guess about Amazon's mysterious algorithm





Dear author friends,

My friends and fans who read the updated and revised edition of my book “NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Book Reviews” know that in this book I speculated that Amazon created an algorithm that can figure out if authors have joined Facebook groups that assist with getting book reviews. My reasoning came from checking out the works of authors who complained that they lost book reviews.

In the meantime, my guesses are as good as confirmed. 

Probably, you have heard that on October 3, 2016, Amazon changed its Community Guidelines FOR REVIEWING PRODUCTS, but not for reviewing books (though Amazon authors will be affected by the new rule that only customers who spent $50.00 at Amazon can post reviews). 

A few days earlier, ReviewMeta.com came out with a program that evaluates Amazon reviews by more than one criteria. I addressed the flaws I noticed when testing this product in my blog “In response to ReviewMeta.com’s “The Truth About ‘Incentivized’ Reviews on Amazon.”” 

Why is all of this important for authors, even though the community guidelines for reviewing books have not been changed? 

Clearly, the existence of ReviewMeta’s product proves what I speculated when I updated my book last June. 

If ReviewMeta, who is NOT affiliated with Amazon, can generate their kind of reports, imagine what Amazon who actually owns the data can do. 

It is important to remember that the majority of authors and vendors try to follow the guidelines; still, there are always a few who try to cheat. These are the ones who cause the troubles. 

Over the years I have seen many great Amazon features disappear. For instance, there was the Like-the-Author button. It’d probably still be available had not some authors set up “liking”-street teams, who liked hundreds of author pages whose name they had never heard of. 

The concept that they helped themselves is idiotic because Amazon is in the position to simply delete flawed data. Which means, the street teams worked, but it was wasted effort. Amazon simply deleted the feature.  

Equally, over the years, Chinese vendors must have formed some kind of clubs who exchanged (or maybe even sold) Amazon top reviewer email addresses. Even after I deleted my own email address from Amazon, I got inundated with emails from Chinese vendors, who kept offering me stuff I never review and quite obviously am not interested in. I myself marked the worst offenders' emails as Spam. 

Why am I telling you this? 

I want you to be aware that though ReviewMeta’s product is flawed, it'll give you an impression of the data Amazon’s algorithm can generate. I also want to remind you to look for readers/reviewers outside of online clubs. In the past I have posted three blogs about this topic. It is important to take these steps because you never know how many cheaters try to cheat the system thereby causing havoc elsewhere, where you don’t notice it.  
 ~*~


Gisela Hausmann is an Amazon top reviewer and eCommerce expert. She is also the author of  “NAKED TRUTHS About Getting BookReviews” and “NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Product Reviews on Amazon.com: 7 Tips to Boost Sales.”


Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Naked_Determina


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© 2016 by Gisela Hausmann

In response to ReviewMeta.com’s “The Truth About ‘Incentivized’ Reviews on Amazon”




For the record: I am an Amazon top reviewer who actually reviews products and therefore have deeper insights to the actual process.

As such, I disagree with the concept that ReviewMeta "exposed” the data not obvious to everybody who routinely consults reviews at Amazon for additional insights. 

I disagree even more with ReviewMeta’s notion that their program gives a “clear” impression about the reviews of specific products.

Equally, I disagree with ReviewMeta’s comment that they see “some” (?) products with 0% incentivized products. They see only some products?

Amazon sells 200 million products and the majority of these don’t feature any incentivized reviews. 

As an Amazon Top Reviewer and award-winning author of books about this topic, I believe that the data ReviewMeta generates is overall flawed. Here are the errors any real reviewer will spot in an instant: 

1) Phrase Repetition

The “phrase repetition”-feature does not really add value.
For instance, I reviewed Viva Labs The Finest Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 16 Ounce.
The program notes the following phrase repetitions: “Viva Labs Coconut oil”, “Use coconut oil” and “organic coconut oil.” Quite obviously, these phrases are not repetitions but they describe the product.  

2) Brand Repeats

Neither does the program’s “brand repeats”-feature add value. In this world with hyped marketing, it is only normal that customers favor a brand once they have come to like its products. 

3) Single-Day Reviewers

The “Single-Day Reviewers” feature detects if reviewers write dozens of reviews per day, which can be an indicator that they don’t research the product too well, simply because there isn’t enough time in the day. 

While this may be true, it has even been featured in the news that many Amazon reviewers consider reviewing their hobby. After all, a hobby is defined as an activity or interest people pursue for pleasure or relaxation their free time.


Additionally, top reviewers like I myself may review many items on a single day for organizational reasons. I read in bed almost every night. I bookmark pages and take notes, which is really easy on the Kindle. When I finish reading a book, I do not get out of bed to write my review. 

In fact, I may finish reading three books during one week and finally, on a weekend, take the time to review all three books and, additionally, some products, too.

In the real world, time management is considered to be a valuable skill. 

4) Overrepresented Word Count

I realize that in this day and age, many people communicate with 140 characters at a time. However, thoughtful reviewers who tested a product thoroughly and want to share their insights because that is what they do for a hobby, will most likely need between 150-200 words to state the facts. Therefore, this feature discriminates against thoughtful reviewers.
 
5) Deleted Reviews

Supposedly, the program tells how many reviews got deleted, either by the reviewer or by Amazon. However, it appears that consumers would have to watch and rerun the test over an extended time period, to actually gain this information. 

When I checked a product of which I was certain that at least one review had been deleted, because I myself deleted my own review, the program did not detect this fact, probably, because I deleted this review weeks ago. 

More issues:

Though I review more books than products, I purposely did not include book reviews in this blog because it seems, ReviewMeta’s program is designed for products. Any authors who use this program to see how their books rank will immediately notice that this product discriminates against the work of thoughtful reviewers. Obviously, an astute reviewer will write a longer review, thus the Word Count-feature becomes completely useless. 

Here are a few examples of ReviewMeta’s analysis of products I myself reviewed. Please note that I have no financial or other interests in any of these products. 

issue – DISCOVERY

Telula – Organic Fruit Juice Beverage Blackberry + Chia - 32 oz. from Telula 
My review of this item: https://www.amazon.com/review/R3GFK02FIQDBU1/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
ReviewMeta's analysis: http://reviewmeta.com/amazon/B01JENZMF6

As it is, I am the only person who reviewed this product. ReviewMeta’s analysis announces that “unnatural reviews” are likely and the that product has insufficient “trustworthy reviews.”

Here is my simple rebuttal: Most people “discover” new food items in their supermarkets. Only, once they have come to like the one or other product, they might buy the same items from Amazon. Therefore, a reviewer’s first purchase is more likely to be a not verified purchase. 

issue – RANDOM PURCHASES

Things got even worse when I checked out: 

Arriba Horchata Original Energy Drink, 11 Ounce (Pack of 12)
https://www.amazon.com/review/R1K4KY0TN9KSJ1/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
http://reviewmeta.com/amazon/B00JD9ATUU

ReviewMeta’s program lists that 95% of reviews of this product are unverified purchases. Obviously,  the program can’t know that this drink is being sold in at least half the gas stations I visit. There, it is always presented next to Starbucks’ and Java Monster’s energy drinks. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a  surprise that probably hundreds of people pick up the drink by chance and decide that, because they like it, they will also review it. 

issue – SPECIALTY PRODUCTS 

I also reviewed the
Catty Stacks Modular Boxes Cat House Condo, Snow White, 2-Pack, which I purchased at a big box pet store where the product was on sale, minus 50%. 

https://www.amazon.com/review/R1WB003BKX3PJO/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
http://reviewmeta.com/amazon/B00T8UHOZM
  
ReviewMeta’s program noted an about 70% Overlapping Review history. It probably does not take Sherlock Holmes to figure this one out. Real cat owners also buy other cat products; and, obviously, there are less cat items than clothing, electronics, and/or food products. Therefore, the 70% Overlapping Review history does not shine light on any problem. 

The analysis also notes a Fail because of Skewed Helpfulness. Come on! We are talking cat lovers here...

Lastly, ReviewMeta’s program completely ignores the presence of photos and videos. In this case, my review is counted among the 24% of unverified purchases but there is no mentioning of the cute video of my cats playing on this item. 

Summing it up, though ReviewMeta’s program may be somewhat useful, it is flawed. It does not add any insider value.


To receive one free idea how to attract reviews easily, without having to subscribe to any kind of service please subscribe at
http://www.giselahausmann.com/free-creative-ideas.html
(Please note: emails are being sent out only every two weeks)

Gisela Hausmann is an Amazon top reviewer and eCommerce expert. She is also the author of “NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Product Reviews on Amazon.com: 7 Tips to Boost Sales.”  (Fully updated October 11, 2016)

The German edition of her book “NAKED TRUTHS About Getting Product Reviews on Amazon.com: 7 Tips how to Boost Sales” was featured in all of Austria’s major business publications.

https://www.amazon.com/TRUTHS-Getting-Product-Reviews-Amazon-com/dp/0996897208

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Naked_Determina


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© 2016 by Gisela Hausmann


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

5 quick-fixes for common author grievances



Gisela Hausmann


Those of us who spend a lot of time in indie author groups may have heard these complaints before. Here are five suggestions to avoid these common grievances.

Show, don’t tell

“... So, I went to this networking party and I told everybody about my book, and everybody said, ‘How cool is that... ’  but nobody bought it.”  

Don’t overrun people you meet randomly, by telling them, “I just published this fantasy novel called... xyz... My protagonist... yadayada...”  

Most likely, the people you meet will feel overwhelmed and will not buy your book. 

Instead, have double-sided or folded, hot-looking business cards printed. This allows you to put twice the content, including a picture of your book and a quote from your book, or an excerpt of a review, on the card. Studies prove that visuals are among the most popular shared content on social media. Put simply: People like looking at pictures. Make it work for you. 


Thinking ahead

“...This reader gave me a 1* star review but in his review he wrote that he didn’t even finish my book. Writing a book is hard work. I think the reader should have at least finished my book...”  

Who has time to finish a book they don’t enjoy reading?

Whether we like it or not, once we make our work available to the public, they are entitled to have an opinion about our books. It’s the same as with all other products and services. Have you ever read cell phone service reviews? Well, then you know.

The only way you can counter potential negative reviews is to offer a telling book description. Also, run promotions only after your book has received a few thoughtful reviews so readers know what to expect when they buy your book. If the reviews your book received are honest and authentic, people who probably won’t like your book won’t even buy it.


Asking basics

“... My book has 5* reviews on Amazon.co.uk, but these reviews do not show on Amazon.com. How I can I get my UK reviews to show on the US site?” 

Never ask a question to which you haven’t tried to find an answer on the Internet first. The Amazon KDP support files offer the answer to this question and much more.

If you ask too many basic questions, like this one, you’ll create a “don’t cry wolf”-effect. Eventually, people will stop tutoring you. Publishing books is a business like every other. Consequently, you need to learn basics before you start publishing. 

In contrast to asking basic questions, asking sophisticated questions which can’t be researched on the Internet, will make you look like a savvy author who is working on an advanced level.


Test – test – test

“... I did a Twitter promotion and did not sell a single book/recover my costs...” 

To run a successful twitter campaign, you need to test your tweets first. The cheapest way to do this is to run the tests yourself. Post various tweets, collect the data on which ones gets shared most often, and run a campaign only once you have these insights.

Give before you expect to receive

“I gave away x number of ebooks and did not receive a single review. Readers don’t know how important reviews are...”


Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated! 

Many other professionals will benefit from reviews, too. For instance, tens of thousands of employees work for $8.50 per hour in the retail industry. These employees’ advancements may depend on your “review.”  

Start paying it forward! Ask these excellent employees if you can deposit a review on their company’s website. 

Occasionally, an opportunity may arise, where you can mention that you are an author. With a bit of luck, people will ask you what kind of books you write, especially if you are nice and show concern for their needs. Hopefully, you’ll  have one of the cards I mentioned earlier, at hand.

In the words of Mark Twain: “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” 


~*~ 

Gisela Hausmann is an industry veteran and a multi-award winning author of marketing books for indie authors. Her work has been featured in the SUCCESS magazine. She is also the winner of the 2016 Sparky Award “Best Subject Line.”

Her books sell on 10 of 13 “Amazon country sites,” from Brazil to Japan.

https://www.amazon.com/Gisela-Hausmann/e/B000APN192



RYX6ZF8QT9YW

© 2016 by Gisela Hausmann
© Picture credit: Gisela Hausmann