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Member acquisition

To set an initial membership goal, consider this formula:

<Planned # of samples to ship> **X** <Estimated campaign participation rate>

In the absence of actual campaign experience, create an initial membership goal as follows:

  • Determine the number of samples you intend to ship for your first campaign
  • Estimate the initial campaign participation rate, typically 70 to 90%
  • Allow for a membership “cushion”, which is typically two times the number of members, to allow for the fact that not all members will be appropriate targets for your initial campaign

To build a community of consumers who love your brand, start with resources you have already in place:

  • CRM

    Use your existing CRM or mailing lists to import contacts into the Sampling portal. All you need is their email addresses, although any additional fields can be imported and served as filters for your campaigns.

  • Previous reviewers

    Your best advocates? These are the people who have already left you reviews. You can use the Bazaarvoice workbench, also known as the client portal, to access to the email addresses of prior reviewers for the last 60 days. Pull a report from your workbench, and then filter the list by characteristics such as star rating, number of reviews, or specific categories. You can add members at any time, so if you’re new to Bazaarvoice, plan to revisit whenever you need new members.

  • Social media

    The Sampling portal enables you to generate a unique link to invite a set amount of your social followers to join. Do a big blast to get started, or engage followers regularly with a cadence of limited invitations. If you have a lot of fans, use paid targeting to narrow invitations to those with specific interests or demographics.

  • Experts and bloggers

    If you already engaged influencers or experts in your field, invite them to the program. You can tag them as such and then target higher value campaigns to them.

  • Bazaarvoice Media

    Display ads offer a targeting capability that can reach the right consumers outside of your owned channels.

Product selection

While designing a product offer for a campaign is relatively simple, you need to understand the range of products that may be sampled now and in the future. Product selection may impact the questions you include on the member registration form, so consider the following when selecting products to sample:

  • Is the product high margin or strategically important?
    • You can monitor review volume on this type of product using the Bazaarvoice workbench.
    • Execute campaigns to achieve effective conversion levels by featuring products with limited reviews.
  • Is timing important?
    • If the product is new, a campaign can gather an impactful quantity of reviews to display by the first day of product availability. New products create excitement and provide consumers with a sense of being part of a select group.
    • If the product is seasonal, a campaign can add fresh and therefore more compelling reviews to previously displayed content.

The optimal number of products to offer per campaign depends on your objective:

  • Do you want to concentrate review volume on a specific product? If so:
    • Limit the campaign to a single item or limited set of products that will appeal to your entire campaign audience.
    • If obtaining content for a specific item is critical, consider a standalone campaign.
  • Do you want to maximize the number of reviews per campaign? If so:
    • Use the category navigation option to enable members to navigate large quantity of items in a logical fashion
      Note: This assumes that categories are logically and accurately structured within your Bazaarvoice product feed.
    • Multiple products offered within a single campaign should
      • Have similar value, to avoid “cherry picking”
      • Require a similar period of time to gain adequate experience / results to support writing reviews

Campaign timeline

Best practice is to launch campaigns at a regular cadence to keep your community active and engaged. Launch a campaign once monthly, at the same time each month, if possible.

Typically, a campaign can open and close within four weeks:

Time PeriodPhase
Week 1Invitation response period
Week 2Fulfillment
Week 3Review response period

Invitation phase

When inviting members to join a campaign:

  • Allow at least one week for members to register and select sample products (invitation response period).
  • Send an invitation reminder 2-3 days into the invitation response period.

Fulfillment phase

After members received their samples:

  • Send the first review reminder immediately after members receive their samples and have had time to use them. Typically, one week is allowed for fulfillment, so send this reminder after two full weeks have elapsed.
  • Factor in product usage pattern:
    • Does the product tend to be used only on weekends?
    • Does the product need to be used more than once to produce a discernible result?
  • Send the second review reminder to those who have yet written a review 10 days later.

You can revisit timing intervals as you gain more experience with your members and campaigns for particular types of products.

Tips for running simultaneous campaigns

If you want to run multiple campaigns simultaneously, consider these best practices:

  • When targeting a subset of members, avoid sending overlapping offers to the same members. You may need to plan for extra time and effort in manually removing members from an invitation list.
  • Concurrent campaigns use the same email templates except for the initial member, campaign, and vendor invitation templates. Be sure to use generic text and graphics for the following templates:
    • Membership reminder and confirmation
    • Campaign reminder and confirmation
    • Vendor registration reminder and confirmation
    • Review request (formerly post-interaction email or PIE) and review request reminder (PIE #1 and #2)
    • Vendor fulfillment list