People Don't Trust Customer Reviews as Much (But You Still Need Them)

People Don't Trust Customer Reviews as Much (But You Still Need Them)

Trusted Marketing Messages

Whether positive or negative, customer reviews are vital to your business.

Updated: June 20, 2022

Welcome to the Marketing Missive, issue #1, my Sunday newsletter.

This is our inaugural issue. If you're receiving this, it means you found the website during the 'soft launch' before I moved my email list and let the world know about the updated website.

Thank you for being here.

Customer Reviews are Important (But Less Trustworthy)

Customer reviews are one of the lynchpins of any great marketing strategy.

When I talk to groups, one of the big selling points for collecting reviews is that people trust reviews as much as a friend's recommendation (which I've always thought was absolutely INSANE).

Nonetheless, it effectively underscores the importance of reviews. The utility of customer reviews is twofold:

  1. When you learn what was valuable to your customers in their own words, it informs your marketing and provides a feedback loop for your services
  2. It gives potential customers an idea of what it's like to work with you (or buy from you)

New research shows that customers are more reliant on reviews BUT don't trust reviews as much as before. (<poof!> There goes my big selling point...)

Why? More online shopping means more exposure to terrible bro marketing tactics like fake reviews. And, if all of your reviews are wholly positive, people don't necessarily believe all the good news (except for your mom).

How to integrate reviews into your workflow:

  1. Operationalize collecting customer reviews
    1. Set up an email automation after purchase or final invoice asking for a review; or
    2. Use a more sophisticated tool like GatherUp to collect reviews and feedback, social shares, widgets, etc.
  2. Negative reviews are good information
    1. Always respond to negative reviews (keep it positive)
    2. Use negative reviews as a chance to improve your services (it's an excellent source for continuous improvement)
  3. Share customer reviews on social
  4. Spread reviews and testimonials throughout your website (you can keep your testimonials page, but also share what people say on key website pages)
  5. Pay attention to how customers describe your services. That's probably how you should describe what you do

In Case You Missed It

Blog: Privacy First Website: Why It's Important for Small Business: If you always feel like you're being watched online, you are. Here are a few things you can do to protect your business (and your customers).

Podcast: Marketing Campaigns 101: 7 Winning Strategies: How to effectively let people know about your content, products, and services to generate interest and build trust.

That's all for this Sunday.

If you're not getting value out of this, please consider unsubscribing.

I won't mind and there are no hard feelings.

Alternatively, if you enjoyed the newsletter, the best compliment you could pay me would be to say something nice about it online. I always appreciate hearing that people enjoy my newsletter.

See you again next week.

Have a great day,


Jen McFarland

Founder, Women Conquer Business. Marketing pro. Leadership nerd. Project strategy innovator. Obsessed with creating solutions that help women-led businesses lead, strategize, and market confidently.


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