The Step-by-Step Process to Transform Your Customers' Words Into Persuasive Copy. The Best Part? NO Customers Needed.

Your visitors, prospects, and customers are a valuable source of data you can use to write high-converting copy.

You listen to what they say and how they say it and transform their words into persuasive messages.

But what happens when you are just starting out? You have zero customers, your website doesn't get enough traffic to do on-site surveys, and you don't have an email list of customers to send surveys to.

Well, if that's the case... you do review mining.

Let’s see what is exactly review mining and the step-by-step process you can follow using Amazon.

What is Review Mining?

People review products and services like yours all the time. Reading those reviews you can learn what people love and hate, the features they like or dislike, their product expectations, the benefits they talk about, and much more. You will learn the words your prospects use to describe their pain, the solution they are searching for, and your product.

Review mining is a great research tool when you start a business and don't have any customers yet. It also works like magic when you don’t have time or budget for customer research but need a first draft asap.

When you don't have customer data, you use Amazon or any other site that allows customer feedback to listen to what they are saying without filtering them.

The idea of using Amazon reviews to write effective copy originally comes from Jay Abraham. He used Amazon reviews to get an enhanced sense of empathy in this video: “How to Write Great Copy Instantly! (Amazon Copywriting Secrets.

I learned this technique from Joanna Wiebe from CopyHacker. I follow her process every time I need to write copy. It's easy, quick, and gives you great insights.

Let's see step-by-step how to do it.

Step-by-Step Review Mining Using Amazon

You can follow the exact steps on other review sites. At the end of this article, you’ll find a list of other review sources you can use depending on your niche.

Your goal is to find books or products similar to yours.

If you can’t find a product similar to yours or your product is relatively new to the marketplace, focus on the solution you are offering.

Identify the problem your target audience is trying to solve and look for product reviews addressing that problem.

If you are offering a service, link your service to a product. For example, a fitness coach helps people achieve their health and fitness goals. Those goals may be weight loss, strength building, or athletic performance. Look for books about weight training, body sculpting, sports conditioning, core stability, and so on.

Step 1. Ask Yourself the Following Questions

To know what books or products you need to look for, ask yourself these questions:

Question 1 - “Who is your target audience?”
Question 2 - “What are their goals?”
Question 3 - “What solutions are they using today to achieve those goals?”
Question 4 - If those solutions are online, “Where can you find them?”

The answers will help you figure out the places where people are talking about their problem, or looking for a solution: forums, blog comments, Reddit, Quora, testimonials on competitors’ websites, Facebook, and so on.

Let’s see how all this works using a fitness coaching service as an example.

Question 1 - “Who is your target audience?”
As a fitness coach, my target audience could be:

  • An athlete who wants to improve his performance.
  • A runner training for a marathon.
  • Someone wanting to build muscle.
  • Someone wanting to lose weight.

All of them could be potential customers. But when you write copy, you don't use the same message to sell a training program to lose weight than one to build muscle. Two different audiences with two different needs and goals.

To illustrate the review mining process, our fitness coach is going to target only people training to run a marathon.

Question 2 - “What are their goals?”
For someone training to run a marathon, the goal is to cross the finish line. They will need a personalized training program that physically and mentally prepares them for long-distance running.

Question 3 - “What solutions are they using today to achieve those goals?”
Training in a local gym, training with friends or family, watching YouTube videos, and reading books.

Question 4 - If those solutions are online, “Where are they?”
Online video platforms, training courses, books, and apps.

Step 2. Select Books or Products to Do the Mining

Based on the answers to the previous questions, it's time to select some products or books to start the review mining process.

For the fitness coaching service, I have chosen the following books:

  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
  • Chi Running: A Training Program for Effortless, Injury-Free Running
    Daniels' Running Formula
  • Anatomy for Runners: Unlocking Your Athletic Potential for Health, Speed, and Injury Prevention
  • Marathon, Revised and Updated 5th Edition: The Ultimate Training Guide: Advice, Plans, and Programs for Half and Full Marathons

I have chosen them because they have a considerable number of reviews. A product with just a couple of reviews will not give you the insights you need.

Always choose the products with more reviews.

Before starting your research, find a way to keep track of your online sources. You can use a spreadsheet to copy and paste the URLs, or a bookmarking application (tools like EverNote, OneNote, Pocket, or Diigo).

Five to ten books should be enough, but feel free to look for more if you don’t get the insights you need.

Step 3. Create a Table for Message Mining

Once you have chosen your books or products, it's time to start reading reviews.
Create a table with the following three columns:

Memorable Phrases
What People Want
What People Are Mad About/in Pain Over.

Now, read the reviews one by one. Begin with the reviews that most people found useful (if available). Read both negative and positive reviews. You want to know why the product didn't meet people's expectations.

Copy and paste in each column phrases you think may be useful. Memorable phrases are phrases that catch your eye. For example, the way the customer describes the product or their situation before using the product. Copy everything you consider memorable. You can't delete it later on.

In the column What People Want, copy anything you see they want to accomplish, things they like, their expectations, and how the product makes their lives better.

The column What People Are Mad/In Pain is for any phrase indicating a pain that has driven them to look for a solution, their frustrations, or things that didn’t work for them.

Step 4. Analyze the Information

Now that you have completed your table, it is time to analyze the information. How do you know which messages to keep and which ones to ignore?

One of the first things to look for is the frequency of the messaging. The more an idea, a thought, or a feeling comes up, the more important it may be. If many people repeat the same thing, consider including this in your copy.

The ‘What People Want’ column tells you what they are looking for. These are the messages you need to include in your copy because they tell you what your prospects need from your product.

In our example, most people complained about the injuries you get from running. The thing most people wanted was to run injury-free. This one came over and over again.

As a fitness coach targeting people training to run a marathon, that’s a message you need to include in your copy. Let them know your training builds strength and mobility and decreases the risk of injury.

Step 5. Put the Information Together

To put together the information from your table, use a copywriting framework. Two of the most common frameworks are AIDA (Attention Interest Desire Action) and PAS framework (Problem Agitation Solution).

If you follow the AIDA framework:

Attention. Take a look at your “Memorable Phrases” column. Is there a phrase that can be used to grab your prospect’s attention? Any sticky messages you can use?
Interest and desire. Paste here phrases that show the things people like about products similar to yours, phrases indicating how the product makes their lives better, and the features they want to see in a product.
Action. The action you want them to take (subscribe, book an appointment, buy, try a demo).

If you chose the PAS framework, organize your notes as follows:

Problem. Paste here the notes where reviewers talk about their problem or pain.
Agitation. Paste here phrases describing how people had felt the pain, and what motivated them to look for a solution. Including examples of this in your copy allows you to connect with your readers and show empathy. For them, it will be easier to agree with you because they will recognize the situation.
Solution. When working on the solution part, look for Amazon reviews that can tell you the following:

  • How people describe the solution.
  • The specific value people get from it.
  • How it makes life instantly better.
  • How it makes life better in the long term.

Some reviews sites you can check depending on your niche:

FinancesOnline. A platform for SaaS/B2B software and financial products reviews.
G2. A peer-to-peer review site for business software and services reviews.
GetApp. Business software reviews and comparisons.
Capterra. Business software and services reviews.
Merchant Maverick. Reviews on payment processing, small business loans, point-of-sale, accounting, and much more.
TrustRadius. Business software and services reviews.
SoftwareAdvice. Business software and services reviews.
Clutch. Marketplace for business services.
Yelp. Reviews of best restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and food.
TripAdvisor. Reviews of hotels, vacation rentals, and travel.
Booking. Reviews of hotels, vacation rentals, and travel.

Facebook and LinkedIn groups
Quora questions
Reddit subreddits
App Store

Your competitors messaging:
- Competitor’s website
- Social media channels
- Emails by subscribing to their newsletters or creating an account
- Ads (check Facebook Ad Library)