Review Mining: The Secret to Sticky Messaging

Writing good copy is no easy task. Even if you know everything there is to know about your brand and its target audience, turning that knowledge into a copy that resonates is harder than it looks.

So, stop doing it.

The key to writing sticky copy (copy that audiences remember) isn’t sitting at a desk inventing new, engaging ways to talk about this product or that service. Far from it. Instead, copy that converts come from copywriters who know how to take the words and messages straight from prospects and customers themselves.


That’s where review mining comes into play. And we’re here to teach you how to swipe your way to copy that hits home.

The Big Idea

You know it, your customers know it: reviews matter. They’re a powerful tool and often make the difference between landing and losing a customer – a recent study by PowerReviews found that 94% of consumers now say that customer ratings and reviews top the list of factors that impact their online purchase decisions.

Reviews, however, are more than just ways to influence buying decisions. They’re an enormously valuable resource that copywriters tap into in search of information they can turn into compelling copy and competitive advantage.

“The key to great copy is to shift your mindset.”

And even though you know everything there is to know about your brand, you are not your target audience. This means that even though you think you’ve got just the right message to convince potential customers to buy what you’re selling, review mining offers a better way to figure out what your prospects want to hear.

The key to great copy is to shift your mindset. So, forget about what it is you want to say, or what you think the selling points of your product or service are. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you know what your customers want to hear.

Mine their reviews instead. Figure out what they really think, what matters to them, tap into their pain points, and offer a way to solve them. Do that, and you’ll be speaking their language through copy that converts.

Diving In

All of this sounds great, of course – if it’s between the pain of writing or simply taking the words right out of your customers’ (or potential customers’) mouths, the choice is clear. What might be less clear to you is the ‘how’, which is quite simple once you break it down into four simple steps:

  1. Figure out a list of keywords that best describe the problem, main pain point, etc. that your target audience has.
  2. Identify how your product or service (or those of your competitors) solves those problems.
  3. Use those keywords to find and search through online reviews that deal with those solutions and not down what people are saying about it.
  4. Leverage those comments (either copying them exactly or tweaking them slightly) to create copy for your website.

Finding the Good Stuff

There are no strict rules to follow when it comes to reviewing mining. Some companies opt to contract for-pay mining review tools like Appbot and MobileAction to deliver the data they need. But many don’t have the budget to outsource yet still want to harness the power of reviews to come up with a high-converting copy.

It doesn’t have to be an all-consuming task, and there are easy ways for brands to shift through the sands of customer reviews for a copy that sells.

How? There are a few ways – one is looking at your competitors’ reviews, particularly if you don’t have your own. Depending on your product or service, places like Amazon and app store reviews are warehouses of information, loaded with reviews that you can swipe for great copy. Take a look at positive reviews to find out what’s working for the competition. Study negative comments to keep from repeating their mistakes.

Another way is to figure out where your prospects are hanging out. Are people talking about similar pain points and problems on social media? Go there. Check out their comments on Twitter, take a peek at their Instagram stories, go over what they’re commenting on Facebook. More service-oriented companies can go to review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor to get the copy they need.

“These are the insights you’ll want to focus on because these are the things that truly resonate with your prospects.”

What are you looking for exactly? It will take some practice, but you’ll soon start to identify things that jump out at you as you shift through your different sources. These are questions, frustrations, and positive comments that you’ll see popping up over and over again.

These are the insights you’ll want to focus on because these are the things that truly resonate with your prospects. Collect these gems in a spreadsheet to keep everything organized and you’ll soon have a file filled with compelling messages that you can use for your website copy.

Putting It Together

You’ve skimmed through hundreds or thousands of reviews and you’ve got an Excel file full of potential messages. Now what?
It’s time to put the pieces of the puzzle together, and there’s no better way of doing that than with a tried-and-tested formula that copywriters have been using for as long as there have been copywriters.

Called Problem, Agitate, Solve (PAS), this is a reliable way to structure the results of your review mining. It takes what might seem like a complex process with loads of data and breaks it down into manageable chunks, helping you to take all the information you’ve stolen from reviews and turn it into a high-converting copy that will resonate.

You should have already identified the problem before you started mining reviews. The problem is a reflection of your prospects’ pain points, those things that keep cropping up in product or service reviews.

“What better way for your prospects to see themselves on your page than to use their own words?”

Agitate is all about painting a clear picture of the disappointments, hassles, and regrets this problem brings. It validates how the prospects are feeling, mirroring their experiences and feelings. What better way for your prospects to see themselves on your page than to use their own words?

Solve, as you may have guessed, is the product or service that will solve the problem and end the pain. This is where you trot out a solution that will make your prospects’ lives better. Consumers are well-versed at identifying solutions that seem too good to be true, but since you’re using language that comes straight from them, your copy will come off as authentic and much more likely to convert.

Swipe It, Don’t Write It

Review mining is the (not-so-secret) weapon brands can use to give themselves a competitive advantage. T.S. Eliot famously said that “good writers borrow, great writers steal”, and that sentiment is just as true today as it’s ever been.

If you want sticky, high-converting messages for a website that scores the interest of your target customers, there’s no better way than to swipe the words right out of their mouths. Why write when you don’t have to?

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