Only one star?

Avoid! Avoid! Avoid!

Five stars?

“If others love it, I’ll love it too.”

We’ve all seen it …

We’ve all rated a product or service this way …

And we should apply it to our marketing efforts as well …


Because it’s a powerful response booster …


I recognized this a couple of years ago when I started experimenting with 5 star systems and saw an increase in response for clients.

I noticed that it didn’t matter if it was on a landing page or direct mail piece – whatever marketing we’re doing – the stars draw attention and give credibility.

So, as we pioneered using the 5 star ratings in our marketing and advertising, we decided to make it a rule: when appropriate and possible, we put a 5 star ratings system in the marketing material itself.

And it really makes sense, if you want to increase your response rate.

In fact, a prospect’s willingness to do business with you would drop by as much as 50% if it only had two stars rather than three! We know! We’ve tested it and have the results to prove it.

Before I share a couple of our most successful tests of the 5-star system, here are a few interesting tidbits for you …


The birth of 5 stars …


Repeated symbols used for ranking date back to 1820 … when Mariana Starke chose exclamation points to indicate art of special value.

In 1844, Murray’s Handbooks for Travelers borrowed the system, but used stars instead.

And in 1936, the current format for the Michelin 3-star ranking was rolled out. Three-star restaurants are considered exceptional … worth a special journey … and chefs the world over strive tirelessly to earn and maintain their Michelin stars.

Today, we’re all conditioned to simply glance at the number of stars highlighted on the product/service page. It the number is three or higher, and the number of ratings given is significant enough – more than 5, say – then our decision to buy is made that much easier.

The 5-star rating system should be used for business to business as well as consumer … and we have done so successfully for many of our clients.


Here are just three examples …


Our client, Wine of the Month Club: People who like wine, only want the best … and want to be members of the best club. The 5 star rating showed them how good the Wine of the Month Club is.



With another client, Lear, investors who work with them are adamantly concerned about safety and reliability. And trust is a major issue. The 5 star rating system demonstrated that Lear excels at all three.



For Health Alert, we used the 5 star rating system in a variety of ways. Because people are very concerned about their health, they want assurance that the health device they get is the best.



So, go ahead and use star ratings in your ads to show prospects that your product or service has been proven credible, useful, and satisfactory.

But, don’t always use 5 stars … if you do, your rating will lose credibility.

Let us help you maximize the power of the 5-star rating system to boost your response rates in future marketing campaigns. Call us on 615.933.4647 or email