In today’s marketing toolkit, you’ve got sponsored content, video marketing, influencer endorsements, affiliate marketing, remarketing banners, and much much more. However, reviews are still one of, if not the, most powerful marketing tools available to promote your business.
We’re all inherently attracted to third-party endorsement as justification for making a purchase. That’s why we’ll ask someone what they thought of a movie before we see it, or Google a restaurant before visiting.
It’s fundamental human nature, so having a cumulative number of reviews about your business is very important in today’s saturated marketplace. It’s a great way to stand out.
If someone’s in the market for the product or service you’re selling, they’ll usually look at your reviews before deciding. So, you must garner feedback to bolster your profile and stand out amongst the competition.
Even with Google, Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Trust Pilot, Consumer Review, and more places to leave reviews, it’s not always easy to get good ones. It’s easy to get bad ones, though. We’ve all heard it, and that’s because it’s true, people will share a negative experience much faster and with more people than they will a good one.
So, if you know you’ve provided an excellent service, the onus is on you to achieve a review to help reinforce your brand’s position.
This is easier said than done, as you’re asking people to take time out of their day to help you. The good thing is that a happy customer is usually willing to help you and review a glowing review of your business.
There are a few ways you can encourage reviews, and we’re going to be spotlighting five of them today.
1. Use your social media channels
If you’ve got a significant following across your social media channels, this is an excellent place to start searching for reviews.
If people follow your account, they’ve likely had a positive experience with your business. They’ve given you a ‘like’ as approval for your service, but may not have thought to add a review.
So, create a new post relevant to each social channel, asking your audience nicely if they wouldn’t mind sharing their experience and giving you a 5-star review. Some may comment on the post instead of leaving an actual review, which, if positive, can still be used as marketing collateral.
You may have to incentivize this, but more on that later.
2. Create a specific email template
To run alongside your social media campaign, you can begin email outreach to your past customers with a request to review you. Hopefully, you’ve built up a database of positive client email interactions, no worries; if not, this is a good place to start.
Working off this list, go through each email individually. This won’t work as a mass message. Find positive email chains and add them to your list, sending this email as a reply to the last message sent. Mention something specific about your interaction.
You can use the same body content, but each email’s top and tail should be personalized. If you do use a template for part of your messages, pop it where you host documents online. That way, it’s available across your organization.
This may take some time, but as we’ve already said, it’s important to have good reviews!
3. Include ‘review’ CTAs across your website and email footers
Any review posted publicly online can be used on your website. All you need to do is collate them and display them in a single location on your home page. This is a great way to assure new visitor’s confidence. If someone were to make a purchase, add a popup just as the payment is confirmed to ask for a review.
Adding a review page to your website is also great for SEO, as people may be searching for the terms mentioned within your review. For example, say you are a communications company and someone were to explore “what are VoIP phones“. If you’ve got a handful of reviews that talk about your VoIP phone service, then the customer has already made a subliminal connection between his or her query and your products.
You can also have CTA buttons at the end of purchases or within a follow-up email when you send an invoice. Embed the link directly into the email, so it’s less effort for customers.
4. Offer incentives for reviews
In an ideal world, reviews should come about from organically good interactions between customers and businesses. But we don’t live in an ideal world. So, to get something, you probably have to give a little back.
For example, when posting on social media for that review, let people know they’ll get 10% off their next purchase if they were to help you out. In your emails, add it to the CTA as you’re thanking them for their time.
If you sell products in-store, then perhaps a sign at the till that says “show me your review, I’ll give you 3 for 2” (you can have that one for free).
Work out what you can give away, and use that to push your review campaign.
5. Ask in person or on the phone
Despite all the smart tech-related ways to encourage reviews, you still can’t beat an old fashioned phone call. If you’re finding your emails are falling flat and you’re not getting much traction on your social media posts, then you may want to pick up the phone and call your customers directly.
You can treat these conversations as you would the email. Be specific regarding your previous interaction, and then kindly ask them to share this experience on your website or defined review page. Calling people requires more effort than all of the above (especially with most of us working remotely right now). But, you can make this easier for your customer service team with different CRM tools and ACD software.
Most people are aware of how important reviews are for success and so shouldn’t be too confused about why you’re calling them. If they are, feel free to share this blog with them!
Getting reviews (at least positive ones) can be quite tricky. And it’s because of this effort that some companies choose to avoid the work. Yet, this isn’t viable in the long run. Go through your client list, mark those that have gone exceptionally well, and reach out to them. If your interaction last time was positive, then it should be the same again.
Persistence and confidence are key. But it’ll be worth it when people look for you on a SERP and are bombarded with nothing but excellent feedback. It goes a long way in turning a “maybe” into a “yes.”
About the Author
John Allen, Director, Global SEO at RingCentral, a global UCaaS, and Voip provider. He has over 14 years of experience and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs. He has written for websites such as Davinci Virtual and Vault.