More and more companies are recognizing the value of online reviews, which can serve as powerful testimonials that influence potential customers’ decision-making and purchase behavior.
Beyond monitoring and responding to reviews, marketers are developing various strategies in order to get more reviews.
- As much as 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- Customers don’t really trust businesses with lower than 4-star ratings. 80 percent of consumers say the star ratings they trust the most are 4.0, 4.5, and 5 stars.
- New reviews matter. According to research, 69 percent of consumers believe that reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant. Approximately 15 percent, meanwhile, believe that the only relevant reviews are the ones written within 2 weeks.
Not only does getting more reviews boost your search engine visibility and performance; it also helps you foster trust and strengthen your brand reputation in places where consumers are looking and talking.
9 Tips on How to Get More Reviews
1. First: ensure compliance.
It’s important to identify the review sites and platforms where your company is allowed to encourage feedback. Some sites — Yelp, for example — frown upon businesses asking customers for reviews.
Other sites — like TripAdvisor and Demandforce — are the opposite, even providing free tools for companies to reach out proactively for online reviews. Review Express, for example, is a campaign creation tool designed to help you get more reviews on TripAdvisor.
As you craft a strategy to get more online reviews, ensure that your efforts are going to be in compliance with each individual review site’s guidelines. You want to be rewarded, not penalized, for asking for online reviews.
2. Run an email campaign to get more reviews.
Email is one of the most popular and effective channels for marketers hoping to request feedback from customers and get more online reviews.
It’s not that difficult to run your first campaign. Simply collect your customers’ email addresses, preferably at the point of sales or care. Keep the emails short and concise, and when you write your message, be sure to include your name to make it more personal. And don’t forget to add a link to the page where you’d like them to post a review.
If you’re looking for increased efficiency, ReviewTrackers’ Ask Tool is one of the smartest ways for enterprises to generate reviews. Featuring powerful surveying capabilities, it allows you to create and send emails or text messages to get more reviews.
The tool’s Smart Suggest feature, meanwhile, helps you identify the review sites where you can benefit (in terms of search visibility and online reputation) from getting more reviews.
3. Try batch emails.
Batch emails work, too. Case in point: multi-channel retailer Concourse Sports sent 16,000 review request emails in one month. The result? The company was able to increase its number of Google and Facebook reviews by 2,800 percent in a matter of two months. (Read the full case study here.)
Regardless of the nature or size of your campaign, always remember to say thank you to your customers. Use your emails and messages as an opportunity to show appreciation for their feedback and encourage repeat visits.
4. Use a printable review request handout.
Sometimes, all customers need is a reminder for them to leave you a review. A handout is perfect: hand it over to the customer after the transaction and explain that you’d love to hear their feedback. It can be in the form of a card, a piece of paper attached to the receipt, a sticker, or even a few lines of text printed on your product packaging.
The important thing to remember is that your best customers are one step away from writing a great review of your business. Review request handouts are an effective tool to help you capitalize on this opportunity.
Looking to get more Google reviews? Try this free printable review request handout, which comes with easy instructions for your customers on how to leave reviews of your business on Google.
5. Create your own Google review link.
One of the most effective ways to improve your search ranking — as well as build your online brand reputation and attract more potential customers to your business locations — is to get more Google reviews.
A pretty effective technique for doing just that is to create your own Google review link. This involves using the Google Places API to come up with a link to a page where customers and Google users can review your business and share their experiences.
6. Turn on the Review tab on your Facebook page.
Social media giant Facebook is an emerging force in the online review space, too. According to a study, 80 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from local businesses with positive reviews on their Facebook Page.
Given this stat, it makes sense to wonder how to get more reviews on Facebook. But first, you must first enable the Review feature on your page.
- Go to Settings located at the top of your page.
- Click Page Info and choose Local Business as your Facebook Page category. (The Review feature isn’t yet available for, say, pages for singers or actors or authors.)
- You’ll then be given an option to make your business category more specific: restaurant, café, hospital or healthcare facility, hotel, etc.
- Click Save changes.
- Next, you have to add your business’ physical address or location. Again, go to Settings and click Page Info.
- Click Address and enter the information required, then tick the box next to Show map, check-ins, and star ratings.
- Click Save changes.
If you’d like to turn off the Review feature, just uncheck the Show map, check-ins, and star ratings box.
7. Be active in responding to reviews.
It’s a little tricky to figure out how to get more reviews on Yelp or some other site that frowns upon review requests.
But a recent study by Harvard Business Review could offer some insight: according to the researchers, businesses begin to get 12 percent more reviews when they start responding to existing ones. (Responsiveness also leads to an increase in overall ratings by 0.12 stars.)
8. Never incentivize reviews.
Asking customers to review your company on Google or Facebook doesn’t mean you should reward those who do. Otherwise, you might have regulators coming after you.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), for example, considers positive third-party reviews as endorsements, and according to the agency, if there is any form of incentive or compensation or close relationship between an individual giving an endorsement and a business receiving it, this should be made explicit.
Keep in mind that the FTC also considers it illegal to incentivize reviews even if there’s no requirement that the sentiment of the review should be positive.
9. Work review requests into your point-of-sale (POS) system.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to automatically request reviews from your newest customers? Aftermarket automotive service firm Ziebart is able to do just that. As a result, it has increased its monthly total of reviews by a staggering 262 percent. Watch how they did it: