How to Ask for a Review
So, what’s the best way to reach out to your customers and get them to review your business? Here are some best practices and techniques to help you achieve the best results and optimal response rates.
Request reviews via email
One of the most effective ways to generate new reviews is through review request email campaigns.
The campaigns usually take on the form of customer feedback surveys; other times, the email message is much simpler and more straightforward, containing a link to a page where the recipient can write a review.
If you’re just getting started with review generation, email should be at the top of your list of channels for requesting reviews. According to research, as much as 70 percent of reviews come from post-transactional review request emails.
Requesting reviews via email also means you get to tie your reviews to transactions that actually happened (transactions through which you are able to collect customer email addresses) — lending valuable authenticity to your reviews.
Moreover, email requests for reviews enables you to evaluate customer loyalty and satisfaction levels, as well as identify customers who are likely to recommend your business to others versus those who aren’t.
Best practices: asking customers for reviews through email
Know your goals. What do you want to achieve apart from generating new reviews? Are you trying to measure loyalty? Or do you want to get feedback on how you’re doing with customer service? Only by identifying your goals from the very start will you be able to ask the right survey questions and collect the right information.
For a more comprehensive guide, read our post on the best questions to ask in your review request or customer feedback surveys.
Personalize your email. Put careful thought to your review request emails and write them in a way that individually acknowledges each recipient. You can design the most dazzling email in the world, but you won’t achieve high open rates and response rates if the message feels cold and impersonal from the start.
Keep it short. When was the last time you took a 30-minute survey? Probably never. If your own review request email or survey takes too long to complete or even read, you run the risk of respondents abandoning it before completion.
So keep your message short. Keep it simple. Avoid unnecessary questions or phrases that your customers are unlikely to understand. If you would like them to review your business on a specific website, say so explicitly and provide clear instructions on how to do it.
If you’re going to ask for a rating, ask right away. Some companies leave it until the end before they ask for a review score or star rating. This isn’t exactly ideal. Why? Because it’s a crucial question or request that practically demands a gut reaction, and if you’re going to ask for a rating after a 5- to 10-minute round of less important questions, there’s a chance that you might invalidate the customer’s response.
Have middle options. If you’re using a rating scale in your review request campaigns, provide a middle category or neutral option. It gives respondents a kind of “out” if they are not sure how to answer or if they happen to have mixed feelings or sentiment. More importantly (and this is backed by research studies), middle options result in better, more accurate data.
Not using scales? Stick to “Yes” or “No” questions, or provide pre-selected / multiple-choice answers. Even if your questions require responses that are a little bit more elaborate, provide pre-selected answers that are easy to understand and choose from.
Respond immediately if necessary. If you receive negative feedback from a review request email you sent, act quickly and respond to let the customer know you are working on the issues they pointed out. Whether you’re making a phone call or sending an email, do so in a timely manner; otherwise, you run the risk of leaving an unhappy customer stewing and potentially deciding not to visit your business again.
Test, measure, and adjust. You can’t launch a review request campaign then leave it running untouched for the next several months. Test, measure, and adjust in order to achieve the best response rates and collect the most useful feedback. Today’s customer-driven market is a dynamic one, and, as previously mentioned, people’s interactions and experiences with your business will inevitably vary, especially over time.
Review request templates
Not sure what to write in your review request messages? Here are some subject line and message ideas that hopefully will give you some inspiration.
Subject line templates and examples
- “How did we do?”
- “We’d love to hear your feedback!”
- “Got a minute to share your experience with (Business Name)?”
- “We want your feedback.”
Message templates and examples
- “Hi (First Name of Customer), Thank you for visiting (Business Name)! It was our pleasure helping (service you provide). Reviews help our business build an online presence and helps others learn about us. Would you be willing to take a few minutes to leave us a review? You can click this link (direct URL to your review website profile) to leave us a review. Thank you so much in advance for taking time to share your experience. We appreciate your business!”
- “Hello there, (First Name of Customer)! I hope that your recent visit to (Business Name) exceeded your expectations. We would very much appreciate it if you would please take a few minutes today or the next few days to share your experience on one of the review websites linked to in this email. This feedback helps us improve our ability to provide you with the best service possible. To write a review, click one of the links below and you will be sent directly to the correct page for posting your review. Thank you again for your support. (direct URLs to your review website profiles)”
- “Hi (First Name of Customer)! Thank you again for choosing (Business Name). It’s our priority to continue providing top-notch service to customers like you. Please leave us a review on our profile on (review site, with direct URL to review website profile). It will only take a minute, but your valuable feedback will help us improve and make a huge difference to our company. Thank you!”
Request reviews via SMS
Did you know that 56 percent of all online reviews are posted from mobile devices?
It’s not a big mystery why. The age of voice dictation typing and tweet-sized reviews has also ushered in the ability for consumers to engage with businesses and write reviews straight from their phone or tablet.
If you send customers a text message survey or a review request via SMS, there’s a good chance they’ll click on that link. Text messages are opened at a 98 percent rate, whereas email typically has a 40 to 50 percent open rate. (Additional research shows that 90 percent of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes.)
Still, crafting your review request for SMS requires careful thought, too — perhaps even more so because of this channel’s character limitations. Here are a few review or feedback SMS templates to help you achieve high response rates.
Review or feedback SMS templates
Here are some actionable feedback SMS templates to inspire your text surveys and review request campaigns via SMS.
- “Thank you for being a customer.” This basic template is great to help you get started. It doesn’t require your customer to give up a lot of data or make a big effort to post a review. “Hey (First Name of Customer), thank you for visiting (Business Name) today! To help us best serve you and others, could you click on this link (review website profile link) to answer one question about your experience today? Thanks!”
- “Will you review us on (Review Site)?” This template helps you increase your reviews on a specific online review website where you might be performing poorly. “Hi (First Name of Customer), thank you for doing business with us. Do you have 1 minute to leave a review on (review site) about your experience with us? Just go here: (review website profile link). Thanks for your help!”
- “Review our location.” Thank your customers for visiting your outlet or local branch and ask for a review as well. “Hello (First Name of Customer), thank you for your recent visit to our location in (City). We here at (Business Name) want to provide you with the best experience possible! To help us, please take a moment to leave your feedback. Click here (review website profile link) to review. Thank you.”
- “Your opinion matters.” Establish a stronger relationship with your customer by allowing them to feel like they have a voice. “Hello (First Name of Customer), your opinion matters to us. Could you take 1 minute to leave us feedback on your visit to (Business Name)? This link will take you to a quick survey with 3 questions. We appreciate your help!”
Design landing pages for collecting reviews
In order to generate new reviews and collect valuable customer feedback, more and more businesses and marketers are creating their own dedicated landing pages for reviews.
It’s a great way to encourage customers to be more vocal about their experiences. These landing pages can be facilitated through the use of review generation software, survey forms, an embedded reviews widget on your company website — or you can also build one on your own.