Knowing how to ask customers for reviews through email is a great way to generate reviews. As studies show, the volume and recency of online reviews not only help increase leads but also improve conversion rates and generate higher revenues.
Why Learn How To Ask Customers for Reviews?
Consider, for instance, the global eCommerce product sales valued at $2 trillion. According to data gathered by Power Reviews, online reviews had an impact on 20 percent of sales. Such being the case, one can say that online reviews played a hand in $400 billion worth of product sales.
The importance of online reviews is immense. But unfortunately, not all customers write reviews. One study, for instance, suggests that only 5 to 10 percent of customers would leave a review.
Since fewer than 10 percent of customers leave a review, there is at least 90 percent who could also write reviews. For this reason, businesses must know how to ask for customer reviews by email or other means.
The low number of people leaving reviews is an opportunity. Considering that not all companies use online reputation management services, those that employ online review generation strategies can gain a competitive edge.
In principle, online review requests involve reaching out to customers and making a request for reviews. Some companies task a service representative or marketing specialist to request reviews. Others save time and resources by hiring the best online reputation management company to monitor their brand mentions and get more reviews.
Why Learn How To Ask for Customer Reviews Through Email?
In 2019, online interactions accounted for 42 percent of total customer interactions. Since then, it has increased to 60 percent. This trend suggests that more customers use digital channels than traditional channels.
While marketers generally react quickly to shifting customer behavior, many businesses still lag in adopting service channels. To illustrate, consider a SalesForce study showing service organization vs. customer use of digital service channels.
Image source: salesforce.com
Customer adoption rate across many service channels is higher than businesses. Although the original intent of this study is to understand the trends in customer service, it is also helpful in identifying the best channels to use for online request reviews.
“[Email] is the most common contact method that companies have for customers,” said Tim Clarke, the senior reputation manager of Rize Reviews.
The higher the customer adoption rate, the more suitable it is for communicating with customers. As seen in the image above, email accounts for 98 percent. For this reason, businesses and any reputable reputation management agency must request Google reviews and feedback on review sites using email.
Best Practices When Making Online Review Requests
The process of emailing customers and sending a request for reviews, on the whole, is simple. But as with all things, there’s a right way to do it:
1. Ask for Honest Opinions
Businesses and marketers must understand that review requests must follow FTC regulations. For example, never ask customers to write only positive reviews. If offering an incentive to generate reviews, it is best to disclose it to the public.
2. Time Emails
The best time to email and request Google reviews is not as soon as a customer finishes the transaction. Imagine, for instance, an online store asking for a review when the customer has not yet received a product. Instead, the timing depends on the usage of a product or service.
Some products, for instance, may provide instant gratification. For example, a restaurant may email an hour after delivering food to a customer since most of them would already have finished eating.
Other products may take longer to take effect. For example, a skincare product promises results after three days of use. Assume that it takes two days for shipping. In this case, the company can send a request for review email five days after.
An online review request must fall within the “trigger time” of customers. In other words, the email should come when the customer is likely enjoying a product’s or service’s full benefits.
3. Personalize the Email
Remember that the point of communicating with customers, regardless of the reason, is to forge a stronger relationship. Therefore, while it is necessary to use canned emails, there are ways to customize some components of an email, such as the customer’s name.
Consider, for example, “Dear valued customer,” which is often used by many businesses. While it sounds professional and cordial, it does come across as detached. On the other hand, addressing customers by name makes them feel more valued and likelier to provide a rating or feedback when asked.
4. Write Attention-Grabbing Subject Lines
Besides the sender, the subject line is the next thing people see when viewing their inbox. So keep the following in mind when composing one:
- Personalize the subject line. Adding details such as customer name or location helps increase the open rates of emails.
- Keep the subject line short. Remember that many people use mobile devices to read emails. Because they cannot show long texts, it is better not to exceed nine words or 60 characters.
- Avoid excessive punctuations. At most, limit punctuations and other special characters to no more than three. In excess, the subject line may appear spammy.
- Aim to Start a conversation. Avoid generic subject lines like “Review Request.” Instead, use something like “What did you think of [product]?” A conversational tone in the subject line and email helps make customers feel at ease and is more likely to lead them to take action.
5. Include a Photo and Use a Prompt
Adding a photo helps customers remember the product they purchased. Also, not all customers know what to write, so they ignore the request. One way to solve this problem is to add a prompt along with the photo.
One example of a prompt is the following:
“Not sure about what to write? Start with what you liked and disliked. Then, share your thoughts on the quality of the item and your experience using it.”
The idea here is simple. First, help the customer remember the product using a photo. But, more importantly, help them know what to write about to get more reviews. Notice, too, that the prompt encourages them to leave an honest review.
6. Make It Easy and Convenient To Rate or Write a Review
Businesses can get more reviews by making it accessible, easy, and convenient. Nothing is more annoying to customers who decide to rate a product or write a review after receiving an email and then go through a complicated process.
One way to simplify it is to allow customers to click on a rating in the email. Another way is to take them directly to a review form with the click of one button.
Generally, it should take customers only a few minutes to rate and write a review.
7. Provide Incentives To Enhance Online Review Generation
Incentivized reviews are acceptable, but not all platforms allow that. For example, businesses can request Google reviews for a gift or reward. Google, though, will only allow it if the incentive encourages customers to provide honest feedback – be it a positive or negative review.
8. Do A/B Split Testing
One of the practices used by a reputable online reputation management company is A/B testing. An email campaign to generate reviews is no exemption.
In essence, split testing involves sending two types of emails and measuring their performance to identify which one is more effective in generating more reviews. Rather than one-time, companies can continuously tweak their emails to increase the customer response rate to online review requests.
9. Use Other Service Channels
Not all companies can acquire customer email addresses. Hence, businesses must also use other service channels, such as phone, social media and in-person, to reach more customers for online review generation.
The importance of online reviews is that they can significantly increase leads, conversions and revenue. So, using as many channels as possible is a necessity. Although managing multiple channels is difficult, there are ways to simplify the tasks. One of the most popular options today is using the best online reputation management services to request reviews.
The Importance of Online Reviews Generation
Online reviews share the public opinion about a product or service. Even negative feedback has a role to play. For instance, they help establish customer reviews authenticity, thus enhancing brand trustworthiness.
Since fewer than 10 percent of customers leave feedback, sending an email to the remaining 90 percent and making a request for reviews using email is better. Contact our reputation management agency, Rize Reviews, for more details. Our specialists can answer your questions, like how to ask customers for reviews or how to compel them to leave a rating.