There is no doubt that to improve your business’s online reputation you need to consistently gather positive reviews. Research has shown that positive reviews make consumers 68 percent more likely to buy from a company. This means that having an effective online review generation solution is crucial for any business to succeed.
The next challenge is learning how to get more reviews to boost your online reputation. Whether you have a small startup or a million-dollar empire, you need a review generation process that builds up your reputation with genuine, positive customer reviews.
How To Ask Customers for Reviews
There are many ways to ask your customers to leave a review. These methods all depend on the type of industry your business is in and the kind of products or services you offer. Here are the most common ones:
• Landing page forms
• In-person (physical store, kiosks, etc)
These methods can be carried out separately, or they can all be performed using a review generation software like Rize.
For the purpose of this blog post, we’ll be discussing the two most common methods of online review generation: email and SMS. Is one better than the other? In this article we consider both of these methods and discover how to ask customers for reviews via each one.
Getting Reviews Via Email
Most customers prefer getting emails because it’s familiar and non-invasive. Emailing your customers after they buy from you is standard marketing practice. Because of this, there are lots of proven techniques on how to get more reviews using email.
While marketing experts predicted that email will eventually be obsolete, research indicates the opposite to be true. Statista’s data shows that email usage is growing and is expected to rise to 4,371,000 in 2023.
Some advantages of using email marketing as an online review generation tool include:
• Customization. You can personalize your email content to better connect with your audience
• Affordability. Most email marketing services offer low-cost plans for small and medium businesses.
• Automation. Autoresponders can be sent automatically based on triggers or customer behavior.
• Customer Preference. An email survey states that 61 percent of consumers prefer to receive emails from brands.
• Measurability. There are tools and systems in place to track email open rates and click through rates (CTR), making it easy for you to measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns.
On the other hand, some disadvantages of using email to get more reviews include:
• Inbox overload. People’s inboxes are often flooded with marketing emails and they don’t always know which ones to open first.
• Deliverability. Some email services like Gmail can tag your content as spam and push your emails straight to the user’s spam folder.
• Lack of response. People take longer to respond to emails as compared to SMS.
Getting Reviews via SMS
Requesting an online review from your customers via SMS is slowly becoming a more effective method of review generation. Here are some of its main benefits:
• Higher open rate. SMS open rate is 98 percent
• Faster response. 90 percent of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes
• Great deliverability. Can’t be blocked or sent to a SPAM folder
• No reliance on internet connection. Can be delivered without WiFi or internet connection
Despite its notable advantages, SMS is not a perfect online review generation tool. It has cons too, especially when it comes to content.
• Limited content. Most SMS content is limited to 160 characters
• Easily ignored. Can easily be deleted or overlooked
• Privacy issues. Some customers don’t want to give their mobile numbers
• Invasive. Some customers find SMS obtrusive
Email vs SMS: Which One is Better for Online Review Generation?
The question still remains: which method is better when you want to get more reviews?
We asked Rize’s resident reputation management expert, Tim Clarke, and he has this to say:
“Our suggestion is [to] use the same communication method as normal. So if a business already sends SMSes, uses SMS and vice versa.”
Ultimately, you don’t need to choose one or the other because you need both. Email and SMS can work well together and every business should consider using both methods for their online review generation process. When considering how to get more reviews use both SMS and email as this will yield better results than choosing only one method.
Make sure your online review strategy is geared towards using either SMS or email or create content for each option. Furthermore, your campaign should match the nature of your industry and business and the type of clients you expect to engage. For example, Tim reveals that most clients that own retail stores and restaurants use SMS while those in health care use email as they don’t have client’s phone numbers readily available due to strict privacy regulations regarding patient information.
Other than identified specific limitations, any business should benefit from using both SMS and email to get more reviews from their customers. It’s important for business owners to learn how to ask for a review via both email and SMS so they can maximize their online review generation results.
With Rize Reviews, you have the option to experiment with SMS and email to see which one works. “We can do tracking and A/B testing for clients who want to try SMS and email at different times to compare results and success rates,” says Clarke.
How to Ask For a Review Using Email
Engaging your customers using email can be a challenge as it’s not always easy to master how to ask customers for reviews and get a response. For one, your email subject should be compelling enough so the recipient clicks on it. Then, your email content should persuade the customer to take action, and record their review.
Here are some actionable steps to asking customers for a review using email:
• Short, concise content. People don’t have the time to read through long winded emails. Cut to the chase and get your message across clearly within the first few sentences.
• Use branded visuals. Let people know who you are with consistent branding. Be sure to include your logo and company colors in your mail.
• Make it easy. Help the customer complete the review with as little steps as possible.
• Personalize. Use personalization tags to incorporate customer details like his/her first name into the email subject line and content.
How to Ask For a Review Using SMS
SMS content needs to be even shorter than email, so a little goes a long way with this approach. Despite its limitations, SMS can be a great way to get more reviews with the right strategy. Here are some suggestions:
• Grab their attention right away. Using only a few words, you need to get the viewer to read your text and click on the review link.
• Thank the customer. Always thank the customer for their purchase or patronage before asking for the review.
• Be casual. Use natural language to engage your customers so they feel like they’re getting a text from a friend.
• Don’t forget the call-to-action. Always tell the customer what you want them to do. Include specific instructions like “click on this link” or “go to this website” to make sure they understand how to leave the review.
Now that you learned about the benefits of online review generation with email and SMS and how to ask for reviews, it’s time to get to work. If you need help, check out Rize’s review generation services that can get you started with the right online review generation strategy for your business.