A creative way to collect customer reviews for your website or on review sites is to use email marketing. This is an easy way if your small business already has a database of email addresses or has been regularly sending newsletters to your client base. The beauty of using an email marketing system is that:
- You can get your clients attention when they are already online reading your email instead of trying to convince them to get online.
- You can provide links in the email to redirect them to your profile on review sites like Google Places or to a form on your website.
- It is easy for them to just hit the reply button and give you a personal review via email.
If your business doesn’t have an email marketing system in place, the first step is to collect your clients email addresses.
- You can do this by offering them incentives such as free coupons or discounts that will be delivered to their email address, making it necessary for them to submit their email address.
- You can also use your in store feedback forms to get their email addresses.
- You can also collect email addresses from your online social networks such as your business Facebook or Twitter page fans using valuable offers as incentives
Once you have collected the email addresses, you need to write friendly but convincing emails encouraging them to leave their reviews on your website or on your profile listing within review websites. A good idea is to give simple step by step instructions on how they can do this so that they can see how easy and quick the process will be and how it wonít take more than 2 or 3 minutes of their time.
Some businesses often try to ‘bribe’ their customers with freebies in exchange for reviews, but this is often deemed unethical as it may skew your reviews and is seen as a corrupt inducement for a process that is supposed to be completely objective. So it’s best not to financial incentives in exchange for reviews. Instead appeal to your customers to give their honest review and to participate in the success of your company. If you have established a community of friendship with your customers, many of them will be happy to support your business. Use fun and inclusive words like ‘Let others know that Papa Joe’s have THE best burgers in town!’
If you have ever received emails from happy customers complimenting your business on your great services and products, consider this a bonus and use the opportunity to thank them and direct them to review sites where they can let others know how they feel. This is one of the most overlooked ways of tapping into positive customer feedback.