Google reviews can drive a lot of traffic and sales impact for local businesses in this tech-driven era. By getting online reviews from customers, you boost your chances of attracting more traffic to your business page, a new customer base, and amplifying your brand image.
Strong Google reviews are a crucial element of SEO and part of your business marketing strategy. So how do you get the ball rolling on these reviews? It’s quite simple: you ask for them.
While there are a great many ways you can go about the hunt for more Google reviews, an age-old and effective method is by landing directly in your customer’s inbox.
Read on to learn more about the importance of Google reviews and why shooting your happy customers an invitation by way of email might be one of the best things you can do as a business owner.
Why Google Reviews Are Important
Your customers want to be able to trust your brand and turn to read existing reviews to make that decision. 72% of customers won’t consider initiating a purchase until they’ve read reviews.
Google remains one of the most visited platforms for this purpose, accounting for a little over half of all the reviews online worldwide. Generating positive word of mouth here is integral for both your digital marketing and sales strategy.
Google reviews can benefit you in three significant ways.
1. Boost your SEO returns
Google search rankings are closely related to the ratings and number of business reviews you receive as part of your business listing. This can be seen by tracking your performance on your Google My Business account. Every time you receive a good product review, it signals to Google that your business is reputable and trustworthy. This will boost your local SEO rankings and help further validate the authenticity of your business online.
2. Improve your brand image
One negative review can make or break your business image online. Likewise, a glowing and positive review can elevate your brand image and the perception that customers have of you.
You especially stand to gain from this if you are a small and local business in the growth stage of your operations.
3. Social Proof is a Must
Receiving positive affirmation from customers online who act as brand advocates can do wonders for small businesses. If they resonate with a stellar customer experience, this can significantly boost your click-through rates and lead more customers into your sales funnel.
In today’s day and age, customers have the power and access to information at their fingertips. Obtaining that social proof online that your business is everything it claims to be (and more) is a crucial component to your marketing.
Template To Ask For Reviews On Google
Email marketing is one of the most traditional and yet effective avenues for online marketing efforts. With promising ROI ($38 for every dollar spent) and a direct line to your customers, you should consider integrating asking for Google reviews through email if you haven’t already.
Sending an email to satisfied customers following their purchases is one of the best ways to attract the star ratings and customer reviews you want. A lot of powerhouse businesses already do this.
Timing is essential here. You don’t want to wait a week after the purchase has ended to shoot them an email asking for customer feedback. Shoot your customers a post-purchase email as early as possible after their purchase. This will help them frame a positive review when they’re in a good frame-of-mind, and their feedback is still fresh.
Sample Review Request Email Template
It’s time for you to draft a generic template for your review email. Nailing the language used is essential. You don’t want to sound too impersonal and, at the same time, want to balance a warm and inviting tone to nudge the happy customer into doing a Google review. No matter the fancy graphics and visuals used in the email, the message should be concise.
Pro-tip: build a Google review link and hyperlink it into your email to make your job easier.
Following is a sample template you can use as a base to build upon your review email.
Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],
Thank you for your recent purchase of [product details]. You are a valued customer, and we greatly appreciate your business, time, and feedback.
We strive to provide the best customer service and would love to hear your feedback on our product. This will help us grow and ensure the continued satisfaction of all our customers.
Your support is invaluable, and we would be grateful if you could take a few minutes to leave us a quick Google review.
To submit your review, click below and share your feedback!
[INSERT GOOGLE REVIEW LINK HERE]
Thank you in advance for your time. We look forward to serving you further in the future. If you have any questions, please contact us at [INSERT CUSTOMER CARE LINK HERE].
[YOUR/SALES REP NAME]
You can alter the email depending on the type of product or service you offer, the voice of your brand, and the tone you and customer reps use to communicate with your customers. Remember, every shred of communication you have should be representative of your business and its values.
If you garner several positive reviews in this way, you can even take your social proof a step further and share positive testimonials on social platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Check out these social media templates if you do.
Alternatively, if you would like to focus your efforts on other marketing value-add activities, you could save time digging for the right template by opting for a review management service. With these services, you can browse through and access professional templates for this purpose. These pre-made templates will save you time and energy, providing you customer-centric messaging instantly.
Tips To Ask For Google Reviews
Have a customer that’s singing praise for your product or service? Ask them for a review.
Have a loyal, repeat customer that’s been a regular for an extended period of time? Ask them for a review.
Even just a one-off customer that won’t come back for a repeat purchase? It’s review time again!
If you’re wondering how to get more reviews, the answer isn’t more straightforward than merely asking them for it. You should never shy away from an opportunity to showcase a positive customer experience online. Even Google doesn’t have any restrictions on soliciting reviews this way.
So what are some tips you can follow to ask through email?
Email blasts and short campaigns
If you already have an established customer list consisting of repeat and loyal customers, you can go ahead and send them a sequence of emails (3-4 emails is a good amount) spread across a specific time frame. This doesn’t necessarily have to be directly after a purchase (as they may be regulars). You can even structure them as follow-up emails.
Keep your emails short and concise with a clear invitation and call to action (CTA). Here’s a sample to give you an idea:
Hey [CUSTOMER’S NAME],
Did you know the [BUSINESS NAME] family has grown by X% in the past year? We’re happy that valued customers like you keep coming back for more. Let us know what we’re doing right by dropping a review [INSERT GOOGLE REVIEW HYPERLINK] so we can keep this community growing and happy!
This will help us provide the best customer experience we can and share our business value with others too.
How Not To Ask For Reviews
While there is nothing wrong with asking for reviews, you should never upset your customers or pressure them. Here are things to avoid.
Don’t spam your customers
There’s a fine line between politely requesting reviews using structured email campaigns and badgering your customers for one review. The last thing you want is for your customers to associate your business name with spam.
Be conscious of your email frequency, timings, and the space you give your customers to do a review in their own time.
Don’t consider buying fake reviews
In some countries, fake reviews are considered criminal. Yes, you read that right! Why? Because they are misleading, inauthentic, and regarded as fraudulent especially if they have undue influence over a potential customer’s purchasing decision. Not only does it damage credibility, but it is, in essence, operating in bad faith.
Reviews are a part of reputation management and are meant to be honest and transparent. Always keep that in mind.
Be careful with incentives
You should never offer anything in exchange for leaving a review, be it a gift or a coupon code or discount. This is against Google review policy and can backfire on you with large numbers of rating-only reviews with little to no context, making your business look suspicious.
Remember, reviews also exist to help other customers feel confident about your business before making a purchasing decision. You do not want to take that power away from them.
Instead, incentivize them by saying their review can help you work on your areas of improvement and provide a higher quality service going forward.
While most SEO campaigns have to do with getting you that sweet #1 ranking, the hunt for five-star Google reviews will benefit your business in the long run by establishing authenticity and a trustworthy image to your brand.
Build your business brand by redirecting the spotlight to the happy customers and asking them for reviews through email. Before you know it, you’ll see those stars come flying in, and business will blossom like never before.