How to Create an Email Template to Solicit Reviews
At UpCity, we understand just how complex and challenging online marketing can be, especially for small businesses. As a trusted advocate for local businesses, SMBs, and their owners, we strive to create content that helps our members navigate and understand the nearly endless array of marketing services available in the open marketplace. As a benefit of membership, our community has access to a marketplace of vetted service providers and B2B services as well as guidance from professionals who can provide the necessary insight and solutions to help you flesh out and complete your business marketing plan.
As members of the UpCity community, business leaders gain access to in-depth, personalized action plans that help them optimize their site, as well as ongoing support from our team. On our blog, our team regularly provides a comprehensive overview of one of the recommended tasks built into the UpCity software. In this discussion, we explore online review solicitation and review generation using email templates, a crucial tool that should be in any modern small business’ repertoire.
The Growing Importance of Review Management
Social proof has become increasingly important to consumers, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Modern consumers are heavily invested in ensuring they share their experiences with others in their social circles on social media and across customer review sites, largely because they are relying on the reviews of others to help them make informed purchasing decisions. However, the number of reviews that customers leave organically isn’t often at a level that it impacts search engine behaviors to improve your reputation. Recognizing this, marketing experts advise being more proactive in soliciting reviews as a critical component in their overall online reputation management strategy to uphold their business name.
Reviews Create A Positive Reputation
Managing your online reputation is challenging, but has several benefits to your brand’s ongoing success. By soliciting positive reviews from satisfied customers and leveraging those reviews across social media, your website, and other brand channels, you provide any potential clients researching your services with a positive impression.
Reviews Are More Credible and Believable
Reviews play much stronger to customers researching your brand than any posturing or well-calibrated marketing messaging created by your team might. People want to hear real customer feedback from others who have experienced your brand first-hand, and these reviews have a much broader reach and credibility, as they are distributed across websites beyond the control of your team.
Reviews Allow Customers to Contribute to Brand Improvements
Review generation tactics also serve as a way of showing your existing customers that you care about their experiences with your brand and their overall satisfaction. Knowing their opinions matter, they are more likely to provide your team with ways of improving your products and services, because they want your brand to continue to improve.
Directly Soliciting Reviews from Customers Via Email Follow-Up
Reviews can be solicited across several channels at several points in the customer journey, but one of the best ways to invite your customers to provide reviews is to simply ask them as part of the post-sale follow-up. Your sales team should be collecting and cultivating a database of current and potential customer contact information used to execute any number of email marketing campaigns, one of which should be a campaign utilizing an email template that invites existing and past customers to provide feedback about their experience.
Creating an Effective Email Template to Solicit Reviews
You have several paths for creating an email template for your team to use, which largely depends upon what your marketing team uses for email automation and email campaign management. Popular email management platforms range from online tools such as Mailchimp to software platforms such as Zoho Mail, Hiver, or SendinBlue, but there are many many more options on the market.
Regardless of the tool in use, your team should start by creating a campaign specific for review solicitation and segmenting out recent customers who have completed purchases of your goods or services. Once you’ve created your list, you can create a template specific to the campaign. While every campaign will be somewhat different, you should follow these tips to craft the perfect approach to asking your customers for feedback and a review of their experience.
Craft an Eye-Catching Subject Line
Your subject should be a strong call to action and sets the tone for the remainder of the template. Since reviews can serve several purposes, you should establish that purpose up-front in the subject. If your purpose is to solicit social proof-focused reviews, you can start by inviting them to help others or provide insight to others who might also need the same services. If you’re seeking insight into your services and how to make improvements, invite them to provide feedback on how to improve your services or products. If you want to keep it more general but still appeal to customers’ need to have an impact, invite them to provide insight into their experience and how it might impact others with similar pain points or problems.
Make it Personal and Be Thankful and Appreciative
When crafting your template, ensure your platform pulls customer names and you write it in such a way as to greet them by name. Once you’ve personally greeted them, always show that you are grateful for their business and ensure they know that you appreciate their support of your brand. By personally thanking them up-front, you set the tone for a long-term loyal customer relationship where they know they aren’t just another sale, but a relationship that you value.
Invite Them to Provide Their Feedback
Having handled the pleasantries, it’s important that you quickly get to the purpose of your email and ask your new customers for their feedback. In crafting the body of the email, remember to not focus on your business, but instead focus on their customer experience and how your services helped them to solve a problem. Inline with the purpose of the review that you established in the subject of the template, invite them to provide the appropriate review or feedback, and direct them to post it on a specific social media platform or website via an embedded link in the template.
Be Intentional in Executing Your Email Campaign
The most effective review request email templates are those that are put into play at the right time. The best time to ask for a review is immediately after you’ve delivered a purchase order or right after you’ve completed a service for them. The timing is key, as you want to ensure your brand and their experience with the goods or services you’ve provided are still top of mind. It’s also important to be flexible with your templates, making changes as necessary specific to a user’s experience with you to ensure that you’re coming across as natural and genuine, rather than like an automated email.
Finally, establish campaigns for each targeted website or social platform to ensure you’re receiving strong reviews across a multitude of channels, such as Google reviews, Yelp, Facebook, business profiles, and more, to most effectively establish a robust online reputation and SEO. Remember that there’s a lot to be gained from an effective business review generation strategy. Happy customers can provide great testimonials with a simple, quick review. Whether negative or positive feedback, you as a business owner, have shown that you care about your customer.
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