You’ve asked a number of customers to submit testimonials or reviews of your business, but you’ve received few responses. What can you do if your customers don’t respond to your testimonial or review request? This can be a challenging situation, but there are a few things that you can do.
What to Do if Customers Don’t Respond to Your Testimonial or Review Request
What Went Wrong with Your Testimonial or Review Request?
If your plans don’t go the way that you expect, you probably want to know what went wrong. If your customers don’t respond to your testimonial or review request in the way that you expected, consider what, specifically, didn’t work. When you know what part of your plan went wrong, you’ll know what to change next time.
Here are a few issues that you might encounter with your testimonial- or review-gathering campaign.
Too Few Requests
The Rule of Seven states that a consumer has to see a marketing message an estimated seven times before it really sinks in. While this is generally applied to advertisements from businesses that don’t have a previous connection to a consumer, a similar principle applies to existing customers responding to a marketing message. In short, a customer is unlikely to respond to a review or testimonial request if they only see the message once or twice.
Consider how many times you asked each customer for a review or testimonial. Put yourself in their shoes; would you respond to a business after the same amount of asks? Consider increasing the number of testimonial or review requests to at least four, with requests spread out over four weeks. By spreading your messages out, your customers are unlikely to be annoyed, but the request is more likely to sink in.
Not Enough Customers Asked
The second consideration is mostly based on statistical probability; you have to ask a certain number of customers for reviews or testimonials to receive any responses. Let’s take a closer look at what this means.
We’d all like to assume our own marketing messages or customer requests are more valid or valuable than other advertisers’ or businesses’. However, even if that is true, customers don’t know this. Unless they have a special connection to a business, customers generally treat advertisements, requests, discounts etc. in the same way. And, in general, conversion rates—that is, the percentage of customers who actually respond to an ad, email, or offer—are much lower than we think. For email advertisements—ads providing special deals to previous customers via email—this conversion rate is about 4 or 5%.
Though there are some important differences, an email request for a testimonial or review can be expected to have about the same conversion rate as an email advertisement. This means, if you ask 20 customers for a review or testimonial, you might receive one response. A good rule of thumb is to ask at least 50 unique customers for a testimonial or review. Below this number, the sample pool is simply too small, and there are too many other factors that can skew your results.
Reviewers Were Confused
Have you ever received a discount or special offer from a business, but you weren’t sure how to redeem it, or what steps you were supposed to take? In many cases, this process may seem obvious to its creators, but mysterious to consumers. When you sent requests for testimonials or reviews, are you quite sure that your customers knew what to do?
If you didn’t receive any responses, or received very few, but the previous factors didn’t affect your campaign, maybe your customers simply got confused. Perhaps one of the following happened:
- Broken link: If you wrote down, posted, or sent a link to the testimonial or review submission page, one wrong letter can disrupt the process completely.
- Unclear path: If you sent customers to your Google listing to submit a review, your homepage, Facebook page, or another page, they may have simply gotten lost and were unsure of how to submit a review or testimonial.
- Technical difficulties: If you directed customers straight to your testimonial collection page or review submission page, customers may have had technical difficulties with their browser or other technology. Before you send your requests, check your process on multiple browsers, operating systems, and devices.
- Unclear instructions: Maybe your customers made it to your submission page, but they weren’t sure what to do next. Make a great testimonial landing page with clear instructions to solve this problem.
How to Improve Your Testimonial or Review Request Campaign
Maybe you know what went wrong with your testimonial or review request campaign, or maybe you’re still uncertain. Either way, there are a few things that you might be able to change to improve your next campaign. Here are a few strategies that you can try to improve your testimonial or review request response rates.
Your customers are busy people, and getting their attention for a review or testimonial can sometimes be a challenge. Incentives can help to generate more attention and more responses.
When you request a testimonial or review, you might include a gift card, discount, or a chance to win a special prize. Though this can be an effective way to increase responses, it’s important to use this strategy with care. Incentivized reviews are not acceptable on every platform. This strategy may work best if you are gathering testimonials for your own website or marketing materials, though you should note that customers were incentivized in order to maintain transparency.
To incentivize customers to leave reviews or testimonials, try this step-by-step strategy:
- Decide what type of incentive makes sense for your customers; a discount, gift card, raffle, or something else.
- When you send, show or post a testimonial or review request, make a note of what your customers can win and how they can win it. Be clear about what you are offering, how much, and how customers can get it.
- When your customers submit their review or testimonial, send them the offer you promised, or enter them to win a prize.
- (Optional) Consider automating this process with an email drip to manage it more effectively.
As previously noted, it takes an average of seven views before a marketing message sinks in. Since you’re addressing existing customers and not strangers, this number might be less, but it’s important to ask more than one time. You might make multiple asks, use multiple platforms, or both.
Consider the following ways to ask your customers to submit a review or testimonial:
- Introduction email: Tell your email list that you are looking for reviews or testimonials. Be clear about how to submit and any incentives you’re offering.
- Drip email: Use an automated email drip, with emails spaced about a week apart, to make multiple asks. Be sure to remove customers who have already submitted.
- Social media request: Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or others to ask your fans to submit a review.
- After-purchase message: Put a review submission landing page link on a receipt, shipping paper, confirmation email, or similar message.
- In-store request: Place your request and a link on an in-store chalkboard, sign, menu, or similar spot.
- Website: Use a pop-up, CTA, sidebar message, banner message or similar message on your website or blog to encourage customers to leave a review or testimonial.
Automating your testimonial collection process will help you save time and reach more customers. This involves some set-up, but will help you make this process much more efficient. This way, you can make multiple asks, sort your email list to remove customers who have already responded, send incentives, and even sort your list based on positive or negative feedback.
Use Clear Instructions
Create a landing page on your website where customers can submit testimonials or reviews. On this page, make your instructions clear, so customers know exactly how to submit their review, what it will be used for, and what and how they can win incentives (if available). You might include prompts or an example, so customers know what to say or write in their review or testimonial. Customize this template to make your page clear and simple.
If you are gathering reviews for a third-party site, like Google Reviews, Amazon, or another site, make sure you use the correct link. When you ask your customers for these types of reviews, such as in an email, you might include instructions at this stage.
Test Your Process
A broken link, incompatibility with a device or a browser, unclear instructions or other issues can derail your testimonial and review gathering campaign quickly. Once you’ve established your campaign plan, test it. First, test it yourself on your own devices. Then, ask your friends, colleagues or family members to test it on their devices too. Make sure you test multiple devices, operating systems, and browsers. If your testers have questions, they hit a roadblock, or they’re uncertain how to proceed, address these problems. This way, when you ask your customers for feedback, you’ll have eliminated as much confusion and as many technical problems as possible.
Take a closer look at your testimonial or review request campaign, and see if you can detect what might’ve gone wrong. Try the strategies listed above to improve response rates. Remember that gathering reviews and testimonials sometimes takes trial-and-error; once you have a strong contact list, you know what your customers respond to, and you know how to simplify the process, you’ll be able to gather reviews and testimonials more easily.
Posted in: Social Proof