You're ready to pitch.
You've wowed your customers. Your clients have under promised and over delivered. Customers are satisfied and happy. Their positive experience is still fresh in their mind. You're ready to ask for a review.
So what's stopping you?
Your emails, your subject lines in particular. Best case scenario, your customers are eager to respond. Worst case scenario? You're ignored or customers are prompted to write a negative review.
The review you receive depends on your pitch
But you can't make a pitch.
If you're missing a compelling email subject line, reviewers won't even see your pitch. Your subject line is the opener. You're competing with everyone inside your reviewer's cluttered inbox.
And their inbox is cluttered.
According to the Radicati Group, the average office worker receives approximately 140 emails per day, sending roughly 40 emails daily. There's a good chance reviewers are dealing with information overload.
The competition is real.
What exactly does this mean for you? If you want amazing reviews, your requests need amazing email subject lines. There's no way around it.
Why the wrong pitch means you'll be ignored
This seems obvious, doesn't it?
If your email subject lines are terrible people are going to waste their time. If you're a marketer, this is so incredibly obvious that it's not even worth discussing, or is it?
We need to know why.
Why are email subject lines ignored? Readers pass on emails for three specific reasons.
1. They're afraid. Afraid you'll waste their time, deceive, manipulate or abuse them. They're unsure about who or what they're getting into.
2. They're repulsed. Something about your subject line is a complete turnoff. It's a small mistake but it's enough to kill their interest.
3. They've missed it. Your customers are buried under a never-ending list of emails. They missed your message and it was quickly buried by new incoming messages.
That's pretty much it.
There are other broad reasons at play here, but these three are the biggest offenders. If a subject line fails to perform this is the best place to start.
What does this look like?
If you're making these mistakes stop it now.
These mistakes are unbelievably common. They're a great way to instantly receive the "mark as spam" designation.
So what can you write?
That's actually a pretty easy question to answer. Your email subject line has one job to do.
Get the click.
This is actually pretty helpful because it limits the kinds of messages you should be sending. Top shelf marketers do their best work when they're forced to work within restrictions. Email subject lines are no different. Generally speaking, your subject lines should fall into (at least) one of three categories.
1. It's fascinating or remarkable
2. It's educational and or informative
3. It requests/provides clarity, confirmation or verification
I'm generalizing a bit to keep things simple here but you get my point. Your email subject lines should be simple and purpose driven.
What can we do with these?
At first glance, these three categories seem a bit restrictive, don't they? In reality, they're anything but. Let's take a look at several subject lines you can use in your email review requests.
1. Subject lines that create curiosity/mystique
Curiosity is an attractor.
As people, we're naturally curious about unanswered questions. We obsess over secrets and we focus on solving puzzles. These subject lines feed a reviewer's curiosity and need for novelty.
Answer their questions.
If you lead with curiosity, satisfy their need in the email like this:
Subject: [customer name], you've always been the best at...[customer name],
You've always been the best at giving it to us straight. Right now we need your help. A reviewer by the name of [reviewer’s name]. thinks we're kind of the worst.
He said some pretty bad things (about us).
So here's where you come in. Is [reviewer’s name] right about us? We've worked with you for [#] years, and it seems you've always been happy but maybe I'm missing something.
Would you share your story?[Button with a link to the specific review site or a review funnel link] [your name]
See how I maintain the scent of that subject line in the body of the email? That's what you'll want to do if you decide to use mystique to trigger a response.
2. Subject lines that create action/alarm
Can you feel the nervousness and tension behind these subject lines? What's going on here? Why would anyone use these subject lines to attract attention? Where did they even come from?
They come from your negative reviews.
Here's how it works. (1.) you take snippets or excerpts from your negative reviews. (2.) you turn them into alarming subject lines (3.) you send them to your happiest, most satisfied customers/clients.
When do you send these out? You send these alarm triggering subject lines out at two distinct moments.
1. Right after you've wowed a customer/client.
2. To known loyalists, customers who love, admire and trust your company.
That's how you minimize risk.
Doing this accomplishes several important things. It grabs your customer's attention immediately. It motivates them to take action quickly on your behalf.
3. Subject lines that are direct and trustworthy
These subject lines are open, direct and sincere. They act as skilled generalists. They're able to generate the interest you need from apathetic yet open-minded reviewers.
When do you use these?
You use them when customers are on the fence about you, your business or the results you've provided. Use it when you're dealing with neutrals who are willing to be convinced or sold.
4. Subject lines that increase significance, status and prestige
We all have a desire for significance.
It's more important for some than it is for others but the need is there. These subject lines feed your customer's need for significance. This works well when you notice some of your clients are focused on a few specific things:
These headlines meet their need.
Use these subject lines directly after a purchase, visit or event. You can approach this one of two ways. Segment your audience ahead of time by asking questions. Or, you split test these subject lines, allowing reviewers to self identify.
5. Subject lines that trigger positive rebellion
Remember how we talked about maintaining the scent in your email with mystique?
You'll want to do that here.
Rebellion is a dangerous trigger to use. It's unbelievably effective but it's likely to trigger anger if you don't know what you're doing.
Rebellion has the potential to create a dramatic emotional response. Defensiveness, stress and anxiety are possibilities. When reviewers open that email they may be high on these emotions.
Relieve their stress.
Subject: [customer name], did you know you're friends with a liar?
Hey [customer name],
So [reviewer] thinks you're friends with a liar (us). He posted a review online stating that we lied about [product]. Here's the thing though.
We didn't lie.
You know that. You know our services pretty well. What it includes, what it doesn't.
Would you be willing to vouch for us? To set the record straight? We're getting picked apart and we could use your help.
Takes just 3 min.
Are you willing to share your story?
Help us out here.[Button with a link to the specific review site or a review funnel link] [your name]
See what I did there?
I grabbed their attention using rebellion as a trigger. This gave them a taste of the emotional cocktail we received. Then, I relieved their fear.
Finally, I gave them a single action step. Not four or five or six.
Just one. One.
There are no footer links to compete with. No social media links. No links to products or services. No site links. Just one link directing them to your review portfolio.
See what I mean?
The review you receive depends on your pitch
Your subject line is where it starts.
Are your subject lines weak? You're far less likely to receive the reviews you're looking for. But it doesn't have to be that way. Your subject line is the opener, the tool you need to attract reviewer attention.
You're competing with hundreds.
Thousands of emails in each reviewer's inbox. The average office worker receives 140 emails per day or 980 emails per month.
The pressure is on.
You've wowed your customers. Your clients have under promised and over delivered. Customers are satisfied and happy. Their positive experience is still fresh in their mind.
What does this mean?
You're ready to ask for a review. With the right psychological triggers, and a careful approach you'll have everything you need to create successful email review requests, no barriers necessary.