If you want lots of online reviews, you’ll need to use every tool at your disposal to get them.
Asking is great, but sometimes employees forget to do it. Sometimes customers get sidetracked, too, and forget all about your excellent verbal ask. Email review requests and text message review requests are powerful, but there are people who just won’t respond to them.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, you have some additional options. One way is to ask without asking. You can request or create printed materials which encourage people to leave reviews. Sometimes the sight of one of these posters can encourage people to leave reviews while they’re still standing right on-site at your establishment.
Three major review sites make it very easy to do this.
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Google My Business Stickers and Posters
If you want to get something into your location quickly, Google is the place to start. You’ll begin by heading over to Marketing Kit with Google.
Enter the name of your business.
You can start with stickers. You can request them by mail, but if you want them sooner just head over to your local FedEx store. They offer sticker printing services, which will allow you to get yours a lot faster.
Before you head to the store, stick around the Marketing Kit system to custom design some posters. If you have table tents, you can grab some of those at the same time. Google will automatically populate some suggestions with reviews from your GMB profile. Choose the one you like best.
Why put a review on a poster? This is the power of suggestion at work.
- You remind people that they should think about leaving a review.
- It’s uncomfortable to go against the opinions of the crowd. Looking at a positive review might incline customers to leave more positive reviews than they might have without the suggestion.
- If someone is simply ducking their head into your store or peeking into the window having a big, bold positive review right there for people to read may entice them to walk in and shop.
You don’t have to go overboard here. You’d put a table tent on every table, but you may only choose to put up one or two more posters. If you want a lot of different options, take the time to generate (and post) some social media status updates, too.
Yelp’s relevance to the review ecosystem waxes and wanes a great deal. If you’re not a big fan of their business practices you might find the idea of even mentioning their name a little distasteful.
Still, there’s a lot to be said for directing people to the review platforms where they are most comfortable. Yelp’s importance in the restaurant and retail spheres tends to remain steady, even if they’re all over the place in every other vector.
Besides, you could help your review profiles on other sites by displaying Yelp’s little window cling. Yelp’s printed materials are some of the most ubiquitous and recognizable. Even reviewers who aren’t too fond of the site may still get their memory jogged by glancing at your sign.
Window stickers are also free, so…you might as well.
Visit this page and fill out the form to request yours. Allow three to four weeks for delivery. Most people put theirs right in the front window, or in the door. You can also put one up by your checkout counter.
Restaurants, shopping destinations, and hotels should all take the time to get a TripAdvisor sticker. TripAdvisor reviews are the lifeblood of these type of businesses in any tourist destination town. Often, travelers will go straight to this site when deciding what to do when they land on your doorstep.
Getting a TripAdvisor sticker is free. Just visit this site and fill out the form. As with Yelp, your sticker may take a couple of weeks to arrive.
Bonus: Create Your Own Custom Review Sticker or Review Poster
There are, of course, dozens of other review sites that don’t offer free printables or who won’t send you free stickers. That doesn’t mean you can’t use offline materials on these sites as well.You can head over to a site like VistaPrint ($2.99 for a bumper sticker) or Sticker Mule ($25 for a custom storefront adhesive) to create custom stickers to apply to your storefront.
You can also create a small poster or table tent with the logos of other businesses with a header that says: “If you’ve enjoyed your experiences today, please leave a review!”
Here are a couple I whipped up using Canva poster templates.
Ask for a review in person and through emails
Some people don’t enjoy asking for stuff. I know, because I’m one of them. I’d rather wander around stores for an hour and a half trying to find an item that I want to buy than ask an associate for help.
If you’re like me, you might be tempted to let these materials do the talking once you get them in place.
Resist the urge. Printables are helpful. They’re no substitute for asking in person. They’re no substitute for automated review reminders. They’re certainly no substitute for responding to every review you get.
It’s one part of a strategy, not the whole of your strategy. Take advantage of the tool with email review requests, enjoy the new reviews it generates, and keep consciously working to gather more. The day you look up to realize you’re one of the most popular locations in town because your business has hundreds, or even thousands of reviews, weathering the slight discomfort will be totally worth it.