It's neglected, yet powerful.
Most organizations understand the impact an online review can make. A recent study found online reviews could increase conversion rates by a whopping 270 percent!
What if you could make it better?
What if you had a way to improve the effectiveness of your online reviews? A way to produce a compounding effect, boosting your conversion rates in the process? Would you use it?
Most businesses won't use this strategy
They're not refusing to, they're simply unaware of the strategy. Most organizations don't know how to make their hard-earned reviews work even harder for them. In reality, the strategy is actually really simple.
Reviews + marketing.
Reviews, when combined with marketing, create a kind of compounding effect. Most prospects seek online reviews out for themselves. But they satisfice. They dig through your review profile, searching for an acceptable number of reviews.
Others look for aggregate reviews.
Review + marketing uses satisficing to boost review responsiveness. Here's a simple overview outlining how it works.
1. Prospects are introduced to your brand
2. You're selected as a possible candidate. Prospects begin searching for reviews
3. Prospects satisfice, they search for an acceptable number of reviews
4. They do the same with your competitors
5. Review + marketing enables prospects to satisfice; prospects receive your very best reviews
6. They make a decision
Review + marketing gives you the chance to sway prospects to your corner using objective, third-party reviews from trustworthy sources. It's a powerful marketing power-up, one that enables you to attract and convert a larger number of prospects.
Historically, eCommerce has been better about using reviews in their advertising, commercials, billboards, etc. compared to service businesses. It hasn't gone mainstream with service organizations yet so service businesses that adopt this strategy now will be ahead of the curve.
Here are several strategies you can use to do just that.
Review Marketing Strategy #1: The upsell + reviews
Upselling is incredibly effective. In 2006, Amazon reported that 35% of its revenues came from their cross-selling and upselling efforts. Research shows product recommendations are responsible for 10 to 30 percent of eCommerce revenues.
Sophisticated marketers know upselling works.
What many marketers don't know is how to use upselling with reviews. Here's how you do it.
First, reach out to the top 5 percent of your customer base. These are your admirers, the ideal customers you'd do your very best to keep. If you haven't already, reach out to these customers. You're looking for three specific things:
1. A five-star review. This isn't a coercive effort. Reaching out to customers who you know have had an outstanding experience with your brand. They're happy, satisfied and, most importantly, loyal.
2. A sales objection. You're looking to identify their initial deal breaker, the one thing that would've prevented them from buying. Here's how you draw those details out in your review.
3. Measurable outcomes. Look for details on the outcome of their situation. What did they find as a result of purchasing your product or using your service?
Asking customers the right questions means you generate amazing detail organically in each review. Here's what that review looks like:
Can you see these ingredients in their review?
These are the kind of reviews you need for this strategy.
Next, you'll want to tie these turbocharged reviews to a premium product or service. If you're running a hotel, this could be a premium suite. If you're a massage therapist you can tie your review to a premium upgrade or extended service.
Good: A review on your upsell page/window
Better: An embedded review on your upsell page
Best: Embedded reviews with a video/audio on your upsell page
You can use this strategy in a variety of methods:
This is a simple strategy you can use to boost sales from eager and engaged customers. You can use tools like the Grade.us Review Stream to embed reviews (from any platform) on your upsell pages. You can use platforms like Opt-in Monster to promote/advertise your upsell offer.
Review Marketing Strategy #2: In-store signage + reviews
You can use in-store signage + reviews to boost conversion rates for in-store purchases. Use the process shared above in the upsell + review section to capture the amazing reviews I mentioned earlier.
Be careful with the strategy.
Timing and positioning are key here. You'll want to use this strategy in the appropriate time and place. If you're running a personal training studio, you'll have prospects who are interested in checking things out. Place reviews on in-store signage.
You'll need three specific ingredients to make this work:
1. A five-star review. Your review should have the same three ingredients I covered earlier. Five stars, sales objection and measurable outcomes.
2. Permission to use your customer's review and/or likeness on your in-store signage. Customers are more likely to give you the permission you need if you give them control over the when, what and how long.
3. An irresistible offer. You want to give customers an introductory offer that minimizes risk and maximizes benefit. Your call-to-action/offer to provide customers with a strong incentive to buy.
You need different types of signage for different purposes. This will vary depending on the type of business and industry you're in. If you're operating in a retail environment you may need:
You'll want to make sure the reviews on your signs are (a.) Relevant to your product or service (b.) Referencing objective reviews customers can verify (e.g. prominent reviews on Facebook, Yelp and Google) and (c.) Providing an incredible amount of value.
Review Marketing Strategy #3: Retargeting + reviews
Retargeting (and remarketing) is an effective way to capture lost web traffic. Retargeting gives you the opportunity to convert several segments of traffic on your site.
Retargeting enables you to target all three simultaneously. Here's how you can use retargeting + reviews to attract and convert new customers.
The possibilities are endless here.
Retargeting gives you the chance to maximize your ad spend. Combining retargeting and reviews gives you the opportunity to extend the reach and influence of your reviews.
Review Marketing Strategy #4: Video + reviews
Remember the review format I mentioned in the upsell section? We're going to use that again here. Only we're going to extend things further.
Reach out to the top 5 percent of your customer base. Your admirers and customer evangelists, the ideal customers you'd do your very best to keep. You're looking for the same three things - a five-star review, sales objections and measurable outcomes.
We're going to change things up.
When you reach out to your customers, ask them if they're willing to share their thoughts in a video call. You can use tools like Snagit to record your calls via Skype and Google Hangouts. Next, transcribe the call and convert their review to text.
Reach out to your customers.
Thank them again for sharing their feedback/review. Let them know that you've transcribed their review (send them a copy via email). In that email, ask customers if they'd be willing to copy and paste their review to your review platform of choice.
Automate as much of the process as possible.
Make it simple and easy.
Here's a template you can use to request these video/text combo reviews.
Hi [Customer Name],
How can we make things better for you? Would you be willing to share your thoughts on a short 4 min. video call via Google Hangouts?
Only have 6 questions for you.
Then, once you've recorded the call you can follow up with this email:
Hi [Customer Name],
You're amazing! Thank you so much for your feedback! I appreciate everything you've done for us!
I went ahead and transcribed our call. Here's a copy of that.
If you're willing, would you be open to sharing this review on Google? It's copy and paste (no worries if you can't). I've added some review links to [Yelp review link], [Facebook recommendation link] and [Google review link].
Keep your request short, simple and sweet. The length of your email has a direct impact on your conversion/response rates.
Here's the most important part.
This request should be reserved for your very best customers. The ones who know you the best and have spent a significant amount of time working with you. They're your evergreen customers, your evangelists and biggest supporters.
It's too much of an ask for the average customer.
You can use these combo reviews in a variety of marketing materials including:
Review Marketing Strategy #5: Confirmation pages
Your confirmation pages have something in common with your upsell pages. Your newest subscribers are far more likely to buy/convert again.
Adding reviews to your confirmation pages is a fantastic way to:
You can use a variety of reviews to boost subscriber response rates. Reviews from bloggers can generate buzz for a specific product or service. Reviews from influencers can boost demo and free trial subscriptions. Embedded reviews, tweets and Facebook recommendations will boost social impact and increase virality.
Review Marketing Strategy #6: Autoresponder sequences + reviews
Text and email autoresponder sequences are effective ways to utilize the online reviews you already have! An autoresponder sequence gives you the tools and resources you need to boost conversions, regardless of what they may be.
These autoresponder sequences can be referred to directly or indirectly. They can be included in the autoresponder sequences itself or simply information that's pointed to.
You can use these autoresponder sequences for a variety of options.
When should you use reviews in your autoresponder sequence?
You can use a variety of tools to promote and automate your text, email and autoresponder sequences.
Grade.us for direct review funnel management
Twilio for text, video, voice and WhatsApp
Reviews + marketing = more conversions
You understand the value of a review. Virtually all customers understand the value and power of an online review. Online reviews can increase conversion rates by 270 percent. Imagine what reviews, when combined with marketing, can do for your business.
It's a reality for sophisticated marketers.
Reviews, when combined with marketing, create a compounding effect. Most prospects seek online reviews out for themselves. But they satisfice. As we've seen, review + marketing uses customer satisficing to boost review responsiveness and conversions.
Reviews make marketing better.
It isn't simply a component you can tack on to your marketing. It takes thought, focus and planning. It's something you can use to increase performance in a systematic way.
It's a neglected but powerful strategy you can use to make your marketing better one review at a time.