Reviews and referrals are extremely powerful for small businesses.
Every business needs to focus on reviews and referrals. They are a powerful form of social proof that directly leads to more sales. The more referrals and reviews you get, the more sales you’ll get. It’s as simple as that.
Referrals and reviews are two different things, but with the right strategy, you can kill two birds with one stone and get more of both! Here’s how:
Step #1. Get the right email automation tool.
Email marketing is one of the most effective weapons in your arsenal when it comes to nurturing leads and customers. A single email blast is a good way to introduce yourself to a lead, but a drip campaign that gets the right content to your leads at the right time is huge for cultivating deeper, more long-lasting relationships with them and keeping your brand at the top of their minds.
Having the right email automation tool will prevent you from having to manually create, send, and keep track of your drip campaigns, which takes a lot of work and attention to detail. With the right email automation tool on your side, one or two people can do the work of 20. It also ensures that every lead gets emails that are tailored specifically to where they’re at in the sales funnel.
Step #2. Set up your first email.
The first email in your series should ask for a review. Don’t overthink this email too much. Simple is better. It doesn’t have to be too wordy or complicated. It should just say something along the lines of, “Thank you very much for your business. We would greatly appreciate it if you could take a second and give us your feedback.”
Below that, include two simple buttons — a thumbs up and a thumbs down. If they click the thumb’s up, send them to the review site of your choice — i.e. Google, Facebook, or Top Rated Local® — so that they can leave you a review where it makes the most sense for your business. If they click the thumb’s down, send them to a form on your website where they can give you more information about their experience.
This will help you fully understand why they had a negative experience with your business. With this information, you’ll be able to reach back out to them to correct the situation, and you can also use the feedback to make any changes necessary for providing a better experience moving forward.
Step #3. Follow up.
If they clicked the thumbs up button, assume that they followed through and gave you a positive review on the site you sent them to. Customers who have given you a positive review are most likely to refer you to others, as well, so after a few days, follow up with another email asking for a referral.
In this email, you’ll want to say something like, “Once again, we really appreciate your business and your feedback. If you have anybody else you know who would be interested in our products or services, we would greatly appreciate it if you would share your experience with them. See below for a new customer offer.”
Ask them to forward the email to friends or family who might be interested in taking advantage of the offer. Or, they could take a screenshot of the offer and share it via text message or on social media.
Make sure that you only send this email to people who pushed the thumbs up button. If they pushed the thumbs down button, that should be the end of the automated emails they receive. The last thing that you want is to request a referral from someone who had a bad experience.
Step #4. Follow up again.
If someone doesn’t respond to your first email by clicking the thumbs up or thumbs down button — which will happen from time to time — you’re going to want to follow up with them two to three more times to ask for a review.
After two or three days of no response, send another email asking for a review. This could say something like, “We just wanted to remind you that we sent a request asking for a review. We know that you’re busy, but if you could take a few minutes to leave us some feedback, we would greatly appreciate it.”
If they still don’t respond after two or three days, send them another email asking again with similar verbiage. But, if at any point, they click the thumbs up button, you’re going to want to go back to Step #3, asking for a referral, and if they click the thumbs down button, end the journey.
Power Tip – Diversify your reviews.
Each time you send a customer an email asking for a review, send a link to a different review platform. The first email you send is likely to get the most engagement, so you’ll want to link that email to your most valuable review site, and subsequent emails will link to the other review sites you’re listed on. This will help you to diversify your reviews.
Reviews and referrals are worth their weight in gold for a small business, and while your customers may not think to write reviews or refer you on their own, many will be more than happy to if you simply ask. Luckily, the right email automation tool makes it easy.