Get More Reviews With Incentives

Getting Positive ReviewsOne of the most important things local businesses and organizations can do is get positive reviews and ratings in local search engines.  Reviews have a big impact on people viewing your local listing and can be the difference between them deciding to buy your product or visit your church / school and them moving on to the next listing.  Reviews and ratings also play a role in the rankings in the local search engines.  But how do you get reviews?

Most people just hope.
For most local businesses and organizations, getting reviews isn’t something they think about much.  When they do it’s mostly to check and see if they have any reviews or because they heard from someone that there was a negative review about them and now their are freaked out.  But they don’t do anything to try to get reviews.

The unfortunate fact, however, is that people are much more likely to post a review if they are upset then if they are happy.  It’s just the way people are wired.  So, by not being proactive about getting positive reviews, many organizations end up with either no reviews or, worse yet, mostly negative reviews.

Some people ask.
Then there are the organizations that realize that good reviews are…well…good and so they actually ask for them.  For businesses, this is usually done with phrase like, “Like our product, post a review!”.  Organizations that actually ask for reviews are more likely to get them.  It’s amazing how many things we miss out on because we just don’t ask.

Some people incentivise:
By nature people are self interested (not to be confused with selfish).  Things that will effect them interest them more than things that do not effect them.  When an organization asks for a review there’s really nothing in it for the person posting the review.  On the other hand, if you offer an incentive to post a review, now you get the attention of the self interest in the person.  There is something in it for them.  So, when an organization asks for a review, if they offer an incentive, they are more likely to get the review than if they just ask.  An incentive could be a discount, or entry into a contest, or any number of things.  Be creative.

EvoCase Study:
The sports gear company EVO recently did a test to see how they could best get their customers to give reviews.  One group was simply asked, the second group was asked with the suggestion that the review would help the EVO community, and the third group was told they would be entered into a $1000 contest.  What happened?

  • Group 1: 2.4% posted a review
  • Group 2: 2.1% posted a review
  • Group 3: 5.6 posted a review

So, more than twice as many people posted reviews when there was an incentive than when they were simply asked.  I also found it interesting that suggesting a review would help the EVO community was more than 10% less than just asking.  I wonder if that made the request sound selfish of the company?

What will you do?
You don’t have to offer $1000, but offering some sort of incentive can dramatically improve your success in getting people to post reviews.  Churches and possibly schools have a slight advantage in this regard.  For churches especially, the church members want to support the church.  It’s their church.  So, posting a review that helps the church is also helping them to some extent.  Schools also tend to have a more connected a supportive group (parents and students) who are more likely to post a review when simply asked.  That said, even with churches and schools, you’ll probably still find that people post more reviews when an incentive is offered.

Reviews are very important for local organizations.  In my opinion it’s well worth spending a little to offer incentives to get more positive reviews.

Photo by j | Wiltshire

What are you doing to get people to post reviews?

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