In the last month, I put my company’s G2 profile on the map. In case you don’t know, G2 is a software review site where people go to find the best solution for their problems. So in this article, I’m going to share with you the exact strategy that I took in order to get over 50 new G2 reviews. Something to know is that the methodology I’ll share with you here is helpful regardless of the site where you’re trying to build up your business’s profile. So this can be helpful for Google reviews, Facebook, G2, Capterra, or even just your own website.
Step 1: Understanding the Why
The first thing we had to do before we actually started our campaign was understand the why as to what was important to us as a business. What we identified at that time was that we had about 10 reviews on G2 and that we would need to get at least 40 to break the top five in our category.
In other words, no one was finding us from the G2 rankings because they never went past the fold in the actual results. So, in order to improve our rankings, we needed to get at least 40 reviews. So the target was at least 30 reviews from this campaign. Aside from the quantitative goal, I also knew from qualitative feedback from the rest of the team, that people were starting to hear about us or learn more about us from general searches around the problem that we solve.
So in other words, I knew that these sorts of reviews were playing some sort of factor or impact in a prospect’s decision as to whether or not to purchase us. Knowing this, I knew it would be really important for us to have a stronger view profile so that the next time a future prospect looked up our company’s name, they would find all of this love from our customers about the problems that we are solving for them.
By understanding the why behind the reasons of why we wanted to make this G2 push, we were able to identify how this would help multiple parts of the funnel. For example, on the discovery side, it would help those that were doing more research behind the problems that they were facing that we helped solve. From a consideration side, we were helping prospects do their own independent research in which we have a ton more stories for people to learn about.
And then from a decision standpoint, we are providing people a ton of ammunition when it came to going to their decision-maker and saying, “Hey, look at all of these other organizations that are saying that this is an absolute goldmine when it comes to value .”Or whatever it was that they needed to say in order to get the final sign off on buying our product.
Step 2: Prepping the target list
As opposed to doing a spray and pray approach with every single customer, I wanted to identify our most loyal fans and ask those people first. The reason is simple. If they are more active on our site, they are more likely to be realizing more value. And as a result, they probably have a more favorable impression of us.
As a business, you naturally want to get better reviews. And so this stacked the odds in our favor. So as I started to think about how to target this list, I was asking questions like how many web sessions have they had on our site? How long have they paid us? And what do they actually look like in terms of how many users they have at their organization on our particular site? I wanted to limit our target to people that had been on our site within the last 30 days. Because if they hadn’t been on the site in the last 30 days, they may not have had a recent experience in terms of the amount of value that we are providing to them.
So, by thinking about these sorts of questions, we were able to narrow down on a target list of people that would give us a high probability of shot of getting some quality reviews in terms of their customer experiences. And applying this to your situation, you want to ask yourself, what do my super fans have in common?
For example, if you’re a local gym, you might be asking yourself, which of my users are attending scheduled classes multiple times a week, or which of my users are showing up at a consistent time every single day of the weekday. There’s always going to be 10 to 20% of your customers that are super fans. So be sure to identify these for your review push.
Step 3: Settling on the incentive
In other words, I wanted to make sure that they had a reason to leave a review because I know how busy they are in their day-to-day jobs.
In order to do this, we settled on a $20 Amazon gift card for every single person that completed a G2 review. Now, this wasn’t the only thing we considered. We also considered raffling away some larger amount Amazon gift cards, as well as doing charitable donations to particular organizations of interest for these people.
But we landed on the $20 Amazon gift card because it was the most scalable for our particular use case. I found that there was a really easy way to buy Amazon gift cards in bulk. And so we went ahead and did this because when you think about gift cards and the hierarchy of gift cards, Amazon gift cards are up fair along with the visa gift cards in terms of being as close to cash, as you can get.
The other thing is because we are a small team, I had to consider bandwidth and because I was going to do all of the actual administration of sending the gift cards after the review was done, I wanted to not have to deal with 50 different organizations that I have to send charitable donations to as opposed to the situation where I could just buy 50 Amazon gift cards at once and give the codes one by one.
Step 4: Draft and set up Intercom Series messages
The four step that I took when it came to this G2 push was drafting up copy and setting up an Intercom series to send out to our target list. Intercom series are essentially the equivalent of a multi-stage email campaign. So if you have some way to do that, you don’t necessarily need Intercom to pull this off.
Here’s pretty much word for word the copy that I ended up using, just so that you can get an idea of what worked for my particular campaign. For the subject line, I went with $20 for your time. And then the body I said, “Hi [customer], a new customer of ours recently shared how important reading the existing reviews of us on G2, a software review site was in her decision to invest in business. Knowing this and that you’ve been with us for some time. I was wondering if you’d be open to writing an honest review for us on G2. Knowing you’re busy, we’d be happy to send you a $20 Amazon gift card for your time. Reply to this email and I can show you how. [Your name].”
Now this message was optimized. I knew that for every single 100 people, I was sending this to 50% were opening it and 15% were actually replying interested. I tried some other versions of this campaign and I only got 6% reply rates as opposed to 15%. And so I went with the version that had the higher engagement rate. Real quick, just for the sake of comparison, I want to show you an earlier version that got that 6% reply rate, just that you can better understand how important it is for you to be refining and iterating on your copy.
For this less performance version, my subject line was “$20 Amazon for 10 minutes.” And then my body was, “Hi [customer], every few weeks, a new customer of our shares how important reading the existing reviews of us on G2, a software review site was, and their decision to invest in business. We know how important reviews can be when target customer of any size are looking for software solutions. Could you help another target customer and write an honest online review of us? Knowing you’re busy, we’d be happy to send you a $20 Amazon gift card for your time. Reply to this email and I can show you how. [Your name]”
In my opinion, the reason why this version didn’t perform as well is because it emphasized a lot more from our perspective, as opposed to the self-interest side of things, of what the reviewer was going to get out of the opportunity. Also, the call-to-action was a little cloudy in terms of including the generosity to helping another person in the space as opposed to the self-interested getting the $20 Amazon gift card for their time.
Either way, though, for both situations, I want you to notice how I optimize for the reply and the actual engagement of the customer, as opposed to just sending them a link for them to engage with right off the bat.
Sometimes you want to delay things for one stage just to actually get the engagement and the buy-in from the person of whatever it is that you are asking them to do. From here, I got 15% of people to reply to my initial message, but I also would get follow-up interest in my follow-up message. I would send a follow up message three days later to the people that hadn’t replied to my first message.
And here’s the copy for that. The subject line was, “Following up on $20 Amazon”. And then my body was, “Hey [customer], I know things can be busy. So I wanted to circle back to see if you’d be open to leaving an online review about business. It takes just 10 minutes for your time. We’re sending $20 Amazon gift cards when you complete your verified review. Thank you for your continued support either way. [Your name].”
Once these two messages were sent out, I had Intercom tag of that user. That way we knew that they’d already been asked for a review and they wouldn’t receive this message in the future again.
Step 5: Track and convert on those interested.
The fifth step that I took was I tracked and converted those that were interested in leaving a review. Once they respond to my message, I would send them the direct link that they would need to go to in order to leave my review. So for example, if I were having them review Microsoft word, I would go to the G2 page for Microsoft Word, right click on the writer review button, and then copy that link into my messaging.
And then this was the exact template of response that I would send to them in my chat message with them. “Thanks so much customer. To review us, you can click this link and follow the process. When done, just screenshot the final completion screen and I’ll wait to confirm it’s showing so that we can get you that token of appreciation for your time. Here’s the direct link to review us. Best, Will.”
Once they sent me the confirmation that they had submitted the review, I would then send them this message. [Customer], thanks so much for the quick turnaround. It takes a little bit for them to review and then make the review public. But once it is, what’s the best email to send the gift card to? Thank you.”
From here. It was mostly just waiting for the G2 team to review that the review was good and that it could be posted on their site. Because we did filtering of our most engaged users for this campaign, we were able to get overwhelmingly positive results. In fact, 13% of the reviews that came back were four-star reviews whereas the remaining 87% were five-star reviews. So without asking for any particular review stance or stars for them to give us, we naturally filter through for most people that were happy with us in terms of our service.
Remember, it all goes back to what I referenced in a recent article in which you have to make sure that you’re actually delivering an exceptional customer experience before you make an ask of your customer to leave a review. Otherwise, they’re not going to leave you a very favorable review, and then you’re not going to be happy either. If your business sucks, I hate to break it to you, but you’re really going to struggle in getting meaningful reviews until you actually become better at the value that you were delivering to your customers.
Okay. So after I started getting some replies, I set up a simple tracker in Google sheets. This way I can track how much we had spent in terms of the Amazon gift cards, as well as all the people that had expressed interest in leaving a review. From this, I would sometimes send them another reminder message if it had been over a week since the last messages that we had sent related to this. And overall, we had a really high conversion rate in terms of those that were interested actually completing the action.
After we had finished our push for the month, I went ahead and made this series into an automation so that in the future, as customers started to hit that target profile that we liked, they would start to receive these review requests as well.
In other words, I focused on creating a growth loop. That way we could incorporate this behavior into what we like to see from our favorite customers. Something that’s kind of funny is if your company ever actually upgrades their G2 profile, this is something that G2 pretty much does for you as well.
They manage the review management side of things and they have a similar process in terms of tracking and offering some sort of incentive that you want for their time and so on. So by doing this, you have a lower cost way to do this that doesn’t cost you the multiple thousands of dollars a year that G2 charges for business profiles.
Once I had everything in place and I had optimized my copy. I knew what my conversion metrics would be. In other words, I knew that for every 100 messages I would send out, I would get about 25 customers interested. And of those 25, 20 would actually complete the action. So in other words, if I wanted to get to 50 reviews, all I would need to do is reach out to 250 of our customers to get that number. And that’s exactly pretty much what we did. What it all comes down to it when you are making a big push on a particular review profile of yours, you need to know your numbers in terms of how many people you need to ask in order to hit the particular number or goal that you have in mind.
There are two things that I want you to remember when it comes to building your customer reviews:
- The first one is to always make sure that you position things right and you optimize your campaigns. If you are sending a single campaign for your entire review push, then you are doomed to fail. And the reason why is because oftentimes your first message is not going to be your best message. And if you’re sending this to every single customer in your list, then you’re going to run out of customers to ask.
- The second big takeaway is to make sure that you know your data in and out and that you set up systems for yourself.
If you liked this article, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week. I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Also, feel free to share this with anybody that you think might benefit from learning how to increase their customer reviews in a month using the methods that we shared.