6 Tips for Collecting Customer Testimonials by Email
You’ve segmented your mailing list, put together a winning email campaign, and boosted your company’s sales. Finding the magic formula that makes an email successful is no simple task, however, your job isn’t done when your CTR or bottom line goes up.
There are a lot of moving parts to create a good email campaign, and not all of them are measured by financial success or even a positive change in your analytics. In order to see how your clients really feel about your products, services, and company as a whole, you need to collect feedback directly from them.
Adding an email to collect customer testimonials is a key part of your email campaign. It will help you gain deeper insight into your audience and learn about what they like and what can be improved.
For some reason, marketers have an easier time asking for clients to invest their hard-earned money into making a purchase. But, when it comes to asking for testimonials, there’s a certain awkwardness involved in asking clients for their time in sending you their positive feedback.
Here, we’ll go over some tried-and-true tips on how you can request testimonials from your clients and how they integrate into your email campaigns.
1. Automate the Process
First and foremost, you don’t need to be wasting time sending out individual emails to ask for a testimonial. Make your testimonial request email a standard part of your automated email campaigns.
You should be using an email marketing service that allows you to trigger emails based on an event or a specific time. Add an automated email that is meant to follow an email notification for a purchase or shipped product. Set it at a determined amount of time after the last purchase-related email, and that way you won’t have to worry about forgetting to follow up with clients.
Constant Contact is a great email marketing service that lets you create automated emails for different types of events. You’d easily be able to use it to create a customer testimonial follow-up email.
2. Timing Is Everything
Automating your emails is one thing, but getting the timing right is imperative if you want to gather the largest number of high-quality customer testimonials.
When it comes to timing, you need to find your sweet spot. You don’t want to wait too long to ask for a review since your client may have forgotten some important points about their feedback. Ask for their comments when it’s fresh in their minds. On the other hand, asking for a review too soon can backfire if your product or service is meant to work best with long-term use.
The timing will vary from business to business. For example, if you’re a clothing designer, you can ask for a testimonial relatively quickly since your client’s experience with your service and product likely won’t change much over time. By contrast, if you run an SEO consultancy that requires building a strategy and analyzing results over a longer period of time, you probably won’t want to ask for a user review until enough time has elapsed for your customer to have seen positive results.
3. Follow Up, But Gently
If your client doesn’t leave you a review after your first email, there’s no harm in following up. However, you don’t want to be too aggressive in your pursuit of customer testimonials.
Now that your customer has received their product or completed service with your business, they might see the process as finished. It’s not unlikely that they’ll forget to answer your email about leaving a review. Send up to one follow-up email reminder, but be sure to space it out accordingly.
Your email marketing service can help you with this. Like the initial testimonial request, a follow-up email can also be set up as an automation. SendinBlue allows you to create custom workflows and schedule reminders to go out to your clients.
However, you don’t want to follow up too often since you run the risk of angering your client and coming off as spammy. Additionally, it’s possible that there’s a reason your client hasn’t left you any feedback yet. If they were upset with their purchase, your customer service team has probably already heard about it. In this case, it would be inappropriate to send multiple emails asking for testimonials.
4. Ask The Right Questions
In order to get the testimonials you want that you can proudly use in future email campaigns or marketing material, you need to ensure your clients leave you detailed user reviews that highlight all the right aspects of your business.
When contacting your client for a testimonial, you should also offer some suggestions on what you’d like to hear from them. Sure, it’s nice to get feedback like “the service was great,” or “thanks for the fast shipping,” but what you’re really after is a detailed comment on your product and service.
Don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you want in a review. Your customers might actually appreciate the guidance since it could inspire them to write about things they may have forgotten about or didn’t think about mentioning. Use a few positive testimonial questions to jostle your clients’ creativity, but don’t go overboard, you don’t need an entire essay. Here are a few examples of questions you might want to ask:
- What did you like most about our product/service?
- Did we offer you a better service than our competitors?
- Did our product/service help you solve any problems?
- What would you say to someone who is considering using our service?
- When you were shopping around, what made our product/service stand out from the rest?
5. Provide Options on Where to Leave Testimonials
In an ideal world, your client would be so happy with your service that they’d want to leave a positive testimonial on all your different channels. Unfortunately, people have busy schedules, so you need to be able to direct them to the most appropriate platform.
Diversify how and where you collect testimonials. You should, of course, continue to send out requests by email, but you should also make it known that your clients can leave feedback on your social media platforms as well.
Many businesses are afraid of receiving customer feedback on social media since it’s a public platform that doesn’t allow for pre-approval. This can be tricky to navigate when you get a negative user review, but can also be really valuable for positive feedback.
You can add links to your social channels in your email testimonial request and even in your regular email marketing campaigns in the footer as a constant reminder. Some clients might prefer to leave a comment on your company’s Facebook page instead of completing a feedback form or survey. You should also direct clients to leave testimonials on channels that are relevant to your business and industry, for instance, Yelp or Tripadvisor.
By giving your clients more options of where they want to leave their feedback, your testimonials will eventually reach a wider and more diverse audience.
6. Don’t Shy Away From Offering Incentives
Nobody likes giving things away for free, but everyone loves getting things for free. If you’re still having a tough time garnering enough customer testimonials with your email campaigns, then try and offer your clients an incentive.
You don’t have to actually give away something for free, but you can use certain incentives that will make your clients want to leave you some feedback. Here are some examples of a few incentives you can add to your email campaign:
- A discount code for a future purchase
- If your business uses a rewards system, offer extra points for leaving a testimonial
- Entry into a draw for a grand prize
- A gift card (this can be to your business, or if you don’t use gift cards, then to another popular retailer like Amazon or Starbucks)
Customer reviews are an important part of your overall marketing strategy. They do a great job of strengthening your brand, creating trust, and fostering loyalty.
Your emails to request a testimonial don’t need to be anything complicated. Continue using the strategies that work well for you in your other email campaigns, such as personalizing your messages, and introduce some of the tips mentioned here, and you’ll be collecting tons of reviews in no time.