Ready to start getting your customers on the record?
At TrustRadius, we’ve taken all the guesswork out of driving customer reviews. As experts on review generation, we’ve helped software vendors gather reviews by:
- Running email campaigns for review generation
- Posting review invitations on social media
- Including review invitations in customer digest/newsletters
- Adding review invitations to email signatures
- Integrating “review us” buttons on landing pages
Now we’re making our templates, images, and best practices available for free in an instantly-downloadable folder. The assets in the TrustRadius Review Toolkit will help you start driving reviews and experience all of the associated benefits of the customer’s voice. The rest of this post will guide you as you learn how to use these assets to create a first-class review program from scratch.
Why do I need to source reviews?
- 100% of the buyer’s journey is now digital. Your potential customers are visiting review sites like TrustRadius to evaluate you and your competition. With in-person events canceled, peer networking and digital interactions are more important than ever.
- Most software buyers use reviews to make decisions at every step of their process. Reviews are the #1 resource buyers use to evaluate products, independent of vendors.
- 77% of buyers want to understand the cons (as well as the pros) before they buy. Balanced feedback helps buyers get the full picture of your product as they weigh all their options. When they don’t find what they’re looking for, many buyers will move on to something else.
- Your advocates say it best. Your current customers are your most effective marketers. Buyers trust the voice of their peers over your marketing messages, and reviews tell them why your product is important in words they can relate to.
How do reviews on TrustRadius benefit me?
- Influence your buyers. TrustRadius has over 1,000,000 visitors per month using ratings and reviews to make buying decisions.
- Show up as one of the first results in your category on TrustRadius. The more reviews your product has, the closer to the top of the list it will appear.
- More reviews translate into SEO wins for you. You’ll begin to see significant SEO gains once you’ve sourced about five reviews. Beyond 5 reviews, you will start to show up in featured snippets, comparisons, and category searches.
- Achieve Top Rated status. Once your product reaches 10 reviews, you’ll be in the running to win a Top Rated award in your category and show up on TrustMaps. Products included on a TrustMap get, on average, 15x more traffic within their category than products that are not included.
Why do I need to source reviews?
100% of the buyer’s journey is now digital.
Your potential customers are visiting review sites like TrustRadius to evaluate you and your competition. With in-person events canceled, peer networking and digital interactions are more important than ever.
Reviews are buyers’ #1 resource.
Research shows that reviews are the #1 resource buyers use to evaluate products entirely independent of vendors. A significant number of today’s buyers aren’t even willing to speak to a salesperson. They want self-service, authentic, credible information– and they’re looking to reviews to get it.
Buyers care about balance.
77% of buyers want to understand the cons (as well as the pros) before they buy. Balanced feedback helps buyers get the full picture on your product as they weigh all their options. When they don’t find what they’re looking for, many buyers will move on to something else.
Your advocates say it best.
Current customers are your most effective marketers. Buyers trust the voice of their peers over your marketing messages, and reviews tell them why your product is important in words they can relate to.
How do reviews on TrustRadius benefit me?
By sourcing authentic, credible reviews for your product on TrustRadius, you earn 4 key benefits:
- MARKET INFLUENCE
Each month, over 1,000,000 tech professionals visit the TrustRadius platform and use ratings and reviews to make buying decisions. The more reviews you have, the more real estate you can claim for your products on the fastest-growing B2B tech review platform on the market.
- HIGHER PLACEMENT
Products on TrustRadius are grouped into relevant categories, and are often displayed in order of review count. By driving more reviews, you can show up as one of the first results in your category and appear closer to the top of the list. We’ve observed that only 1 out of every 3 users scrolls down to the bottom of a product list on our site– so by driving more reviews, you ensure your product has prime visibility.
- SEO IMPROVEMENT
Many tech companies choose TrustRadius to drive reviews because our content ranks well for their highest-priority search terms. More reviews translate into SEO wins for you. Once you’ve sourced about five reviews, you’ll begin to see significant SEO gains including seeing your product mentioned in featured snippets, product comparisons, and category searches.
- AWARD ACHIEVEMENT
Once your product reaches 10 reviews, you’ll be in the running to win a Top Rated award in your category and show up on TrustMaps. Products included on a TrustMap get, on average, 15x more traffic within their category than products that are not included.
How to Use the TrustRadius Review Toolkit
Keep in mind a couple of key points before you begin crafting a review generation campaign. First, you will not get reviews from everyone. Between 2% and 30% of customers will write a review, in our experience. That’s quite a range, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see reviews rolling in initially.
Second, some customers/reviewers are guaranteed to respond to you with questions. Feel free to ask firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help answering them—or if you would like assistance with any of the following steps.
Step 1: Get a Custom Landing Page
The first step toward driving reviews is accessing your product’s custom TrustRadius landing page which you can find by accessing your free vendor portal here. While in the vendor portal you can update your company logo, edit your product details, manage your reviews, and see who’s researching you on TrustRadius.
If you are new to the vendor portal and are waiting for approved access, please fill out a link request form so we can provide you with the correct landing page. Custom pages look like this with your product logo included:
This custom landing page takes your potential reviewers right to the beginning of the review flow for any product you choose. We can also provide you with a link for a multi-product landing page as well if you’d like to source reviews for several products at once.
To access your custom landing page within the vendor portal, navigate to the “Reviews” tab on the top bar, and select “Acquire Reviews” tab on the left-hand sidebar. There you will find a unique URL that you can use in any of the assets provided in the TrustRadius Review Toolkit!
If you need to source reviews for several products at once, or if you are waiting for access to the vendor portal, please submit the link request form below.
Step 2: Start an Email Campaign
Standalone emails are the most successful method that our customers have used to gather reviews. Follow these steps to plan a successful email campaign:
- Prepare your customer list.
We suggest that you use as wide a sample as possible. You’ll need at least a name and an email address for each contact. Make sure you have permission to contact everyone on your list, remove any duplicates, and apply any standard exclusions. If you are able to segment your customer list, try to include everyone who meets the following criteria:
- Active: they have used your product within the last year
- Established: they have been using your product for at least 3, but preferably 6+ months
- Familiar: they log in or use your product regularly
If you plan to drive reviews for more than one product, please request a TrustRadius multi-product landing page. It’s free and identical in function to the single-product landing page, but you’ll be able to include a single link in your review invitation and avoid segmenting your customer list by which product(s) they use.
- Create your emails.
The TrustRadius Review Toolkit includes two email templates, with optional language that will allow you to include an incentive for your customers. You can incorporate this text into a new message using your company’s branded email template or send a plain text email, either via your email marketing tool or a personal inbox.
Feel free to change the copy to fit your brand! You are the expert in what type of messaging resonates best with your customers, but we find that a well-performing review invitation usually:
- Is fully personalized: Address your customers by name wherever possible.
- Sets reasonable expectations: Let your customers know how long the review process should take (10-15 minutes), why it’s important to you, and/or what to expect in return.
- Includes a clickable button or link: You want your reader to see at a glance where they need to click to get started on their review.
- Stays short and to the point: Don’t sacrifice necessary specifics for brevity, but short and sweet is the way to go!
- Creates a sense of urgency: Consider setting a deadline for submissions or creating a fun contest, like “the first ten reviewers get a piece of company swag”.
- Schedule your invitations.
Timing is everything when it comes to asking for reviews. If you have a regular schedule of customer interactions, be sure to fit your review program into it in advance. Here are some other ways that our customers have scheduled their email campaigns:
- Standalone invitation: Either on a one-off basis or on a regular schedule, send a review invitation to all active customers. This allows you to get a broad overview of customers at all stages.
- “Established customer” invitation: When a customer has reached a certain milestone, your email marketing tool sends them a review invitation. For instance, you could schedule a review invitation email for between 3 and 6 months after they complete onboarding. This type of ongoing campaign gives you insight into the experience of your newer customers and helps keep your review content fresh.
- Pre-renewal invitation: You send a review invitation to customers at a specified interval prior to their renewal date. This type of program helps you get the feedback of more experienced users and can improve retention by highlighting any pain points that can be addressed prior to renewal.
We also strongly recommend building follow-up emails into your outreach schedule. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but a simple follow-up (like the one included in the downloadable toolkit) sent 2-7 days after the first will often generate almost the same number of reviews as the first touch.
A few days after your initial and follow-up emails are sent, take some time to evaluate your open rates, click-through rates, and reviews generated to judge the overall success of your campaign. Growing your review growth muscles is a learning process! If you’d like feedback from the TrustRadius team on how your campaigns went, feel free to reach out.
Step 3: Post on Social Media
Give customers who follow you on social media the option to write a review as they scroll through their feed. Just post one of the included images in the TrustRadius Review Toolkit and ask them for their feedback!
Here are our top tips for maximizing success with review campaigns on social media:
- Use an image. The toolkit contains files sized appropriately for each major social media platform. These files leave space for your own brand logo or messaging, and include an image overlay option. You are welcome to add your branding, logo, and text to these image files.
- Include your custom link. You can use the sample copy in the toolkit or write your own post, but don’t forget to include your custom review link.
- Time your posts. Review invitations tend to gain the most attention when posted immediately after a big company announcement, or in combination with a digital event.
Step 4: Leverage Your Website
Consider adding a “leave a review” button on your home page, contact page, product’s blog pages, and anywhere on your website where you would highlight to current customers the opportunity to leave a review. If you offer online support, you can end the conversations with a request for reviews that lead you to the customized landing pages.
To make this process easy, TrustRadius offers a free, downloadable Ratings Badge (pictured below). The TrustRadius Ratings Badge is a dynamic widget that displays the real-time rating for your product on TrustRadius and invites users to read your reviews. It’s a direct pipeline to credibility for your landing pages, blog posts, press releases, newsletters, and email signatures. Download your custom Ratings Badge here.
Step 5: Consider Review Incentives
Make a plan for fulfilling incentives, if you plan to offer them. Incentives like a gift card or piece of swag go a long way toward motivating customers to contribute, but you’ll need to think ahead about the logistics of getting them to your reviewers.
Here are some questions you’ll want to answer before you send your invitations:
- What do I plan to offer? Gift cards, swag, reward points (if you have them), donations to a charitable organization, or sweepstakes to win a grand prize have all been proven successful.
- How will I monitor earned incentives? We’ve found that asking your reviewers to forward the email they receive notifying them that their review has been published is a great way to keep track of who’s completed a review. Just make sure that you include those instructions in your review invitation.
- When will I fulfill incentives? TrustRadius fulfills our incentives once a week. If you set the expectation that all rewards will be sent on a certain day or date, reviewers are generally happy to wait until then to receive their reward.
What’s included in the free review toolkit?
- Templates for review generation email campaigns, with optional language for offering a review incentive to your customers
- High-resolution images formatted to post on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook
- Images and text to include in your next newsletter or customer digest
- Review invitation banners for use in team-wide email signatures
- Detailed instructions for how to maximize success with each of these assets
Know what to expect.
Here are some things to expect when you launch your campaign:
- You will not get reviews from everyone. Between 2% and 30% of customers will write a review, in our experience. That’s quite a range, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see reviews rolling in initially.
- Some customers/reviewers may have questions. Feel free to ask email@example.com if you need help answering them.
For more information on building a review program and the importance of getting your customers on the record, check out these handy guides:
- Definitive Guide to B2B Reviews
- Driving Demand with Reviews
- ROI of Reviews
- Supercharge Marketing with Social Proof
- The Importance of Reviews to Enterprise Technology Buyers
Everything included in the TrustRadius Review Toolkit is free to use. If you have any questions about getting started, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re looking to take your review strategy to the next level and have the experts manage your review generation campaigns, schedule an appointment here to explore a partnership with TrustRadius.