Using SMS to Ask for Reviews

Using SMS to Ask for Reviews

Building a stellar review profile calls for a lot of proactivity on the part of the local business, and it also requires a multi-pronged approach. For example, it’s advisable to cultivate a review profile on several different general review sites (such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp), in addition to niche review platforms that are specific to the local business’ area of operations.  

In a similar vein, having a range of tactics and strategies for requesting reviews is also useful, as not every customer will respond to the same approach. While some may be happy with a telephone call, others may prefer an email they can deal with in their own time. It could be that some customers find an email easy to ignore but would respond to a request at the point of sale. In addition to those options, you can also request reviews by text message. 

How do you ask for a review in a text? 

When sending a text message review request, the key is to keep your message short and to the point. Ideally, your message will be just a few lines long. Begin by greeting the person by name, thanking them for their custom, and then getting right to the point. Also, be sure to include a link to the specific platform you’d like the review to be left on. 

Is SMS better than requesting a review via email?  

Email and SMS are two different mediums and they perform differently, too. 

Gartner SMS Data Graph

Data source: Gartner

Email marketing is continually cited as one of the longest-standing and most beneficial forms of marketing communication. However, today’s inboxes are increasingly cluttered, which makes it harder to stand out. Data shows that the average professional will receive around 120 email messages a day, while consumers will spend just ten seconds reading brand emails and the average email open rate is just 20.94%. 

When you consider that 62% of marketers send out three or more marketing emails per week (and a quarter send more than eight emails per week), it makes sense to have an additional method of outreach for those who aren’t responsive to email requests.  

SMS messages are an effective alternative, with a 98% open rate and 45% response rate

What are the benefits of requesting reviews via text message? 

Receiving an SMS Feels Personal

With marketers sending so many emails per week, it’s the norm to have a steady stream of promotional materials hitting your email inbox. SMS inboxes, on the other hand, are generally reserved for friends and family.

As such, sending review outreach through SMS gives your business that personal touch — especially for those who communicate via SMS from the very beginning.

For certain businesses, such as service-area businesses — locksmiths, plumbers, window cleaners, etc. — and any other business that communicates with its customers over the phone, requesting reviews via text message is a natural progression in that communication.  

Most SMS outreach tools allow you to personalize your message, making it appear more natural to the recipient.

Most People Can Receive an SMS

Mobile proliferation is high around the world, with many consumers using their mobile device to remain connected around the clock. Research confirms that 97% of the US population has a cell phone — it’s useful to note here that even older, basic mobile devices can receive an SMS message, so the recipient doesn’t need to have a modern smartphone.

SMS Notifications Are Difficult to Ignore

While some people do have email notifications enabled on their phone, it’s not true of everyone, especially those who don’t need to be connected to their email outside of work hours. It’s fair to say that in contrast, almost everyone has notifications for SMS messages enabled, meaning any text message review request will trigger a notification to appear on the recipient’s phone. This alert enables the recipient to act quickly while they’re still clear on your service delivery.  

It’s highly likely that the automatic nature of SMS notifications contributes to the 98% open rate that this medium averages. 

Customers Are Open to Receiving Text Messages From Brands

One of the most important things to bear in mind when considering how you communicate with your customers, is whether that method of contact is appropriate for them. 

Research confirms that the majority of consumers are happy to receive SMS communications from brands, with a Yotpo survey concluding that more than half of consumers were keen to receive texts from their favorite brands. 

Sending review requests via SMS not only solidifies your relationship with the customer but also makes their life easier by streamlining the review-leaving process. Another advantage is that it can be used alongside existing methods of review collection to encourage even more customers to review your local business. 

 

Stephanie Newton
About the author
Stephanie is responsible for managing BrightLocal’s community outreach and engagement, as well as producing and managing content to help inform and educate the local SEO community.