Why SMS Is Better Than Email For Review Requests
Research shows that nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. To get ahead of the competition, your company needs to have a substantial number of positive reviews. So how do you get them? It’s as simple as asking your customers to write you one.
As a business owner, there are several potential channels to choose from when you want to reach out to your customers. You could try a social media post on Facebook or Twitter. You can send an email, leave a voicemail, or send a marketing leaflet through regular mail. But what is more effective? Marketers suggest that sending a text message may be a better way to request for reviews or feedback. It’s a strategy you can’t ignore.
Email has been a great marketing tool for hotels, restaurants, and tour companies. The catchy headlines alone can grab your customer’s attention and get them clicking. However, this huge success of email has caused a huge influx of businesses to send out their promotions to anyone and everyone. Thus, consumers continue to be drowned in heaps of marketing emails, leading to the downward spiral of open and response rates.
Every business should send review requests to their customers via SMS for the following reasons:
1. More Consumers Prefer A Text
Smartphones have become a mainstay in the lives of many Americans. In fact, 92% of the U.S. population owns a mobile device capable of receiving SMS messages. Nearly 75% of people said that they’d be happy to receive an offer from companies through a text message. Among the 18-34-year-old age bracket, text is the preferred channel for notifications from businesses.
This is why 65% of marketers say that SMS marketing is a “very effective” method for them. Text messaging allows you to catch your customers when they’re at their happiest point in their purchase. For instance, sending them a survey request immediately after their transaction.
2. Text Messages Get Opened
Research shows that SMS open rates are as high as 98%, compared to just 20% of all emails. Who doesn’t text these days? It’s a reliable, universal method of communication. Add to that, most people carry their phones with them everywhere, even as they go to bed. More so, 79% of mobile phone users check for new messages within 15 minutes of waking up. And 90% of users read a text message within the first 3 minutes.
3. Texting Is More Direct
Text messaging is far more direct than any other type of communication. Most people are using filters that allow them to block out messages sent through email. If you’re not among the list of trusted senders, recipients are probably not going to open an email from you. Connecting through social media can also be problematic since messages can get lost in an ocean of updates. Texting is more direct and deemed less personal than calling.
4. Texting Review Requests is Easy
Many businesses may think that the process of setting up SMS review requests is too complicated to put into place. Luckily for you, it can be accomplished by using the right software and tools, which make the process more efficient. Once your staff is trained on using the feature, your mobile surveys will be up and running in no time.
Some SMS features allow companies to send plain text message requests to customers. Or, text message requests along with an image to make it stand out. You can also create templates that you can readily use in any business situation.
How To Ask For Reviews Through SMS
In sending text messages, make sure to ask customers to leave reviews when they are the happiest. Doing so increases your chances of getting positive feedback. You have a few opportune moments to consider — within 24 hours after their tour, meal, or hotel stay, when a repeat customer signs up for a rewards program, or after a successful customer service interaction.
Within 24 hours after their tour, meal, or hotel stay:
You can say, “Hi [name of customer], this is [company], the [business type] you visited recently. It’s my job to make sure that everything was perfect for your [stay/visit]. I’m just getting in touch to see if you wouldn’t mind sharing your feedback on how we did. Thank you so much! [Review link]”
After signing up for a rewards program:
You can say, “Hi [name of customer]. We appreciate you signing up for our [customer rewards program name]. Welcome to the [company] family! Will you consider sharing your experience with others online? Thank you! [Review link]”
After a customer service interaction:
You can say, “Hi [name of customer]. We’re happy to have that solved for you! If you’re sure we can’t help you with anything else, will you consider sharing your feedback on how we did? [Review link]”
Remember, do not pressure customers to give you a raving review or a 5-star feedback. No one likes that. Frame the question so it appeals to your customer. Instead of saying “Will you please leave us a 5-star, positive review?”, ask “Will you share your experience?” or, “Let us know how we’re doing.” Also, it is important to make it convenient for customers by including a short link to your review site.
These are just a few suggestions on when to ask for reviews. If another opportunity presents itself, make sure to dive in and send a request. Once you send that SMS, you’ve already taken a big step toward success. With its high open rate, response rate, and click through rate, SMS is a better channel for sending review requests to customers.