It’s a known fact that your business reputation can take down your company or can be the real key to business success. This fact applies both online and offline. As reputation pertains to the Internet, reviews play a major role in how a business listing is displayed, not just within search engine results and maps, but also within key local business directories such as Yelp, MerchantCircle, and other important local business destinations.

The best way to get business reviews is to simply ask for them from your customers. You can ask via a flyer, postcard or thank you letter. You can ask by stapling a note to every receipt. However you ask, the best way to insure participation is to offer to an incentive, such a discount on the customer’s next visit.

Rotating the destinations on whichever medium you decide to distribute will be key for authenticity. Likewise, the more instruction you can provide to help your customer who may be new to providing business reviews, the more likely you’ll be to gain more participation.

There are services and vendors available who can not only help get reviews from existing customers, but also syndicate business reviews throughout a list of popular review websites, such as Yelp, RateItAll, etc. But be warned, these agencies tend to leave a footprint in the syndication to give themselves attribution. If you can pay more to NOT have the attribution, I’d ask for it.

Start with Email

Collect email addresses of as many customers as you can. Offer a survey or contest, start a “of the Month Club”, do whatever it takes to capture their email addresses.

Then, as part of your email campaign, send out a special offer to customers who bring in a positive or neutral review of your business. Below is an email template you can use in your campaign:

Dear Valued Customer,

You asked us to send you special offers when you provided your email address. You’re really going to like this deal! We’re constantly looking for ideas to improve our service. Your neutral or positive feedback helps us share your experience with our potential customers. Therefore, we’d like to offer you a 25% service discount just for sharing your review of us on [choose a destination like Yelp or Yahoo! Local].

Here is a link you can use:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/your-business-name

Just print your online review of us and bring it in on your next visit to receive 25% off service. We know you have a choice in service providers and we thank you for your continued patronage.

Sincerely,
Your Company Name Here

Business Rating and Review Sites

Below is a list of popular online business rating websites. I recommend rotating these into each campaign you use to get business reviews with as to get as much saturation as possible:

  • bbb.org
  • bing.com/local
  • brownbook.com
  • businessdirectory.bizjournals.com
  • citycliq.com
  • cityguide.com
  • citysearch.com
  • cityslick.net
  • citysquares.com
  • dexknows.com
  • insiderpages.com
  • judysbook.com
  • kudzu.com
  • local.botw.org
  • local.com
  • local.yahoo.com
  • localadlink.com
  • localdatabase.com
  • maps.google.com
  • matchpoint.com
  • merchantcircle.com
  • openlist.com
  • pennysaverusa.com (NEW!)
  • planetbuzz.com
  • rateitall.com
  • ratepoint.com
  • sitejabber.com
  • superpages.com
  • switchboard.com
  • yellowbook.com
  • yellowpages.aol.com
  • yellowpages.com
  • yelp.com
  • zagat.com

The Incredible Business Review Postcard

Below is a link to a business review postcard we put together to help you get reviews from every customer who walks out the door. We recommend stapling this to your receipts and rotating the rating/review website every few weeks to give you more saturation and diversity in reviewers.

Download Now

Comments? Feedback? More Ideas? Please share below: