More than 90% of customers read reviews before making a purchasing decision. This means most of your potential sales are at the mercy of what former customers say about your products or services.
Unfortunately, study after study has concluded that an unhappy customer is more likely to leave a review than a happy customer. The web has many more Simon Cowells than Paula Abduls – especially if you’re a brand. People expect satisfaction when they pay for something. If they don’t get it, you and all your potential customers will hear about it. Reviews can make or break a brand.
In a world where gratification is often expressed through silence, you’ll need a tactful way of asking your customers to speak up about what you’re doing right. Otherwise, how can you expect people to trust your company? Feedback is all-important when running a business. So, how do you get it?
Enter the review request campaign.
Let’s walk through the basics of a feedback request, and take a close look at some of the very best review email template examples.
When to Request Reviews
Let’s get the basics down first — what is a review email? Sometimes the simplest answer is the right one: It’s exactly what it sounds like. In a nutshell, you’re sending an email to a client or (hopefully) loyal customer asking them (very politely) to review a product they’ve purchased or service they’ve received.
The success of a review request campaign hinges upon seizing the most opportune moment to ask for a customer review. Here are 5 of them:
- Almost immediately after a customer has bought a product or service, while accounting for how long you need to wait for the buyer to have used what you’ve sold. For example, a restaurant owner can send an email within 24 hours of a reservation request asking how the patron found their meal.
- Some goods, like groceries bought via delivery apps, lend themselves to repeat orders. In such an instance, you could ask the customer to rate their experience about 48 hours after they’ve made a repeat order or repurchase, which will give them enough time to have used the groceries.
- Because a customer who’s mentioned your brand on social media has already reviewed you and your product or service, they’ll likely be ready to be contacted almost immediately after having hit “post.” So, feel free to reach out in under 12 hours.
- Once you’ve demonstrated a successful product or service. Make hay while the sun shines by asking for a review while you know your customer is still satisfied.
- It’s perfectly alright to send out a review request email within a day or so of getting a referral.
Where Should I Send Reviewers?
Think about which of your brand’s online channels will benefit most from a positive review. Is it directly on a product page on your site? Is it in a niche industry forum? The Better Business Bureau? Make it a cakewalk for customers to review your business by adding the appropriate links for online reviews in your request email.
Here are a few examples of some of the most prominent review destinations across the web:
Amazon and Other Third-party Seller Sites
If you’re a B2C e-commerce company that generates most of its sales through Amazon, then make an Amazon review request the default for your company. The same applies for Etsy, eBay, Overstock and other e-commerce platforms. Third-party platforms are a great source of revenue for many businesses, and great online reviews can help accelerate purchasing.
Your Own Website
Alternatively, if you have an e-commerce store that doesn’t sell on third-party sites, encourage customers to leave a product review directly on your product pages. A B2B company can also use its website or blog to publish a customer testimonial, a case study, quotes from satisfied customers or all of these. For highly niche B2B verticals, targeted outreach to specific satisfied customers requesting a positive testimonial may be the only way to generate social proof, and your business page might be the only place to promote those positive reviews.
B2B Review Sites
A less niche B2B company may want to direct review traffic to another source. For example, a CRM company will benefit from user reviews on G2.com or TrustRadius.
Companies with a local presence – both B2B and B2C – should set themselves up on Google My Business (GMB) to manage their Google reviews and ratings. The overwhelming majority of web traffic occurs through search engines, meaning Google reviews are among the first reviews a would-be customer looking for a local business will see.
Optimizing a GMB profile is also essential for local search engine optimization purposes. It helps ensure that your company is listed in Google under the correct business name, with the right hours, address and other details.
Other Business Directories
These might include:
- The Yellow Pages.
- The Better Business Bureau.
- MapQuest (believe it or not, it’s still good for something!)
How to Request Reviews (+ Email Templates)
You need to make it as easy as possible for customers to leave an online review – or give any kind of customer feedback that could help you enhance your business.
Someone who wants to throw a tantrum on the internet will actively seek out the biggest audience for their tirade. But a delighted customer will only give you an attaboy if it doesn’t take very much time out of their day.
Start by including a “review us” link in the email signature of any transactional emails, customer service emails, etc. The recipient need only click this link to be taken to a review platform of your choice.
Also, consider leaving a “review us” or “provide feedback” form on your contact us page to solicit valuable feedback. If you offer online support, you can link to this page, or another review channel, after each interaction.
Even then, you’ll need to reach out to customers to encourage them to offer feedback, leave a review or speak positively on behalf of your brand. And, there’s no better way to do that than via email.
When the time is right, use a review email template below to ask for a review, rating, feedback, testimonial or referral. Make sure your tone isn’t naggy, as you want to persuade customers, not force them into giving a customer review. Being polite and conscientious are key. Talk to your customers as if you would to any manager or CEO.
For a Product Review
Email subject line: Did your purchase meet your expectations?
Hey [First name]!
Potential customers use reviews from people like you to decide if we have what they need, and we’d like your help.
If you have a moment to spare, please click on the button below to tell us if [product name] was everything you were looking for!
Rate it or review it.
Thank you for choosing [your brand or company name].
For a One-time B2B or B2C Service
Email subject line: Was our service up to scratch?
Hi [First name],
Thanks for choosing us to [service you provide]. We appreciate your trust in us and value your support.
If you enjoyed our service, please take a moment to leave a review on [platform of your choice].
Your feedback allows us to provide you with the best service possible.
For a Hotel, Spa or Salon
Email subject line: Did you have a wonderful time at [venue]?
Hi [First name],
Of all the [business types] in [your location], you chose us. We really appreciate that!
So, we want to ask if you enjoyed your experience with us.
Please leave a review on [preferred platform] and let us know how your [service type] experience with [company name] went so that we can do an even better job next time round.
For a Survey Feedback Request
Email subject line: We want to hear your thoughts!
Hey there [First name],
At [company name], we’re always working to improve our [list your type of product service], and we need your help to do just that.
If you have a moment, please fill out this quick (we mean that!) survey. There are no red cards here, so you can be totally honest!
Complete the survey.
Thanks so much,
For a Testimonial Request
Email subject line: Would you like to feature on our site?
Hello there [First name],
We hope this email finds you well (genuinely).
Your continued support is what keeps us going, and we want to spread the word — YOUR words, to be exact! We’d like to share your experience with us on our website and social media pages. Would you be keen to tell us a little about yourself and how you found our [product/service] so that we can create a custom testimonial?
We know that personal information is important, so we want to protect your privacy. With that disclaimer out of the way, please let us know if you’d be comfortable giving us your/your company’s name and some feedback you’d be OK with us sharing.
There’s no need to craft a perfect piece of writing, we’ll take care of that! All we need from you is some information and permission.
We look forward to hearing from you!
For a B2B Referral Request
Email subject line: We want more customers just like you.
Hi [First name]
I want to first thank you again for choosing us to serve your [service or product type] needs. We’re ecstatic that we’ve exceeded your expectations.
So much so that I’d like to ask you if you’d be happy to recommend us to other would-be fans of our brand. All we need from you is to complete the [form, survey, attached document, etc.] and return it to us, if you have a few minutes to spare.
We would really appreciate your feedback, but please don’t feel pressured to respond. Either way, we look forward to doing more great work for you.
All the best,
A Few Best Practices for Email Requests
Short, concise emails are always better – especially if you’re just asking for general feedback or a straightforward review.
The only exception is a testimonial request email, which will need to be much more personalized if you’re hoping to get a specific individual to speak on behalf of your brand.
Otherwise, here a few other general pointers to keep in mind in with any review request email you write:
- Include a clearly labeled, clickable “review button” somewhere in your email.
- Try to address recipients by their first name.
- Be polite, gracious and always thank the recipient for their business.
- Encourage honesty when soliciting survey feedback that only your company will see. You want the truth about where you can improve your business.
- Consider adding an incentive (free points to your next purchase, a discount, etc.) for a customer to leave a review.
How To Respond to Bad Reviews
Ask and you shall receive. But beware: You won’t always like what you receive.
When a dissatisfied customer expresses their ire, you can soften the blow to your reputation with a diplomatic, well-meaning response.
In 2021, a whopping 96% of potential customers said they search specifically for bad reviews. That means they’re also looking to see how brands respond to those reviews. The goal here isn’t to be combative or to make excuses. Rather, a response to a bad review achieves two goals:
- It opens the door to further discussion on the phone or via email with the dissatisfied customer to turn a negative customer experience into a positive one.
- It demonstrates to anyone else who’s watching that you value your customers’ opinions, even the not so flattering ones, and are willing to work toward a resolution with them.
Here is a potential template you can use to respond to a negative online review or social media comment:
Hi [customer’s name] – we’re sincerely sorry to hear that your experience with us hasn’t met your expectations. More importantly, we want to know more about your situation and figure out how we can make this right. Please [give us a call or email us ] at [insert phone number or email address] so we can discuss this together, and hopefully earn back your business.
Avoid using your own company name in your response if at all possible. You don’t want to bring any more attention to the negative review than you need to, and you want to minimize your brand’s association with bad feedback.
Also, remember that you can’t win them all. Some relationships won’t end well and, in many cases, it will be through no fault of your own.
As long as you actively focus on review generation, the positive feedback will always outshine the negative.
Editor’s Note: Updated May 2023.