by Patricia M. Davis

In an increasingly competitive digital marketing landscape, marketing your business is far from easy. From branding efforts to optimizing conversions and sealing sales, there’s an array of challenges to overcome.  Many of them ultimately boil down to fostering trust with your audience and customers and securing better conversion and retention rates. However, trust is a commodity in digital marketing; it’s hard to get and easy to lose. There are a few different ways to address this challenge, some of which strictly depend on you and your strategies. Still, an easy one with universal viability is to leverage customer reviews. That is, you can simply request reviews from your customers and have them boost your efforts. But just how can you do so? Fear not; that’s what we’re here to discuss today.

Why do customer reviews matter?

First things first, let’s briefly explain why customer reviews matter. You may be already suspecting they’re a potent means of reassuring customers of their choices, and you’d be correct. Still, just why that’s the case and just how much it matters deserve some exploration.

Reviews influence buying decisions

For one, customers increasingly pay attention to reviews. You’ve likely seen the studies before; customers trust reviews about as much as they make recommendations by friends and colleagues. To them, reviews are much more trustworthy than marketing material – because they’re likely honest opinions from their peers.

In no unclear terms, research continues to find that reviews have a massive influence on buying decisions. Consider GmrWebTeam’s findings.

A graph by GmWebTeam on how reading reviews influences customers’ buying decisions.

A graph by GmWebTeam on how reading reviews influences customers’ buying decisions.

Positive reviews are a trust signal, and negative reviews present opportunities

Of course, not all reviews are equally effective or beneficial. It’s very logical to suspect that where positive reviews can build trust, negative reviews can diminish it. 

Indeed, positive reviews are a potent trust signal. However, negative reviews can help your business as well. Moverstech finds they can still be useful in many ways, including:

  • Making positive reviews believable; perfect 5/5 scores can seem suspicious
  • Providing insights on customer satisfaction; negative reviews can highlight shortcomings
  • Leading to more purchases; solving customers’ problems can finalize purchases that would otherwise be lost

As such, you should not fear negative reviews when you request reviews from your customers. They may not be ideal, but handling them with grace can present many opportunities.

All engagement is useful

Finally, on the subject of engagement, it’s indeed vital that you engage with reviews, both positive and negative. In doing so, you won’t just be inciting engagement for its own sake but also producing trust signals. 

Understandably, responding to reviews helps humanize your brand. Whether you thank a satisfied customer or lean over a dissatisfied one’s problems, you’re showing your brand’s human face. It reassures audiences that you’re actually listening and makes them confident in your professionalism.

Citing BrightLocal research, Oberlo confirms the sheer significance of responding to reviews. A staggering 97% of customers who read reviews also read your responses, and this trend isn’t showing signs of changing.

An infographic on the importance of businesses’ responses to online reviews.

An infographic on the importance of businesses’ responses to online reviews.

Smart ways to request reviews from your customers

So, having established the importance of reviews, how do you ask for them? There are many ways to do so, especially if you’re willing to become creative. For example, if you’re engaging in video content production and sharing, you can use it to incite reviews the same way you’d use it to gain backlinks. Still, to help you get started, here we can cover some smart practices, new and old, that you can consider first.

#1 Leverage your Google Business Profile

First, you’re likely already using Google Business Profile (GBP). Formerly Google My Business (GMB), this powerful local SEO tool, is an excellent way to cater to local audiences. In addition, it gets you into Google’s app ecosystem – most notably Google Maps. If you are, Google itself offers some handy advice to help your GBP get reviews:

  • Remind customers to leave reviews; on GBP, it’s quick and easy
  • Respond to reviews; this will incentivize more users to leave their own
  • Create a link for review requests and share it via email, at the end of chat interactions, or at the end of receipts

At the same time, you can treat your GBP as a social media platform for additional reach. By promoting it across channels and staying active on it for better local SEO scores, you’ll be increasing your chances of receiving reviews.

#2 Become active on Facebook

Next, you may use social media platforms to request reviews from your customers. This can be done on different platforms, but here we’ll focus on Facebook for a few reasons.

For one, Facebook remains the social media juggernaut of choice for most businesses; it offers access to vast, untapped audiences. And second, Facebook offers a built-in audience analytics tool of unparalleled power in Facebook Audience Insights.

To get started, you will first need to enable page reviews for your business page. The process is simple; head to Page Settings>Templates and Tabs, and from there, turn on Reviews. For visual aid, EmbedSocial offers a handy video on the process:

Then, you can use the same practices as for GBP above to ask for reviews. Share your review URL in chats, on Facebook posts, and wherever else your audiences might like it. 

At the same time, continue to put effort into your social media marketing with great content and engaging posts. As you expand your Facebook page’s reach and engagement, you’ll also increase the likelihood of receiving reviews.

#3 Ask via email

Speaking of tried-and-true marketing channels, email may be your single best bet for earning reviews. If you’re engaging in email marketing and have analytics tools in hand, you can effectively request reviews from your customers in a few different ways. Email is a very versatile channel so you can adjust your timing and outreach according to audiences. For example, you can:

  • Go for a review request email blast – if you can’t personalize 
  • Target specific subscriber segments based on customer satisfaction – if personalization is an option
  • Ask businesses you work with in highly personal emails
  • Remind your email lists of the value of reviews in newsletters
  • Craft purchase confirmation, “thank you,” or post-purchase review request emails to be automated

If you’re wondering if it works, it most certainly does. BrightLocal finds that almost two-thirds (65%) of customers prompted to leave a review will often do so. Put differently, only 18% of customers never do.

A pie chart by BrightLocal on the willingness of customers to leave reviews when prompted by businesses.

A pie chart by BrightLocal on the willingness of customers to leave reviews when prompted by businesses.

#4 Try SMS

If you’re not entirely confident in the methods above or would like even more options, how about SMS? If you’re skeptical about this channel of old, give us a moment to try and change your mind.

Initially, SMS is functionally near-identical to email; you can share review URLs, automate post-purchase messages, and much more. Therefore, you can put most email practices outlined above into action through SMS campaigns and request reviews from your customers. In addition, this channel comes with a wealth of perks to consider:

  • You’ll be targeting engaged audience segments that have already given you their number – and are thus more likely to comply
  • SMS are, by default, short and sweet – increasing your chances through a frictionless, to-the-point message
  • SMS are far more likely to be read than most other forms of outreach, including emails

If anything, SMS is actually the preferred channel of brand communication by a large margin. Yes, it even exceeds the king of marketing that is email, making it a channel to seriously consider.

A graph by eMarketer on consumers’ preferred channels of brand communication.

A graph by eMarketer on consumers’ preferred channels of brand communication.

#5 Make leaving reviews easier – and why not in video form?

Finally, having touched on friction, a key reason many customers don’t leave reviews is that it takes time. They’d rather not go out of their way to type a review, especially if the process takes many clicks.

To address this, you can examine every channel and practice you use for this purpose. Remove friction in every way possible as you request reviews from your customers. For a few examples:

  • Allow for reviews without text; a detailed written testimony can go a long way, but plain star reviews also work
  • Keep your review requests visible and accessible; a “leave us a review” page on your homepage or a clearly visible “leave a review” button above an email’s fold will always work better
  • Streamline the process; have the user go through as few pages and fill out as few fields as possible to leave a review
  • Include easily accessible buttons in other outreach, like post-purchase emails or SMS updates; have one contact point serve two purposes
  • Add options; offer creative audiences non-written ways to submit reviews, such as through video

Regarding the final point, the potent power of video reviews cannot be understated. They may be harder to acquire but can serve as powerful material to use in social media posts, website content, and more.

That’s because, if you do elicit such reviews, they can serve as excellent trust signals far beyond traditional reviews. Audiences getting to see a reviewer and connect the review to a face is undeniably effective, in much the same way as reviews with reviewer photos are far more effective than faceless ones. Remember, reducing friction is fundamental, but so is making your request in an appropriate, enticing way. If leveraged correctly, video reviews can both reduce friction and incite more reviews in turn.


In closing, in today’s digital marketing landscape, it’s vital that you request reviews from your customers. Reviews serve as a trust signal that can reassure potential customers, as well as foster bonds toward better customer retention. Even negative reviews can present opportunities to project your professionalism as you solve your customers’ problems in public view. It may not be the easiest endeavor there is, but it’s thankfully not quite the impossible task either. Customers are increasingly engaged and will often not deny you a review – as long as you ask and you’re convincing. While brief, we hope you found this article informative or even inspirational.