Youâ€™re not one for twiddling your thumbs or waiting in the wings. As a small business owner, your work doesnâ€™t just fill up your bank accountâ€”it fills your body and soul.
So, how do you keep working if in-person work is on pause? How do you keep gaining momentum and moving forward amidst all this global weirdness? And how do you convince your partner that pineapple really is a good pizza topping?
Itâ€™s all possible with automated client review requests. (Well, except the pineapple debate. Weâ€™re still figuring that one out.)
Breaking it down:
When push comes to statistics, reviews & testimonials are your most powerful tool.
Itâ€™s no giant mystery that positive, honest client reviews help businesses get more bookings.
When potential clients can see multiple testimonials, it builds the sort of trust that makes them feel more confident hiring you.
Leveraging the conversion power of your reviews lets you gain new client relationships, with exactly $0 spent on ads. Itâ€™s organic marketing at its finest.
Even if you havenâ€™t asked for a client review in the last three eons, you can start confidently requesting testimonials later today.
All it takes is 20 minutes of your time, and these templates.
Here is a useful formula when asking for testimonials.
1 | Customize your email subject line and greeting.
Even though your initial testimonial request will probably be automatically sent to your clients, they donâ€™t have to feel generically generated.
By using their name in the subject line and greeting, youâ€™re already starting off the email by helping them feel seen. (Hereâ€™s a on dynamic fields and using their name. Itâ€™s really simple.)
Even that tiny bit of extra effort on your end goes a long way in building relationships and creating real conversations.
2 | Clearly say why youâ€™re reaching out.
Time is everyoneâ€™s most valuable resource, so cut straight to the chase. You donâ€™t need five paragraphs discussing the weather before you tell them that youâ€™d love their feedback. Be confident with your ask.
3 | Tell them whatâ€™s in it for them.
Weâ€™re all so bombarded with emails that Inbox Zero is a thing of myth and legend. Since youâ€™re asking for their time (a gift), itâ€™s incredibly beneficial to offer a token virtual gift in return. Be sure to comply with local laws and regulations with any of these offers and when sending marketing emails.
Here are a few different ways you could go about this:
a. Offer a small percentage or dollar discount off their next booking once they submit their testimonial. This not only encourages them to send their feedback, but it also gives them an extra reason to book another session. (Win-win!)
b. Give them priority booking. By with your earliest availability, you can link them to a private calendar that grants them access to time slots that are â€śsecretâ€ť for everyone else. For clients who attend repeat classes or who book multiple sessions, this helps them feel as special as they are.
c. Ask to feature them in a blog post, newsletter, case study, or social media post. Thereâ€™s the whole joke about entrepreneurs dying from being paid in exposure (har, har), but when it comes to asking for testimonials, itâ€™s actually appropriate.
Youâ€™re asking for a testimonial because youâ€™re proud of the work you did, and itâ€™s only natural that you want to showcase their progress. By offering to link back to their site and social feeds in your feature, you both get to brag about the success of your work together.
4 | Let them know whatâ€™s in it for you.
Donâ€™t play coy. Whether youâ€™re promoting your photography, consulting, or beauty business, client testimonials make a massive difference in the continued growth and success of your company. Itâ€™s okay to tell them so! Your clients care about you (just like you care about them), and they want to help you. Tell them precisely how much you appreciate their time and energy.
5 | Make it easy for them to help you out.
The faster it takes to send feedback, the more likely your clients are to do itâ€”and do it thoughtfully. Depending on the sort of services you offer, you can choose to:
a. Ask them to respond directly to the email. This is really useful if there are one or two specific feedback questions youâ€™d like to ask, but any more than that can overwhelm your clients and lead to crickets.
b. Send them to .This makes it simple for them to gather their thoughts, lets you control the standardized questions youâ€™re asking, and keeps everything organized in the backend of your business.
c. Link them directly to the platforms you want them to post to.If a review on a particular search engine is most helpful for you, link them to your businessâ€™ review page directly. The same goes for more specialized review sites. The chances of them clicking a link and writing a few sentences is a lot higher than the odds of them feverishly searching for your business page.
Sounds great in theory, right? Here are a few emails with that formula in action.
(And just as a heads up, these are purely for example. Youâ€™ll want to customize anything that doesnâ€™t apply to your business. Also make sure to follow as well as any other applicable laws and regulations.)
Email #1 | Excellent for: Photographers who want to stay in touch during quarantine.
Subject Line: Can I send you some prints, [Name]?
I was just daydreaming about the pics from our last shoot, and had a quick request.
When you get a minute, will you write a sentence or two about our time together? I obviously had a blast, but direct input from my favorite clients (like you) really helps others find me.
Once you leave a review, email me back. Iâ€™d really love to send you a free set of prints from your session as thanks. I just need your best address.
Hereâ€™s where your feedback makes the most impact:
[Link to your review page.]
[Link to review site.]
*Pro tip: Donâ€™t list more than two sites to avoid client overwhelm.
I really canâ€™t thank you enough. Word of mouth is the driving force behind my business, and your input makes my profession possible.
Talk to you soon,
Email #2 | Excellent for: Consultants following up with clients after sessions & boost client retention.
Subject Line: Can I feature you, [Name]?
Can I put you front and center in my newsletter? Please say yes. Ever since our work together, Iâ€™ve wanted to showcase the progress youâ€™ve made.
To be honest, my audience of 2,000+ readers would really benefit from meeting you and following along with your journey. (And of course, Iâ€™ll be linking back to your site and social media channels.)
You in? If so, I just need some honest feedback from you right over here [link to your form]. Itâ€™ll take about three minutes of your time to connect with thousands of readers.
Thank you so much for this. Selfishly, I canâ€™t wait for my people to fall in love with you.
Let me know any questions!
Email #3 | Excellent for: Beauty entrepreneurs who want to hit the ground running once they can reopen.
Subject Line: Iâ€™m sliding $20 in your purse
When my doors re-open, Iâ€™m trimming $20 off your next service.
All youâ€™ve got to do is take a minute and give me your honest opinion of my services.
Once bookings officially open back up, youâ€™ll be first in line to claim your appointment slot and save money along the way.
Clients like you are the reason I love my job so much, and I canâ€™t wait to hear your feedback.
Just fill out the quick form & let me give you $20, already. [Link to questionnaire.]
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Now that you have the power, letâ€™s put it on autopilot.
Thereâ€™s a time and a place to manually send testimonial emails. If you havenâ€™t reached out to anyone in awhile, youâ€™ll need to copy and paste your customized template into your email provider, and hit send each time.
But then you get to Easy Street, where your feedback requests are sent automatically and your reputation builds organically. With a few quick clicks in your Acuity dashboard, you can customize your follow-up emails, decide when to send them, and even who to send them to.
Even though times are strange, testimonials help you take charge of your businessâ€™ future.
Uncertainty is a word thatâ€™s used a lot right now, and rightly so. Weâ€™re all trying to find our footing in the new way of the world, and itâ€™s completely normal if your business feels a little wonky sometimes.
But one thing is for sureâ€”client reviews are the first step in ensuring business stays steady (or even grows).
Youâ€™re not someone who sits by and waits for things to work out. Youâ€™re one of the doers who makes success happen. And gosh, weâ€™re happy youâ€™re here.
Our official review of you?
And a robust/hearty bravaaaaa!
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