- Reviews and UGC
How to Use SMS to Send Review Requests (with Examples)
Megan Wenzl | Jun 20, 2023
Jun 20, 2023
Content Marketing Manager
Whether you’re looking to provide social proof and build trust in the quality of your products, or maximize the collection of zero-party data to fuel personalization, product reviews are essential to succeeding in today’s ecommerce landscape. And while brands have traditionally leveraged email marketing to request reviews, reaching out to customers directly on their mobile devices via SMS has become an increasingly popular (and effective) strategy.
In this blog, we’ll highlight the benefits of using SMS to send review requests, explore a variety of effective strategies and best practices to maximize success, and provide a few examples of how real brands have optimized their review generation processes using SMS.
There’s no denying it: as consumers, we’re growing increasingly attached to our smartphones. In fact, research shows that the average American checks their phone 144 times per day and spends more than roughly four-and-a-half hours on their phone each day.
For brands, this of course represents a huge opportunity to engage shoppers in-the-moment. But with today’s consumer receiving countless communications from brands through their mobile apps, email, and social media, what exactly makes SMS so effective at grabbing their attention?
Here’s a few of the benefits SMS has to offer when sending review requests to your customers:
Increased speed. Timing is everything when it comes to sending a review request, and SMS communications have been shown to reach the eyes of customers much faster than those delivered via email. In fact, 60% of customers read text messages as quickly as 1-5 minutes after receiving them, which is one of the reasons that the majority of marketers identify speed as the most significant benefit of utilizing SMS.
High open rates. While email is a highly effective communication tool, SMS sees a higher open rate. This in part due to the large number of emails a customer receives. According to Gartner, SMS messages boast a near-perfect open rate of 98%.
Increased flexibility. Reviews are essential for building trust in the quality of your products, as well as providing social proof through the display of high-impact, user-generated content (UGC) such as photos or videos. But in order to truly maximize review generation, it’s best to leverage a diverse strategy that combines both SMS and email review requests. In addition to allowing your brand to cast a wider net when collecting feedback, this approach gives customers added flexibility when choosing how they’d like to leave a review.
Once you’ve gained the capability to send SMS review requests, it’s all about establishing an effective strategy and following some best practices to maximize the generation of high-quality reviews. On that note, here are four tips to keep in mind when requesting reviews via SMS:
As mentioned earlier, timing is everything when it comes to requesting a review, and how long you wait to send a request will depend on a variety of factors, including what type of products you sell and when the customer actually receives the shipment.
For example, if you’re a clothing brand, you might decide to wait a few days after the product has been received to request a review. This will give the customer some extra time to try on the clothes while ensuring that the purchase is still fresh in their minds. However, if you sell skincare products that require a prolonged period of time to deliver results, then it’s best to give your customer that extra time to form an opinion.
Fortunately, customer marketing platform Okendo integrates seamlessly with SMS platforms like Attentive, Postscript, Klaviyo & Omnisend making it easy to schedule SMS review requests to be sent out at specific times to customers who have opted-in.
Consistency is key when it comes to communicating with your customers. In other words, you’ll want to be sure that you’re utilizing the same voice across all touchpoints in the buyer’s journey, including when you request reviews via SMS.
But while it’s important to stay consistent, that doesn’t mean you can’t make an effort to keep track with certain trends that may be relevant to your customers. In fact, Attentive recommends experimenting with slang or lingo that speaks to your specific audience, albeit sparingly and within reason. Additionally, try to keep abbreviations to a minimum wherever possible to avoid any unnecessary confusion.
In addition, do yourself and your customers a favor by not overcomplicating your SMS review requests. In other words, keep these communications short, limiting requests to no more than five lines of text, and treating the first line of the message the same as you would a subject line in an email.
As Brian Becker, the Co-Founder of FlowCandy, says, “The key to success in SMS is to be ruthless about removing friction. Consumers expect their phones to be a source of immediate gratification. They’re ready to act—but only if we meet them where they are at with the right message.”
Consumers today value personalization more than ever, and sending an individualized message alongside a short product review link is a great way to increase customer engagement and make your request stand out.
At minimum, be sure to always include the customer’s first name in the review request, as well as the exact product the customer has purchased. This will add a personalized touch, while also ensuring that the customer can immediately identify the reason behind the communication.
For another way to create connections and even go a step further to build community, Postscript advises to “use we/us/our language” in SMS marketing copy to encourage a shared identity. Postscript also recommends treating your customers like close friends or family.
Depending on your unique situation, it may be worthwhile to offer your customers an incentive such as a discount or other reward in exchange for a review of their recent purchase. This can be an incredibly effective strategy to motivate customers who would otherwise choose to bypass the review process.
Using a platform like Okendo, you can easily add a coupon code to your SMS review requests, and you can even offer tiered discounts that not only incentivize reviews, but encourage customers to submit photo and video content featuring your products.
To see what an effective SMS review request might look like, let’s take a quick look at a few examples of how real brands have optimized review requests using the Okendo platform.
Scotch Porter, an affordable luxury grooming brand for men, had already found success sending email review requests to customers, and wanted to expand its strategy through the integration of SMS capabilities. Using the following template, the brand was able to boost review generation by 12%, increasing their conversion rate and improving customer experiences in the process.
Hi [customer name] 👋 , what did you think? Leave your review and grab a coupon for % off your next bundle purchase! [review link]
To back up the promise of delivering only freshly brewed coffee and tea products to consumers, Amora Coffee chose to utilize reviews as a central component of its customer-led marketing strategy. Looking to expand its reach, Amora began sending SMS requests using the Okendo platform, and observed a 39% increase in review generation as a result.
Thanks for your recent order! Your feedback means a lot to us. Leave your review here: [review link]
For Groove Life, an adventure inspired provider of breathable accessories tailored to an active lifestyle, having the ability to communicate with customers who are always on-the-go is an absolute must. Looking to build on its already impressive inflow of positive testimonials, the brand leveraged Okendo’s Attentive integration to introduce SMS requests into its review strategy, and as a result observed an astounding 98% increase in review generation in the span of just one short week.
Hi [customer name]! What did you think? Leave your review and grab a coupon for $ off your next purchase! 👏 🤙 [review link]
FinditParts, a digital marketplace for heavy-duty truck and trailer parts, was the proud owner of an incredibly successful email marketing program. Review requests are part of its robust SMS marketing strategy, which, using Attentive, has welcomed a hefty subscriber base since implementation. Here is an example of how FinditParts uses SMS to send review requests, keeping the message short and on brand.
Thanks for your recent purchase! If you enjoyed it leave a review! [Review link]
Don’t miss out on our amazing new items! Use code [____] for % off when you shop now: [store link]
For merchants constantly battling for that competitive edge in the ecommerce space, customer reviews are one of their most powerful tools. Not only do they provide the social proof many consumers require before making a purchase, but they also supply valuable insights into maximizing your customer experience program.
With this in mind, it’s obvious why every brand must strive to collect, analyze, and act on feedback as part of a continuous feedback loop. In fact, it’s almost impossible to run a successful ecommerce business today without one.
With an understanding of this, we expect to see more brands leverage SMS review requests to scale their reviews program. At Okendo, we’d be happy to help you get your SMS strategy under way.
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