Earlier this year, we performed a study of software buyers and found that 71% of buyers turn to their colleagues and peers for software recommendations. Peer recommendations actually ranked first among the dozen or so methods we asked buyers to rank according to which they were most likely to use to research software options. For a software marketer like you, this fact probably comes as no surprise. Referral programs are one of the staple lead generation tactics in the B2B software industry.
On top of that, everywhere you turn, you find articles spouting the benefits of third party online product reviews to serve as even more peer voices on the web, urging prospects down the funnel toward your product. (Perhaps even on this blog… guilty as charged.) But I think there’s something missing from all those articles. Sure, we all know that it’s important to get reviews for a host of reasons, but how do you actually get them?
We’ve pulled together ten actionable examples of creative ways other software companies have garnered positive reviews for their products. Below, I’ll delve into three examples. But to learn about the rest, you’ll have to watch our webinar—Using Reviews for Lead Generation.
1. Include Reviews As Part of Your Customer Nurture Emails
Ever ordered something on Amazon? Without fail, a few days after delivery, you’ll receive an email asking for a review of the product. As a result, Amazon has become the go-to place for finding valuable book reviews and reviews of countless other consumer products. A handful of the business software companies we work with, such as Little Green Light donor management software, have taken a cue from Amazon and asked for their customers to review their software through the use of targeted email campaigns to their customers. As a result, Little Green Light is among the top reviewed software products in their respective categories on Capterra. Another way to execute this tactic is if you have an email nurture track for new clients, include an email in the track a few weeks after purchasing asking them to leave a review of your product on Capterra. We’ve even taken a stab at this tactic ourselves: after a buyer has used our service to find software, we send them a net promoter score survey by email two weeks later. If they rank Capterra’s service as a 9 or a 10 (meaning they are extremely likely to recommend our service to a friend or colleague), we trigger an automated email that asks them to leave a review of Capterra on our LinkedIn company page.
2. Use Social Media to Ask Your Loyal Followers for Reviews
Ever heard the phrase, “those who ask shall receive”? It may feel uncomfortable straight up asking for reviews in such a public forum, but who better to ask than your loyal social media followers? These people have self-identified themselves as someone who has an affinity for your company, so they’re the perfect audience for this type of request. Below are a couple software companies who have recently asked for reviews on Twitter, but if you have a LinkedIn user group, we’ve found that to be another particularly fruitful channel for soliciting user feedback. Also, because LinkedIn is a professional network, you may get better quality reviews by asking for business software reviews there than, say, from your Facebook page followers.
3. Incentivize Your Support Staff with a Contest to Gather Reviews
I used to work in marketing at a software company, and one tactic we used to try to solicit more customer reviews was a contest among our internal customer service reps. Whenever they had a positive conversation with a client or helped resolve a customer’s problem, the representative would send an email along the lines of, “I’m so glad I was able to assist you today! We’re currently in the process of gathering feedback from our most valued customers, and I was wondering if you’d be willing to tell us your experience with our software on XYZ site (link)?” The contest went on for three months, and at the end of each month, the customer service rep who had the most reviews received a $100 gift card. By drawing it out over a longer timeframe, there was the opportunity for multiple people to win a prize, plus it helped spread out the flow of reviews so they didn’t all flood in within a one or two week time frame.
Curious to see the other seven examples? Watch the full webinar below for even more inspiration of how you can become a top-ranked software vendor in your category!