Reviews Madness 2017 Playbook: Don’t Miss Your Chance to be the Software Reviews Champion!

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It’s almost that time of the year again — Reviews Madness! This competition, in spirit with the popular NCAA basketball tournament, allows software companies to go head-to-head each week to collect the most reviews.

Software vendors have until Tuesday, March 14th to enter the 2017 Reviews Madness Tournament. The 64 participants will be selected and seeded based on their official Gartner Digital Markets Reviews score: the total number of reviews multiplied by the average rating for your reviews shared across Capterra, Software Advice and GetApp.

Here’s a look ahead at the Tournament Schedule this year:

  • Round 1 – 64 competitors: March 16-21
  • Round 2 – 32 competitors: March 22-26
  • Round 3 – Sweet 16: March 27-30
  • Round 4 – Elite 8: March 31 – April 4
  • Round 5 – Final 4: April 5-9
  • Round 6 – Championship: April 10-12

During each round, participants will face off against another software company. The participant that proactively collects the most new and confirmed reviews during that round will qualify to move on to the next round of the tournament. At the start of each new round, the review total will be set back to “zero” for all participants. Please note, only reviews submitted through vendor generated efforts will qualify, and RaaS review campaigns are not eligible during the bracket.

How can you set your business up for success?

First, make sure that your business has a solid base of reviews so that you will make it to the bracket!

Of all businesses that enter, only the top 64 will qualify to participate and will be seeded based on the total number of reviews and overall ratings, so give your business a “warm up” and start asking for reviews from top customers now.

However, make sure you are setting yourselves up for the long-game! It’s important to take the time to create an effective game plan to drive your review collection strategy. You’ll want to focus on new ways to collect reviews each round, so you can continue to drive new reviews throughout the tournament and make it to the Championship.

Make it easy to collect more reviews by sharing a direct link to your customized Capterra review form, located in the Reviews tab of your account.  You can also share the Reviews Madness bracket page (check out the action from last year here) to show them a bit more about the competition – and your company’s current standing! Your business name will be linked to your Capterra profile page.

Check out these effective ways to collect reviews each round:

1. Email Campaigns to Customers

Oftentimes, the easiest and most effective way to get new reviews is to ask your current customers through an email campaign. A recent survey from BrightlLocal found 71% of consumers will leave a review for a business if they’re asked to, so don’t be shy!

Here’s an example of an email you could send:

Hi “First Name,”

Thank you for using “Software Product!” We’re currently competing against 63 other software companies to see who can collect the most reviews in a March Madness-style tournament, and we need your help to win!

Please take just a few minutes to leave a review of your experience with “Software Product” on Capterra: [Link to your Capterra review form]

Thanks in advance for your time!

Customize your email so it matches your brand voice, and add personalization when you can. You may want to consider creating a target list of customers for each round to maximize your impact or get various members of your team involved to make the requests.

2. Social Media Promotion

Another great way to reach your clients is by utilizing social media to generate reviews. Vary your message and timing across your different channels to test what makes the best impact from Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter and beyond.

You should also promote when you make it to the next round of the tournament to continue requesting new reviews, and even share great new reviews when they come in to expand your brand reach. But most importantly, always link to your Capterra review form to make it easy to generate more reviews with each post.

3. Host a Contest or Special Promotion

Consider creating a contest or special promotion of your own to help generate excitement and urgency from your customers. You could do something as simple as promoting that every new review collected during each round is entered into a swag item giveaway or gift card. This adds an extra boost to encourage people to act, but is certainly not required!

Another idea is implementing an internal contest where you challenge your customer-facing teams to compete for the most new reviews from their client outreach per round.

4. Reach out to Advocates

The perfect customer to ask to leave a review for your company is a brand advocate! After all, they are highly engaged with your product, are likely very happy with it, and oftentimes have a personal connection with their account rep.

If you don’t already have a list of brand advocates, now is a great time to pull one together! Consider those who your client team has close connections with, who frequently log in to your product, who attend your events or engage with your educational materials, those who have been clients for several years, or even those who have your highest product level.

Use this list and don’t be afraid to get on the phone to make a personal ask for a review. You can also tie this request into another conversation and let them know their review would matter to you.

For example, say you’re following up with a customer. When you’re on the call with them, you might go over how your software is working toward their business goals. At the end of the call, mention the contest and ask them to leave a review; the worst they can say is no! If they are interested, send them a follow-up email too, so they can have a direct link to the bracket and where to leave the review.

5. Get schooled on the latest education

If you’re looking for additional education about how to ask for reviews and how they can impact your business, we can help! Read our other recent blog posts on the topic, including how to convince your customers to write a review, review request email templates to launch a campaign, and 18 easy ways to collect more reviews.

You can also watch our recent webinar for even more helpful advice: 10 Easy Ways to Collect More Online Reviews.

Let the games begin!

The countdown is on! Capterra’s 3rd Annual Reviews Madness Tournament will start on March 16th. Follow along to track the competition with the Reviews Madness Tournament bracket.

Looking for software? Check out Capterra's list of the best software solutions.

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About the Author


Kari Miller

Kari is the Reviews Marketing Manager at Capterra, focusing on helping software vendors build their online reputation. Originally from Annapolis, Maryland, Kari graduated from Elon University before moving to the Washington, DC area. During her free time, she loves traveling, trying new recipes, and listening to live music.


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