Shopify Ecosystem

Good Practices For Sending Review Requests Via SMS (Examples Included)

good-practices-for-sending-review-requests-via-sms-(examples-included)

As e-commerce booms, the importance of online reviews follows. Online reviews play a crucial role in keeping your business growing by providing valuable insights from consumers and having a significant impact on shoppers’ purchase decisions. The problem is – although businesses understand how important online reviews are, many of them still struggle to get their customers to share experiences about the products they purchased.

Gathering reviews via emails is the standard, but is that enough to capture all reviews you may get? In this article, we’ll introduce an add-on to emails – SMS, which is often overlooked despite its great performance.

  1. Why should you use SMS to get customer reviews?
  2. How to ask for reviews using SMS: 5 best practices
  3. Sending your SMS review request with Judge.me
  4. Some good SMS templates for inspirations

First things first… 

SMS, as we are all familiar with, is a text message sent via a mobile network to a user’s phone. SMS messages have a 160-character limit, so they are commonly used to send information in short and simple text.

Businesses use text messages in many different ways: sending promotions, reminders, updates, and more that are being rediscovered. With 98% open rates, SMS is a quick, effective, and economical channel to re-engage with your customers.

Why should you use SMS to get customer reviews?

The short answer: If you want your messages to be noticed easier and increase the chances of getting reviews, SMS is the right way to do it. SMS brings your messages right in front of your customers, even if they are on the go.

If you’re up for a slightly longer answer, here are the other benefits of using SMS to ask for customer reviews:

  1. SMS gives you another chance to reach your customers if emails are missed. Such a personal and urgency-inspiring channel as SMS is a great choice to complement review request emails that can sometimes be unconsciously ignored. Or, in other words, SMS can help you seal the deal.
  2. SMS is easy to consume on the go. Thanks to its short and simple form, SMS is easy to digest and react to as soon as they receive it. This explains why on average, text messages are answered within 90 seconds, according to GSMA.
  3. SMS doesn’t get lost in the clutter of competitor messages. Although SMS is a continually growing marketing channel, there are still many businesses that haven’t explored this channel yet. While shoppers get bombarded with emails and other marketing material every day, SMS can be a great way to stand out from the crowd and deliver the right message to the right customers, at the right time.

How to ask for reviews using SMS: 5 best practices

Keep your messages short and clear

One of the reasons why SMS works so well is people only need to skim over it within seconds to get the main idea – but only if you do it right.

When writing your SMS review request, don’t go overboard. Be concise and tell your customers exactly what you need from them. In this case, you can simply thank your customers for purchasing from you and ask how they feel about your brand. That’s it.

All in all, you only have 160 characters to make it work, so don’t waste it on slang, jargon, or abbreviations that would be difficult for your customers to understand. Focus on what matters the most and you can see a higher conversion rate.

Personalize your message

Personalization plays an important role not only in review requests but also in SMS marketing in general. A few things you can do in an SMS review request are to address your customers by their name, mention the products they’ve purchased, or add some other relevant context. For instance, if a customer has just received the shoes she has been waiting to be back in stock, you can ask them if that specific pair was worth the wait.

Personalization adds more human touch to your communication and helps you build a closer connection with your customers, which increases your chance of getting feedback from your customers.

Include direct links to the review website

By including a direct link to the website where you want to receive feedback, you allow customers to leave a review in a couple of simple steps. They can just follow the link in your text message and submit the review without wondering how and where they can do it. 

Where to direct them, though? It depends on the channels you are using to promote your products, but here are a few common options to consider:

  • Your store/website. If someone is interested in what offer, they will end up on your website (or online store) sooner or later. Therefore, your website (or online store) is a great place to showcase customer reviews to help potential customers make up their minds. If you have a Shopify store installed Judge.me and enable the SMS review requests, Judge.me will include a link to submit a review on your store’s Review Widget in the SMS message.
  • Google reviews. Google allows you to create a short link for customers to write reviews that you can later share with them in your text messages. Having good ratings, comments, even pictures can also bring you higher in search results.   
  • Facebook can also be a good idea if you have a business page and you know that your target audience is active on this social network. Asking to leave a Facebook recommendation can improve your business visibility and earn a few new customers along the way.

Think about your Call-to-Actions

Although it might seem that including a link is enough to get your customers to click on it, that’s not necessarily the case. How you frame your request as a good call-to-action can make a big difference.

You can either ask directly (“Leave us a review!”) or indirectly by mentioning the platform you use for reviews (e. g. “Find us on Yelp!”). Just keep in mind not to force your customers to leave a positive review and avoid being straightforward about 5-star ratings. You don’t know if you’ve met their expectations and such “manipulation” can only drive them away.

Instead, ask your customers about their experience with your brand, how they feel about a specific product or your store overall. This implies that you care about their opinions without making you sound cheeky, and give shoppers more room for their thoughts.

Choose the right timing

No matter how much effort you put into your SMS review requests, sometimes the right timing is what makes it convert. However, timing highly varies from business to business and also differs across products. For instance, sending a review request too early might be the reason why you fail to get it. Sometimes, customers need more time to experience your products and write a more informative review.

In some other cases, immediate review requests are the only option; for example, food delivery services. Asking if a food delivery was smooth after a week may sound irrelevant to a customer, decreasing your chances of getting their feedback.

Sending your SMS review request with Judge.me

Set up your SMS review requests

You can easily send SMS review requests via Judge.me by integrating with two SMS apps: SMSBump or SMS Notifications. The integration process is easy, just copy the API Key in your SMS app, then paste it into your Judge.me integration settings.

After that, you can make further SMS Requests configurations in Review Requests > SMS Requests, such as SMS templates and request schedules (the number of SMS requests to send for each order, or the length of each SMS request, etc.). The schedule of your SMS review requests is the same as your email review requests and can be set up in your Review Requests settings. Customize your message with variables

Customize your message with variables

You can customize your message content by including variables that will change depending on the customers who will receive it. These include:

  • {{ buyer_name }}: name of your buyer
  • {{ buyer_first_name }}: first name of your buyer
  • {{ short_url }}: link to review the product on your shop
  • {{ product_title }}: title of the purchased product
  • {{ shop_name }}: name of your shop

Be mindful of the character limit

The {{ short_url }} needs 35 characters, the “STOP to opt out” message (to be compliant with GDPR) needs 16 characters, and other variables may take up different numbers of characters depending on the real values. So make sure that your SMS message is concise enough to satisfy the whole limit of 160 characters, otherwise, important content may be missed.

*Note: 

You can only use the {{ short_url }} to collect product reviews. If you want to collect shop-level reviews (such as shopping experience, delivery, or customer service) via SMS, you can use the link to your All Reviews Page. However, this is not recommended since the reviews collected via the All Reviews Page link are considered web reviews and may not be verified. The best way to collect verified shop reviews is using the shop reviews block in our custom email templates.

Some good SMS templates for inspirations 

Now that you know how to collect reviews via SMS, let’s try to implement it in practice. Here are 6 SMS templates that you can adapt to your business or simply use for inspiration for your next SMS review request.

Template #1:

Hi {{ buyer_name }}, how do you like your new {{ product_title }}? Help others out by sharing your experience here: {{ short_url }}

Template #2:

Hi {{ buyer_name }}! You’ve recently purchased a {{ product_title }} from {{ shop_name }} and we’d love to hear your feedback: {{ short_url }}

Template #3:

Hi {{ buyer_name }}, are you enjoying your new {{ product_title }}? We would be grateful if you could leave a review here: {{ short_url }}

Template #4:

Congratulations on your brand new {{ product_title }}! Is everything as you’ve expected? Let us know here: {{ short_url }}

Template #5:

Thank you for shopping at {{ shop_name }}! If you have a minute to spare, please review your new {{ product_title }}: {{ short_url }}

Template #6:

Hi {{ buyer_name }}! It’s been two weeks since you’ve purchased {{ product_title }}. Please help others decide by rating it here: {{ short_url }}

To recap

By initiating a review, you’re not just asking to do your business a favor – you’re also showing that your customers’ opinions matter. You make them feel valued and take the first step to build stronger connections. Good online reviews are a win-win situation that helps businesses boost their growth while helping shoppers to come up with the right decisions. It may never happen if you don’t ask though – so take the things mentioned above into consideration and get ready to craft your SMS review request!

Special thanks to our friends at Judge.me for their insights on this topic.
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