How to get your first 10 website reviews

When you’re collecting website reviews, 10 is the magic number.

Why?

Because once you have 10 reviews, 85% of your visitors will trust your business, according to research by BrightLocal.

(Source)

85% is your Goldilocks zone. Just right.

If you dip below 7 reviews, only 65% of customers say they’ll trust you. If you make the effort to go up to 20 reviews, you’ll get up to 93% of customers trusting you.

(Getting more reviews is always better, but if you’re just starting to collect, 85% is a great.)

Here’s how to collect your first 10 reviews

Step 1: Use a third-party review platform

A third-party review platform is one where reviews are displayed, collected and managed by someone other than the website owner.

They’re important because the third-party acts as a middleman, resolving disputes and ensuring that the posted reviews come from real customers, and their statements are true.

Step 2: Ask your recent customers

You know how in movies when someone is nervously contemplating asking someone out? And how their friends always say, “Just ask!”?

That’s sort of the position a site owner with no reviews is in.

And like those Hollywood movies, the best thing for you to do is just ask. Simply send an email to customers who have made a purchase recently and ask them to review your product or service. (Ideally you want to ask customers who’ve bought in the last month so their positive experiences are fresh in their minds.)

Here’s an example of what to send:

Subject: Quick favor

Dear Janice,

I’m Jane Doe, owner of Jane’s Online Plant Emporium. Thank you for being a customer and I hope you’re enjoying your example plant that you bought last month!

I was hoping you’d be willing to take a second to share your positive experience with Jane’s Online Plant Emporium in the form of a review.

Good reviews help us grow our business and get more plants in the hands of people like you. Let me know if you’re interested!

Thank you again,

Jane

If they agree, simply direct them to your review platform and watch the reviews start coming in!

Step 3: Offer some rewards

If you’re striking out when you just ask for a review, the next best thing is to sweeten the pot a bit.

Offer the people you’re emailing a small gift card to a popular store like Starbucks in exchange for leaving a review. You’ll be surprised what people will do for a free coffee!

Handing out $5 gift cards may seem like a costly way to get reviews, but if you’re shooting for 10 reviews so 85% of customers will trust you, isn’t $50 a small price to pay?

But how do customers actually get the rewards?

Many third-party review platforms allow you to integrate rewards into your reviews. After you upload some money to the review platform, you can offer that money in the form of rewards, and the platform takes care of the logistics!

Wrapping up

These reviews are just the beginning, of course. Ideally, you’ll want to continuously be collecting reviews for your site, and eventually branch out into reviews of the specific products you’re selling as well.

But don’t get ahead of yourself! Start with the first 10 and work your way up.