The Easy Link Method of Getting Reviews and Referrals

The Easy Link Method of Getting Reviews and Referrals

The Easy Link Method is an alternative way to acquire reviews and referrals using the Five Star Review System™ without having to get permission from your customers before sending them a review request email.

We know that some businesses face circumstances that make it difficult to verbally ask every customer to write a review before sending them a review request. The Easy Link method allows you to take full advantage of most* of the Five Star Review System™ features by inserting a link in your own email.

An Excellent Choice for subscribers who:

Already send a follow-up email to their customers after a sale or service.

Have multiple field people or technicians who may not remember to ask for reviews.

Don’t have time to ask for reviews at checkout.

Want to place a link requesting reviews directly on their website or in their emails.

Are simply uncomfortable asking customers to review them. (We know you’re out there and we don’t want that to stop you from getting fabulous reviews from your customers.)

Own a business but do not work on-site and want to closely monitor customer satisfaction and employee performance.

How It Works

The system creates a customized, clickable link that you send from your email. When your customer clicks on the link it will take them directly into the Five Star Review System™ where they can rate their experience and proceed on to where they can write a review or a testimonial. This is a great alternative if you’re already sending a follow-up email to your customers after they make a purchase or use your service.

To access Easy Link, go to System Settings > Easy Link Settings and follow the directions to create your link. Then add that link along with text requesting that your customer write a review and send it from your email. It’s that simple.

When your customer responds to your review request, their response will appear on your dashboard just like it does when you send the review request though the Five Star Review System.

If you have any questions about the Easy Link Method or if you need help setting it up, please give us a call at 808-891-0449 and we’ll be happy to get you up and running.

Our subscribers who use this method have been very happy with it. You will be too.

*  The Easy Link cannot identify customers who did not respond to your review request; therefore it cannot send those customers a review reminder email or your digital coupon/flyer.

I Only Want Google Reviews

I Only Want Google Reviews

Google Or Bust

I’m going to show you five specific things you can do with the Five Star Review System to get ONLY Google reviews. Before I do, please allow me to list some of the reasons why I think this is not a good long term review strategy, but is a great potential short term strategy.

You'll Miss Out On An Important Ranking Factor

Google rewards businesses that have reviews on sites other than Google by ranking their business listings higher in the search results. If you don’t have reviews on other review sites, you won’t benefit from this ranking factor.

People Search A Lot Of Sites

Google isn’t the only site where customers go to find your business. Industry specific review sites are playing a bigger role in searches every day.

You're Putting All Your Eggs In One Basket

Google can change their review policy and remove all of your reviews at any time, leaving you with zero customer reviews or testimonials.

Not Everyone Has A Google Account

Many of your customers do not have and don’t want to create a Google account in order to leave a review for your business. When you don’t give them any other option you’re forcing them to do something they may not want to do.

It's Harder To Write On A Mobile Phone

It’s harder to write anything from a mobile phone. So make sure you send an email and not just a text.

If you’re going to do “Google or Bust” either encourage your customers to write their review from a desktop computer or know exactly how to write a review and set up a Google account from a mobile phone so that you can assist them. It’s critical not to leave them feeling frustrated.

1  Ask Your Customers To Review You On Google

The best place to start if you want more Google reviews is to ask for them. Consider asking your customers if they have or if they would be willing to create a Google account in order to leave you a review. Let them know how important Google reviews are to your business. That will get them moving in the right direction.

2  Change The Initial Review Request Email

Change the text in your initial review request email by providing more direction. Consider changing it to something that reads more like this:

Hi Bob,

Write Your Review on Google Here

Thank you for offering to write a review for us on Google. If you don’t already have a Google account, it will take about 60 seconds to create an account (which is required in order to leave a review). Google will provide easy-to-follow instructions as soon as you click on the Google review link. Thank you very much for making this extra effort.

Write Your Review on Google Here

Your Name

There are few things I want you to notice in this revised text.

  1. The first thing your customer is going to see after the greeting is a link to your Google Review page. This makes it easy for those reading your text on a cell phone to quickly see your review link.
  2. The text is very specific about writing a review on Google. There is no question as to what you want them to do and what they can expect if they do not have a Google account.

You can change the text by going into System Settings > Review Request Settings to the bottom of the page and click Customize Emails

3  Remove Every Review Site Choice Except For Google

Next, turn off every review option except Google. If you’re really set on getting ONLY Google reviews, you’ll want to turn off the testimonial feature as well.

This will force customers to either create a Google account and write a Google review or will make them step away from the computer without leaving a review. This is why we call it the “Google or Bust!” strategy.

You can remove all of the other review sites by going to System Settings > Review Website Settings.

You can turn off the testimonial feature by going to System Settings > Review Request Settings.

4  Send Your Request Via Text and Email

If your customer shows an interest in writing a review for you immediately, send the request directly to their mobile phone using the SMS/text feature.

This is especially effective if they’re on an Android phone. You’re going to have customers who’ll be delighted to write reviews for you while they’re in your office and you may need to make yourself available to help those customers who need assistance navigating their smartphones to write a review. If you don’t know how to write a review from a mobile phone, how can you expect your customers to do it?

Note 1: Owning a smart phone does not make your customer smart. ????

Note 2: It is a million times easier to write a Google review from an Android phone than it is from an iPhone for this reason:

  • You must have a Google account to leave a Google review. All Android users have a Google account. A lot of iPhone users don’t.

Better yet, send your customers a text message AND an email review request at the same time.

It will double the likelihood of your customers writing a review for you. You can learn more about the “Text And Email” review request technique by reading my blog post on Sending Your Review Request via SMS.

5  Reward Your Staff For Getting Google Reviews

It is against the Terms of Service for every review site in the world to compensate a customer for writing a review.

If you want to learn more about this read my post entitled “Consequences of Paying for Reviews.”  foIt is however, perfectly OK to reward your staff for getting reviews from your customers and many businesses are doing just that and getting great results. I’ll leave the reward ideas up to you.

Before You Implement The Google Or Bust Review Strategy…

There ARE some negative consequences to using this strategy. You’ll get more Google reviews, but you’ll get them at the cost of fewer reviews on other sites and some customers will have to work harder to leave one.

Because of that ALWAYS contact your customers who made the extra effort and personally thank them for writing their review.

Make sure, if your customers are writing a review from your office, that they’re not logged in to your wireless Internet. Google looks down on reviews that come from the same IP address and has been known to remove them. If your customers are writing reviews from their mobile phones, this is typically not a problem.

Finally, writing a review on Google from a mobile phone is difficult at best. If Google is their only choice and they’re trying to write a review for you from their mobile phone it can be a very frustrating experience. And even though the Five Star Review System makes this as easy as possible, I strongly suggest that you either:

  • Encourage your mobile customers (especially iPhone users) to review you from a desktop computer where it’s much easier to do.
  • Or learn how to write a Google review on both an iPhone and an Android phone so that you can provide assistance to your customers.

Not doing so will to cause some customers a high level of grief and you’re not going to get many Google reviews from aggravated customers.

Another Reason Google Filters Reviews

Another Reason Google Filters Reviews

Google is now allowing Google Plus users to look at the reviews they’ve written to see which reviews (if any) are being filtered from public view. You cannot see reviews that are being filtered by people who have written reviews for your business, but you can see the reviews that you’ve written for other businesses that are being filtered.

If you think one of your customers wrote a review for you, there is only one way to know for sure. You must ask them to go to their personal Google Plus page and see if Google filtered their review. You cannot see filtered reviews written by your customers, but your customers can quickly see if Google filtered their review.

As it turns out, three of my reviews were filtered. Here’s what I did to make them publicly viewable.

The first example is a review I wrote for Sacred Gardens of Maliko. Google filtered this review because I misspelled the name of the business. I wrote “Sacred Garder” rather than “Sacred Garden”. Once I corrected the spelling, my review became immediately public.

Original – Filtered

Edited – Now Public

The next example was for the owner of a landscaping company. I did multiple things on this review that caused Google to place me in time-out. I not only provided contact information which included a physical address and telephone number, but I also added a link to one of my websites. Once that information was removed, my review became immediately public.

Original – Filtered

Edited – Now Public

The third example required some head scratching. As it turns out, Google does not like to see punctuation that’s not normal … and by normal I mean three dots in a row. Once I changed the punctuation … you guessed it … my review immediately became public.

Original – Filtered

Edited – Now Public

Now you’re probably thinking, “Hey Bob, Google is telling you to visit a link that shows you what’s wrong. Why didn’t you just go there to see what the problem was instead of trying to figure this out on your own?” Well, I’m one step ahead of you.  As it turns out … surprise, surprise … the link was not very helpful. Check out “this link” and see for yourself.

A Little About Bob The Reviewer

  1. I write a lot of reviews — 67 on just Google
  2. I don’t write fake reviews for anyone for any reason – Ever!
  3. I only review businesses where I’ve been a customer and I clearly identify my role in my review. Here’s what Google says about this. “Don’t post reviews on behalf of others or misrepresent your identity or affiliation with the place you are reviewing.”
  4. I don’t write bad reviews because I know how devastating they can be to a business. Don’t hate on me for not hating on others.
  5. I write 5-star reviews to reward the people and companies that provide exceptional service — Period!

I know more about the review process on Google than most people and Google still filters my reviews. So if Google is filtering the reviews of someone who does this everyday, what do you think they’re doing to someone who has never written a review before. Truth is, Google is much better at letting reviews get published publicly now they were back in 2013-2014

Google Review Filter

Lesson #1:  Google does not suffer fools

Can’t Spell

Bad Grammar

Bad Or Excessive Punctuation

Not Respectful

Too Short

Shows Contact Information

Includes Link

Identical Review On Another Website


X@!X*# Profanity

So What Can You Do About Filtered Reviews?

  • You can contact your customer who has written a review for you and ask them to edit their review so that it shows up.
  • You can educate your customers about how Google filters reviews before they write a review for you?
  • You can show appreciation and leave well enough alone?

Personally, unless the reviewer is your very best friend, I would ignore it and move on. Yes, reviews do get filtered, but trying to tell everyone how to write a review is silly.