Postcard marketing is a long-standing favorite for generating a steady flow of new patients. Or diners, shoppers, clients – whatever you call your patrons. Every new customer you attract brings you a new opportunity to generate online reviews for your business. In effect, their first “review” is when they convert from a prospect to a paying customer. That’s a testament to your postcard’s success.
Online reviews – positive ones – have become essential for small business success. Your prospects are deliberately checking you out on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google+, Angie’s List and others, looking to see what real patients or clients really think about you. The more positive reviews you have, the greater your reputation and credibility.
Just like you need a steady flow of new customers, you need a steady influx of fresh reviews. If you have a handful of comments from three years ago, that doesn’t say anything useful to today’s prospects. It may make them wonder what’s been going on in the meantime, or if you’re even still in business.
You could just wait for people to posts reviews, but you can also overtly encourage them to do so. You can use postcard marketing to get more reviews, and you can use it even more to promote testimonials that recommend your business.
Include quotes on all your postcard marketing.
You will benefit from the power of suggestion — seeing a review reminds people they could also post one. And you can’t beat the value of independent verification of your company’s wonderfulness.
What types of quotes should you use?
You could use “we love XYZ Yard Care,” but specifics carry more weight, so look for comments like “they called us right back” or “our yard has never looked so beautiful.” Try to match the content of the quote with the marketing message or offer on your postcard. For instance, if you’re a dentist prospecting for new patients, a quote like “finally, we’ve found a dentist that makes our whole family comfortable” will be more impressive than something generic.
Try these postcard marketing ideas to generate online reviews:
- Create a Refer a Friend campaign aimed at existing customers. Referrals are the original form of word of mouth advertising. Ask for a written review at the same time.
- Create a Help Us Get That 5th Star campaign, mailed to existing customers and aimed at a specific review site where you now have 4 stars. Patrons who love your business will be happy to help push you over the top.
- Encourage customers to review you online when you start your seasonal “it’s time to schedule” campaign.
- Offer an extra discount if a customer reviews you, but be careful it doesn’t appear as if you’re “selling” testimonials.
Make sure you’re using other means of encouraging online reviews.
Postcard marketing works well, but it’s not your only promotional tactic. Use every means at your disposal to solicit testimonials and reviews, and make sure you’re using every means to share great reviews, too, because it’s all part of your integrated marketing strategy. For instance, you can:
- Email links to your review sites when you send follow-up emails.
- Post a notice near your cash register or reception desk asking customers to review you after their visit. Include review site icons so people know where to go. Print a request for a review and the links on your receipts, too.
- Share positive comments with your social media followers. And ask them to share their own reviews when they post them.
- Survey customers and ask if you can quote them.
Good reviews start with you.
Whether customers take the time to compose and post a review on their own or because you asked outright, remember that good reviews come from providing excellent customer experiences. “Satisfied” means OK, and patrons who are merely satisfied won’t be motivated to sing your praises.