How Online Reviews Can Help Generate Leads

Reviews, reviews, and more reviews. Everywhere you look online you’re sure to come across these. And that’s especially true when searching for a service-based business or professional. 

From a consumer standpoint, online reviews provide the information needed to make a more informed and confident buying decision. 

On the flip side, businesses benefit from the way that online reviews generate leads and engage potential customers. 

Before we dive into the finer details of using online reviews to generate leads, let’s review some statistics from BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey 2020.

  • 93% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year, with 34% searching every day.
  • 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020 – up from 81% in 2019.
  • Only 48% of consumers would consider using a business with fewer than 4 stars.

Now, what do you think? Do you see why it’s so important to spend time, money, and resources generating positive online reviews?

In simple terms, positive online reviews result in more leads. 

The Impact of Reviews on Lead Generation

It doesn’t matter what types of leads you’re trying to generate, nothing changes the fact that online reviews will play a major part.

Negative reviews can and will happen. Your goal is to keep these to a minimum, while always responding to the customer to offer to make things right. 

As for positive reviews, here are a few of the many ways they can help generate leads:

  • Greater lead flow: In addition to other methods of generating leads — such as buying online and PPC advertising — positive reviews can play a big part in keeping you busy. Greater lead flow means a greater chance of making more sales.
  • Higher conversion rate: Prospects search for and read online reviews because they want to know what current and past customers have to say about your products and/or services. When these prospects read one positive review after the next, they have the confidence they need to choose your business as their provider. 
  • Suppress negative reviews: Negative reviews are likely to make their way online. This holds true even if you do everything in your power to avoid it. It’s frustrating but remember this. A large number of positive reviews will suppress an occasional negative review.

Online reviews can be one of the most impactful ways that your business will generate leads. 

What is Your Online Customer Review Strategy?

Just because you understand the benefits of online reviews doesn’t mean they’ll magically appear online. Sure, some customers are likely to leave a review without prompting, but that’s not always the case.

This is where a sound online customer review strategy comes into play. 

Finalizing an online customer review strategy takes time. It’s not something you’ll figure out in a day. 

If you’re starting from scratch, here are some strategies you can use to your advantage:

  • Make it easy for customers to leave reviews: For example, create a Google My Business listing and Yelp account. Along with this, you could allow customers to leave reviews on your lead generation website. Don’t pin yourself down to one platform. 
  • Don’t forget to ask: You shouldn’t tell a customer what to say in their review, but it’s okay to ask them to share their thoughts. For instance, after you close a deal with a customer, send them an email with a link to leave a review on your Google My Business listing. A nudge in the right direction may be all it takes. 
  • Respond to every review, good and bad: Yes, it takes time, but it’s all part of a comprehensive online customer review strategy. Positive reviews are easier to respond to since a simple “thank you” is usually good enough. It takes more thought to respond to negative reviews, as you want to show that you provide a high-quality customer service experience.

You can use as few or as many strategies as you want. The only thing that matters is that a good portion of your customers leaves a review after conducting business with you

How to Promote Positive Reviews

It’s one thing to receive positive reviews online, but another thing entirely to use them to generate leads.

The biggest mistake you can make is assuming that simply having positive reviews is enough to drive business. While this holds true sometimes — such as if someone is actively searching for your services — it’s best to take a proactive approach.

Some of the best ways to promote positive reviews include:

  • Publish them on your website and/or blog: This is often the best way to amplify the power of positive online reviews. For instance, you could publish a weekly blog post that shares your most recent reviews. 
  • Share them in your newsletter: Do you have a mailing list? If so, spice up your next email by dropping in a few positive reviews. This gives your audience something to hold onto. 
  • Use them on marketing material: Do you send postcards to prospects? Do you share brochures on your services? One or two positive reviews make your marketing material much more attractive. 
  • Reference them the first time you contact a lead: At this point, you’re already speaking with a lead, but you don’t want them to get away. Sharing a positive review is one of the best ways to give them peace of mind.

Final Thoughts

With each passing year, online reviews generate leads and become more important to service-based businesses. 

With a strong online reputation — which includes a solid number of positive reviews — you’ll find it easier to keep your lead pipeline full.

Now that you know online reviews can generate leads for your business, there’s only one thing left to do: implement a strategy, tweak it as necessary, and reap the fruits of your labor! 

When you’re ready to purchase new leads and satisfy a new batch of customers, contact Aged Lead Store for quality and affordable leads.

About Chris Bibey

Chris Bibey is a freelance writer with 15+ years of experience in the insurance and finance industries. Clients include Sales Hacker, Outreach, Discover, PayChex, and Moran Insurance. He has also worked as Head of Sales for Verma Media.