How to use gifting to get more reviews
Gifting can help us break through to target accounts, level up our ABM, or drive customer retention, expansion, and loyalty. But you can see even better results by building gifting into your review strategy and partnering with a gifting platform that allows you to reward both customers for leaving reviews and your team for requesting them.
In today’s B2B buying process, reviews play a vital role, as I’ve outlined on B2B SaaS Reviews. Gifting or incentives are a standard part of the review collection process. While most rely on gift cards from third-party review sites, there’s a case to be made to complement that with a gifting platform.
Let’s have a look.
Gifting is an integral part of review generation in business software
In B2C, there is a valid concern that gifting leads to fake reviews (i.e. reviews written by people who don’t use the product but want the gift). For example, Trustpilot, a B2C review site, received 46.7 million reviews in 2021, of which 2.7 million were fake reviews, approximately 6% of all submitted reviews. While many fake reviews are detected and removed, many still make it through.
In B2B, this isn’t a concern because the business software review sites all have a review validation process that confirms that the reviewer actually uses the product (typically by requiring them to take a screenshot of them logged into the software). This validation process results in a higher proportion of rejected reviews: for example, G2 rejects 17% of all reviews submitted and TrustRadius rejects 22%. B2B review sites only publish reviews after validation.
It’s important to note that you can offer an incentive to have a review candidate write a review, but the eligibility of that incentive can’t be tied to what they say in the review. Before starting a review campaign on a B2B review site, please read the site’s community guidelines, methodology and other FAQs, which you can find via this software review sites summary.
If you’re still unsure whether to use gifting in reviews, consider offering a charitable donation instead. When Daniel Incandela, CMO of Reachdesk, was asked on the Demand Gen Visionaries Podcast what gifts were working best for Reachdesk clients, charitable donations were top of mind.
Another reason why incentives are common in B2B review generation is that B2B companies generally have fewer review candidates than in B2C because they simply have fewer customers (but who typically spend more). Incentives can even lead to a more representative sample in B2B, according to TrustRadius.
B2B companies need to be more thoughtful and more creative with how they encourage their users to take the time and effort to write a review and need to convert a higher proportion of their user base from non-reviewer to reviewer.
When to ask for customer reviews
Thankfully, when it comes to generating reviews, there are many opportunities to trigger a user review request.
In the Reachdesk image (below) of the customer journey and the various touchpoints that could include direct mails. Each of these post-close moments presents an opportunity to request a review.
For example, consider this email from a vendor that shares a milestone achievement with a user (that they’re one of the top 10 power users of the product this quarter).
This milestone achievement is an excellent opportunity to add a review request! The user has hit a milestone that informs them that they know your product better than most, making them an ideal person to write a review.
The conventional way to request a review is by email with a gift card incentive through the review site. But if you have a solution like Reachdesk, it opens up more possibilities such as:
- Sending an eGift to the review candidate by email using one of Reachdesk’s integrations.
- Sending direct mail to the review candidates with a gift and a message that includes a review request.
- Sending an eGift or a gift by direct mail to a customer after they provided a review as a token of appreciation, increasing the chance that they say yes to your future review requests for other review sites.
- Sending a gift to your CS colleague who successfully collected a review, using Reachdesk for People. By incentivizing your people to ask for reviews, you provide a double-sided reward that rewards the reviewer and the review requester.
- If you were to reward only one side of the reviewer/review requester coin, it would likely be the reviewer because the time and effort to write a review is greater than that of asking for a review. However, asking for a review can take more time and effort than one might think. Customer Success reps typically want to only ask the right customers at the right time in the right way. They also want to know how to ask: what can they offer, how long will it take, why does this matter, etc. If you incentivize your people who make review requests and enable them to delight customers with a gift, you’ll likely see more review requests and, in turn, more reviews.
Get more reviews with direct mail and gifting
One of the main challenges with review generation is the reliance on emails and calls to ask for reviews.
Email is generally effective, but there’s a lot of noise in the inbox, so your review request is getting drowned out for some review candidates.
Calls with your customer success team and clients are also an effective way to ask for reviews. However, it’s hard to scale this process, and reviews often aren’t a top priority for the CS team (even though the customer marketing team or whoever owns review generation may wish it were).
One way to solve this problem is by overcoming digital fatigue, as Leadfeeder did for Sales prospecting, with an offline channel such as direct mail.
People get far fewer Direct mail messages than emails, so it stands out.
Now that people are slowly returning to the office, there’s the added benefit of sending direct mail to an office and having colleagues gather around to see what's in the package. Direct mail may be particularly impactful if you have a team that uses your product, such as a Marketing team with each team member as a user in a Marketing platform like HubSpot.
Regardless of which channel you use for your review requests, you’ll improve your performance if you tie gifting into your existing review collection process.
How to use Reachdesk’s integrations to generate more reviews
Unless you’re a very early-stage company, you probably already have a review collection process.
Consider using Reachdesk’s integrations to add gifting to your review process. Here are some of the ways you could leverage these integrations.
Marketo email review request
When a customer renews or hits a certain milestone in their customer journey, it’s a natural time to ask for a review. These review requests are commonly made by email. If you use Marketo as your email platform, you can add gifting to the process by leveraging the Reachdesk + Marketo integration to deliver a moment that matters while making the review request.
Here’s an example of what that email may look like:
Trigger gifting before or after the review with HubSpot
If you use HubSpot for your email marketing, you can still apply the previous review request example. You can also use a HubSpot workflow to trigger a gift send before or after a review.
For example, the HubSpot workflow enrollment trigger could be “List Membership - (Your List of Reviewers),” then choose 'Trigger Webhook', and grab the webhook generated within your Reachdesk campaign.
It would look similar to this GIF on the Reachdesk + HubSpot integration page:
Trigger gifts as rewards with Influitive
One of the primary use cases of Influtiive’s customer advocacy platform is review generation.
With the Reachdesk + Influitive integration, you can “send a Reachdesk e-gift, marketplace item or bundle when an advocate redeems a reward in Influitive. Simply set up a ‘one time’ webhook in Influitive and paste the Reachdesk campaign code into your Influitive reward. We'll listen out for when someone redeems that reward and send it right away.”
This GIF will give you a sense of what that setup looks like:
As Influitive says on its integrations page, “It’s now easier than ever before to build Reachdesk into your customer advocacy strategy, combining it with Influitive to surprise and delight your advocates, reward them for specific actions/behaviours and drive customer success.”
Many people have relationships with your customers. Beyond your CSMs, there are Community Managers, Customer Marketers, and Support Specialists, to name a few. But don’t forget that the first relationship that person had with someone at your company was probably with one of your sales reps.
In B2B SaaS, while sales reps typically hand over accounts to customer success, they’ll often maintain a relationship with their buyers.
By leveraging the Reachdesk + Outreach or the Reachdesk + Salesloft integration, your reps are enabled to use gifting to help them hit their targets. Review generation almost certainly won’t be one of those targets, so if you’re responsible for review generation, you’ll need to work with sales leadership on getting buy-in to have reps use their time and gifting budget to generate reviews.
While sales reps aren’t regularly called upon the make review requests, if you provide them with a target, a way to hit that target, and an incentive for hitting that target, they’ll likely deliver results.
Here’s what adding a gift in Outreach would look like.
Trigger gifting campaigns based on a Salesforce field change
The Reachdesk + Salesforce integration enables you to “Listen to key triggers during your customer’s lifecycle to send a Reachdesk gift. We can automate a gift send off from any change to a field within the campaign member, lead, contact, or opportunity records.”
You can automatically trigger a gift and a review request based on a Salesforce field change. For example, when an opportunity record changes to a customer renewal, upsell, or cross-sell or a Salesforce field such as an NPS score, time since closed-won (e.g. 90 days), or is a campaign member (in a review request campaign) is updated.
This GIF gives you a sense of how to trigger your gift and review request based on a Salesforce field change.
Tie multiple tools together in one review generation flow with Zapier
Don’t see a Reachdesk integration with the app that you have in mind? Then consider the Reachdesk + Zapier integration. Connecting Reachdesk to Zapier allows you to integrate with over 3,000 apps. For example, you can use Zapier to connect G2 to Reachdesk.
While it won’t be as simple as connecting “G2 - New Review” to “Reachdesk - Send a physical gift” as in the image below, it gives you a sense of how you can tie the two together in an automated process.
To make it work, you may need to add some additional steps to associate the person who wrote the review to your contact database, as in this Zapier example.
You could then leverage either the Reachdesk + HubSpot integration or add Reachdesk to the Zapier workflow, which may look something like this.
Zapier has apps for several review sites: G2, TrustRadius, and Trustpilot, to name a few.
If you’re wondering why you should go through all this effort to generate reviews, look no further than Reachdesk. You’ll know how much it’s leveraged its user reviews on G2 as social proof if you're familiar with the brand.
For Reachdesk, the importance of reviews goes right to the top. Have a look at this LinkedIn post by Reachdesk Co-Founder Alex Olley.
In B2B SaaS, it takes a concerted effort to collect reviews to achieve the position that Reachdesk has on G2. For example, here is just one way that Reachdesk has approached review generation: by running a G2 Gives review campaign.
On B2B SaaS Reviews, you can see how Reachdesk leverages its G2 badges on its website and in LinkedIn sponsored update ads. With the right combination of product, customer success, and review generation, you might feel like Alex one day.
About the author
Joe Kevens is the Founder of B2B SaaS Reviews and is the Director of Demand Generation at PartnerStack, the #1 platform purpose-built for partner management and affiliate marketing in B2B SaaS. Before PartnerStack, he worked for other go-to-market B2B SaaS companies, such as Influitive (Advocate Marketing), LevelJump (Sales Enablement) (acquired by Salesforce) and Eloqua (Marketing Automation) (acquired by Oracle). You can learn more about reviews in B2B SaaS on his blog, b2bsaasreviews.com or connect with him on LinkedIn.