I’ve been dealing with online reviews for over 10 years. In this post, I am going to cover the 10 best review generation platforms online, that is, if you are not building a custom solution.
First, let me cover a few things.
Online reviews are so important. Consumers look at them, so put in the time.
They can really help your SEO in two ways.
- If you put the review schema snippet on your site it might make review stars an increase credibility and CTRs
- If you generate fresh reviews on your site, your site will rank better. If you generate fresh reviews on another site, that site will rank better.
Why Review Generation Platforms?
Because frankly, reviews sell.
Think about it: if you’re going to eat at a new restaurant, your first step is checking the Yelp reviews. If they’re good, great! If they’re not, it’s likely on to the next spot.
The same goes for your business. Good reviews signal good business. But don’t take my word for it:
- 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business.
- Online reviews have been shown to impact 67.7% of purchasing decisions.
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
- 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
Fellow customer reviews act as a form of social proof. People tend to be heavily influenced by the behavior of others, which means if others have a positive experience with a brand, you’re more likely to trust it and give it a try.
But for businesses, collecting good reviews isn’t a simple as just asking for them. Luckily for them, that’s where customer review platforms come in.
Generally speaking, you send the platform your contact lists, and they automate a review process for you (i.e. sit back and watch the reviews roll in.) This can be done through email, SMS, even video.
Most will offer you real-time monitoring of incoming and existing reviews, allowing you to get a handle on general customer sentiment and respond to any negative reviews.
But without further adieu, let’s get into the reviews.
Review Generation: Shopper Approved
How it Works: Shopper Approved takes the cake when it comes to review generation. Upon sign up, you choose which service works best for you:
- Merchant Reviews – Best for those who have a website and sell products or services online. These are displayed in locations including Google AdWords, Bing and Yahoo ad networks
- Product Reviews – These collect individual product reviews. They are placed in Product Listing Ads and Google Shopping ads
- Local Reviews – These are intended for local, brick and mortar businesses
Shopper Approved lets you collect reviews in a variety of ways: in your shopping cart after a checkout; or, it will send a series of automated survey emails to customers. Additionally, you can use the software to collect reviews during a phone order.
For local merchants, it will create fliers or other merchandise with QR codes or a survey URL which customers can later visit, or send email surveys. To keep up with modern trends, Shopper Approved will even allow customers to record and submit video testimonials.
- According to Shopper Approved, the software collects up to 70x more ratings and reviews than similar services
- It has the largest distribution network – all the key channels like Google, Yahoo, CitySearch, etc., as well as a Google Schema/rich snippet code
- Easy Customer Resolution options – if your business receives a low rating (1 or 2 stars), you will be notified and given the option to set up a private message to resolve any issues. If the customer does not respond to your message, Shopper Approved will include a message under the review stating that you attempted to resolve the issue
- Customizable surveys and the ability to include video testimonials
- Very competitive pricing
- Does not offer review incentives
- No long-term contracts
Free 30-day trial, followed by:
- Merchant and Product Review Monthly Pricing:
- $199/month – up to 2,000 ratings and reviews
- $399/month – up to 5,000 ratings and reviews
- $599/month – up to 10,000 ratings and reviews
- Local Review Monthly Pricing:
- Local: $99/month
- Local Plus: $199/month
Review Generation: BirdEye
How it Works: BirdEye labels itself as a comprehensive customer review platform, allowing customers to monitor their online presence, monitor and respond to all feedback in real time across multiple platforms. BirdEye’s algorithms aggregate big data from review sites and social channels in one dashboard for you to monitor and respond to. Using it, you can design customizable surveys to send to customers (fully automated by BirdEye). BirdEye integrates with your existing CRM to access existing customers. For new customers, BirdEye will automatically send a review request to your client’s cell phone, scoring new reviews for your business directly on Google and Facebook.
- Monitor reviews from all social platforms in one dashboard
- Competitor monitoring – keep an eye on your competitor’s incoming customer reviews
- Reveals the root causes of negative sentiment
- Tracks and monitors social media interactions
- Easily send promotional emails to previous customers
- Autoshare reviews to your website, Facebook, Twitter, and Google to index
- Generate and download ROI reports
After a free trial, contact BridEye for information on pricing.
Review Generation: Grade.Us
How it Works: Grade.Us provides what it calls a “review funnel,” which automates the process of asking, reminding, and guiding customers through the review process. You can choose how you want your review options to appear:
- Big Buttons – a landing page that ask for feedback on Google, Facebook, Yelp or CitySearch
- Thumbs – a landing page that asks customers to select a thumbs up (good experience) or thumbs down (bad experience)
- Stars – a landing page where customers can select a 1-5 star experience
- Faces – landing page with emojis representing good, average, and bad experiences
- Survey format – landing page with a star rating, as well as a box for additional comments and contact information
Users can also integrate Grade.Us with social media and MailChimp. Grade.Us sets itself apart by offering fully guided review experiences for customers.
- Guide customers with conversion triggers
- Embed review collection widgets to websites, social pages, etc.
- Segment negative vs. positive reviews,
- Customize email and text message campaigns
- Respond directly to Facebook and Google reviews
- Autoshare positive reviews to social media profiles
Free trial, followed by:
- Professional Plan – $90/month
- Agency Plan – $200/month
- Partner/Enterprise Plan – $1500/month
Review Generation: Podium
How it Works: Podium uses its custom SmartSelect technology to target specific review sites that are most important to a given business, without requiring to log in or download the review app. Through Podium, users can connect with customers via text, email or Facebook Messenger via automated review requests with links included. Once contacted, customers simply click the link – no sign required – to go the review site of choice and leave their feedback. The Podium dashboard lets users track all reviews from over 40 review sites in one place.
- Add multiple representatives to send links to their clients
- Leader Board to record the reviews of each representative and create friendly competition
- Monitor and respond to reviews in real time
- Test operational changes
- Manage all Google My Business and Facebook messages
After a demo, contact Podium to request custom pricing information.
Review Generation: Broadly Reviews
How it Works: Broadly works specifically with local businesses to curate feedback from sites like Google, Facebook, NextDoor and TripAdvisor. Simply submit your client contact information to Broadly, and they will send an automated email campaign to collect reviews.
In addition to review generation, Broadly also helps businesses build their online presence by creating or updating existing web pages.
- Personal representatives assigned to each project
- 24-hour customer support
- Local-specific review generations
- Immediately identify and respond to negative reviews
Contact Broadly for a free demo and information on plans and pricing.
Review Generation: Annex Cloud
How it Works: Annex Cloud works similarly to the platforms above, and is geared more towards online product sales. Their automation process is powered primarily by email. Annex Cloud’s step-by-step process like this:
- First, they send a solicitation email after a customer makes a purchase to prompt them to leave a review
- Then, customers can leave a review from their inbox or click through to a review form
- Once a review is submitted, you will have the opportunity to screen and moderate
- Once approved, the review will be posted to product pages, category pages and search results, as well as syndicated to a variety of sites
- Advanced product performance reporting and sentiment analysis
- A/B testing – test various components of your survey, including phrasing, questions, type of form, etc.
- Manually moderate all incoming reviews
- Enables reviews from your Facebook Business Page to be shared across channels
- Reviews can be incorporated into your Category pages so customers and prospects can easily find top rated products
- It’s Smart Engagement Algorithm allows you to automatically optimize the timeframe in which you solicit a review from customers
- Resolve customer complaints quickly with alerts for rapid decreases in overall rating or 1-2 star ratings
Contact Annex Cloud for pricing information.
Review Generation: Reputation Loop
How it Works: Reputation Loop is another locally-aimed review generation platform that is powered by one simple survey question. You will need to input your customer information (phone or email), and Reputation Loop will send them a single question survey by SMS or email. The message sent will include a link that when clicked on, redirects the customer to a page that asks if they would recommend your service. If they enter yes, they get to choose where they would like to leave the review online (Google, Facebook, etc.) All reviews are posted to your dashboard, where you will receive an online rating score.
- Simplified survey makes it easy for customers to respond
- Text messages see a 98% open rate
- Customers are directed to a site of their choice
- Real-time SMS and email alerts when new reviews are received
- Those who choose not to recommend
- Instant Reputation Feedback which alerts you to any negative reviews left online, regardless if it was left via Reputation Loop
- Monitor trends and performance by narrowing down to specific employees or departments
Free demo, with three plans available:
- Single Business
- Marketing Agencies
Plans start $200/month; contact Reputation Loop for more pricing information.
Review Generation: Yotpo
How it Works: Yotpo is designed to ecommerce brands collect customer reviews and photos, and other types of user-generated content. It uses Mail After Purchase (MAP) to send a completely customizable survey to your customers via email. Customers can submit their survey right from their inbox, without having to click through to a landing page.
- Easy submission process (through inbox) sees 9x more customer reviews submitted
- Upsells included in every email request, in the form of a “you might also like these items” box below the survey
- Customers are encouraged to submit photos of the product
- Yotpo’s algorithm determines which products to request reviews of and when
- Yotpo’s emails see a 40-50% email open rate and a 6-11% review response rate
- Customers are sent review reminders
Demos available, with four plans available:
- Free forever
- Visual Marketing
Plans start at $49/month (with the exception of Free forever); contact Yotpo for more pricing details.
Review Generation: ReviewInc
How it Works: ReviewInc is a review monitoring and generation software that lets you track reviews over 70+ review sites. It also helps collect reviews through automated customer surveys, which come with optional coupon and social media integrations to encourage sharing and referrals. Surveys can be sent via SMS or email.
- Target by demographics, including local, regional, national, and industry filters
- Identifies your Business Drivers (location, best pricing, best promotions, etc.) to help focus your messaging
- Custom email/text scheduling
- Can set up multiple workflow methods, from a quick rating to in-depth surveys
- Insert offers into your survey to reward customers for feedback
- Competitive pricing
Free demo available, with three pricing plans:
- Monitoring – $39/month
- Premium – $149/month
- Enterprise – contact ReviewInc
Review Generation: Trustpilot
How it Works: Trustpilot is aimed at ecommerce sites and follows the same process as most other review generation software: Invite customers to review, provide a survey, and publish positive reviews online. You can choose to send requests to past customers to kickstart the process, automatically set up surveys to be delivered every time a purchase is made, and embed review forms directly on your site.
- Automatic review reminders
- Complete collection analytics – track collection rates and source
- Integrates with Google Seller Ratings and Shopping Ads
- Showcase high review score with a TrustBox, which have been proven to increase basket size, reduce cart abandonment, and boost conversion rates up to 58%.
- Enable Google rich snippets
- Free starter package
- Lite – from $299/month
- Pro – from $549/month
- Enterprise – contact Trustpilot for a quote
Wrapping Up Review Generation Platforms
The once daunting experience of soliciting great reviews has become much easier, thanks to the introduction of review generation software.
Whether you’re a brick and mortar business or an online-only e-commerce site, there’s a review platform for you.
No matter which of the above software you choose, rest assured you’ll be on your way to collecting many more five star reviews.