If you’re a business owner like me, then you probably have a love/hate relationship with Yelp. Let’s be honest, a 5-star Yelp review can do wonders for your business, especially for new client attraction. The downside, unfortunately, is that there are a few crazy people out there that love to post negative feedback about your business or their experience at your business that’s just simply not true. It’s like these people make it their full time job to go around and post negative remarks on business’s profiles on Yelp. We’ll be the first to admit that we’re not perfect. However, when you read posts from people that say, “I can’t believe management allows stylists to eat pizza in front of clients on the salon floor!” you have to scratch your head and wonder what is wrong with these people? For the record, I can safely say with confidence, stylists eating pizza on the salon floor in front of clients has never occurred in our salons. I’m sure you have similar stories around your experiences with Yelp.
We use Demandforce, a client relationship marketing application, in our business to help us manage our communication with clients. Demandforce is pretty popular now and is widely used in our industry. If you use Demandforce, have you ever thought to yourself, “Man, if we got as many 5-star reviews on Yelp as we do on Demandforce, life would be great!”? Well, guess what. You can!
One day, when I used to build our email marketing campaigns, I was poking around in Demandforce and stumbled across an email template designed to encourage clients to review us on Yelp. I literally stumbled upon it. When I opened up the template, a barrage of light bulbs went off in my head. If you’re reading this and are familiar with Demandforce, then you know you can target specific clients using a variety of criteria for your email campaigns. One criteria is the number of stars a client has left on a Demandforce review. That little gem of a feature is all you need for what I’m about to share with you right now.
Below is a list of steps to create a recurring newsletter campaign (automatically sent every 7 days) inviting clients who gave you a 5-star Demandforce review to go on Yelp and fill out a review.
When this is running in the background using Demandforce, combined with all of the other things it does daily, it makes the monthly subscription fee worth it. Depending on how much volume you do, you can estimate that on average, you’ll end up receiving one to three 5-star Yelp reviews a week, guaranteed. One thing’s for sure. Your 5-star reviews will easily crowd out your non 5-star reviews in no time.
Step 1 – Log into Demandforce and click on Campaigns, and then scroll down and click the button in the left column titled ‘Create Newsletter’.
Step 2 – By default, the ‘Create Custom Newsletter’ will be selected. Click the ‘Next’ button.
Step 3 – Customize your message. Here’s where you’ll create your message to your clients. This is what we have in ours. Feel to use it if you wish or you can customize it to your own liking.
It’s important that you use the logo ‘Help With Yelp’ or something that has the Yelp logo in it to really drive home the purpose of your email. You can download the Yelp image above here: Help With Yelp Image Just click on the link, right click the image and then click on the ‘Save Image As’ to your desktop or whatever folder you wish.
You’ll also want to include a ‘Review Us On Yelp’ Custom Button that makes it easy for your clients to find your Yelp page so they can write a review. To do this, position the cursor in the body of the email where you want to insert your button. Then, click on the dropdown list menu titled ‘Custom Tags’. Scroll all the way to the bottom and choose ‘Add a custom button’. In the button name field, write “Review Us On Yelp”. Then, in a separate browser window, browse to your Yelp page. Copy the URL to your Yelp page (select the entire address and then right click and choose copy) and then go back to the Demandforce browser window and paste it into the box with the “test link” next to it (click in the box and then right-click and choose paste).
Step 4 – Select your recipients. This is where the magic happens. You want to make sure that you only target clients who have given you a 5-star rating on Demandforce. This ensures that your raving fans are the only ones that will receive your invitation. Lord knows, you certainly don’t want to escort your 1-star reviewers to Yelp’s doorstep! I’ve included a screenshot to show you how we have our criteria set up.
Step 5 – Schedule delivery. Here’s where you’ll set up your delivery schedule. Again, this is another magical feature of Demandforce. We have our delivery schedule set to generate a recipient list every 7 days and with no end date. To avoid re-sending the campaign to clients who have already received it, we send them the campaign at most, only once a year.
Here’s a screenshot of how to do this in your settings:
By scheduling the campaign with no end date, you can literally “set it and forget it”. Build it once my friends, and let Demandforce do the work for you, over and over and over again.
Good luck and let me know what kind of results you get.
If you found this blog post helpful, would you kindly share it with other salon owners and managers who might find it useful too?