In this tutorial:
- My client’s burning problem
- My guide to stripping distracting elements from an email
- My exact email text that landed 10 new, detailed Houzz reviews for my client
One of my clients, an established remodeling company, emailed me about their Houzz frustrations. Up to this point, they had hired me to build two new websites, a full marketing collateral suite, multiple tradeshow promo packages, PLUS manage their Facebook and Google+ pages AND represent their company at public-facing events. Whew!
Needless to say, I was in pretty deep with this brand (still am!) but they hadn’t been ready to dive into Houzz until this very moment. (I like to think my constant nagging helped.) I was excited to address their biggest frustration to date:
“How can we get more reviews on Houzz?”
If you knew this company, you’d be surprised that they didn’t have many reviews on Houzz. They, in fact, had one. Uno. And it was kind of old. Pretty embarrassing, right? How could this highly profitable, very well-known remodeling company have such little social proof on Houzz?
A few reasons, and I find these to be true for most remodeling / interior design / window covering pros who deal with higher-end clients:
- Homeowners are private. If it’s a miracle they even let you into their homes without enforcing a TSA-like security check, you can bet your best drill they won’t be loudly singing your praises at the end of a great project. It’s not that they don’t like you; they just keep to themselves.
- Review requests are cliché. Most of the time, we ask for them via social media. These requests are buried quickly, and honestly, we are asking way too much of most people. Logging into Houzz and writing a review IS a lot of work, and we need to respect that.
- Sending a mass request for reviews is an impersonal way to ask for a personal favor. Unless you offer them an incentive, past clients won’t be likely to leave you a review.
"But I Already Have Dozens of Houzz Reviews!"
That is fabulous, but you need to continue growing your social proof if you want to be remembered. The internet never sleeps.
Time to Work the Mailing List
I went to my client’s MailChimp account and looked at their mailing list. I was able to sort the contacts by their rating (contacts who consistently opened / clicked-thru every email newsletter were awarded a 5 star rating by MailChimp).
In this particular mailing list, I noticed around 90 people who had this 5 star rating. I copied them to a brand new list, the “VIP List.”
Then, I took it all off. I removed all graphics and photos from the email template. No logos, no social icons—nothing. By the time I was done, it looked like a personal email.
Here is the exact email copy I used to land 10 new, lengthy Houzz reviews:
Hey [first name, if you have it],
Hope you're having a great day so far. Just wanted to congratulate you on making it to our VIP list.
Not everyone is getting this message because, honestly, I want to be a little exclusive with you. You mean a lot to [owners’ names, preferably yours]. We know you read our monthly emails, follow us on social media, and trust us with your home projects. That's why I'm about to ask you for a huge favor.
Would you write a review of us on Houzz? Reviews are powerful--especially yours. People look to you for guidance. They ask you for advice.
And now, I'm asking you to lend a hand in helping my business gain more social influence by putting your name next to ours. I know. It's a big deal. I wouldn't ask this of just anyone.
If you'd like to take a minute to write a review of us on Houzz, click here [link to your Houzz profile]. It doesn't have to be the next great American novel. Keep it short and sweet. I know your time is limited.
Thank you so much,
[Houzz link again]
A week later, my client had 10 shiny, new Houzz reviews.
- Less than 10% of my “VIP 5 star” mailing list responded to this request, and that’s normal. Keep your expectations realistic, and you’ll be less frustrated. Simply be thankful for the readers who spent 15 minutes to do this huge favor for you.
- I didn’t offer them any incentive to leave a review. (You can’t buy love.) Instead, I appealed to their philanthropic nature and put the spotlight on their social influence.
- New reviews take around 3 days to be reviewed by Houzz, so be patient if you experience a “dead zone” at first.
- I thanked everyone publicly on social media a week later.
- I added a Houzz tab to my client’s Facebook page,\ where users could read Houzz reviews and explore Idea Books without ever leaving Facebook.
Bottom line: I made the Houzz review process as easy and personal as I could for my client’s mailing list. I asked the right people for reviews, not everyone.
Feel free to use my exact email copy to get your own Houzz reviews. Let me know how many reviews you get by commenting below.
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Kate Greunke is an online marketer who has to spell her last name and explain the pronunciation on a weekly basis.