Whether you are a startup, you own an established software, or a SaaS company, your online presence on software review websites is important. One of the characteristics of SaaS is the abundance of features that need to be understood, offering your current and potential customers information about your products, a chance to share feedback, and get software advice, can be the determining factor for getting a new customer and keeping an existing one.
This checklist is a step-by-step guide for startups and companies with software as a service on how to start and manage product presence on review websites (also called review portals, platforms, or just the generic word ‘sites’). Work through this checklist and establish a well-managed presence on major software review websites.
Potential customers trust the opinions of existing users for their experience. Nothing tops honest user reviews as most consumers (80%) read online reviews before they purchase a product or service. Use review websites to your advantage, have them collect and organize insight into your product and make it accessible.
Authentic expressions of the user experience are social proof. As such, genuine reviews on software and SaaS go a long way.
There are plenty of software review sites to search from. Some focus on mobile apps, while others cover a wider range of products. The first step is to choose one or more and sign up.
Enter in your search engine the type of software you have and add reviews, e.g. ‘help desk software + reviews’ or ‘chat + reviews’.
The ones that come up on the first page (for example, Capterra, GetApp, etc.) will be a great choice to start. Remember that the selection changes with your query search.
Follow the instructions on your selected website and make a couple of decisions as you go along. First, choose if you register via LinkedIn, Google, or your email.
Make sure you sign up as a vendor
In the next step, choose the type of account you want.
Review websites usually offer free and paid accounts, and some offer PPC or yearly subscriptions. Brainstorm your budget options at this stage and make the decision based on that.
TIP: At the beginning of your review website journey, you may want to pick a free account. Once your profile is set, and you get to know the review website better, you can also go for a paid option. Either way, it is good to know that you have options to promote your product.
List of most popular software review sites:
Most review websites offer a lot of categories where your software may fit in. Some of them will let you pick any number of categories. Yet, some are more strict, allowing you to select only the main category and a few additional ones.
You may be tempted to choose as many categories as you can. However, this might not be the best strategy as it might confuse your customers about the intended use of your product.
Choose the category that best describes your product.
The review website profile is where your existing and potential customers will see all the information about your product. Think of it as a social media profile that offers an opportunity to describe the functionalities of your service.
The fill-in process is self-explanatory. It involves inputting info to boxes, yet it’s worth investing the energy to do it well.
Be creative and use your copywriting skills and your extensive knowledge of your product and its features. Bear in mind the customers’ perspective and highlight the best features of your service.
Remember that you can edit the profile later and extend or modify it. Regular updates are part of maintenance and are highly desirable.
Some advanced review websites offer the option to add multiple languages. If your startup or company operates internationally, profile translations may positively affect your conversion rate.
Make sure your translations are properly done and verified by language experts and ideally someone with local knowledge, as linguistic nuances may be particular. A sloppy translation may appear unprofessional or result in unwelcome amusing misunderstandings.
Language selections vary with review websites, as you can see here.
Many software review websites offer various CTA buttons that send your potential customers directly to your pages. It cuts out the middle step, and the route is clear from the review to your website. Therefore it makes sense to pay strategic attention to call-to-action buttons.
Examples of such CTAs are Trial signup buttons, Free account buttons, Product Demos, or Pricing page redirects.
Make sure they are placed and linked correctly so your customers easily find what they are looking for.
As most marketers, you want to know as much about your traffic sources as possible. The more you know about the sources, the better your marketing decisions.
Most advanced review websites offer you an option to add your UTM tags so you can track review website performance. This is especially important if you are running a PPC campaign.
Explore your profile for these options, add your UTMs and test them out.
Once you are happy with your profile, it’s time to start collecting all those, hopefully, positive reviews.
There are many ways to do it. The best one is to email your current customers and politely ask them to leave a review on a review website of their choice. Actual users have already worked with your product, so they know what they like and what they don’t, so they can easily write a genuine review. Honest reviews are just the social proof potential customers seek out.
Some software review websites offer a service where they will collect online reviews for you. Your customers will get a small compensation for their time writing a review in the form of various vouchers or other incentives. Be careful with sharing your customers’ data, such as email addresses, with other parties. Some might not be happy about it. Try to get them organically.
It is essential to keep your profile active and updated but do not expect a rapid review inpour. Bear in mind that it will take some time for your ratings and online reviews to build up, so be patient.
Update it regularly. Add information about new features and or changes to your software or saas.
Assign a person or a group from your marketing team to be responsible for the review website profile. Or, if you are a startup and you do not yet have the resources for it, set up a schedule for regular profile updates.
Some advanced review websites will offer you the option of assigning your account manager who will help you maintain your profile and provide you with helpful information. Keep in touch with them, so you don’t miss any important updates or changes.
There are three main ingredients to effectively utilizing the potential of your review website presence. One is the profile itself, secondly, the value of the online reviews themselves, and the third is your replies to them.
You will receive emails at the address you used for signing up every time a new review of your product is published. So try to respond as soon as possible. If you have a ticketing system installed, you can be sure that you will not accidentally overlook a review, moreover, you get the right person to respond.
Give informed and personalized replies to reviews. Remember the critical importance and benefits genuine reviews have in store for you.
Reply to positive reviews also. Remember that the customer took their valuable time to share their experience. Acknowledge it. Plus, getting positive reviews feels good and it motivates you and your team.
A negative review is not necessarily a bad thing. It provides valuable feedback on what to improve on your product and gives you a chance to show your genuine care and professionalism. Especially in the case of a negative review, your reply is more important than the actual review. It shows that you are willing and able to address the issue immediately. It signals your potential customers that you take their feedback seriously.
Check out the examples below.
Use Google to search for review websites that feature similar products to yours. The ones that come up first are definitely worth a try.
This depends on the competition in your category. Do your research and reach out to your account manager to get as much information as you can before you start.
Best review websites will provide you with the option to add your own tracking codes or UTMs to CTAs or other links on your profile.
Ask your customers to review you on your company profile or use service provided by the review portal.
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