Clever tactics for review request subject lines

If your auto service store, pet services business or home services company has positive online reviews, you can provide social proof of the value your business offers with user-generated content. Online reviews help you:

  • Build trust with new customers
  • Retain more customers
  • Increase sales
  • Boost profits

So how can you get positive reviews and testimonials from existing customers?

Simple – ask them!

This blog post will show you some clever tactics to craft compelling review request subject lines that garner great results for your small business and e-commerce pages.

Free Guide & Checklist: How To Respond To Reviews


What makes a good subject line for review request emails?

Why is a review request email subject line so important?

The average office employee receives 120 emails every day, so you’re in a constant “fight for the inbox.” People may not even open your review request email – much less write a review for you!

That’s why it’s essential to make an excellent first impression on your busy audience. And this starts with a compelling subject line that encourages them to open your message and action it in your favor.

What makes a subject line effective?

Many things determine whether your subject line is compelling and persuasive or unconvincing and easy to ignore. Here’s the lowdown – with examples!

i. Length

On desktops, most email inboxes reveal only 60 characters of an email’s subject line. For mobile devices, it’s just 25 – 30 characters. So, keep your subject lines short (6 – 8 words) and get right to the point.

ii. Personalization

People are more likely to open your message and respond if you personalize the subject lines with their name.

iii. Value

Create subject lines that indicate the value the reader will get in return for writing a review for your company.

  • A discount on their next purchase?
  • A free gift?
  • Loyalty points?
  • Cashback?
  • An automatic sweepstakes entry?

A clear incentive in the email subject line can garner higher open rates, and you will be more likely to get that precious review.

iv. Timing

The best time to ask a customer for a review is immediately after completing a sale. If their recent purchase experience was good, you can leverage the existing positive vibes.

Some tips:

  • Don’t send the request before they have received their item
  • Send the request 1-2 days after they receive it
  • Refer to their excitement, joy, or pleasure of their new purchase in your email body

v. Urgency and Tone

Add a sense of urgency to your subject line with a polite request to prioritize action. Be clear and add a deadline. Most people like knowing upfront if they need to read a message now and when the response is expected.

Also, mind your tone. It’s okay to be persuasive, assertive, and even humorous. But it’s not okay to sound entitled or bossy. And it’s definitely not okay to use ALL CAPS or too many exclamation points to get their attention.

vi. Specific and Focused

The best subject lines are specific and don’t meander into unrelated topics. This way, your recipients will know what you need – and what they will get – in a quick glance. It also makes it easier for them to act on your request and leave you a positive review.

What kind of review request subject lines inspire action?

You have plenty of real estate in the email body to write text encouraging action. But this is not the case with subject lines (50 – 60 characters, remember?). Here’s how to ask for reviews by effectively using this limited space:

What to include in a subject line

To get more email opens and customer reviews, here are some aspects to include in your subject lines:

  • Customer name
  • A deadline
  • An attractive incentive
  • Curiosity-inducing text
  • References to a trending topic

Some other ways to inspire recipients to leave you a product review:

  • Use personal pronouns like “you,” “we,” and “us”
  • Use simple action verbs like “complete”
  • Frame the subject line as a question:
  • What do you think we should change about [X product]?
  • What can we do better?
  • Should we change [Y offering]?
  • Flatter recipients by increasing their status:
  • You’re part of our elite group …
  • Paul, you’re one of our 10%!
  • As our Top 5 customers, Brianna, can you…?

What not to include in a subject line

While it’s important to know what to say in a subject line, it’s equally important what not to say! Here are some ideas of what not to include in your subject lines:

  • The wrong recipient’s name
  • Outdated offers or false promises
  • Inappropriate language (unless your brand’s messaging calls for it)
  • Threatening or condescending words
  • Too many exclamation marks
  • Spam words like “$$$,” “cheap,” “deal”

What should the rest of your email say?

Here are some ideas to create successful email campaigns for requesting online reviews.

Start with a cheery or polite greeting that addresses the recipient by name. Personalized emails make people feel as if you’re talking specifically to them. Be sure to maintain the tone of your subject line throughout your email marketing message, whether it’s polite, assertive, or humorous. 

Encourage honesty and leave the door open for both positive and negative customer feedback. Keep the text short and include a clear call to action, so the recipient knows precisely:

  • What to do
  • How to do it
  • What they will get in return

Keep reading for additional tips for getting more reviews.

Asking for reviews: best practices

Here are some best practices to get more online reviews from your email review requests.

Avoid the ‘no-reply’ sender name. An email coming from sandra@xyzcompany is more likely to get a positive response than an email from no-reply@xyzcompany.

Segment your customer list. It’s best to send review requests to customers who shopped with you recently. Their customer experience will be fresh in their minds, and they will be more open to leaving you a positive review.

Use concise language and action-oriented verbs. Don’t waste readers’ time. Get to the point and entice them to take action.

Make people feel special. Use phrases that show recipients why you value their opinion.

Make it easy. Include a link to the review page. Don’t make readers jump through hoops – because they won’t!

Ask for reviews on different social media platforms. Be sure to leverage all the review platforms you have profiles on, including Google, Facebook, and Yelp.

Let Broadly handle your business’ reputation management

You have built a reputation for your business with lots of hard work. But you can just as quickly lose this reputation – and with it, your customers and revenues!

Broadly helps you manage and enhance your business reputation. Get more online reviews to amplify your reputation, drive low-cost leads and attract more customers with our reputation management software.

Want to see how Broadly and its automation tools can help your business stand out from the crowd?

Watch your online reputation transform with Broadly