In my role as VP of Sales at TradeGecko we found that leads that came from Review Platforms had higher conversion rates and shorter sales cycles. Our B2B SaaS customers at Advocately have echoed the exact same experience. This is the first part of a two part series on High Quality Leads that are acquired by your customers promoting your business.
What are Review Platforms?
There are two categories of Review Platforms.
Category 1 – App Stores / Marketplaces of Software Companies
Similarly to the Apple App Store, many software companies have their own App Stores that are comprised of other software products that they integrate with. These App Stores also have categories within which the various software products are ranked, and given star ratings based on the reviews of users. Examples include:
- Quickbooks Apps
- Xero App Marketplace
- Shopify App Store
- Salesforce AppExchange
Category 2 – Software Comparison Websites
Software comparison websites are like TripAdvisor, but for software products. Examples of these include:
- GetApp (owned by Gartner)
- Capterra (owned by Gartner)
- G2 Crowd
Why do leads from these sources have higher conversion rates and shorter sales cycles?
Businesses who are looking at these Review Platforms have identified a problem in their company and are actively searching for a solution to the problem. It is the B2B SaaS equivalent of searching for a plumber in the yellow pages (back when the yellow pages were still relevant). The sink is already overflowing due to the blocked drain, they just need to find someone to pay and fix the problem.
Let’s say a business is looking in the Reporting section of the Quickbooks App Store and you are a Reporting product that integrates with Quickbooks: https://apps.intuit.com/category/reporting?locale=en-US
The business has identified that the existing process it has for reporting is unsatisfactory, and it needs something that will help with reporting and that integrates with Quickbooks. Thus, the business is quite far through the decision–making process. If you can attract this business to click through to your website and become a lead, it is much more likely to close and close fast.
You have a higher chance of meeting these kind of Unique Visitors needs given it is such specific traffic.
How do you make sure this business clicks through from the Review Source to your website?
There are three ways to give yourself the best chance at capturing the potential click throughs, and thus leads, from Review Platforms.
A high ranking in your category
While you don’t need to be number one in your category to generate awesome click throughs from Review Platforms, ranking highly certainly helps. Being too far down is like being on the second page of Google search results. All of the Review Platforms handle the rankings differently. Factors that can affect your ranking include:
- Star rating
- Number of reviews
- Number of installs (for App Stores)
- Paid (for Software Comparison Websites)
- Frequency of reviews – new reviews might be weighted or valued more than old reviews
Feel free to get in touch with me directly to get the specifics of how each Review Source you use manages ranking – firstname.lastname@example.org
Lots of awesome reviews
Lots of awesome reviews with happy customers sharing their experiences is powerful in convincing businesses to choose to click through to your website. While some users will click from the directory page without reading specific reviews, other users do go through and read individual reviews before deciding which products’ websites to visit.
- 67% of consumers said they read up to 6 reviews (vs. 77% in 2013)
- 85% of consumers said they read up to 10 reviews (vs. 92% in 2013)
- 7% of consumers said they read 20+ reviews (vs. 2% in 2013)
High star rating
Having a 4.5 star rating or higher is key in generating click throughs. Often the number one ranked product on Review Platforms does not have the highest star rating. Businesses will recognise this and gladly choose a lower ranking, but with a higher star rating. Regardless of your ranking, your star rating is key.
How do you make sure they convert from a Unique Visitor to a Lead once they reach your website?
It is key to have specific landing pages for the click throughs that come from each Review Platform.
To continue with the earlier example, a Reporting product that integrates with Quickbooks – click throughs from the Quickbooks App Store’s Reporting category should go to a page that is all about how you help your Quickbooks customers with reporting. Include things such as the Quickbooks logo, visualisations of how your product can extract, analyze and visualize data from Quickbooks, etc. The goal is not to appeal to a broad audience but to make Unique Visitor to feel like they have arrived in the right place and think, “I want that” for their business.
Measure, Measure, Measure!
It is imperative to measure the full funnel for Review Platforms and the conversion rates between each stage:
- Unique Visitors
- Customers / Revenue
Review Platforms can potentially generate great leads for your business, it is imperative that you can track if this is actually the case.
Here are some very common mistakes that are easily fixed that prevent businesses from doing this.
http to https
Some companies have been listed on these Review Platforms for years and have old http links. Google Analytics will treat this as direct traffic so you will not be able to measure Unique Visitors or any of the stages in the funnel that follows.
https is a minimum requirement. The best practice that we encourage is use of UTM codes. If you’re not familiar with UTM codes or would like to brush up I would strongly recommend checking this out.
Not recording Review Source in the CRM
It is imperative to track the Review Source in your CRM. This allows you to record the performance through the funnel from becoming a lead, opportunity and customer / revenue, and overall CAC. There are three different ways to achieve this by recording any of the following in your CRsM:
- UTM code (recommended)
- First landing page the lead visited – provided it is only accessible from that review source (needs to be actively de-indexed from Google). Here is a great blog post from our friends at HubSpot about that.
- The Review Source as the referrer site
Review Platforms are a great way to generate high quality leads that close fast. It’s crucial that you manage the process and measure the results properly for your business. For anyone looking to improve how they generate leads from these sources please start a free trial of Advocately here.
We’ll help you identify your happiest customers, automatically mobilize them to leave relevant reviews, and help you track the results from Unique Visitor right through to paid customer.
by Patrick Barnes
Patrick is the CEO of Advocately, an Advocate Marketing software company.