Online Review Incentives: Smart Marketing or Asking for Trouble?

Joined
Mar 25, 2014
Messages
173
Good work.

Sounds like you're just not supposed to incentivize.
Hi Joshua

That's the way I've always interpreted their guidelines - Google encourages businesses to ask for reviews (unlike Yelp) but not allowed to offer a reward for leaving a review.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2016
Messages
474
Just getting back from the holidays and picking up on this thread.

To Priya's point, Google doesn't have a problem with soliciting reviews, just incentivizing them.

Each site has such different rules, and Google does seem to change up their support language frequently.

Review sites like G2 Crowd facilitate incentivizing reviews, but they label incentivized reviews on their site so they don't break FTC's rules of transparency.

If each of the incentivized clients/customers were to explicitly state in their review that they were offered an incentive, then it would not be against the FTC regulations, but the catch 22 is that might also draw attention from sites like Yelp and Google that you are incentivizing the reviews which goes against their TOS.

Ultimately, the safest thing (and we recommend) is to combine the offer as a 'thank you' regardless of whether a review is even written or not. Anything else does right the ire of the FTC, Google, Yelp, or other 3rd parties.
 

jaywilner

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
11
Thanks everyone for the feedback.


  1. So, Garrett, what exactly do you mean by "combine the offer as a 'thank you' "? How would you recommend we do that in the context of our proposed approach (handing out a card to patients as they are checking out/paying)
  2. Is everyone agreeing that our sweepstakes violates google and yelp's terms of service? I see the language here but its a bit vague. TXCvYXY - Imgur.jpg

 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,308
So, Garrett, what exactly do you mean by "combine the offer as a 'thank you' "? How would you recommend we do that in the context of our proposed approach (handing out a card to patients as they are checking out/paying)
I'm not sure if this is the technique Garrett was referring to Jay, but it's kosher with Google, VERY smart marketing, FREE and I would think much more motivating than a chance at winning a $10 gift card would be.

HOT! <a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/local-reviews/11989-reciprocity-gift-keeps-giving-google-reviews.html">Reciprocity - The Gift that Keeps Giving... Google Reviews that is</a>

What do you think? A lot of Dentists I know use this technique successfully.


Is everyone agreeing that our sweepstakes violates google and yelp's terms of service? I see the language here but its a bit vague.
Yes it does. Google purposely leaves things vague, but a contest or chance to win is still considered an incentive.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2016
Messages
474
Jay - What Linda linked to is exactly what I meant, she phrased it a lot better!

Also, notice in reply to that thread what our founder, Jon Hall, wrote about taking it a step further.

Thanks for linking to your great thread Linda!
 

  Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest
Subscribe/Unsubscribe

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...

  Local University Guide


Google Product Exert

Top