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A couple of weeks ago we spoke with our friend Paul Steinbrueck from OurChurch.com, on the Church Solutions Podcast about reviews for Churches. Click here to listen.

Here is a follow up article by Paul on this important topic:

All month we’ve been discussing the importance of positive online reviews both for improving search rankings and helping people develop a positive impression of your church, ministry or business.

So, now you may be wondering…

How do I get more positive online reviews? You could try things like…

  • Asking people to post reviews using your social media accounts
  • Asking people during the announcements segment of your church service
  • Asking people in your newsletter

There’s nothing wrong with any of those methods. Our experience, however, is that they all get a relatively small response.

You may also be tempted to send out a massive email blast to your customers, supporters or congregation asking them to post a review, but this is a bad idea for several reasons:

Many organizations struggle to find the best wording for the email and end up sending a message that is impersonal and ineffective. People rarely respond to the first request. Either they are not convinced or they think, “Sure, I’ll do that when I have a few minutes.” and then forget.

Google gets suspicious when there’s a big, sudden surge of new reviews and often does not publish them. Want to know the BEST way to get more positive online reviews?

We’ve tested every method you can imagine for both ourselves and our clients.  We’ve discovered…

The secret to gaining positive online reviews is to personally ask a small number of people each week to post a review using language which is effective and then following up with them.

Here are step-by-step instructions for how to do that:

  1. Create a list of members, supporters or customers.
  2. Put that list into a spreadsheet.
  3. Create an email you can send to the people on your list.
  4. Personalize the email and send it to 5-10 people each week.
  5. Update the spreadsheet documenting who you sent the email to.
  6. Next week, check your Google, Facebook and Yelp listings for new reviews.
  7. Update the spreadsheet to document who posted new reviews.
  8. Create a reminder email.
  9. Personalize and send the reminder email to people who haven’t posted a review yet.
  10. Update the spreadsheet to document which people have been sent reminders.
  11. Repeat this every week.

If that sounds like a lot of work, well, it is. That’s why we’re excited to announce…

OurChurch.Com’s Online Review Service

Our team has developed and tested proven methods and systems that can grow your online reviews and with almost no time and effort needed from you.

Additionally, online review sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp have a terrible reputation for customer service. Sometimes people post reviews and they are never published.  Sometimes reviews disappear for no reason. It’s nearly impossible to contact these companies.  And when you do, they often don’t respond. If you opt for our Online Review Plus Service, we will put our contacts and experience to work for you to resolve issues like this when they arise.

Paul Steinbrueck (along with Mark) founded OurChurch.Com in 1996. As CEO, he leads strategic planning, manages projects, blogs, and directs OCC’s communications. As CTO, Paul oversees software development and technical operations. Paul is married and has three children. He serves in his church as an elder and small group Bible study leader. He also enjoys playing soccer, hiking, geocaching, and rooting on the Tampa Bay Bucs, Rays, and Lightning. You can connect with Paul on Twitter and LinkedIn.