September 20, 2018

How to Use Online Review Sites to Generate Leads

As a CMO, sometimes nothing seems worse than your business receiving scrutiny on a review site. But don’t review site pages with only stellar, positive reviews also seem suspicious? The reality is that even negative reviews serve an absolutely vital role in how authentic and genuine your business comes across to potential customers. Not only can they create a well-rounded story around your brand, but review sites can even be a  major lead generation source. Now that sounds like a strategy that every marketer should take into account!

From her experience as GM of Capterra, a leading online review platform, Claire Alexander shares her expertise in everything from lead generation to turning a bad review into a marketing win. Claire drives everything she does at Capterra with the motto, “Do the right thing and the right results will follow.” Throughout this episode, you’ll learn Claire’s advice on how you can best engage with your audience on review sites and optimize every dollar of your marketing budget to get the best results.

Listen here to catch the full story about this new form of word of mouth marketing.

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What You’ll Learn

Why are review websites so important to your business?

Everyone knows that word of mouth marketing is the best form of marketing. For modern businesses, this type of marketing can be found digitally through review sites. Buyers are starting their purchase journeys online, and resources such as Capterra allow them to evaluate their needs and compare software programs. Buyers take online reviews very seriously, and the way your company responds to reviews describes a lot about your company’s leadership, culture, customer care, and products.

Using review websites as a lead generation strategy can work wonders for your business

One avenue for success that many CMOs aren’t aware of is the ability to combine a lead generation strategy with review sites. For example, if a buyer can find a highly-searched for review site on Google, then find your business on the review site, you can use that site’s organic traffic to drive leads to your site. Potential buyers that click through a review site onto your web pages can be captured as buyers with a higher level of interest than those who simply stumbled upon your site by accident.

Claire’s best advice for handling reviews left on your business, products, and services

Review sites can not only serve as a great lead generation strategy, but they can also be a new avenue for connecting with your audience. Drew explains that there are 2 facts in modern marketing: reviews will be given and therefore, you must seek to provide the best customer experience you can. Claire outlines a few key steps to follow when monitoring reviews:

  1. Decide which review sites matter to you (consider the ones with the highest volume of traffic)
  2. Monitor review (just as you would comments on social platforms)
  3. Invite people into the conversation
  4. Incorporate review collection into your closing/follow up process
  5. Graciously embrace the negative reviews (but closely monitor for incorrect or bot-driven reviews)

Claire’s #1 key to success for using review sites as a lead generation tool is to allow and encourage both positive and negative reviews. Having a mix increases your buyer’s trust with your company, and results in higher conversion rates for your products/services. Interacting with customer reviews isn’t always simple and easy, but it is 100% worth it.


  • [0:30] Claire shares how she became involved at Capterra
  • [9:09] Claire’s biggest challenges as she transitioned from marketing to GM
  • [13:22] Your biggest outcomes come from having great processes
  • [19:54] Why are review sites so important?
  • [26:39] Claire’s best advice for approaching reviews left on your services and products
  • [32:30] Using review sites as a lead generation tool
  • [35:53] The best way to optimize your marketing dollars spent on review sites
  • [47:25] 2 do’s and 1 don’t for review site marketing strategies

Connect With Claire:

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Drew

Quotes from Claire Alexander

Some of the best practices I've seen are vendors who incorporate group review collection in the normal course of doing business.
People trust the reviews more when they see a mix of positive and negative reviews because, let's face it, we all know nothing's perfect.
Don't be afraid of those negative reviews because, in my mind, the truth sets you free.