Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
Reaction score
Just found a really cool review strategy.

The Law of Reciprocity

Pay It Forward

Luke 6:38: Give, and it will be given to you.

You can't incentivize reviews. It violates Google review guidelines and others too.

However you CAN flip it and give something to ALL your patients and customers that encourages reviews.

You aren't saying: "Give me a review and I'll give you gift."

You are saying: "Because you are such a great customer I want to give you a gift.
Oh and by the way if you had a good experience at our office, we'd love it if you'd give us a review."

One simple trick that doubled my Google+ reviews for my dental practice - DentistryIQ

This has been a very effective way for me to double my reviews on Google+, and I know that it will work for you as well, because it operates on the reciprocity law of persuasion. In this, you do not tell people that they are getting anything for leaving you a good review. You just ask them to leave the review and enjoy the yogurt. People feel inclined to leave the review after using the coupon because it was due to your generosity that they were able to get the discount. The best thing about this system is it does not cost you anything to get the reviews you need for your dental practice. It does not cost the yogurt business anything to allow you to hand out their coupons, because in the end they will make money as a result of an increase in clientele. It is a win-win that will help your business in ways you cannot imagine.

The beautiful thing about this strategy, is he's not giving anything away that costs anything out-of-pocket. He's giving a discount coupon for yogurt which help the local yogurt business. It gives his patient a deal on a healthy treat AND gives him a cool vehicle, another opportunity if you will, to ask for a review.

If you have a review request on a business card and hand it to a patient it goes in their pocket and they don't look at it again until maybe some day when they need to make an appointment. BUT if you put your review request on a coupon they might use to take the family out for yogurt that night, they see that review request again RIGHT AFTER their appointment - the optimum time to ask for a review!

Depending on the type of business, just get creative about a complimentary service or treat your clients would really enjoy - find the right business, get a deal and make up a coupon!

I'd put the coupon offer on top. The review request in the center in a different color background so it stands out, then the offer fine print below that. SO they need to read the review request to get to the offer details. :p

Here's a good general article about How The Law of Reciprocity Can Make or Break Your Business - Reboot Authentic

"Social psychologists call it The Law of Reciprocity – and it basically says that when someone does something nice for you, you will have a deep-rooted psychological urge to do something nice in return.

As a matter of fact, you may even reciprocate with a gesture far more generous than their original good deed. You can try and resist this law, but as a human, you will more than likely still feel that you need to respond in kind to a good deed."

What do you think?

I think this might be my best tip of the month so far. It's only the 5th Haha!

Jon Hall

Jul 11, 2013
Reaction score
This tactic clearly can be effective, and it speaks to how marketers--in duly avoiding improper use of incentives in exchange for reviews--might miss creative ways of using incentives to further engage customers in something that could lead to reviews.

We go a step further and allow users of our system attach offers to their "review funnel" landing page, and then promote the offer verbally or on a card, flier or handout. That means that in order to get the offer, the customer has to engage, go to (for example), and take that next step through the funnel.

That said, you can imagine this tactic approaches the moral gray area of incentivizing reviews, so we encourage our clients to be explicit that writing a review is not necessary to claim the offer. To Linda's point, reciprocity is a powerful enough motivator!
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