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The complete Review Express guide

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The complete Review Express guide

Learn more about the fast, free way to collect TripAdvisor reviews for your property.

Looking for an easy way to get more reviews for your business? Try Review Express – the review collection tool that TripAdvisor created based on feedback from hospitality businesses like yours. It’s free for all types of properties – no subscription required.

PhoCusWright data shows that more than half of travelers won’t commit to a booking until they read reviews.1

With Review Express, you’ll create and send professional-looking emails that encourage guests to write reviews of your business. These emails can be customized with your property’s branding. There’s also a Review Express dashboard that provides in-depth analysis and tracking to help you fully optimize your campaigns. 

On average, regular Review Express users see an uplift of 28% in the amount of TripAdvisor reviews for their property.2 Read on to learn how easy it is to start using Review Express for your business: 

Getting started

The first step to using Review Express is to gather your guests’ information. Start by collecting guest email addresses and language preferences in a spreadsheet or other easily accessible location. Accuracy is important because it increases the likelihood that your Review Express emails will be delivered, opened and clicked – resulting in more reviews for your property.

Often, the best way to collect email addresses is to simply ask guests for the information before they leave. If you have an online booking function, consider incorporating “Email Address” and “Language Preference” fields into your online form. You can see more tips for collecting guest email addresses hereBefore you start collecting guest data, be sure to review any applicable email laws in your country and make sure your plans comply with them.

No matter how you collect an email address, it’s important to get guests’ permission to email them. You should explain exactly how you’ll use their addresses. If you’re sending a Review Express campaign, be sure to tell them that in advance. Properly setting guests’ expectations can help increase your open and review rates.

Set up a Review Express campaign

Setting up a Review Express campaign is simple. Go to tripadvisor.com/ReviewExpress and type in your property name to access the Review Express home page. This hub contains everything you need to start requesting reviews from your past guests. To send an email, click “Create Email" from the top menu.

Create Email 

The “Create Email” area is where you configure the email you’ll send to guests. The first time you use Review Express, it will default to the TripAdvisor template in your language. Just click the "Edit" button to customize each element of the template:

  • From address: This is the address that appears in the “Sender” field of your guest’s email. Be sure it’s something that’s easily recognizable.
  • Subject: This is the email subject line that will appear to your guest. Avoid using exclamation points and other punctuation to limit bounces (emails that aren’t able to be delivered).
  • Photo: There’s a spot for a photo next to the name and address of your property at the top of the email. You can use your property’s default image, upload a new one or choose not to include one.
  • Message: The email message includes the headline and body of the email. You can use the current message, edit it or add your own. Generally, shorter is better and it’s a good idea to thank guests for their business.

If you make changes to the TripAdvisor template, you’ll be prompted to save them as a new message. You can also choose to make your new message the default for that language. When you make a message the default, an asterisk will automatically be added to its name and it will appear first when you select that language in the “Create Email” area. You can always identify the default template by the asterisk in its title.

To have the most success, send targeted messages to guests in the languages they speak. Review Express is available in about 30 languages and there are TripAdvisor templates in each one. You can use these templates to contact guests who speak other languages, even if you do not.

Once your template is ready to go, click the “Continue to send” button to move on to the next step. 

Send Email

In this step, add the email addresses of the guests you’d like to reach. Have just a few addresses? Type them into the text box. If you have lots of emails to send, upload a spreadsheet of up to 1,000 email addresses using the file upload box. Review Express will accept .CSV or .XLS files up to 5MB in size. If you’re sending emails to guests in different languages, be sure to set up a new message and upload just those addresses for that campaign.

Don't worry, an email address will automatically be removed from a campaign if: The email recipient has reviewed your business in the last 30 (restaurants) to 90 days (attractions). A Review Express email was sent to the address in the last 30 days. The email recipients have unsubscribed from Review Express emails.

Keep in mind, TripAdvisor takes fraud and privacy very seriously. The addresses you submit must belong to people who have visited your property and you must have permission to email them. You cannot have a personal relationship with any of the recipients and they cannot be offered any incentives for reviews. Finally, avoid selectively emailing only the guests you believe will write positive reviews. Review Express emails should be consistently sent to all guests – properties are often happily surprised by the results. 

Once you’ve added your recipients, review and click the three notices at the bottom of the page. Then hit “Send.” Your emails will be sent within 24 hours. Reviews that you receive through Review Express will have a label indicating they were collected in partnership with your property.

Go automated

Sending Review Express emails can be even easier for accommodations that are working with a TripAdvisor-certified connectivity provider – like an internet booking engine or property management system. These properties can opt in to have Review Express emails sent automatically to guests when they check out. And it’s free! 

If your property is eligible, you can sign up for this feature on the Review Express home page. Just click the button in the “Automate” box. Remember, you’ll still need to use the “Send Email” method outlined above to request reviews from guests who book through another third party, like an Online Travel Agent.

Once you sign up, your connectivity provider will begin providing TripAdvisor with the data to automatically send guests your default Review Express email on your behalf. The email will be sent to guests within 72 hours of check out. You won’t have to do a thing! You can edit your Automated Review Express default emails and monitor the status of your connectivity provider in the "Settings" tab.

If your accommodation isn’t able to sign up for automated Review Express, it could be that your connectivity provider is not certified. Please contact your provider to get connected. To learn more about automated Review Express, click here.

Add private surveys

In addition to using Review Express to collect public feedback that shows up on your TripAdvisor page, accommodations can also get private feedback as well. With the Review Express + private surveys add-on, each Review Express campaign you send also includes a short, customizable guest satisfaction survey.

If travelers choose to complete the optional survey, that feedback is just for you and your hotel or B&Bs’ staff. Your survey responses remain confidential and don’t show up on your TripAdvisor page or influence your TripAdvisor rating or ranking.

To add your private survey, go to the Create Survey tab. You’ll see a list of pre-translated questions you can ask your guests. Click on a question you want and drag it to your survey – if you change your mind, you can reorder or remove questions as well.

Your private survey responses will show up in your Review Express Dashboard. To learn more, check out Understanding your private survey responses.

Review Express Dashboard

Once you’ve started sending campaigns, the Dashboard tracks the success of each one. To access it, click “Dashboard” from the top menu within Review Express.

First, you’ll see the key statistics from all the campaigns sent including Total Campaigns, Total Emails Sent, Total Opens, Total Clicks and Total Reviews. The Dashboard tracks the performance of all Review Express campaigns at the property level, no matter who sends them. You can use these numbers to evaluate your Review Express success over time.

Another key section of the dashboard is recent reviews. Titles and ratings of your most recent reviews are listed. If you don’t have recent reviews, the dashboard will provide some tips to try for future campaigns.

Finally, the “Recent email campaigns” report has regularly updated stats for each campaign sent by your property. It tracks the number of emails sent, opened and clicked as well as how many were bounced or suppressed. Suppression is used to prevent unnecessary emails to your gusts. An email address will be automatically removed from a campaign if: 

  • The email recipient has reviewed your business in the last 30 (restaurants) to 90 days (attractions).
  • A Review Express email was sent to the address in the last 30 days.
  • The email recipients have unsubscribed from Review Express emails.

For more tips on the dashboard, including how to use it to drive your Review Express success, check out this tip sheet.  

Resources

Ready to get started with Review Express? Visit tripadvisor.com/ReviewExpress today. You’ll be able to set up and send your first campaign in fifteen minutes. If you’re looking for more help, including tips for sending Review Express campaigns, frequently asked questions and more information on why reviews matter, check out these resources.

Top Review Express Tips
Getting started with Review Express? Keep these tips in mind:
Set guests’ expectations

Tell them you’ll be sending a Review Express email to collect their feedback.

Send emails regularly

Ask guests for feedback within a few days of check out, when the experience is still fresh.

Choose your “from” address wisely

Be sure it includes the name of the property or a key employee that is recognizable.

  • 1. Independent PhoCusWright study prepared for TripAdvisor, December 2013
  • 2. TripAdvisor site data, January 2014
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