3. Send a follow-up email.
I could write an entire article about the art of the follow-up email, but to keep it simple, it’s a must for getting reviews.
Many tour operators have this built into the tour, often asking guides to collect emails from guests.
So I’ll break my personal tried & true method down into two parts; getting the emails, and what to put in the emails.
Getting the emails.
I’m a big fan of minimizing the amount of work done by the tour guide outside of the tour (unless they’re being paid for their time). So for me, it’s all about using a template, but making it sound as if it’s a brand new idea.
The trick? Making that email something of value to them.
I personally use a list of places we’ve been on the tour (including tour stops & places I’ve pointed out along the way). Here’s what it looks like;
- “Oh and do you see the place with the big green door? They have the most amazing dumplings, super cheap. If you want I can write that down & email it to you after the tour. I can actually just add all the places we visited today so you have it all in one place.”
- [later on] “If you’re interested in coming back to this spot, I’ll add it to that list to email you.”
- [at the end of the tour] “Ok remind me, who wanted me to send them a list of places we went today? Actually, I’ll just send around this piece of paper, just write your email if you want me to send you the list.”
The email template.
Note- the review link should be for the specific tour on the specific site you want the review. Don’t make them search for your tour on Trip Advisor. They should open the link & immediately be able to start writing the review.
Thanks for being such a great group today! I’m so happy it wasn’t too cold.
Just a little reminder, if you loved the tour and are just dying to leave me a 5-star review 🙂 here’s the link & thank you!
Here’s the list of places we’ve been as promised, as well as a few other spots I pointed out. I hope you can go back to visit some of them & that you enjoy the rest of your time in my city.
[copy & paste list of places with addresses, recommendations, etc]
Above & Beyond: Send individual, personalized emails (“Dear Javier & Lihn…”). Takes more time, but the guides who do this get more reviews.
You can also send two emails.
The highest reviewed guide I’ve ever met credits his success to two-emails, and, obviously, giving an amazing tour (shout-out to Lukas in Prague!).
The first email can be the one I’ve mentioned above, something of value for them while they’re still on their trip.
The second can be sent a month later (once they’re home), telling them that you hope they had a great rest of their trip, and just wanted to send a little recipe/movie recommendation/photo for them to remember your city.
And, of course, you sneak that same review link in for “those who haven’t had a chance yet”.
From the guides that do this not a single person has ever written back to angrily ask the emails to stop BUT every time at least one or two more people will review.
*If you’re still feeling stressed about how you will be perceived, hop on a free tour when you can. Free tour guides often have to make a really hard sell for other tours, and you can see as a guest, it seems totally appropriate and rarely awkward (if done well)