Increasing Leads with Yelp Messaging
by Jenny Phu
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Yelp Ads can be a valuable tool to help small businesses garner qualified leads on a limited budget. Advertisers can go from receiving no leads in a month to dozens of leads the following month. For those of you who are already advertising on Yelp and have not yet turned on the messaging feature on your business profile, we’ll go over the benefits of utilizing this feature.

What Are Yelp Messages?

Yelp offers its advertisers a messaging feature that allows visitors to their Yelp business page the opportunity to send a message directly to the advertiser. This messaging feature appears on the right-hand side of the profile page and appears with a call-to-action (CTA) the advertiser chooses. Below is an example:

This feature would also display the average response time it takes for users to receive a reply and the rate of response.

When users click the CTA they are asked a few questions regarding their need and are asked to provide more details on their inquiry. They are also given the option to get multiple quotes from multiple vendors.

If users are requesting a quote from a competitor and opt to compare quotes from multiple vendors, they may have the option to request a quote from your business. In this case, you would also receive the same message the user is submitting to your competitor. These messages could turn into leads that you otherwise may not have gotten without the messaging feature!

Advantages of the Yelp Messaging Feature

The Yelp messaging feature gives page visitors the convenience of submitting a message rather than making a phone call to the business. Many users may find this much more convenient than calling the business to speak with someone directly. One client we managed received almost two dozen leads within two weeks of turning on their Yelp messaging feature when they previously did not receive any leads!

Another advantage of Yelp messages is that Yelp users can contact your business beyond your business operating hours. Users don’t have to wait for your business to be open to send you a message as they would if they were to call your business.

By making it highly convenient for users to contact your businesses you can significantly increase the number of leads you receive through Yelp when using the messaging feature.

Disadvantages of the Yelp Messaging Feature

As great of a convenience tool as the Yelp messaging feature is, it may also work against the advertiser.

The messaging feature displays the response rate and average response time to visitors to your Yelp page. This requires someone from your business team to be available to respond to messages within a reasonable time frame to help boost your response rate and average response time. If you utilize this feature but are slow to respond to your messages or do not consistently respond to all messages you receive, you can negatively impact your response rate and response time.

Another disadvantage of this tool is that you are charged for Yelp messages that you receive when the user submits an inquiry to a competitor and opts in to receive multiple quotes from other businesses. These types of messages are called sponsored actions and are charged at the same rate as a Yelp ad click.This can quickly cut into your Yelp ads budget and you may also receive numerous unqualified leads. In essence, you can be charged for a sponsored action even though the user who submitted the sponsored action never visited your Yelp profile page!

Weighing the Advantages of Yelp Messages

Overall, Yelp messages can help you drive leads to your business that you otherwise wouldn’t have received and makes your business easily accessible to users who want to be able to message your business at any time of the day. It can enhance your business profile and make you appear more approachable to Yelp users as the messaging feature is a convenience tool for them. On the other hand, Yelp messages can be costly to use as sponsored action messages you would receive are charged at the same rate as an ad click. You would also need a team member available to answer messages within a timely manner which not all businesses may have available.

If you are looking to expand and test new lead gen opportunities and you have someone on your team available to answer messages sent to your business on a daily basis, it is worth testing this feature. Within a month or two you should be able to determine if this option is providing the number of leads you need to continue using Yelp messages. One of our clients discovered that they can greatly improve their performance on Yelp through messaging and are preparing to increase their Yelp ads budget.