Stop Asking For Ratings & Reviews (Do This Instead)

Think back to every time you’ve ever listened to a podcast episode — specifically, one where the host has said “be sure to subscribe to our podcast, and don’t forget to rate and review the podcast in iTunes so we can continue to bring you great content….” etc etc. 

What did you do, immediately following said podcast’s call-to-action?

I’d be willing to bet you DIDN’T immediately subscribe, rate, and review their podcast. And if you’re honest with yourself, if you loved the podcast you might have subscribed. But chances are you still didn’t rate and review.


Because there is absolutely nothing compelling about rating and reviewing a podcast. What’s in it for the listener? Nothing. Consuming media, by nature, is a selfish activity. 

You feel like you’re just one person, and you rating and reviewing won’t mean much to the host, even if you ARE compelled to help.

There’s absolutely zero urgency. Why do you have to go do it NOW? What will you miss out if you don’t? Nothing.

So drop the “rate and review” call-to-action (at least within your episodes). This is the least likely way for you to monetize your podcast and grow your business.

You might balk at that notion, but listen -- I know you’re here to serve your audience (and if you’re not, you should be). But if you’re reading this post, you’re also running a business… and revenue is a motivator.

Some would argue with me (but they’re wrong) when I say that ratings and reviews are absolutely NOT the best way to lead to increased revenue for your business from your podcast.

Yes, they can increase your rankings in iTunes.

Yes, they tell the few other listeners who check out Ratings & Reviews before listening that your show is worth listening to. 

But this is the trap podcasters fall into. These “easy asks” feel like they’re a low friction call-to-action. And they are, because you’re not asking for email, money, etc. But in reality, not asking for bigger things is sinking your podcast at the same rate that NOT asking for anything would.

So occasionally, you’ll have to think of how you can best serve your audience AND increase revenue for your business.

The good news is, you can do both. Not only that, but this seemingly big ask will get more action than asking for a rating and review.

“Alright, alright already. I get it. So, what should I do instead?”

It’s time to use your precious podcast CTA for more high impact purposes where your listener actually gives a crap.

“Like what, Tim?” (Great, now I’m talking to myself in a blog post)

  • A Content Upgrade (a free download that enhances what your podcast episode talked about, but that they have to opt-in to get)
  • A webinar registration invite
  • An invitation to join your Facebook group
  • A sales offer (if it’s relevant to that particular episode)

This is obviously not a comprehensive list, but any one of these four CTA’s is significantly higher impact and higher value than asking for a Rating and Review. 

For those claiming you can ask for ratings and reviews AND the above actions, it’s time for a reality check — most podcast listeners will only take one action you ask of them.  People aren’t sitting there waiting for you to tell them what to do over and over. “Go rate and review. Now download this lead magnet. Now buy my stuff. Now tell your friends.” And I realize that’s exaggerated — but not by much.

I’m going to go more in-depth on these CTA’s in future posts, but to get you started, I’ve created a free download for you to give you an example of each one of the above CTA’s in a real world application. 

These are some of my favorite examples on actual podcast episodes, and you’ll get to hear how the host offers them in a compelling, relevant, clear way, to give you an idea of how you can incorporate them into your own show.

One last thing. I know you probably still want ratings & reviews. So… should you just wait and let them come organically as people are so blown away by the incredible content in your show?

That’s one way to do it.

But here’s a better way: Use your email marketing. I’m not going in depth on it here, but I’ll give you one tip that’s worked for me.

In the P.S. section of your welcome email, invite people to rate and review your show. Here’s an example:

P.S. If you’re enjoying the show, it’s safe to assume there are others out there like you who would also enjoy the show. Help them find it. Click here to rate and review the show in iTunes. Those people will appreciate it, and you’ll feel great about yourself.

I hope that helps.

Do you have a compelling CTA in your podcast that could help fellow podcasters get great results? Post a link to the episode in the comments section below, and I’ll try and give you some feedback!