By Linh Nguyen Mai Khanh | April 5, 2017
It is a natural tendency that people base on others’ opinion to make their own decisions. Therefore, reviews and ratings play an important role in any businesses. App business does not stay out of this fact. In particular, apart from downloads, the volume of reviews and ratings you receive has the biggest impact on the visibility and ranking of your app in the app store and search results.
According to Apptentive, 96% of users would consider downloading an app with 4 or 5-star rating; 13% read more than 7 reviews before downloading a free app and the percentage of paid apps is 33%. Therefore finding ways to get more app reviews and ratings is extremely important. You’ll need more positive reviews than others to give your app the ranking boost it needs.
App reviews just don’t happen by themselves, and you shouldn’t expect waves of people to head back to the app store on their own accord just to write a review of your app. In fact, probably the only people who will do so are the ones who have a really bad experience with your app!
Here are some tips you can do to quickly juice up your app reviews and ratings without causing any counteraction.
People tend to be quick at throwing negative feedbacks, but the ones who find your app useful often forget to leave some comments. You want to receive those positive reviews, you must remind them within your app.
You can do this in a drop-dead simple and quickest way by implementing turn-key plugins. There are many of them that are available for iOS and Android and some of them take you no more than a few minutes to be installed. Those plugins will prompt users to review your app after a certain number or period of time. Users will be sent to the appropriate app store where they can leave their review if they accept the request by pressing the “Rate” button, as the image shown below:
However, be careful when setting up these plugins. You don’t want to display the review pop-up at the wrong moment. To know more about timing, read #2.
While prompts are essential to remind users to leave a review, it is not that you can display the prompts at any time you want. Proper timing can be the killing factor that drags you to some positive results.
Users are less likely to leave a review if the prompt cut in their flow. If you ask for users’ review in the way that annoys them, you even end up receive some bad ones. The perfect time to display a prompt is not right after users launch the app. Give the user time to explore the app first. You have to wait until positive moments that users have achieved something within your app, or they extremely feel pleased by some certain features.
Another practice to avoid annoying users is to ask the user how they are enjoying the app. If they like the app you ask for a review, otherwise, you ask for feedback.
If you do decide to implement a rating popup, make sure to think of some respect for the users, and give them a chance to block the popup if they really feel it annoying.
People naturally don’t like popups, which interrupts their experiences. So you need to go beyond just displaying an app review popup to your users. In fact, there are many subtle ways to insert an app review popup in the middle of your users’ experience without annoying them.
The easiest yet useful tactic is to use in-app rewards or points. Giving reviews is an easy task, but users usually feel like it is not their duty to do so. So you need to give them a sound reason to stimulate them. Everyone loves free stuff. So instead of “asking for reviews”, you can “offer free gifts rewarded for those who choose to review your app”. The feeling that they are still “in the experience” and “can get something” will raise the probability of them clicking on your app review popup. You’ll need to take a little extra time and effort to develop a perfect popup and figure out the best way to reward your users, but you will find it’s worth doing so.
It’s common that users have something to ask or tell you after they’ve been using your app for a while. With careful tracking and great customer care, you totally can turn those feedbacks into positive reviews and rate.
Normally, users can send their feedbacks in an email form. But with very little more effort, you can integrate a chat bot in into your app that let you directly exchange one-to-one messages with your users within your app, through an instant messaging window. If you still own a few amount of users, this is likely to be the most effective way to deliver an exceptional customer support.
So, the next time a user needs help, try to provide them a full and direct support. Once you satisfy them, you can send them the link and ask them to review your app. They will be willing to take some effort to fulfill your wish!
Another great way to increase app reviews is to run a contest on various forums. The popular blog, Touch Arcade, has a section on their forums where app developers run contests and giveaways to entice other members to leave reviews for their apps.
When running a contest, you can give away an iTunes gift card, or you can PayPal the winner. Reviewers will leave their iTunes or Google Play usernames as replies within your thread, and then you can select the winner randomly.
To be completely transparent, it’s important to highlight who the contestants are and how you selected a winner. You can put all usernames into a spreadsheet and associate a number for each user. Then use the Random.org website to generate a number and show the screenshot to prove you were not favoring any one reviewer.
While running a contest does require you to manually manage the entire process, from checking iTunes and validating the reviews to selecting a winner, it can jumpstart your app’s early and important reviews and ratings.
App reviews and ranking can be vital to the success of an app. In fact, users pay much attention to your app ratings and they do read your app reviews. So make sure that they see your app’s best side so they can go for a download. On the other hand, app stores obviously want to promote most awesome apps. So negative app reviews or low star ratings can be equal to low rankings on the chart.
Moreover, app reviews are amazing sources that contain valuable insights, which help for monitoring your app data and feedbacks. We can dig into the content of these reviews, we can find so many great suggestions, uncover issues, feature requests and so much more. You can also start the same conversations as support on Google Play by replying. If you can find the best solution for common issues to improve your product, you have a long way to go to retain your users. We all make so much effort trying to get this sort of information when it’s already right there waiting for us!