App reviews don’t happen by themselves.

Users tend to download the first app that appears on their search result. App reviews is one of the factors that decide which gets to be “that app” among other lookalikes.

It’s hard to figure out how to ask for an app review effectively. Check out these five strategies that worked for me:

 

1. Be sincere

Personality matters.

People always appreciate sincerity.

App review pop-ups can be annoying at times. However, they are beneficial to both the service provider and the customers. Lots of people like the idea of Snapchat, but what if there’s a bug wiggling around that prevents them from using it? If users can tell Snapchat what’s wrong, Snapchat can then fix the issues and make their users happy. The app gets better, the users get all the benefits. It’s a win-win. If your users can see the impact of their opinions, they’ll gladly help.

Pay attention to the content, your app rate request isn’t just a pop-up. Kindly ask for a review and don’t forget to thank your users. Make them feel they are contributing. It’s an opportunity for you to get closer to them. They’ll see that you care. It will help set you apart from your competitors.

Your pop ups presentation can look as basic as possible. It’s better to be basic. There are only three options that your users will care about: Yes, No or Later.

These guys do pretty well:

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“Showing us some love on the store helps us continue working on the app and make things even better!”

“Sorry to hear you didn’t want to rate our app, tell us about your experience or suggest how we can make it better then?”

This feels like a more personal conversation than bluntly asking “hey, rate our app”. A sense of contribution is heightened among users. It’ll increase your chance of getting app reviews significantly. A little effort goes a long way.

2. Look Further Than App Store Rating

App store reviews aren’t the only way to get positive feedback from customers and boost your app ranking.

Satisfactory in-app FAQs and support is another way to collect feedbacks without having to depend on app store reviews. It can even encourage users to rate your app. If I walk into a restaurant and the server was nice to me while patiently answering every question I have about the menu, I would tend to leave a bigger tip and even write a note on my bill saying, “Thank you! I had a great night!”. It works the same way for app reviews.

One suggestion is to try out Helpshift. It’s been used by a number of accredited startups and companies. The product lets you invite your team to help with its in-app services. These services include in-app FAQs and support. Users can message your team directly for help, which can increase engagement and boost customer satisfaction.

helpshift

Helpshift will identify loyal customers first then ask for the app rate later. This way, your users won’t feel pushed to rate your app.The timing needs to make complete sense.

ModCloth does a great job of engaging customers to give feedbacks voluntarily. It asks users to rate their dresses in detail after delivery. I can clearly see they are trying to improve their design by asking for my measurements, comfort level, fabric quality, and how happy I am with the item purchased. They made a girl feel special and cared for. I was more than happy to leave them feedback.

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3. Don’t Be So Forward

We are usually told by our friends the world would be so much easier if everybody was straightforward about what they want. Though it might be true in most cases, asking someone to rate your app is a different story.

We all hate being slapped by the coldhearted “Rate Our App”-”Yes/ No/ Remind me Later”.

How about playing the “the game” first?

“Hey are you free at 12? Do you want to go get lunch with me?”

“Sure I’d love to.”

“Oh hey since we’re getting lunch, we should also be dating.”

That’s probably not the way you should ask somebody out, but that’s the way you should try to ask for an app review.

Here’s a good example from Circa News:

circa news

It’s simple. It’s friendly. It’s flexible.

Here’s the nut of Circa New’s strategy: It helped the app to avoid negative ratings. If somebody denied your invitation to lunch, maybe it’s not a good time to ask them out on a date anyway.

The app observes a user’s experience first. Then, it takes users to two different options. If they said they did not enjoy the app, it will direct them to where users can give in-app feedback. Therefore, Circa News avoided negative ratings. Developers will still be able to receive reviews from users and improve their services. On the other hand, if users said they enjoyed the app, they will be requested to rate it. Users will either give positive feedback on the App Store or simply, no feedback at all. Negative feedback is deterred. Genius!

4. Incentivize Users

JellyJumble

I don’t know how much I love Jelly Jumble, but I sure love those 100 coins!

Giving users rewards for rating your app makes everybody happy. Freebies are the best.

However, try your best to avoid asking users to rate you 5 stars. It’s not illegal, but it’s better not to. You want honest feedback to improve your services, not bubbles. 1 or 5 star ratings tell you nothing. It’s the 3s and 4s that you should pay attention to.

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Update: I was just informed that developers are no longer able to offer incentives to get users to rate their apps.

5. Build a Good App

This is the most important part.

If your app is not good enough, people won’t use it. Without a user base, there’s nobody there to rate your app.

Make a really good app and deliver the best services. Make your users happy. People will rave themselves, because they know you deserve it.

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What do you think about these strategies? What do you think are the most effective ways to get more app reviews? Did you successfully approach your users? We’d love to hear your opinions below. You can also send a tweet/ send a message to me at @anhthu_le179