10 ways to get more & better reviews for your app

Stuart Hall
by Stuart Hall
January 18, 2016

There are two questions we get asked A LOT at Appbot.

How do I get more app reviews?

The volume of reviews and ratings you receive has the biggest impact (apart from downloads) on your rankings in the top charts and search results. Therefore finding ways to get more app reviews is extremely important for the visibility of your app.

How do I get better app reviews?

If your apps consistently get app reviews with low star ratings you’ll see negative effects on your rankings in the app store. App stores want to promote awesome apps, for obvious reasons.

Luckily we see millions of app reviews and know what it takes to be get app reviews that will help your app succeed. Here are our 10 tips to help both of these questions.

1. Ask!

Prompting for app reviews is a pretty controversial topic, but my belief is that if it’s done in a way that doesn’t annoy the user then it is perfectly just.

My tips:

  • Don’t use popups and don’t interrupt.
  • Give the user time to explore the app first.
  • Ask after a positive moment in your app.
  • Give the user the opportunity to send feedback.

In one of my own apps I eventually grew to 2.3 million downloads and sold I introduced a review workflow.

A review workflow is where you ask the user inline how they are enjoying the app. If they like the app you ask for a review, otherwise you ask for feedback.

Here’s how it looked in the app.

review workflow

And here are the results from Appbot Sentiment Dashboard, where the review workflow was introduced in late July.

review prompt results

I went from getting one review every day or two to 5-10 reviews per day. Add to that ratings jumping all over the place to steadily 4.5-5 stars. With an almost perfect Sentiment Timeline.

A review workflow increased app reviews 5x, averaging 5 stars and generated great actionable feedback. Click To Tweet

Pretty remarkable.

2. Provide great support

At Appbot we automatically group app reviews into Topics. One thing we notice with apps that steadily improve their app reviews is that they provide great customer support.

customer support reviews

Move your needle to green by acknowledging and helping your users.

3. Ask in release notes

I believe using release notes is a great way to talk to your users.

Some apps ask for reviews in their release notes with great effect.

Ask for reviews in release notes

A pretty easy one to try out and test.

Note: I was recently rejected when I did this on an app for the Mac app store. So use at your own risk ?.

4. Reply to reviews on Google Play

97% of Google Play reviews go unanswered! What better way to turn 1 star app reviews into 5 star reviews, get valuable feedback and make a user happy than to actually reply to them and solve their issue?

Would you leave 97% of your support emails unanswered?

Google Play Replies

5. Read & monitor your reviews

I’m pretty biased on this one, because it’s what we do! But really how can you expect to improve app reviews unless you look at the ones you are getting already?

App reviews are full of valuable feedback, wow moments, feature requests and so much more. We all spend so much time trying to get this sort of information from people when it’s already right there waiting for us!

Analyze reviews

6. Fix things people are complaining about

Seems like a pretty obvious one, but look for the common things users are complaining about in app reviews and fix them!

There are tools out there that can search and tell you what the most common phrases are.

app review phrases

Hunt them out and fix, fix, fix!

7. Test, test and test some more

Launching (or updating) with a major bug can be really hard, or even impossible, to recover from.

When you’ve put some much time, effort and money into creating your app make sure you test everything as thoroughly as possible.

Don’t be like this app:

Bad Launch Bug

8. Find and enhance your wow moment

This is the thing that users want to tell others about.

When I made 7 Minute Workout it was the voice prompts, when I was co-founder of Discovr it was the pop animation.

Think the amazing animations in Clear, the simplicity of Dropbox, the beautiful design of Flipboard or the convenience of Sunrise.

If you identify your wow moment and continually improve it then users will start telling their friends about it and leave 5 star reviews gushing over it.

9. Update regularly

Users love when an app is continually updated with great new features and fixes. Especially when new OS versions are released and there are new features to take advantage of. New OS versions are also a common cause of bugs and crashes, so make sure you test during the beta period.

I love the 1Password iOS app. I also love the way they are always improving it. They seem to aim for an update every 3-4 weeks.

1 password updates

Be like 1Password.

10. Add to your support signature

A great way to get people to help you out is when you have helped them. In the signature of your support email ask if they will leave a review. Best to leave off for really unhappy customers though 🙂

Listen, improve, repeat

In the end getting more and better app reviews comes down to creating a great app users love. Creating great apps requires that you continually listen to your users and iterate.

Getting more and better app reviews comes down to creating a great app users love. Click To Tweet

So listen, improve, repeat until you are topping the charts.

Good luck!

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