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User reviews not only influence other users to try your app, but they help boost your app’s visibility in an already crowded marketplace. We spoke with app creators and got their tips on encouraging user reviews.

Target Early Adopters

When you’re first launching an app, introduce it to enthusiasts who read up on new apps. “Early adopters, like those found on Product Hunt, Hacker News, etc. are far more likely to leave reviews because they understand the importance of reviews on your business,” said Brandon Wright, who works in marketing for ThoughtLab.

Try a Low-Tech Approach

Brandon offers another, more personal tip: “Surprisingly,” he says, “the very best way to generate reviews and downloads is to hit the street and ask for them. Literally walking up to strangers, telling them about your product, asking them to download your app, and then requesting that they leave a review if they like what you’ve made. People really remember when the person who built an app or owns a company walks up and tells them about it. It makes them feel special.” But, he warns, this technique doesn’t work at conferences, where the internet is slow and everyone’s attention is elsewhere.

Time Your Ask

It’s tempting to request a review every time your app is opened. But this interrupts the user experience, and could even leave a negative impression. Instead, think about when a user is feeling most positive about your app, such as after earning a badge or passing a game level.

Max Page, founder of Lifter, says “awesome support… is your best opportunity to get a 5-star review. If a user emails in with a problem [that] you solve quick and above expectations, ask for a review. Most of the time the user is so happy you helped them they go straight to the store and review your app positively.” He made sure to add, “the trick to this tip is making your Support Email easy to find and contact in your app.”

Integrate a “Soft” Review

Approximately half my life is spent playing Two Dots, a puzzle strategy game. The programmers there have implemented a clever pop-up that I’ve since noticed in other apps as well. It asks, “What do you think of the game?”, and then gives you a thumbs-up or thumbs-down option. If you hit thumbs up, it says, “Great! Would you mind leaving a review?”, but if you hit thumbs down, it says, “Oh no! Is there anything we can help you with?” and directs you to Support. It’s an easy way to get feedback, but also primes a user who likes your app to do a little something to help it out.


Learn more: Optimize your app icons, screenshots, and in-app UX and creatives, by polling targeted audiences like mobile gamers and iPhone users.

Also published on Medium.

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Kim Kohatsu

Kim Kohatsu is the chief marketing officer at PickFu and the founder of Charles Ave Marketing. She began her career as a copywriter for several leading ad agencies. While working in advertising, she spearheaded award-winning print, radio, TV, outdoor, and guerrilla campaigns for clients including the California Avocado Commission, AAA, The Orange County Register, The Hilton Family of Hotels, Yamaha, Wienerschnitzel, KFC, and Power Automotive, among others. After several years, Kim shifted her specialty into online marketing, helping tech startups improve their online presence through PPC, SEO, email marketing, reputation management, blogging, and social media. Today, she combines her traditional and new media experience to create and strengthen brands like PickFu. Kim and her team help others use PickFu to write better copy, present products in their best light, and position themselves as market leaders.

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