After you’ve built a mobile app and uploaded it to the app store, you’ll probably get a fair amount of people who will check it out, assuming you’ve done some good marketing research. Unfortunately, the total number of downloads doesn’t let you know if your customers really enjoy your app, just kinda like it, or regret their purchase immediately.
In order to get a feeling for how your well your app is being received by your audience, you need to prompt your customers for two things: reviews and feedback.
Reviews not only let potential customers make informed decisions when choosing what apps to purchase, but good reviews can lead to more views and downloads if the search ranking system is based off of good ratings. Feedback is equally as important, as it lets your customers inform you about bugs, functionality issues, and allows them to make suggestions as to what they’d like to see in future updates.
Here are a few ways you can get your users to give you reviews and feedback on your app:
Network – Ask your friends, relatives, and professional colleagues to take a look at your app and give you feedback. Post updates to your social media as well. Let people know your app is available and you want to know what they think about it. Just be sure not to try and coerce positive ratings out of anyone. Trying to artificially boost your app by stuffing it with fake reviews isn’t a reliable way to promote your app, and if you’re discovered, the community will turn on you quickly.
Remember, constructive criticism is what can turn good apps into great apps.
Build relationships – Rather than just asking (or worse, begging) a blogger or PR rep for an app review site to look at your product, strike up a conversation first. Ask questions, use them as a source for your blog, and bring up the suggestion of reviewing your app organically. Be sure to provide the reviewer with as much information about you, your company, and your app as possible, and include any fun facts about the development process or how the idea for the app was conceived. The easier it is to write about your app, and the more interesting the story behind it, the more likely it is to get reviewed.
Integrate your rating system – It’s important that, when including a rating system in your app, you do so in a way that doesn’t interrupt or obscure any portion of your app’s functionality. Pop-ups that get in the way of using your app will only prompt you audience to either close them without reading, or rate you poorly out of spite.
Instead, build your rating system into your program. Include a small link that’s out of the way, put a review section in the menu, or ask for a rating as the customer is exiting or updating the app. Just try to be the least intrusive you can be.
Make feedback easy to provide – If a customer runs into a bug or has an important question concerning your app, they shouldn’t have to hunt for answers or a contact address. Make sure an avenue for customer feedback is readily available, whether it’s an integrated form in the app, an email address, or a link to a corresponding website where they can contact you. The quicker your customers can inform you about glitches or bugs in your app, the faster you can release a patch or update.
Think locally – For every TechCrunch or cNet out there, there are hundreds of smaller tech websites and magazines that are yearning for content. Check to see if any of your local municipalities have their own news or review sites that have a tech section. Many of them would be happy to do a story on a local business that’s trying to make it big with an interesting and original app.
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