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How To Get More User Ratings For Your App

4 min read
Oct 12, 2016

Your user ratings are a core part of your app’s success. A positive user review will help your app appear higher in the results of the app store. The more positive reviews you get, the more likely you are to hold your rank in the app store and the more credible your app looks and therefore encourage more people to give it a go.

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But how can you get users to rate your app?

Believe it or not, this is actually a lot trickier than it sounds and requires a bit of thought and effort. It’s not just a matter of popping up, unannounced and asking your user to rate you despite the fact they only downloaded your app a few hours ago. No, that will not go down well and if anything will lead to a prompt uninstall due to the fact that your forcefulness pissed the user off (
to put it bluntly).

This is how users reacted to news app, Circa when they were constantly asked to leave a review:


7 Tips for Increased Mobile App Ratings

1.  Play it Cool

In a lot of situations, being upfront and honest is usually the best way to be. But this is definitely not one of them! Like me, I’m sure you all hate being slapped in the face with the coldhearted “Rate our App” notification, so it’s important in this situation to ‘play the game’. Warm them up a little before you scare them off from being a little too keen. So in other words, give them a chance to get to know your app before you pop the question. And if, for whatever reason, they don’t leave you a review, don’t keep nagging, or you could end up with a bad review whether they like your app or not (see example above).

2.  Don’t Interrupt

The most common method used for asking for a user rating is the in-app notification. Although this ensures your users see it, it is impossible to do this without interrupting their current activity. This is what Circa News found to be the biggest problem with their method of gathering user ratings, so they developed a method much more integral to the user’s experience called the integrated rating.

Integrated Rating Example

Integrated Rating Example

They decided to place an integrated rating in the middle of their list of news stories. That way, someone could scroll right past it without having to interact with it, as opposed to a pop up which is interrupting and requires interaction.

3.  Ask a Question

Circa News also got positive results by choosing to ask their users’ a question rather than begging for a rating straight up (see below). By answering ‘Yes’, users are then politely prompted to give a rating on the App Store, which is likely to be a positive one. Whereas those who answer ‘Not really’ are given the opportunity to provide some feedback. This feedback is automatically submitted to their help desk and enables Circa to find out what their user dislikes and therefore try to solve the issue before it becomes a negative review on the App Store for everyone to see.


4.  Get Personal 

Don’t be afraid to use the name of your user in your prompt. Personalising your message can boost conversion by 27.5%!

5.  Don’t Ask for a 5 Star Rating

It can be cheeky enough even asking your user for a rating, never mind a 5-star rating! 🙈 So don’t push it. A recent study by Hubspot found this to lead to fewer and lower mobile app ratings.

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6.  Be Timely 

If you can, select a moment in time where the app user may have had a positive experience. For example, unlocked a higher level on a game or just booked a room on Booking.com’s app. Moments like these, when we know the user is actively interacting with the app, are the best times to ask for a rating. Of course, all apps are different and they don’t all have defining moments like these, but what they all do have is the ability to segment…

7.  Segment Your Users

Segment your users to target the most appropriate group to send your prompt to. For example, those who have visited the app 10 times over a period of 3 days. This will help you avoid asking inactive or first-time users who are unlikely to leave you a positive user review.

Building a relationship with your app users is the key factor to creating loyal users that will be more than happy to give you a positive app review. If you want to find out how you can create app engagement and increase user retention feel free to download our guide, The Ultimate Guide to Mobile App Marketing. You can also contact me directly at emma@hurree.co. I’d be more than happy to answer your questions.

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