November 23, 2016 Last updated November 23rd, 2016 1,942 Reads share

Listen & Learn: Boosting Mobile App Download & Retention Metrics with User Reviews

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Think you don’t need to be actively encouraging reviews for your app? Then, here is food for thought: Recent reports suggest that increasingly, mobile owners are searching for user reviews before they install apps on smart devices. In today’s highly competitive app market, it is therefore highly crucial for app vendors to be proactive when it comes to online reputation management.

In this article, we’ll see how app reviews can make a big impact on download and retention metrics and different tactics an app vendor must apply to effectively collect reviews from app users.

Why App Reviews Should Matter for App Vendors?

In today’s technology age, we all know how vital it is for brands to get word-of-mouth validation. This applies to apps as well. Let’s see some reasons you can’t ignore app reviews:

  • Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store – the 2 main app stores favours highly-rated and positively reviewed apps. High rankings in app stores means more downloads. It is also the main deciding factor to get featured in the top chart ratings section in app stores.
  • Ideally when app ratings are below 3.5 and more negative feedback are floating about your app in the online world, a potential app user is generally hesitant to install your app fearing poor user experience.
  • App feedback gives you a chance to build relationship with your app users.
  • Positive app rankings and reviews help build strong good reputation in App world. It confirms to potential app users that your app is credible and trust-worthy.
  • It is challenging to figure out your user expectations. Reviews from your target user base will let you know their expectations, where your app is falling short and changes you need to bring in the app to provide exceptional user experience to them. The more feedback you receive the better you can understand your app user base and expectations of people from your app.

In short, for app vendors, reviews are the key to supercharge download and retention metrics.

How to Encourage App Users to Leave Reviews?

So, it is clearly evident from the above points that app vendors ‘must’ collect app reviews. But getting feedback from app users is not that easy. The big challenge with collecting qualitative feedback is to persuade app users to take time out of their busy schedule to potentially give you insights about your app.

Employ some below mentioned ‘smart’ tactics to effectively collect valuable feedback from your app users:

  • In-App Feedback: Running in-app surveys or getting ratings/reviews inside your app is the best way to gain opinion from your users. Active users will give you the most relevant and accurate feedback for your app.
  • Various Digital Marketing Channels: An app vendor cannot simply rely on in-app feedback. What if a person has stopped using your app or someone who has uninstalled your app? To collect feedback from this pool of people, app vendors must leverage other mediums like social media platforms, emails, instant messaging or having dedicated forums or surveys on website.
  • Influencer Marketing: Take feedback from app industry influencers to reach out to prospective app users. This powerful marketing method has tremendous potential to help you reach out to your target audience.

Blunders to Avoid While Collecting Reviews

In the attempt to collect feedback, ensure you don’t annoy your users to the extent that they are left with no other option but to uninstall the app from their mobile device. To really benefit from reviews, you need to do it right–and that means avoiding deadly mistakes like the ones described below:

  • Asking for Review at a Bad Time: Don’t prompt the review screen or throw pop-up as soon as the user opens the app. It has been opened by user to do some action. Let user complete the function and then shoot the question. Reaching your user at the optimum time is paramount. Ideally pop the question at a point where they really value your app.
  • Constantly Asking for Review: Users may get angry and leave a poor rating simply because you annoy them by asking for feedback too often.
  • Asking Too Much Personal Information: This is one of the main reasons people not only tend to abruptly end filling the feedback form but also uninstall the app. If the information is not relevant with your app, don’t include it in your review form.
  • Long Feedback Forms: Submitting reviews must be an easy and frictionless process for mobile users. If the review forms are long and time-consuming, app reviewers will abandon the forms in-between.

How to Make the Most of App Reviews?

Now that you have collected ample amount of reviews, what should you do with all these qualitative feedback?

  • Monitor: Regularly monitor all review avenues like app store, review platforms, social pages, etc.
  • Respond: Reply to all reviewers irrespective of whether they have appreciated or criticized your app. Don’t get disheartened by negative reviews and at the same time don’t get overjoyed seeing positive ones.
  • Evaluate: Not all feedback need your attention; there might be some that are fake or invalid. So, evaluate all your reviews. Separate wheat from chaff.
  • Translate App Users Reviews into App To Provide Best User-Experience: Consider negative reviews for further improvement prospects. Provide regular updates based on the reviews received from app users. Adapting to user requirements will give a boost to your app retention rate and download rate.
  • Add Rich Snippets for Reviews and Ratings: Rich snippets may help your app ratings to show up in SERPs, provided they include the right information to help Google crawlers trace them.

The Bottom Line: Start Generating Revenue From Your App Reviews!

Reviews are critically important to secure your online visibility in organic search rankings in Google and App Stores. Tweak your app marketing strategy to get more and more feedback from your app user base. Listening, gaining insight from your app users and making changes in the app according to their suggestions will help you boost app downloads and also retain your current app user base.

How do you encourage your app users to leave reviews? What are you doing with your reviewer’s feedback? Share with us below!

Image: Survey Suggestion Opinion Review Feedback Concept

Kim Smith

Kim Smith

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