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Annoying requests to rate your app are getting you one star ratings. Here’s how to fix that


Annoying requests to rate your app are getting you one star ratings. Here’s how to fix that

Apple has announced [1] that with the next update to iOS 10, they will limit the number of times an app owner can pester a user for a rating.

This should come as no surprise to any app owner in the habit of treating their customers with basic app etiquette. Some apparently believe that showing users even a smidgen of courtesy is not important in our faceless digital world. They couldn’t be more wrong! One look at the dreadful app churn rates [2] shows the exact opposite to be true.

Apple has decided to save over-ambitious app owners from themselves, forcing them to play nice. In this spirit, I’d like to share three tips for engaging your users so that they will keep on coming back, and leave those 5 star ratings:

Be contextual!

That is the best advice I can impart. Even the most salesy promo will not be perceived as a nuisance if it’s presented to the right user, at the right moment. For example, if a user visited a product screen for the third time in a few days, but didn’t add it to the cart, a little discount nudge is appropriate.

The best contextual messages take into account various aspects of the user’s data. Analyzing a user’s current activity, as well as history inside the app, combined with other metrics, can help app owners and marketers determine a user’s interests. This leads to intelligent and personalized engagement.

Don’t be intrusive

There are many ways for your in-app communication to be non-intrusive. That includes using features like banners, tooltips and highlighters that will not block app functionality, while drawing users’ attention to your latest specials. There is no doubt that contextual content displayed in a non-intrusive manner will have the greatest effect over time.

It is also important for app owners to practice restraint when sending a promo, app rating request, or survey to the user. Setting a capping rule means that the user will no longer receive a request after clicking on it or after choosing not to click through a set number of times.

It’s a world of give and take

The app rating craze has become so desperate that many apps will send a second-time user a request to rate them in the App Store. Even worse, an unsuspecting user is ambushed by this request right as they open the app. This means that the user has been pestered before completing their desired action, which is the reason they opened the app in the first place.

Asking for rating must be done with the utmost caution. Ask the people who love the app to rate it. Yes, your best and most loyal users should be receiving app rating requests, no one else. But even these most loyal customers should only be asked to rate the app at the perfect mobile moment, when the request will be the least intrusive.

When your users feel that you respect them enough to learn their behavior and personalize your engagements, they will respond positively. Guaranteed.

About the author

Polly Alluf is the VP Marketing at Insert [3], the first automated in-app marketing platform and the author of the Beginners Playbook to In-App Campaigns [4].

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  1. ^ has announced (
  2. ^ app churn rates (
  3. ^ Insert (
  4. ^ Beginners Playbook to In-App Campaigns (
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