Best Practices

Four Ways to Bump Up Your Mobile App Rating

Published Aug 13, 2021

Being a mobile product manager is a dynamic and interesting job! But it comes with its own set of unique challenges. We all want high store ratings. It’s the face of our product, our public score and a source for comparison with competitors. Low scores can prevent users from installing our app or companies from buying our service. But how does one go about ensuring that the store rating is as high as it can be, along with creating a great product?

The reality of app store ratings is that people usually tend to be vocal when they have a negative opinion. When people are happy, they won’t always invest the time to rate and compliment. In today’s technological world, the standard is high and excellence is becoming a commodity, so users question: Why should I bother to rate and compliment?

One of your responsibilities as a mobile product manager is to route happy users to rate your app and to reverse the negative effect of those who aren’t happy and tend to be more vocal.

Here are four methods. 

1. Make it almost effortless  

Send an in-app guide that requests a rating and let users rate your app without leaving your app. When it’s an in-app prompt, the effort it takes users to rate is the same as the effort it takes them to close the prompt. An in-app guide with a request is also in context and makes complete sense to users when they’re filling it out. They can even add free text reviews. Never send your users to the app store page for the rating (Apple also doesn’t allow it).

2. Ask at the right time 

When users open your app, they do it for a reason. They might have some urgency they need to address so it’s probably not a good time to ask for a review. Send an in-app guide after they’ve accomplished success in the app. Then, they feel more generous and more likely to rate. Another way to garner more reviews is to time your features. If you’re about to release an amazing feature that will blow your users away, it’d be wise to time the rating requests to be sent after this release. 

3. Filter out the unhappy users 

 We don’t want these bad reviews, so how about not even asking your unhappy users for feedback? This is actually super easy. Add a preliminary screening question before you ask for a rating: ask about satisfaction from a specific flow or the entire app and show only satisfied users the rating request! It’s important to remember that Apple does not guarantee to show the prompt. First, it will be shown only to users who haven’t rated the app in the past. Second, Apple and Google show the rating prompt only up to three times a year and do not guarantee to show it every time you ask. Third, users can opt-out from receiving these rating prompts completely.
For this reason, when you build this flow, you should not imply in any way that a rating request is about to follow.

What about the unhappy users, those who you’ve decided not to ask for a rating? Use this segment of users to understand what’s not working and show them a follow-up open question to dig deeper into why they’re not happy.

4. Use prior satisfaction information  

Since the actual rating request might be considered a nuisance, you can filter out your unhappy users, who are likely to provide low scores. Send the rating request only to users who gave you a high score in a previous satisfaction survey, such as a NPS or 5-star poll. For example, send the request only to users who gave you an eight or more in your latest NPS poll.

On the rare occasion where you have a revised and improved version of your application (which originally had bad reviews), you can reset your ‘Summary rating’ which is displayed on your product page (but not the open-text responses). The downside for this is that you will start again with very few reviews.

To sum up, you can be wise about store rating requests and easily bump up your store rating.