“Did you know that Apple search ads perform better if you have more than 150 ratings in the app store?”
Yes thats true! And I can say that after running hundreds of search ad campaigns for apps with no downloads to over thousands of downloads a day! When you run search ads on playstore, having at least 150 ratings is important to get people to notice you and start taking action (which is clicking and downloading). Now this brings us to two things – how do we get the initial 150 ratings and how do we maintain it beyond that!
The key to achieving 150 ratings and beyond while maintaining 4+ stars begins from understanding your customer journey which enables you to filter and focus on users who are likely to give good ratings to your app. Now how do you do that?
First let’s understand the customer journey.The customer journey, also known as the buyer’s journey, refers to the series of interactions and experiences that a user has with your APP from discovering your APP in APP store to uninstalling it from their phone, and in some cases, even beyond that. Now what you need to do is to list down all the touch points which in most cases will look like a tree and identify the customer delight points during the journey. These are actions or steps which are mostly taken by your happy and satisfied users. For example, in a dating APP, it could be to start sending connections or messages etc. or spending too much time on your APP everyday, or opening it too frequently! The sooner you identify such behaviors which are likely to indicate higher engagement or satisfaction from your users, the more likely you are to get positive reviews!
Imagine this – only 25% of all App install users will actually come back to using your App for the second time.. This means that the remaining 75% did not find an active solution in your App. Now one of the coolest ways to increase your rating is to ask for reviews from the 25% repeat users because they are more likely to give you positive reviews compared to the 75% who never came back to your APP. How do you do that? Simple, all you need to do is to ask for review on second App open, or if you have a trial, then ask for review right after they sign up for the trial. You can aso ask for reviews right after then have signed up to a subscription.
Here is a case study from one of the APPs we ran this test for. So this APP had a customer rating of 4.3 and was over 4 years old.
What we did was, we moved the review prompt after the trial activation and guess what we saw?
Our rating count increased by 4X!
Not only that, we also increased our average rating from 4.3 to 4.5!
Now you might say that maybe we got way more downloads in January, so here is the download stats for the 3 months.
As you can see, although we did get more downloads in January compared to previous months, the percentage of ratings we received increased by 3X!
Therefore, while it is important to follow best practices, it is also important not to follow them blindly. While working on paywall optimization or user ratings, it is important for you to understand the customer journey and identify best touchpoints to ask for reviews. Remember that its also ok not to get it right the first time. This is where you need to have multiple touchpoints ready to be tested one after the other to identify the best performing touchpoint with the combination of the best performing prompt to build a sustainable ratings pipeline.
Watch the video on