Improve Your Chance of Getting iOS App Reviews by Deep Linking to the Review Page in the App Store

Recently the creators of the Twindr app posted an article about the conundrum that app developers face with the rating system in the App Store.

It is difficult to get app reviews because of the disjointed review user experience and at the same time app reviews are key to app discovery.  To write a review users need to leave your app, go to the App Store, login, and then write their review.

App Review Process (Twindr example)

App Review Process (Twindr example)

Many developers have probably not written an app review because of this process.  Sometimes the password challenge appears and you cancel the review process with intention to come back later but you may not ever become a ‘conversion’ and write a review.

As an app developer if you’ve accumulated a 5 star rating for your app you are faced with the choice of updating your app and providing functionality that your users want and losing your 5 star rating or keeping your 5 star rating and not providing the best app that your customers want.

We’ve seen many apps where you click on a button or link to write a review and you are taken directly to the app overview page and you have to take an extra step to click the Review page.  This is an extra step that your users need to take which further decreases your chance for a review.

While not readily apparent, app developers can improve their chance of receiving app reviews by linking directly to the Reviews page in iTunes.  This format is not highly publicized but here is a link style that you can use in your apps to take the app user directly to the Reviews page:

Just replace YOURAPPIDHERE above with your app’s ID that you get from iTunes and include this link in your app when you ask users for reviews.  This will help smooth the transition to iTunes and provide a better user experience for your app’s users.

When asking for reviews make sure to read this recent post by Aaron Wojnowski on how to provide a user experience in your app to increase your chances for positive reviews.

Even though the full app review process is disjointed, it is very important to the success of our apps and we need to make sure we do all we can to improve our odds of getting the positive reviews that our iOS apps need.

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Promoting Your iOS App by Sharing Deep Links to Promo Codes

So you’ve just finished creating your iOS app and it has been approved by Apple.  Congratulations - this is very exciting!

One of the next steps in successfully promoting your app is sending Promo Codes to  journalists and app bloggers so they can review the app to help generate some buzz.

First you need to login to your iTunes Connect account and visit the Promo Codes page to generate the codes that you will send to the bloggers and reviewers.  When you complete the promo codes process you will get a simple text file with a list of unique promo codes that you can use.

iTunes Connect Promo Code Request Page

Now, this is all well and good but think of the user experience for the person that you would like to review your app.  It goes something like this:

  1. First you send the reviewer the promo code
  2. Next the reviewer opens the iTunes app
  3. Then they may have to enter their password to login to iTunes
  4. Next they find the difficult to locate Redeem link and click it
  5. Now they enter the promo code and hope they typed it in correctly
  6. Finally your app will start to download on the reviewer’s device

At a time when you are relying on the reviewer to download your app to help generate traffic for you this process is error prone and very frustrating.

Well, luckily there is a better way to share your Promo Codes that is not very widely publicized by Apple.  You can actually provide a link with the Promo Code included so that all the reviewer needs to do is click on your link to start downloading your app.

Simply provide a link such as this to make it much easier to share your Promo Codes:  

Just replace the PROMO_CODE value in the link with your unique Promo Code and send that to the app reviewer.  This link will let them download your app quickly and easily.

Now you’ve taken a six step process down to a one step process and increased the chances that the app reviewer will be able to download your app.

The more links, press, and reviews that you can get for your app the more successful your app venture will be.

How to Improve your App Store Rankings using App Review RSS Feeds

Customer reviews of your iPhone and iPad apps are major factors in the success and discoverability of your app.  Since 2013 Apple has been using customer ratings as a major factor in the Top app list algorithm in addition to number of downloads.  Having an overall positive app rating is one of the Top 3 ways for your app  to rank higher in Apple’s charts that are so important to success.

Ranking of apps factoring in average reviews


Customer reviews and ratings are also key factors that you can use to develop the feature roadmap for your app.  If your customers are asking for a PDF export in the reviews you should seriously consider adding this to your app.

Reviews of your competitors’ apps also expose their weaknesses and strengths and provide you key information in how to position your app in the market and factor in your competitive analysis.

How do you keep informed of what customers are saying about your app?  You can check the App Store daily or use 3rd party services like App Annie or you can use a little known RSS feed service that Apple offers.

Here an example URL that you can use in your favorite RSS reader -

This link will retrieve reviews from the US App Store for the app with ID 472562248 and return the data in XML format.  You can replace the US value with country code that you are looking for, replace the app ID with your own app ID, and interchange the xml value with json if you’d prefer the data in a JSON format.

Now you can use your favorite RSS reader to get notified almost immediately when a new review is posted.  Here’s a helpful IFTTT recipe to send your RSS feed right to your Evernote notebook - our personal preference.

If you get a positive review make sure to reinforce that capability and if you get a negative review do whatever you can to resolve it since reviews are so important to your app’s success.

If you’d like to get articles and tips like this right in your inbox you can sign up for our free email list below. Early Progress Screenshots and Updates

Over the past month we’ve been hard at work developing to be the one stop site for app idea market research, validation, and post launch marketing.

We’re excited with the progress we’ve made and we wanted to share some screenshots of our early progress so far.

As you can see in the screenshots below we have a functioning sign up and login page, you can add ideas and keywords, research keywords on the App Store, see common themes in reviews of apps that exist for your keywords and more.

This is just a fraction of the functionality we are going to provide.  Our goal is to automate and improve the market research that you already do when you make a new app and use that data to make a solid marketing plan for your app launch.  We have a lot more work to do to make that a reality!

We’ll keep sharing updates as we continue developing the site to get to our beta launch.  If you haven’t already done it, enter your email below to be one of the first to get invited to our beta.

Follow us on Twitter if you’ve got some feedback for us - we’d be happy to hear it.

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