- 01-30-2013, 09:40 AM #26
- 01-30-2013, 01:01 PM #29
My perspectivebeing prompted to rate an app is a form of marketing. It is slightly annoying but no more so than any other form of marketing. Many apps do respect your choice not to be asked again, with the caveat that you may be asked again when a new version comes out. Those that so not respect your choice not to be asked again are more annoying.
What I don't understand is the complaints above that you are supporting the dev by purchasing the app and should not have to view any other marketing messages about it. To me, that is kind of like "I own a Samsung TV so I should never see a commercial about Samsung TVs (or a web ad, etc)". Of course I can, and do, do things to avoid some advertising by using TiVo, as blockers on the web, etc. but those things take much more time and effort than clicking "not now" or "do not ask me again" when asked to rate an app.
Advertising and marketing are part of the price we pay for our current economy and lifestyle. It's annoying, yes. But I find it hard to single out the "rate my app" marketing ploy as being any worse than any others. Yes, turning that form marketing off is under a devs control and individualizing commercials on TV may not be under the control of the product manufacturer (although I bet it could be done by the networks), so maybe that's why you find the "rate my app" marketing to be so annoying.
- 01-30-2013, 01:34 PM #30
Re: Please stop!
I think the difference to me is that we've become used to buying software in part to stop popups and ads—once a license was bought, that was usually the end of it. One expects a "Lite" version to include ads and popups, but in the desktop world those are used more as a way to get you to buy the full version—which would not have those annoyances.
Whether or not App Store price points can support that business model is a different question—but I believe that's where the frustration stems from.
- 01-30-2013, 02:31 PM #32
Re: Please stop!
While a review may encourage/discourage the purchase of an app after a customer becomes aware that they want/need said app, it is not what drives a customer's need for an app. I believe the issue lies with the fact that while these reviews help the volume of a developer's sales and margins, it is not the customer's responsibility to help those numbers; that responsibility lies solely with the developer. If a developer chooses to pursue a living in creating and distributing apps, they need to also put energy into marketing that app, without 'pestering' (may or may not be how I feel) via other methods. I understand that the reviews may be a cost effective way to give validity to the usefulness of an app, but it need not be so important that you change the way an existing customer feels about your product.
The analogy about the Samsung TV earlier is a bit off. From the description the OP gave, it would be equivalent to each time you turn that Samsung TV on receiving a message to assist Samsung with their sales numbers.
I understand the premise of how important these reviews may be to stimulating or helping sales. But the OP is correct in saying that once the customer purchases the app, there is nothing else required from the customer or any implied responsibility to do anything further. Even if the user buys the app and never opens it, that is their right. If they never speak of the app to anyone else or never review, they don't have to. No developer should make a customer feel as if they are wrong for not doing so.
How you plan to market the app is something you should consider before ever even beginning the production phase. If your app can not survive without a single review, there are deeper marketing problems than the customer can fix. I believe the reviews were meant to help the customer, not the developer. It is based around community and wanting to help/protect other user's like you. Any decision I make to purchase a product is not based solely on these reviews (not speaking for everyone). My decision is based on my faith that a company will provide said service. And your OWN marketing is what helps build that faith, not an existing customer.
- 01-30-2013, 03:58 PM #33
Re: Please stop!
If an app makes it to the front of iTunes, it has to have a TON of positive reviews. No amount of marketing will do that. Devs have no way to reach out to those people who purchase the app - Apple gives us total numbers. Not names or email addresses. Shame.
Keeping a lite version requires the same coding hours as making the full version. For big apps its not worth it.
- 01-30-2013, 04:24 PM #34
- 01-30-2013, 04:34 PM #35
Re: Please stop!
O I completely understand how important it is to make it to the front lines of the app store. But with the way apple seems to 'prioritize' which apps get there, this should not be the main focus of the 'marketing' attempts. Most of the apps I have actually purchased, do not even show in the app store unless I search for them specifically (after hearing about them from other sources, than the app store itself). Marketing need not have a singular focus. There are many ways to market an app these days; blogs, email marketing, social media, etc. Relying on customers to review the app should not be the main focus. Especially these days when a customer that is happy is normally the quietest customer. Most customers that enjoy an app/service never 'give back' in the way of reviews. They may visit a forum (such as imore) or tell other like minded individuals about it. But my point is there is no obligation for them to do any of these and there should not be an expectation built into marketing efforts. It is definitely nice to see those reviews, but it is never a given.
While tedious and some times difficult, app distribution is no different from any other business. It requires just as much effort to build a buzz as it does to create. Once you have a customer, your focus should be on providing that customer with a great experience; not receiving a rave review. The review will come from that experience (if the customer feels so inclined). The advertising other companies outside of app distribution engage in, is not primarily for existing customers, but to raise awareness to new potential customers. Maybe reach out to tech blogs (imore plug) or other sites related to your product and engage in an interview or article. The sites benefit from providing their audience with valuable and pertinent information about something they believe will be useful. And the developer is starting the snowball down the hill. There are plenty of ways to build that buzz. Of the over 200 apps I have installed, most are from me seeking out these specifics companies/person's apps (other than cheap games). In these cases, what good would reviews do, if I never knew to look for them?
- 01-30-2013, 04:40 PM #36
Re: Please stop!
This is better than any review, as I actually clicked to see what WreakingHavoc thought was a good app. One that I would have never found by looking at App Store suggestions -- number 99 under Productivity -> Paid (Top Charts). Not normally one to scroll through that many different apps.
Side note -- I will be looking on the internet to see if it is something I think I could use From the website (quick glance) it does look to be well worth the 9.99 price tag!
Please stop!Once you have a customer, your focus should be on providing that customer with a great experience; not receiving a rave review. The review will come from that experience (if the customer feels so inclined). ....(snipped)...
- 01-30-2013, 05:13 PM #38
But just because its always been that way with software, doesn't mean it always should be. I can think of many things where I pay, but still get subjected to marketing and advertising. Such as 1) I pay my cable bill and still see ads in TV, 2) Hulu+, 3) riding the subway, 4) going to a sporting event.
In some cases maybe I pay and see ads due to greed and in others it is because the cost I pay doesn't fully cover the cost of the item (whether media, event, etc). Probably some of both in some cases. So if we wanted to see absolutely no ads, then it becomes a question if whether we would accept the necessary price increases for those things. In most cases, the businesses have probably already done the calculus necessary to determine that they couldn't afford the loss of customers that a price increase would cause. And in some cases, you could also argue the morality of raising prices to exclude ads because that would inevitably prevent some people from using the service who could no longer afford the price (like riding the subway).
TLDR: just because we are accustomed to something, doesn't mean it should stay that way.
PS: I'm as annoyed by advertising as anyone.
- 01-30-2013, 06:25 PM #39
Re: Please stop!
But let me be clear: my ONLY issue is with those apps that don't respect (or don't offer) a "Don't Ask Again" choice. At some point, it becomes like a telemarketing robocall that rings your phone over and over, or that drunk guy in the bar that doesn't want to take no for an answer.
- 01-30-2013, 08:45 PM #40
Clearly many of us have a problem with apps that pester the user, and I am no exception to that.
My apps put up a review request once. You can press the Review, Later, Never buttons and we will respect your choice. We also have a Review Us button in our about page which is virtually never used ( tracked with analytics) in any of our apps.
When we rev the product and the reviews get reset, we don't ask again. We rely on new customers to create a new review pool. Ironically when we rev an app sales typically drop for the next month, just when we have put out new features and improved the product.
Reviews are NOT our sole advertising method. In fact we don't really consider it part of our ad campaign, it is instead a simple fact that apps without reviews don't get purchased in anywhere the same volumes as apps with reviews. Not a speculation, a simple fact.
Marketing is significantly more effort than development and we put that effort in, which does work for us, however the fact remains that without reviews in the App Store, sales suffer and our ability to upgrade your favorite app is reduced.
I have already shared some successful marketing tips in other threads so I won't go there in this one, but suffice it to say that reviews have a place, are valuable not just for ranking, and we will continue to ask for them - once - as long as buyers continue to require them before making a purchase.
You can decide if that review is worth getting your enhancement request completed or not as you wish.
I again suggest that if you have a problem with a specific developer putting up popups all the time requesting reviews that you let them know. Don't paint all of us with a broad brush ifvwevask you nice to take just a minute to help us survive so we can make your app better in the future.
By the way, there is no way to actually tell if you have reviewed our app, only if you have pressed the review button... If you reviewed it thru iTunes directly we don't know either...
- 01-30-2013, 10:42 PM #41
- 01-30-2013, 10:50 PM #42
- 01-30-2013, 10:56 PM #43
- 01-30-2013, 11:06 PM #45
1. Naming the apps will open him up to support requests outside the "support structure" meaning that he will get PM'd to death with "my app doesn't work right" people.
2. There might be legal repercussions if he let slip any details of the apps he has a hand in.
3. And if you ever have worked in retail you know once the customers know where you work they will never leave you alone. (I worked for a popular supermarket chain for 20 years. Customers would come to me with problems they had when I was out of work shopping in other stores. They never left me alone. )
- 01-30-2013, 11:17 PM #46
It's ok. I'm not posting to prop up our apps, I'm here to simply provide general help to the iOS community from a different perspective.
Please stop!2. There might be legal repercussions if he let slip any details of the apps he has a hand in.3. And if you ever have worked in retail you know once the customers know where you work they will never leave you alone. (I worked for a popular supermarket chain for 20 years. Customers would come to me with problems they had when I was out of work shopping in other stores. They never left me alone. )
- 01-31-2013, 08:09 AM #49
- 01-31-2013, 08:48 AM #50
Re: Please stop!
I may have misunderstood some of your earlier replies. It kinda seemed as if you were defending some of the other developers with a different mindset. I do think the app experience has more to do with the willingness to leave a review, than the suggestion to do so. But I am sure that is a personal thing, and on a global scale the suggestion may work due to the tendency for people to respond on impulse.
From what you and Alli say about the analytics, it would seem that Apple should provide you(developers) with more details, so that you can use it effectively. But that kinda leans to the idea that reviews aren't intended to help developers as much as the customer.
**-- I completely understand your company making sure there is a clear presence, and not wanting it muddled. What if Tim (not saying this would happen) made some crazy comments somewhere that offended a bunch of people. And he was known as been a part of Company ABC with App XYZ; this could affect the company's image greatly.
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