Please stop! - App Review pop up

WreakingHavoc

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Please stop!

From the dev's point of view....

We live and die by your ratings. If there are no ratings, there are no sales. And Apple, in its infinite wisdom, resets the ratings every time a new version comes out. So we have to bother you at least once per version. Most of us (devs) make sure that you get an option to dismiss permanently...but only until the next version.

There is no way to perfectly time when the popup shows up either. On behalf of all devs - I apologize. But remember, our updated apps need updated ratings.

We love you!

What apps have you developed?
 

BreakingKayfabe

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Please stop!

My only problem with this is that I don't like being asked to rate the app again after I've already rated it and it's still on the same version. That's what I don't understand. I don't mind rating apps at all. I give an app about 4 weeks before I do. And if I don't like something right off the bat, those 4 weeks allow for some time for a new version to fix bugs. I know developers work hard on these things, and the really good ones go through a lot. I don't mind rating. Just stop asking while I've already rated the same version, lol
 

Just_Me_D

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Please stop!

Why can't your purchase simply be enough? Because one customer does not pay the bills.
it is not the problem of customers to worry about how you're going to pay your bills just like it's not yours to worry about how I will pay mine. You're in the business of offering a product at a profit. Period! You offered to sell a product at a certain price and I opted to buy it at that certain price. I got an app, you made a profit. Now, let me choose to help you in my own way and not the way you want. I prefer to come to a forum like this and tell everybody to give your app a try, if in think it is a worthwhile app.

Seriously.
Yes, seriously!

We are talking about software that you pay less than $5 typically - and often software you get for free.
Price is not the issue. The issue is being repeatedly nagged to rate an app that I have already purchased. You sold. I bought. Done.

What makes this work financially is volume.
I understand

Without ratings, sales don't happen.
No. Without a product that customers want or need, sales don't happen. In this instance, ratings are used as a marketing tool. Let's be real.
Without sales, your developer cannot afford to support or enhance the product, and it will simply die.
Agreed

So no, to put it bluntly, your purchase alone is not enough.
In the context that I asked that particular question, you know I was referring to completing a transaction between a seller and a buyer.

We recently signed a contract for $65k for development of an iOS app. It will retail for $1.99. Do the math on what sales need to be before this app even breaks even.
As a "customer", I could care less. All I care about is whether or not you will offer a product that i can use and if so, I will buy it and if not, I won't.
Your reviews stimulate sales and help the developer survive.
I agree. I also agree that I can review it on my terms and not yours. I also agree that if I am nagged to death about rating an app or forced to rate an app, that review will not be favorable.

Is it really that much to ask?
Is it too much to ask of you to try and understand the customers' perspective?

We include a "don't ask me again" button and remember this forever, but we also include a "rate us" link in our about page - that virtually NEVER gets used.
You're referring to your specific situation. All devs are not equal in this regard.
The percentage of users who DO use the Rate Us link in the popup is quite high, over 50%, and we do believe its the best way to get ratings.
I'm sure it is, but it is still a customer be damned situation.

I agree you need to be smart in presenting this popup, and support both a Later and Never option.
Well stated...:D
 
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Timhewitt

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Please stop!

Rather than complain about all developers and all apps and all popups, why not take your specific issue to the app you have a problem with.

Since you clearly don't feel a need to review an app, and we the developers have actual proof that reviews drive sales, we will clearly never agree.

I do find it fascinating that being asked to review an app is so utterly distasteful to you, and that you believe that as a customer it matters not if your developer makes a profit or goes out of business.
 

Timhewitt

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Please stop!

Tim has spoken. Thread closed.

Hardly.

No one really cares what we as developers face to try to make a living writing software. I do attempt to share some of the issues from my perspective, but I don't really expect anyone to understand.
 

Just_Me_D

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Please stop!

Rather than complain about all developers and all apps and all popups, why not take your specific issue to the app you have a problem with.

Since you clearly don't feel a need to review an app, and we the developers have actual proof that reviews drive sales, we will clearly never agree.

I do find it fascinating that being asked to review an app is so utterly distasteful to you, and that you believe that as a customer it matters not if your developer makes a profit or goes out of business.

I have reviewed and recommended more apps than I care to recall and I did so willingly and on my own terms. Some of those reviews / recommendations can be read right here in these forums. The last being the Tapatalk 2 app. Having said that, you are not going to tell me that I cannot be dissatisfied with pop-ups prompting me to rate an app. I don't decide to buy a note taking app for the purpose of paying your bills. I buy it based on my needs at that time. If saying that upsets you, I'm sorry, but it's the truth and I say that respectfully. Do I understand the devs point of view as stated in this thread? Of course, I do and I know you understand my point of view. It's obviously more personal for you being that you're a developer and apparently make your living off of the sale of apps and I get that. I really do. I DO NOT like repeated prompts nagging me to rate an app, especially after having already rated the app. If your kids repeatedly asked, "are we there yet?" during an 8-hour drive and you've only been on the road for 5 minutes, I'm sure you'd find it quite irritating. Now to review and summarize: I buy apps. I'm grateful to devs who make apps that I need. I don't mind recommending apps on my own terms. I understand the reason for the ratings request. I don't like repeated requests to rate. Oh, and I do NOT find it "distasteful" to "review" an app but I do find it "distasteful" to be nagged to death. I can't get any clearer than that.
 

Just_Me_D

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Please stop!

Hardly.

No one really cares what we as developers face to try to make a living writing software. I do attempt to share some of the issues from my perspective, but I don't really expect anyone to understand.

Tim, I do indeed understand and I do appreciate your perspective but just because I do, it doesn't mean I have to like it. I like the fact that you create & develop apps. I like the fact that you sell apps and I like the fact that I can buy them from you. I don't like the annoying rating requests. I stated only one negative.
 

Massie

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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.
 

Just_Me_D

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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.

You are spot-on, Massie ...:D
 

dowdyrich

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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.
 

Alli

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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.
 

dowdyrich

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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?
 

dowdyrich

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Re: Please stop!

Nice app, good work!


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!
 

Just_Me_D

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Please stop!

...(snipped)...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....(snipped)...
Thank you so very much. YOU get it! ...(snipped)...
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)...
'Nuf said...:)
 

Massie

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Re: Please stop!

Yes, I'm sure that's why people are annoyed with ads in paid apps. Because that's what we are used to.

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.

Hi Karen...like I said in my post, my explanation is simply trying to explain WHY people look at this situation differently. It may well be that this will be the new normal when it comes to apps, but I think we're all still finding our legs in the marketplace. (I can't tell if you agree or think I'm an idiot.) Ironically, I think the best thing people can do to voice their displeasure is to...leave a review, saying that they don't enjoy having their workflow interrupted by popups asking for reviews.

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.
 

Timhewitt

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Please stop!

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...
 

john_v

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Re: Please stop!

Tim what are some of your apps?

(Sorry for OT)

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...
 

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