5 Ways to Get Reviewers to Pay Attention to Your Mobile App
With hundreds of apps competing for attention and downloads on app marketplaces, app developers often try to get ahead of the competition by getting their apps reviewed by app reviewers. While getting your app reviewed by a trusted reviewer can be a great way to get your app in front of a wider audience and gain credibility for your app, it’s not easy to get the attention of the most popular app reviewers.
Every day, the most important and influential reviewers of mobile applications get literally hundreds of e-mail requests from developers. Unfortunately, most developers still take a shotgun approach to their reviewer outreach. At best, they collect the contact details of reviewers from forums and send them e-mails without knowing much about the reviewer or the reviewer’s interests. At worst, they send out a press release and hope for the best.
Instead of taking a scattershot approach to getting app reviews, here are a few ideas for how you can get attention for your mobile app from app reviewers:
- Use your network: Instead of just copying and pasting e-mail addresses off of an online forum or blasting out a mass press release e-mail, take time to focus on a short list of a few app reviewers that you definitely want to introduce to your app. Often the best way to connect with specific app reviewers is to use networking to get connected to them. Introduce yourself to journalists at industry events and trade shows. Find out which people in your professional network might know a certain app reviewer. Go on LinkedIn and find out how many degrees of separation you are from your target app reviewers – chances are, you might be more closely acquainted than you expect.
- Be creative: Instead of sending a boring, easily ignored e-mail, try using some other methods of telling your app’s story. For example, you could create a web video introducing your app with a cinematic-style “trailer.” Or you could use old-fashioned direct mail to put a colorful, cleverly designed postcard on the app reviewer’s desk. Does your app or game have memorable characters? Send a stuffed animal or piece of merchandise to the app reviewer, along with a URL where they can download the app. Show the reviewer that you value their opinion and their time – anyone can send an e-mail, but if you put more effort (and investment) into your pitch, the app reviewers are more likely to notice.
- Look beyond traditional app reviewers: App reviewers and tech sites aren’t the only places that people go to get information on fun new apps. Other than the category of “app reviewers,” think about who else might be part of the potential audience for your app, and target the sites that might interest this audience. If your app is a cooking app, contact cooking sites. If your app helps improve energy efficiency, send a pitch to journalists or bloggers who write about environmental topics. If your app is related to physical fitness and running, introduce your app to personal trainers, fitness centers and organizers of 5K fun runs. People who are not traditional app reviewers can still be highly influential in helping you reach your audience, and they’re more likely to listen to your pitch since they’re not being bombarded all day with e-mails from other app developers.
- Build grassroots support: Ask your audience to help you get reviews for your app. See if any of your existing users have connections with app reviewers, or ask them to send in requests on your behalf. Sometimes app reviewers are more likely to respond to app review requests if the requests come from fans (with no financial incentive to ask for an app review) instead of just another app developer promoting his/her own app. You can also ask your fans to write reviews of your app. If you’re having trouble breaking through to the usual gatekeepers, ask your fans to write a review of your app on their personal blogs. Share the best reviews and ask people to spread the word.
- Build relationships: Try to develop a conversation with the app reviewers before you even ask them for an app review. Follow them on Twitter, respond to their tweets, and offer helpful information whenever they need input or feedback. Become known to the app reviewer as a helpful source of relevant information and as a trusted industry peer, instead of being just another anonymous app developer sending e-mails. Then, after you’ve built up a relationship, you can ask them to review your app. If app reviewers know who you are and trust what you say, even if it’s “only” via social media, they’ll be more likely to review your app.
Getting attention of app reviewers isn’t always easy, but it can be done with persistence and consistent effort. Remember that the mass e-mail “shotgun” approach is least likely to work. Instead of blindly sending out lots of e-mails, take time to focus on a few key app reviewers who you most want to meet. Build up a relationship and earn their trust. And be ready to draw upon the connections and enthusiasm of your user community.