The following article is an excerpt from my upcoming eBook on marketing secrets for app developers.
It never ceases to amaze me how many app developers do not include an in-app feedback button and a feedback link on their app's site for customers. This feature should be at the top of their list when mapping out an app and Web site, not just an afterthought. Why, you ask? Because once you understand the power of your own customers' feedback, and more importantly how to harness it, you will be able to then turn that feedback into an aid to sell even more apps. What developer doesn't want to sell more apps?
Most developers look at customer feedback as annoying, condescending comments on what features their app lacks, what features they forgot to include, why their app isn't as great as a similar app, etc. Get over it! Think of it this way. Your customers are not trying to belittle your hard work. They are trying to tell you what functionality is important to them and how to make your app that much better. Remember that it is all about them— not you or your app. Also, keep in mind that not all feedback is going to be negative. If you created a great app, and you solved a challenge that made your customer's life easier, they will send you praise and thank you for it, not to mention help you spread the word about it.
Companies pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for this kind of customer research, and you can have it for free. All you need is a simple feedback button within your app and a link on your app's Web site that launches the user's mail program to pop up a pre-populated e-mail that you've created. This is free gold that you should be taking advantage of.
Here's how to set up your feedback features:
Step 1: Create a feedback button feature in your app and on your app's Web site that will launch a pre-populated e-mail for the user to fill out with their comments.
Step 2: Create an e-mail address specifically for customer feedback (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org).
Step 3: Customize the feedback e-mail. Include a simple subject line for your e-mail. Here's an example: "I have feedback for [app name]." Have fun with it. People love humor.
Step 4: Inside the e-mail, create and include one line of copy that thanks them for taking the time to send you feedback. Make sure to thank them! Remember, they are doing you a favor. Again, have fun with it. Poke fun at yourself and your app.
Step 5: Inside your e-mail client create two separate e-mail folders for your customer feedback e-mails. Label one "feature ideas" and the other "testimonials." It doesn't have to be these exactly, but you understand.
The power of testimonials
So far, we've discussed how customer feedback will help you implement features that you hadn't thought about before. By listening to your customers and implementing these features, your app will improve and hopefully result in more downloads. Now that you have this set up, let's discuss how feedback will sell more apps.
The one thing that potential customers look at is other customer testimonials. Existing customer testimonials can be so instrumental in connecting with potential customers, that they could get them to click on the "Buy App" button. Potential customers want to hear from other customers—not you—on why your app is worth their time and or money. What was it about your app that made their life easier? What challenge(s) did it solve? Did it bring them hours of entertainment? Did it help them keep track of their child's soccer stats in one place? Did it keep their child preoccupied on a long road trip, etc? Again, testimonials such as these are great for showing potential customers why they need to buy your app. Be sure to include these testimonials in your app's description in the App Store and on your app's Web site.
Ask your customers for testimonials
You are thinking to yourself, "How do I know who my customers are?" Or more importantly, "How do I reach my customers?" That it is why it is so imperative to include a feedback link from within your app and on your Web site. If your customers take the time to send you feedback, usually they will send you a compliment. If it is just constructive criticism (again, this is gold so do not take it personally or disregard it), ask them what they did like about the app. If they reply, use their answer or a snippet as a positive testimonial. Just make sure that you receive their permission to use it. It is just the proper thing to do and also builds rapport.
Ask permission to quote a customer
For any quote that you are going to use, regardless if it's from an e-mail or a blog review, be sure to e-mail that person and ask for permission to use it just to be on the safe side. Make sure to thank them as well. This will help build rapport with them. Plus, if you let them know that you are using their quote, they will, of course, take a look at your app's description and Web site and will more than likely tell their friends and family to take a look at it. Again, this can turn into additional sales and, at the very least, more positive word-of-mouth advertising for your app.
Ask customers to leave a review for your app in the App Store
Customers love to have their voices heard. When customers send you feedback (especially positive), don't be afraid to ask them to write a quick review in the App Store for you. Just be honest, sincere, and humble when asking them to do so. Don't be pushy! Remember that they are doing you a favor, and they are busy just like you. Explain to them that you really value their opinion and that it would help others to hear from such an important and satisfied customer about how they could benefit from the app.
Use quotes from positive reviews from the App Store
Definitely mine your reviews from your app's page from within the App Store for positive testimonial quotes. Unfortunately, you can't ask the person who authored them for permission, but you don't need to since the App Store is public. Just make sure that you give them proper credit when quoting them. Here is a great example:
"Great app! (Four out of Five Stars)"
by SharkyS_116 - App Store Reviewer
Take quotes from customers' feedback e-mails
As previously stated, use customers' positive feedback as a quote for a testimonial. Just make sure that you receive their permission to use it and how they prefer their name to appear. For example, do they want their full name, or their first name and last initial, or just their first name? Definitely ask them for a title such as a Soccer Mom Extraordinaire, Video Gamer Junkie, etc. This will give the testimonial more credibility. Have fun with them but do not get too cheesy, or you will lose the credibility of the testimonial.
Quote from blogger/reviewer published reviews
One of the best testimonial strategies is to take quotes from bloggers and reviewers who have written about your app. Of course, send them a thank you e-mail and ask them for permission to quote them. Also, mention that you will include a hyperlink of the reviewer's or blogger's testimonial back to the site it came from. Yes, you are leading them away from your site, but you are taking them to a review that further encourages a customer to buy your app.
Include testimonials in your app's description page in the App Store and in your app's Web site
Once you start collecting testimonials, take your favorites and insert them throughout your app's description in the App Store and in your app's Web site. Customers want to hear from other customers how they feel about your app. They trust other customers and not you, the developer. I would only include 3 or 4 testimonials in your app's description page. I would also include a couple of testimonials on the app's home page. Make sure to include a link to any video reviews that may have been done. I would also include a page on your site with nothing but testimonials. As I said before, customers love to hear from other customers.
Most importantly—do not make up testimonials!
Do not, I repeat, do not make up customer testimonials or customer reviews. Customers can smell a rat. If they find out that some or all of your testimonials are false, there goes you and your app's reputation. Good luck trying to win that trust back. Be honest, not greedy and deceptive. Word-of-mouth travels fast, and bloggers, reviewers, customers, and others will make sure that everyone knows that your app, your company, and more importantly, you are not to be trusted. Nobody likes a liar.
Ask for feedback; thank them for it
Even if you don't have any testimonials yet, it won't take long before they start coming in. Sometimes they will come to you in feedback e-mails, but most of the time they are not just going to come to you. You have to ask for them. If a customer sends you a feedback e-mail that includes what features are missing from your app, immediately send them a thank you e-mail and ask them what they do like about the app. Nine times out of ten, they will e-mail you back with some sort of compliment for the app. Bam! There's a testimonial.
If you have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to shoot me an e-mail at Kevin@sitekstudios.com. Thanks for reading! I'll let you know when my eBook is available.