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May 13, 2022

How dealing with app reviews can boost your LTV and lower your CPI

An app’s rating is the result of ratings given by users in the store. It is measured in stars and appears in the App Store and Google Play next to the app icon both in search results and on the app page.

rating options

There are two rating options.

  •  The star rating is App Rating.
  •  Star rating with text commentary – App Review.

It is important to monitor both ratings as they provide insight into different aspects of the application dynamics.

Why is app ranking important?

We think the most succinct and accurate way of rating importance is in the Apple Developer Guidebook: “Ask users to rate and respond to reviews to improve your app’s visibility, drive downloads, and connect with people who use your app.”

In terms of data, app rating is one of those rare metrics that simultaneously affect both Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and Lifetime Value (LTV).

The challenge for almost any product is to achieve a balance where CAC <LTV. Therefore, working with the rating of the application, you are killing two birds with one stone.

1. CR to Install

Higher rated apps have been proven to have higher CVR to Install. This is due to the higher trust in such applications, especially when they are recommended by millions of users.

The gaming company Playtika conducted an experiment: employees began to respond to reviews, and the rating increased by 0.7 p.p. As a result, CVR to install grew by 15%. That is, instead of every dollar of the marketing budget, they began to spend 87 cents – and this is a serious optimization.


ARPU (Average revenue per User) is one of the most complex and complex metrics. In fact, it is determined by two factors.

  • How accurately the Product Market Fit (PMF) has been achieved.
  • How competently the sales strategy is built.

Rating and product reviews are the easiest and fastest way to understand if you have chosen the right direction in your PMF search.

There are several things to help you make qualitative and quantitative measurements.

  1. Analysis of ratings and reviews by version of the application.
  2. Monitoring the dynamics of reviews (because they come from the most involved users – both positive and negative).
  3. Analyzing the content of reviews about you and your competitors (manually or using machine learning).

Experiments and measuring their impact on metrics (for example, Avg Review rating for the selected period) will allow you to adjust the PMF and evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy.

3. Retention rate

Interestingly, the Retention rate of users who contacted support and received an answer in time is 30% higher (in relative numbers).

This gives us reason to believe that responses to reviews have a similar effect on app users. Of course, the longer the user’s Lifetime, the greater the difference. For example, the retention metric for hyper-casual games will differ from that for business applications.

However, it is foolish to argue that answering and helping users increase loyalty and, as a result, help increase Lifetime. And given how difficult it is to manage retention metrics, you need to grasp the opportunity to improve them simply by responding to user feedback.

How to increase the rating of an application?

There are several proven ways to improve your app’s ranking. Let’s take a look at the most effective ones.

1. Respond to reviews systematically

Start responding to user reviews – this is the foundation and surest way to increase your rating.

However, simply answering is not enough. Our advice: develop a system and periodically, at least once a month or quarter, analyze what works and what does not. This will help shape your strategy and not waste time on things that are not useful.

2. Use automation

The Reply rate metric shows how many reviews and how often you reply. The higher it is, the greater the chance that users will update the review in a positive direction – and this will automatically increase the app’s rating.

The peculiarities of mobile stores are such that it is not at all necessary to respond to all reviews manually, especially if your application is popular all over the world, and your support team does not speak all these languages.

If you set up auto replies correctly and add multiple text options for the same problem, you can significantly increase the Reply rate and reduce the load on your team, leaving users with the feeling that they are being answered by a real person.

3. Answer quickly

Another important aspect is the speed of response to reviews. The faster you reply, the more likely the user, while still in context, will update the review and give you a higher rating. We see a correlation between response times and the dynamics of updated reviews for many of our clients.

Here are some more ways to increase your response rate:

  1.  use templates;
  2.  use tagging and auto-tagging of reviews to then reply to all reviews with the same topic;
  3.  use auto-replies.

4. Complain about aggressive reviews

Another effective way to increase your rating is to complain about aggressive reviews that contain insults and expressive vocabulary. This can be done via the “Report a Concern” function.

The fact is that the store policy prohibits hate speech and obscene language, and the support actively removes such reviews. For application owners, this is a great opportunity to get rid of “units” and, as a result, increase their rating and the reputation of the application. You can file a complaint either manually or automatically.

Instead of Conclusion

You’ve probably changed your buying decision at least once in your life, influenced by reviews. It makes no sense to deny their importance to business.

Working with reviews is just as important as working on app quality. A couple of negative mentions that you did not react to in time can greatly tarnish your reputation and spread throughout the network. Positive reviews can be used to build loyalty, promote promotions, and advertise special offers.

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May 13, 2022

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