Drama, gotta love it. Our buddies over at Just Another iPad Blog have been getting some heat about not reviewing a particular iPad application. So, we’ve decided that we’re going to support them a little bit, and write up an article on the things developers can do to increase the likelihood that their application will get reviewed. I say “increase the likelihood” because we can’t guarantee that everything that passes through our inbox will get reviewed.
In case you haven’t heard, there’s like a bazillion iPhone and iPad application on the market, and another bazillion OS X applications. It kind of makes it hard to keep up sometimes when your team has ten reviewers, all generous enough to donate their time to review applications.
Be concise and be clear—what’s your app do?
The pitch is key, and if you’re going to waste our time with a 200 word introduction to your application, there’s a good chance that we’re going to be moving on before we get to the good parts. Treat pitch emails like you treat tweets, keep it short, keep it on topic, and keep the fluff out. Chances are, if you tell us exactly what your app does, how much it costs, and provide a link for us, we’ll probably check it out.
Do not provide us with your PR copy, unless we’ve signed up for it, and please don’t go all Charles Dickens on us in the emails that you do send. There’s a very good chance that most of us do these app reviews as a hobby or side project, so please, don’t make us feel like we’re working.
Email reviewers one time, and don’t spam us for updates
If you want to pitch us, by all means, we’re excited to hear about what you’ve done. We genuinely want to tell people about excellent applications that we think might be a fit for our audience. But, keep in mind that it’s about our audience, and we’re catering to them, so they dictate what we review and what we don’t. It’s the nature of the beast. If we don’t think your application is something our readers would like to know about, we probably won’t share it. It’s not a slight on you, or your application, we just don’t think it’d be much help telling our readers about it. If they’re not going to appreciate it, they’re not going to click through and purchase your application, so in short, we’d be wasting our time.
There’s a number of reasons why we don’t review your applications (Outside of the one listed above). Sometimes we just don’t think the application is very good, so we take the high road and move on. Emailing us every twelve hours, or writing snarky posts about us not reviewing your application is only going to encourage us to write an honest review, which is these cases would be negative.
You don’t want that.
Attach a coupon code, or gift us the app
People who review apps sink a lot of time and money into the AppStore. We don’t expect handouts all of the time, but you’re certainly going to make our lives easier if you attach a coupon code, or gift us the app to review. Some would argue that this is “unethical”, but as we see it, we can’t buy every single application on the planet. We’ll gladly pay for things that interest us, but if you’re contacting us to review your application, you’re going to want to make sure we can get your application.
That being said, “gifting an application,” or sending a “coupon code” will not guarantee a positive review, so don’t expect one. We’re going to be honest, which brings me to my next point.
If there’s bugs, we’re going to find them, and then we’ll mention them
I never understood why someone would send a faulty product, or a bug ridden application to a reviewer. We’ll notice that the application is broken, or that an iPad case is falling apart. But, we’re going to mention it, publicly. So, if your application is half baked in the oven, don’t take it out and serve it to us. You’d be better off sitting on it for a couple more versions, and working the kinks out.
We’re not spiteful, and we get that the occasional bug might popup undetected before you send out the program, but if your application barely works as advertised, take our word for it, you don’t want us reviewing it.
We’re just as excited as you are
We love to review applications, and we’re as passionate about this market space as you are so keep that in mind when you’re interacting with us. We’d love to be able to review your application immediately, but there’s a good chance that we have a super long list of applications to review. We’ll get to as soon as we can. We have a vested interest in doing it, so have some patience, and a little faith. It’ll get reviewed eventually.