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Before you start selling genuine content hidden behind the pay-wall, the way mobile magazine publishers do, you must take the first step on the sales path, which is increasing the app installs rate. In this article you will learn how to increase the number of organic app installs of your digital magazine’s mobile app.

The more users install your mobile app, the more will go through to the next level of your sales funnel, and thus you’ll earn more. That’s pure math. So how to lure more people into installing your app? Well, lets start with a simple thought experiment.

Imagine what it is that convinces you to install that particular app displayed among others of the same kind. Yes, unless you decide upon a friend’s recommendation, you make your choice based on the app’s rating.

How new users find your app

Oh! So you have decided to hover over this rating...

According to the Forester Research study, around 63% of new app installs come from surfing through the app stores. Whether it is general browsing or searching inside the store, users are given several options (app names) to chose from.

Another major app discoverability channel is website browsing. Around 23% of people landing onto the App Store page come from that channel and that is How YouTube Drives the Installs of Their Mobile App, too.

How users determine what app to install

What stimulates the app install decision is the number of stars – the rating – given to the app by other users. Simply speaking, the more “stars” the app receives the more probable it is that you will install that particular app. It’s not that obvious but it’s a behavioural factor that influences decision making in any app store.

Hold on, you will be surprised by the fact that around 60% of apps in the Apple App Store have no ratings! This was confirmed by the app store analysis presented in the article on ScottLogic blog – “I found that 75% of apps are free, 60% have no ratings, (…)” . That’s great news because you can easily leap over competitive titles with no reviews, having your app rated.


The statistical analysis of the Apple App Store provides a very important conclusion. You, as a publisher, can boost downloads by joining the exclusive club of the 40% apps that have been rated.

How to have your app rated

It’s easy to stand out without buying reviews (which is forbidden by the Apple, by the way). Just do not buy them. Instead, ask your family, friends and people you trust to write a review of your app. They can say some kind words about the included content or things they could achieve thanks to the app. Most importantly, they should rate your app giving the maximum number of stars. I’m going to emphasize the importance of stars again. Why it’s such a crucial factor I will explain a little bit further in the article.

All you need is 5 reviews

Yes, at the beginning aim for 5 high quality reviews. Five is an easily achievable target for you, even in the first week. Why is it so important? Because if you market your app to your website visitors using Apple Smart Banner they automatically start to see the banner as much more engaging if your app has at least 5 high rating reviews. The picture below shows why.

Smart banner app rating

It’s a small thing that makes a big difference. For apps that have been reviewed at least 5 times, Apple Smart Banner displays the star-rating scale for the visitors to see. And from that moment adding a new rating becomes extremely easy. What’s more, if the visitors of the page displaying the smart banner have already installed the app, they can run it with ease via this banner. If not, they are more eager to perform that app install, because they can see it’s a highly rated app.

Key takeaways

  1. Only 40% of apps in the Apple App Store have been rated…
  2. …but people install rated apps more eagerly
  3. Ask your family and friends to rate and review your digital magazine app
  4. Once your app has at least 5 reviews, the star-rating scale will appear on the Smart Banner
  5. That’s a great stimulant to install for those who see the Apple Smart banner on your site
  6. It works for any type of App Store application
  7. Learn More about App Store Optimization