3 Steps to the Feedback Your Mobile App Needs

12/14/10

In recent weeks, a subtle shift has been taking place around the blogosphere. We’ve been talking monetization strategies for mobile apps for months, and now, it seems like developers, publishers, and business developers are too. Much as we want to take credit for the changing mindset, more likely it’s thanks in large part to Rovio (the makers of Angry Birds). As they’ve gone public with their focus on not just audience building but also retention, heads are turning. (Watch that link. Seriously, do it now, you’ll learn so much.) Moreover, we’re seeing articles like this TC guest post by Charles Yim, Manager of Google Mobile Partnerships. Both echo the same advice: turn your mobile app into a business.

Good businesses focus on acquisition and retention, and it’s the latter that has been the missing puzzle piece. It’s crucial to measure performance and engagement, not just number of downloads. At Apsalar, we focus on actionable metrics, and one way of finding out what your users want is to talk to them. Trust us — if a survey is created the right way, users will respond.

3 Easy Steps for Mobile Survey Creation

1.  Create a specific, measurable goal for your survey. What are you hoping to achieve through a user survey? At a high level, you want to understand how users are interacting with your app with the goal of enhancing their experience. It’s important to not stop there, instead designing a survey to give you actionable knowledge. Does every question contribute to the main goal?

Perhaps you have free and paid versions of your app. Your goal might be to better understand what keeps users of your free version from buying the paid version. Simple questions to understand what would make them upgrade will help increase conversions in your next release.

In another scenario, your goal might be to research a potential follow-up to your current gaming app. How about asking “Which character(s) do you find most engaging?”, followed by a few options from which to choose — that info could lead to a successful spinoff app.

2.  Formulate crystal-clear, concise questions with the right question format. Mobile app survey questions are most commonly open-ended or multiple choice, or a combination thereof. An open-ended survey where users input text can provide your team with greater insight. However, there’s more room for ambiguity. One of Apsalar’s clients starts their ApFeedback survey with “What are you?” — they rightly chose to pose their question as multiple choice (“male” or “female”); the question simply wouldn’t work otherwise.

Keep in mind that while you gain insight with open-ended questions, you may lose users who don’t want to take the time to contribute in-depth answers. Also, who wants to type a paragraph into a smartphone? A multiple choice survey can be completed while waiting for a bus, or even in line at the supermarket.

Note: We do recommend ending your survey with an open-ended question along the lines of, “Anything else you want to tell us?”

3.  Maintain your brand’s personality. Have you noticed that most successful startups are a bit quirky? Similarly, there’s no reason your survey has to be cut-and-dry. Go wild and use colloquial terms as long as the sentiment and directives are clear (see: “onward!” instead of “next”). If you have a pirate-themed app, throw some pirate in there (Don’t know what that would be? Check out Facebook’s pirate language setting for a laugh. Shiver me timbers!).

If people are cracking up at your survey, they’ll fly through the flow of your questions hardly recognizing that they’re providing you with the valuable data you need to make your app even better.

Create a survey for your app with ApFeedback, Apsalar’s free customizable in-app survey tool.

For more practical advice on constructing questions, we encourage you to read SurveyMonkey’s guide, Smart Survey Design.

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