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Every app developer wants his app reviewed on popular blogs, as it’s probably one of the best way (with promo campaigns) to gain a lot of exposure and get downloads. So how does one get such a review? Well, if you’re not one of the big guys yet you need to ask for it. And you need to do it the right way.

If you’ve tried it before, you know it’s far from easy to get a free review (don’t even bother with paying for one – it’s proven useless in most cases) and there are many mistakes you want to avoid.

What you need to include

Just like for how to write a press release I could share with you the email sample I usually use. But guess what? There’s actually a great and insightful interview already online where Erica Sadun from TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog) answers questions from the App Design Vault on how to successfully pitch your app and make sure it gets reviewed. That way, you don’t even have to take my word for it!

Bloggers are really busy and basically the idea of this email you send them is to include all the key elements about your app and why the blogger should even bother looking more into it.  You will find that several elements are the same than for a press release, which makes this email kinda like a “short press release”. These elements, that Erica details in the interview, are the following:

  • The name of your app exactly as it is spelt on the App Store
  • What it does, and why it is different
  • The price
  • One link to your product page (Your website)
  • One link to the iTunes product page and/or Google Play product page
  • One or two screenshots
  • A video (important!) 30 seconds to a minute.
  • A description in a concise paragraph. Say who your audience is, what your app does, what sets it apart from the crowd.
  • Contact information. An email and not a link to a contact form
  • Skype IDs, Twitter IDs

Check out the Review Request Sample Pitch

In the interview, Erica was also nice enough to share a Sample Pitch for review request that you can download and adapt to your app. What’s not in the list above is that you want to also offer to send a promo code.
If you want even more advices from Erica, check out the book she co-wrote with Steven Sande called Pitch Perfect: Practical Advice From Professional Bloggers.

Wait! What about my press release?

What’s the point of writing a press release if you end up sending an email to bloggers and journalists? Your press release is a must-have in your app press kit and you can publish it on a major PR site. Also, I’ve seen some bloggers request a press release, so you better not make them wait when they ask for it. More traditional reporters (from big or local newspapers for example) still expect you to send a press release, no matter how intrigued they can be by your review request. It really depends who you’re writing to.

When you add your press release to your pitch, don’t add it as an attachment but in the body of your email. You can mention in your email that the press release is at the bottom of it and insert it under your signature for example.

A few other things to keep in mind

I’d like to add a few points to what Erica says in the interview:

  • Don’t forget that no matter how well crafted this email is, you won’t get results if you don’t identify correctly the person or blog you send it too: no iPhone games blog is going to write about your productivity app.
  • Be nice. You’re writing to someone that doesn’t know you at all and asking him to review your app. Know who you’re talking to and use their name. “Hi XXX” can go a long way: check out Rob Walch’s interview, who has run the longest iOS podcast out there, explaining you why. Don’t come across as pretentious and don’t try too hard neither (they’re not your buddies).
    Some blog reviewers advise to make a first light contact with the blog if they don’t know you, telling them about the upcoming app and asking permission to let them know when it’s out. That way, you’re not sending a “my first app is published” email. For some reviewers (as Erica), the first email needs to be the one and include everything. So here you go, you’ll have to make that choice yourself.
  • No mass emails. That comes along with the previous point: if you want any chance of having something published about your app, write individual emails and adapt them slightly to who you’re writing to.

Oh and if you want results, you’ll also need an awesome app. And persistence.

Do you have any tips to add on how to make a good pitch and request a review? Share it in the comments!

Sylvain Gauchet

Hi there, I'm Sylvain and I'm one of the co-founders of Apptamin. Apptamin is a creative agency specialized in app videos (video ads, app store videos, etc.) where we find engaging ways to present mobile apps and games so our clients can either increase their conversion rates or improve their user acquisition.

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  1. When contacting press in other countries, is it necessary to translate your pitch email also? I spoke to a successful app creator and he said that he contacted press in other countries in English…

    1. Hi Jeanie – sorry for the late reply. It’s always better if you translate, yes. It’s only worth it if your app is translated as well.

  2. Hi, When you said “Persistence”, what exactly did you mean? Repeat the process of sending an E-Mail to the same person or Don’t give up on eventually getting through to a review? GREAT TUTORIAL BY the way!! I can really see how this can improve my chances and unlike before 😛 sending out promo codes (facePALM!!!), its my very first time marketing after like 8 games 1 year lol, I though things were different but it seems if you don’t reach out than you won’t be able to get out of the pit. But thank-fully I read into marketing and found that trailers on youtube is not the only thing, I can do with no budget. Thanks in return to all that have helped me, YOU! Erica and just everyone! Thanks!

  3. Ive developed an app idea but I dont have the resources to make the app because it deals with augmented reality and gps. My goal is to sell or lease the idea to a company. How do I do this? How do I get in contact with companies? Is there any companies that look to buy app ideas?

    1. Hi Seth – I don’t think selling the idea without a product (or the ability to build it) is a good idea. Even if you had a prototype it would be hard. Ideas are easy but execution is what matters.

  4. monstermaticapp  You can send the email a few days before the release. What’s good to do for an iOS app is set a release date far in advance so that when it’s approved by Apple it is not live just yet. That way you get promo codes but can set the exact release date yourself which leaves you time to coordinate your marketing efforts. Use the date of the app release for the press release, and if you don’t want the blogger/journalist to publish anything kindly ask them to hold on. If you have a website for your app, make sure that there is a way to subscribe to get notified when the app is released so that if someone is interested you won’t lose them.

  5. Hi, there, I am working on a launch for my app, I wonder when should I start sending out pr pitch emails to bloggers and journalist, do I need to wait until my app is available in the app store then to send out the email? or i can send the email a few days before the release then indicate the release date in my press release article?


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