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The Economist Espresso increases ratings by launching rating requests

Background

The Economist launched the Espresso app in November 2014. Espresso offers a morning briefing from the editors of The Economist, six days a week. Delivered to readers’ mobile phones first thing in the morning, it provides an overview of the global agenda for the coming day. It informs readers about what to look out for in business, finance, and politics, and most importantly, what to make of it.

While the app received a lot of positive feedback from users on traditional customer support channels, it received less feedback through direct app reviews. The Economist decided to run tests to increase app reviews, resulting in improved ratings.

What they did

In April 2016, The Economist began testing to determine if asking for reviews would improve user participation. They introduced rating requests into the app whereby users received a notification asking them to rate the app while using it.

They prompted only users who had fully experienced the app, notifying those who had read more than 25 articles after using it for more than a week. The prompt text was branded: Are you enjoying the Economist Espresso? Upon clicking yes, the user was taken to the Google Play store to review and rate the app.

Results

By capturing readers’ feedback in the Play store, The Economist was able to share the goodwill and positive sentiment, further increasing its star rating and the number of app installs.

After just one week following the launch of rating requests, The Espresso app's star rating increased by 5%, with the average number of ratings received growing 40 times.

Get started

Find out more about ratings and reviews.

Get best practices for news publishers in The News Publisher Playbook (for Android development).