Yesterday I was playing Threes, and I realized that something was different in the game — it now shows a + symbol when the next incoming tile is going to be greater than a 3 tile. So I went to my Notification Center to see if the app had been recently updated and to read the release notes for what was new.

Lo and behold, at the bottom of the release notes for version 1.0.3 was a request asking users to please rate the app. Upon reading this, I realized I had not yet rated Threes on the App store, despite the fact that it’s one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played in a long time. So I opened it in the App Store and left it a 5-star rating.

Meanwhile, the guys at Supertop, makers of the popular Castro podcast app, have been trying the same thing:

Over the last few releases of Castro, we’ve also been experimenting with this approach. As well as being more polite than prompting with an alert view in the app, we’ve seen that this dramatically increases the number of reviews we get when an update comes out.

They had no request for ratings in the release notes of their 1.0.4 update, then added a request for 1.0.5, removed it in 1.0.6, and then put it back in for 1.0.7. The results are pretty incredible and telling.

This isn’t necessarily to say that these guys are getting more ratings than if they were using an in-app popup dialog, but for some developers that’s not something they want to do (and as a user, I appreciate that choice very much). But, clearly it’s worth it to put some energy into the release notes and to also put a polite request at the bottom, reminding and asking users to please rate the app.

Supertop’s Effective Way to Ask for an App Review