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Getting Started with Apptentive

A quick-start guide to get you up and running with Apptentive. Read on for step-by-step instructions to integration success.

Your App’s Events and Custom Data

Apptentive uses Events to determine when to display a Ratings Prompt, Note, or Survey (known as interactions). Events are typically actions like “Performed Search,” “Purchased,” or “Viewed Profile.” When you’re building your interactions, you can decide which specific Events you’ll use, so it’s best to add 15 or 20 Events to start with.

Apptentive uses custom data to further determine when interactions are shown. Typical custom data might be “Plan Name,” “Purchase Total,” etc. An example usage might be “Only show this survey to our Gold Members.”

Compile a list of all the Events and custom data you think you’ll need (more is better). Later, you’ll send the list off to your development team, along with the link to the integration documentation, to have them begin integrating the Apptentive SDK.


Download template >

Interactions to Engage your Customers

Message Center

With Message Center, you can have direct, two-way in-app conversations with your customers. They can ask questions and get timely responses from your team. Let your customers be heard!

Make sure there’s an easily accessible button in your app to launch Message Center. The common place for a “Send Feedback” button is in your main app menu.

You can customize the content that shows up to your customers in Message Center and have your developers customize the look and feel of Message Center when they integrate the Apptentive SDK.

Ratings Prompt

The Ratings Prompt allows you to understand customer sentiment before asking for a review in an app store. Boost your ratings by guiding those who love your app to rate it in an app store, while engaging unsatisfied customers in a conversation or survey to learn what you can do better.


Notes are one-time, in-app messages that enable you to engage a broad group of your customers. Notes allow you to link to different interactions, specific locations within your app via a deep link, or even to a web page by adding different button options.

Note: Your developers will need to allow for deep linking prior to releasing. When they are integrating the SDK, be sure to have them set up the ability to deep link, as well.


Apptentive Surveys provides you with the tools to target your customers in-app, at the optimal time and place, to get the feedback you’re looking for. Surveys were designed to look and feel as though it can belong in any modern application. Like Message Center, Surveys can be customized by your developers to have exactly the look and feel of your app.

Integrating the Apptentive SDK

Your development team should be able to integrate the Apptentive SDK in about an hour. Send them the list of Events and custom data you compiled earlier and the link to the Apptentive SDK developer documentation, and they should be able to get started right away.

After your development team has integrated the SDK, you can check to make sure the Events you defined work correctly. Click around in you app and at each place you expect an Event to be triggered, and you should see that Event displayed on the Apptentive website dashboard.

Targeted segments are created on the Targeting page within each interaction. There, you’ll see three areas you’ll need to set up: Who, Where, and When/How Often.

Use the Targeting Segment Builder to define which of your customers will see a interaction. You can create segments based on your customers’ device specifications, personal attributes, and any actions they’ve taken within the app (Events). For example, you could create a segment where you want to re-engage people who have made several purchases in the past but have not bought anything within the last month.

“Where” targeting allows you to decide where the interaction will appear within your app. After a user satisfies the criteria in the “Who” segment, the interaction will appear immediately as soon as the Event set in the Where section is triggered.

When/How Often
“When” targeting allows you to specify a start date and end date when you interaction will appear. If you don’t specify any dates then your interaction will run until you explicitly pause it. Depending on the interaction type, there are other “When” options, such as how many times to display a specific interaction, how long to wait after a version update, etc.

The easiest way to test interactions is by creating a survey within the Apptentive web interface. On the Targeting page within your Survey, click “Publish survey as an independent Interaction.” For basic testing, you don’t need to add any Who segments. Add a “Where” event you can easily trigger, then save and advance to the next step.

Launch the survey then delete or uninstall the app from your device and then reinstall it to ensure your new survey retrieved from the Apptentive servers. Open the app on your device or in a simulator and trigger the event you set as your “Where” event. You should see your survey appear.

Final Steps Before Releasing to the App Stores

Transition to a Production App

If you have been using a test or development app in Apptentive, you will need to recreate your Events and Interactions in the dashboard for your production app. Surveys and Notes can be copied between apps using the “Clone” buttons within the interaction.

Importantly, your developers will need to change the API key to your production Apptentive key BEFORE releasing to an app store.


We’re excited for you to start engaging with your customers using Apptentive. If you have any questions or concerns at all, please contact us at support@apptentive.com.

Integration Checklist

  1. Create both production and test apps in Apptentive web interface
  2. Invite developers and other team members to be administrators within Apptentive
  3. Determine Events needed and decide on custom data you would like to track. Fill out the provided template accordingly.
  4. Create work items for development team
    1. Add SDK to apps and set correct API keys for different environments
    2. Implement Eventx as defined in template
    3. Add Message Center button
    4. Set up deep links in apps
    5. Make any necessary changes to the Survey and Message Center
  5. Create and publish an interaction in a test app in Apptentive web interface
  6. Test interaction to ensure it is set up and triggering correctly based on targeting with a test build of the app
  7. Clone interaction to production app
  8. Test interaction is set up and triggering correctly based on targeting with production build of the app
  9. Release app to the stores
  10. Review results!
Updated on January 22, 2018

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