How to stop Apple rejecting your marketing apps?

How to stop Apple rejecting your marketing apps?

Your app is ready. But Apple decided to reject it due to ‘marketing content’. What can you do to get the ever so important ‘OK’ from Apple?

Apple Store app rejections

You’ve created a shiny iOS app for your company. It’s a nice new sales tool, or a new way to promote your brand and create a mobile access to it. Great job! It’s nearly ready to be launched. One last step remaining: Apple’s approval. Those familiar with the world of Apple Store know the quite often subjective review and sign off process.

In fact there are 11 most frequent rejection issues:

  1. Crashes and Bugs – apps not working properly
  2. Broken Links – including obligatory user support and privacy policy
  3. Placeholder Content surprisingly placeholders images often seem forgotten
  4. Incomplete Information required at the submission process
  5. Inaccurate Descriptions what is your app really about
  6. Misleading Users apps need to do what it says on the tin
  7. Substandard User Interface UI is considered as key
  8. Advertisements ads need to display correctly
  9. Web clippings, content aggregators, or a collections of links
  10. Repeated submission of similar apps combining apps into one is recommended
  11. Not enough lasting valuecontent and functionality offering value to users

Apple Section 4.2

Although, according to Apple only approx. 4% of rejections are linked with design and functionality, we have been seeing more and more comments linked to section 4.2 (functionality) covered in the App Store Review Guidelines. Developers have been complaining about not being able to publish their apps due to being deemed as “primarily marketing materials or advertisements are not appropriate for the App Store.”

What is 4.2 section about and how to overcome this issue? The official guidelines state as below, with the key for businesses being the section 4.2.2

“4.2 Your app should include features, content, and UI that elevate it beyond a repackaged website. If your app is not particularly useful, unique, or “app-like,” it doesn’t belong on the App Store. If your App doesn’t provide some sort of lasting entertainment value, or is just plain creepy, it may not be accepted.”

“4.2.2 Other than catalogs, apps shouldn’t primarily be marketing materials, advertisements, web clippings, content aggregators, or a collection of links.”

How to get your app approved?

Below are a few tried and tested ideas to get your app approved.

1. Catalogue category make your app look and feel more like a catalogue and submit it under this category. But remember to remove product prices.

2. More than a website – make sure that usability of your app is obvious when it comes to additional functionality than what’s already on your company website. Avoid creating apps that only show a static web page.

3. Great user experience (UX) – it’s all about offering a feature and content enabling people to do something they couldn’t do before or in a way they couldn’t do it before. There are various examples such as:

  • add quiz, games or polls
  • enable push notification
  • add camera
  • offer save to contacts options
  • activate in-app forms
  • include collaboration tools
  • send email option included
  • display phone numbers of your stores to allow users to directly make a call from the app
  • make it possible to shop through your app
  • display your social media channels

4. Value added to existing users – quite often it’s simple about outlining in the review form that your app adds value and has an existing user base. Often recommended is a loyalty system as an example of value for customers.

5. Editorial content – pay attention to good quality content, well written and with interactive features such as audio, photos etc. It could take a form of a short digital magazine being a part of the app. Or it could even be a nice story about creators and designers behind your products.


  • Haniska Roy

    Looking at this even more specifically in relation to content-led link
    building, a failure to distinguish between advertising and content
    marketing is one reason why clients commonly reject content ideas. Publishers can see through this sort of content that which is disguised advertising.
    Content ideas get rejected for a number of reasons, but by understanding
    what these are, you can work to reduce this happening and align both
    client and agency from day one.