Any marketing textbook will tell you that you have to know your customers. This insight will drive almost all of your business decisions. But the act of gathering this data often proves difficult. So, we propose a solution.
For a second, I want you to imagine that you have an opportunity to spend a day with ten prospective clients worth thousands of dollars in recurring revenue. List all of the things you might ask them. No judgement, seriously, ask them anything.
There are the standard questions like what industry they’re from, what their job title is, and what budget they have. Then we get a little deeper and ask them what they’re looking for in a product and what their pain points are; what competitors they’re looking at. Further still we might ask them about how they spend their weekends. Yes, believe it or not, this might also factor into a buying decision.
Okay you got the list? Of course, you know spending the day with your prospects is not feasible, so how do we fill in the blanks?
The answer is simple – just ask. Online forms are great for that. But let’s agree that we can’t ask for everything at once. Unless you’re Statistics Canada or a family doctor, you’re not getting away with this. Enter the hero of this story – progressive profiling.
What is this ‘Progressive Profiling’?
Progressive profiling is a lead generation technique used by online marketers to gradually acquire lead data over time. This is accomplished with the help of dynamic forms which ask different questions each time a lead visits your website. After a few visits, you will have all the information you need to know about a visitor.
But why not ask for it all at once?
There are at least two reasons.
First, if you ask for too much at once, you run the risk of not getting anything at all. The exchange always needs to be balanced. If people feel they are giving too much away, they won’t participate. There is evidence to back this up: forms with only 3 or 4 fields convert 160% better than forms with more than 16 fields according to FormStack. By asking questions in batches you can increase overall conversion.
The second reason is the ability to tailor questions based on previous answers given. Usually a standard long form is fairly static. It poses the same questions to everyone regardless of how well they apply to the individual. Progressive profiling allows you to tailor your questions – significantly improving the user experience.
One downfall to consider
There is no such thing as a perfect solution. With progressive profiling, you have to trust that your leads will return to your website.
A good way to measure the likelihood of this happening is by looking at your google analytics. On the very first page of your dashboard you can scroll down and look for ‘% of new sessions’. This number will tell you the ratio of new vs. returning visitors. If your percentage of new sessions is 75% or below, you should definitely give progressive profiling a try. If you’re experiencing an exceptionally low return, you may want to consider offering your visitors some bribes or candy. Remember, you can catch more flies with honey.
In any case, progressive profiling is worth the A/B test. Are you ready to give it a try?
How to set it up in Blitzen
Start by building a new form (how to build a new form).
Drag in a progressive profiling group from the middle panel
Fill it with as many form fields you wish to become visible the first time someone visits your site.
After you’re done this, drag in another progressive profiling group and fill it with the questions you want to appear the second time the user visits a website.
And so on and so forth until you are satisfied.
That’s all there is to it.
For more info and FAQ check out this article.
To see how it works from a user-perspective fill out the form below and the refresh the page.