While analysing prospect behavior can reveal valuable insights, past behavior is not always the best indicator of the future behavior. That’s where progressive profiling comes in. Directly asking prospects questions for personal/company data, interests and preferences and then using that information to deliver better marketing can be extremely effective.
We recently wrote a post about the benefits of progressive profiling, what it is, and how it can increase lead conversion and qualification.
Here are 11 tips to help you master the technique.
1. Identify data gaps
Before starting with progressive profiling, talk to your sales teams and look at data points you currently capture. Is this enough to allow your sales team to qualify and follow up leads.
2. Make it user-friendly
Dynamically pre-populate the data you’ve already captured. For example, a prospect who has previously provided their name and email address will see that information pre-populated in fields on other forms. It creates a better experience by saving recipients from having to re-enter the same information and reminds them that you’ve already established a relationship. While some of your visitors might find it off-putting to be reminded that you already know their name, it increases the likelihood that a prospect will continue to enter valid information. You should also give visitors the option of editing their information.
3. Ask the most critical questions first
Make sure the most important questions are the first ones you ask in a form conversion. If the lead doesn’t fill out a second form you want to be sure you still have the critical information you need to properly contact, segment, and nurture that lead in the future.
4. Align questions with leads’ likely stage in the sales cycle
Make sure that you are strategic when developing your forms, your questions should be relevant to a prospects buying stage within the sales funnel. Keep broad, general questions for the top of the funnel and more detailed questions as your leads become more familiar with your company.
5. Tailor progressive profiling form fields to various buyer personas
You could create different progressive profiling form questions based on different segments of your leads. Then add these forms to any segment-specific landing pages you may be using in your lead nurturing workflows to enable you to capture the intelligence that will specifically benefit that audience.
6. Pick your timing well
Ask when a topic is top of mind and then be prepared to act quickly. Asking subscribers about their summer travel plans in December isn’t likely to be useful.
7. Keep your survey short
The longer your survey, the higher your abandonment rate will be. So shorter is almost always better.
8. Employ strong calls-to-action
Avoid the word “submit” on your form buttons. Instead, try calls-to-action like “Get your free ebook”, “Talk to an Expert now”, “Get your free trial”.
9. Use in-line validation
Check for invalid email addresses as they are entered into the form, and notify the visitor they have entered incorrect data before they submit. An instant error message is less likely to cause drop off by giving your leads another opportunity to enter a valid email address.
10. Act on the responses
If you don’t plan to act on the answers provided to your questions – then don’t ask the questions. Failing to respond hurts your credibility.
This will reassure him that any data you’ll gather will be used to increase relevancy, and will not be sold to a third party.
12. Optimise your thank you pages
Your thank you pages offer great opportunities for further re-conversions and qualification. Guide prospects to view other compelling content and offers across your website to gradually obtain additional lead data.
13. Always test
Do your own testing to see what works best for you. Should you have a text box or drop down? 3 or 4 form fields? As with most marketing tactics, the best way to determine which form fields and form lengths work best for your business is to do some A/B testing.