Best Practice:13 Progressive Profiling Tips
Progressive profiling uses automatically updating forms to gradually gather prospect’s demographic data and preferences over time. Here are 13 quick-fire tips to help you master the technique.
With progressive profiling, when a visitor fills out a form on a website or landing page for the first time they are required to only answer a few form fields. Then each time they re-visit your site looking for more information about how you can help them achieve their goals they are willing to provide a little more information about themselves.
If your marketing automation platform recognises the user’s cookie, previously captured fields are replaced by new questions. As a result, returning visitors are not turned off by the amount of form fields they are forced to fill in and you steadily gain deeper insights into their persona.
Here are 13 proressive profiling tips to help you master the technique.
1. Collect the Right Data
Because progressive profiling allows for deeper insight into a prospects budget, concerns, interests and priorities, marketing will deliver significantly more usable information to sales. So work with your sales team to determine what information they need to effectively qualify and contact leads, prioritise this, and build your forms accordingly.
Also think about the data you need to capture in order to segment and personalise your marketing campaigns. Make sure you can effectively qualify, contact, segment, and nurture the new leads you have captured in the future.
2. Capture at the Right Time
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.
3. 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 November isn’t likely to be useful.
5. Make it User-Friendly
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.
This 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. You should also give visitors the option of editing their information.
6. Make it the Right Length
The length of your form will depend on:
The offer’s stage in your buyer’s journey
For example, if you’re giving away a free checklist or infographic, you might only want to collect first name, last name, and email. But if you’re giving away something more substantial like a detailed case study or eBook – indicating that people are further along the research process – you should ask for more detailed information.
How many leads you generate
If your sales team has too many leads to sift through every one, add more fields to your forms so your reps can better qualify each lead, and know which ones are worth calling.
7. 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.
8. Tailor Progressive Profiling Form Fields To Buyer Personas
You could create different progressive profiling form questions based on your different buyer personas. Then add these forms to any persona specific landing pages you may be using in your lead nurturing workflows to capture the intelligence that will specifically benefit that audience – making future segmentation and sales follow-up even more effective.
9. 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”, “Get your free trial”.
10. Use In-line Validation
Check for invalid email addresses as they are entered into the form, and notify the visitor that 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.
11. 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 damages your credibility.
12. Optimise Your Thank You Pages
Your thank you pages offer great potential for further conversions and qualification. Guide prospects to view other relevant and compelling content and offers across your website to gradually obtain additional lead data.
13. Test, Test, 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?
The best way to determine which form fields and lengths work for your business is to do some A/B testing and see what converts best.