How to build a successful progressive profiling form

What is progressive profiling? It is a form that allows marketers to display fields based on data points collected previously regarding a prospect. For example, if a company’s goal is to collect 30 data points from a prospect then instead of showing 30 fields on a form, marketers can show 5. Then, on the prospect’s subsequent visits show another set of 5 questions until the company collects all 30 data points.

The thought behind this is that the less fields visitors have to fill out on a form, the more likely they would submit that form. By asking different questions during each visit allows the company to collect all data points needed for their marketing and sales activities without losing form conversions due to too many questions on the form. In addition, by progressively introducing new questions, companies can qualify leads and ask qualification questions from prospects who are further down the funnel. This can save sales time as they do not need to qualify leads via an intro call.

However, in order to craft a successful progressive profiling form there are several things that need to be prepared. Marketers should create a list of data points that need to be collected. The list should be based on the company’s specific needs. Here are the most common data points and reasons behind them:

• To be able to use marketing automation, marketers need to collect email and first name on the first form if these data points do not exist in their database.

• In order to sync the leads with the database, most companies have required fields such as last name, company and maybe even lead currency. Hence, these need to be collected early as well.

• For lead assignment and management purposes marketers may need to collect phone, country, state and revenue next.

• If marketers score records then most likely scoring will rely on title, industry, employees, job function, and department. As such, these should be collected next.

• If marketers wish to nurture these records then it would be beneficial to know what the prospects’ business drivers, needs, areas of interest or purchasing roles are. By knowing this information marketers are able to create more targeted campaigns hence it should be collected next.

• Lastly, depending on the lead management processes the marketer may need budget, timeframe, or specific questions answered for lead qualification and qualified lead assignment purposes.

Once the number of fields are listed and ranked based on business needs, marketers would need to decide how many form fields should appear every time the lead visits. We would recommend not more than 5 fields. However, this will largely depend on the company’s processes. If for example the company’s process is that every lead is synced to the database upon form submission, and the database requires a minimum of 7 fields, then the progressive profiling form would need to have those 7 fields from the beginning.

In order to achieve the best results marketers need to be strategic. Listing the fields in order of importance based on processes and listing few fields as possible during the prospect’s visit will help you get the most out of your efforts.