Progressive profiling, or the practice of using dynamic and iterative forms to capture additional information about your prospects, isn’t a revolutionary concept for B2B marketers. It’s been a staple of B2B marketing for years. The concept is simple: reduce the number of questions on each lead capture form across a website and build out profiles for individuals, asking different questions each time a visitor is presented with a form. This reduces form friction and increases overall conversion rates. However, many marketers are still hesitant to move to progressive profiling…and for good reasons!
Traditionally, progressive profiling has been the domain of marketing automation platforms. This means that when you attempt to implement progressive profiling, you are often left at the mercy of whatever system you are using (you don’t want to switch over to another system and have your visitors start from scratch!). It’s very difficult to implement progressive profiling if you are not using the forms on landing pages within your marketing automation system. Additionally, some systems won’t allow you to A/B test progressive profiling, or to use a hybrid approach where you support full forms in addition to progressive profiling.
There are many advantages to using a personalization platform like Evergage to deliver progressive profiling. First, Evergage is already collecting visitor interactions across channels, and augmenting that information can help impact your existing web and in-app campaigns. Second, building rules and logic for progressive profiling with Evergage can be extremely granular, down to delivering a different set of forms and questions based on a person’s industry, detected company, or time on site. Evergage can also work with embedded forms on your native site.
Here’s how we went about using Evergage on our own site for progressive profiling, enhancing the way we currently use our marketing automation solution and CMS.
What We Did
We started by asking ourselves what information is most valuable to our organization. While most companies try to reduce form fields on initial contact, after reviewing, we decided to keep our default fields the same. Of our six fields, five are required. However, we believe that the information we ask for is amenable to most of our prospects. Name, email, company and industry are the basics that we need for our demand generation campaigns and lead follow-up efforts.
Next, we consulted with our sales and business development teams to see what information they would find most valuable when qualifying a lead. We used that feedback to decide on the additional fields to be presented on the second form. These fields were “title,” “phone number,” and “primary challenge” (picklist), which correlate to use case content and enable reps to reach out with a more relevant follow-up email, call, or social touch.
Using Evergage, we are able to remember and pre-fill form fields that have been previously filled out by a user. In our first iteration, we considered showing the pre-filled email field and allowing the user to change this field. After some discussion, we ultimately decided to pre-fill and hide the email field on subsequent forms to ensure consistency when aligning the additional information we receive back to the record created in our CRM (Salesforce) on the first interaction. We are also pre-filling and hiding the other four fields, but still passing them along with each form submit. This is important because we want the sales team to continue to get notifications with all of the provided information, even as each subsequent form shown to the visitor is shorter.
We also decided to make all three of the fields on the second form optional, recognizing that in permission-based marketing, providing a phone number is implicitly opting into a call. By not explicitly requiring additional information, we avoided discouraging anyone from not filling out the form, while also welcoming those not ready to engage at the next level.
The second form in our progressive profiling sequence ultimately serves two purposes. The first is to gather information for more relevant follow up by our sales and business development teams. The second is to improve the user experience for visitors by reducing the number of fields presented (including pre-filled) and to recognize repeat converters with a more personalized experience both on and offline.
While we are still using our marketing automation solution for our lead capture forms (embedded on website pages delivered by our CMS), we are using Evergage for progressive profiling because it’s the personalization platform that ultimately gives us more control over the forms we show to our visitors and the individual visitor data we collect.