In marketing automation, it’s crucial to understand the value and use cases for progressive profiling. Progressive Profiling allows you to obtain information and build a profile for your prospects or customers following a strategic methodology. Your marketing automation tool keeps track of your prospects through cookies and follows each interaction with your content and forms. This allows the tool to build a profile about your prospect’s interests.
To get a prospect to fill out your forms, you need to provide something of value in return. A lead magnet is a digital asset used to encourage a prospect to divulge their information in exchange for gaining access to the asset. Often, it’s a whitepaper, ebook, template, online book, videos, infographic, etc. The value of the lead magnet has a direct connection to the types of fields requested on a form that’s gating the content. This technique is often referred to as gated content which requires a form to be filled out before being granted access to the content.
Start by reviewing the criteria required to qualify a marketing lead. Think about the minimum criteria required for a phone call to be worthwhile. If you’re selling to businesses, this may involve more than just having someone with a budget. B2B selling is complex and more strategic.
Some common requirements for an MQL include:
With the information above, you would have enough information to have a decent conversation with the prospect. However, getting that phone call or in-person meeting may not be so simple. To hop on a call with a prospect, you’ll need to nurture the prospect and build that trust with him or her.
Prospects entering into the buyer’s journey are often experiencing symptoms of a problem, but they may not be aware of the problem itself and certainly not ready to sign up to solve a problem they don’t know they have.
Think about it like this, when a persona first enters the buyer’s journey, he or she is just testing the waters by interacting with your content. They’re not ready to hop in bed or get married – no, you have to get to know them before asking for their phone number.
Engage prospects on a deeper level by including some of the following attributes in your progressive profiling approach:
Each of these attributes allows you to engage the prospects with content that resonates with your personas.
Prospects are becoming unwilling to provide their contact information or sensitive financial details in long forms. Instead of asking for all of that information upfront, there are tricks of the trade to get the information without necessarily asking for it.
Field 1: ask for email as the identifier and pre-populate the field if that’s an option with your marketing automation tool. Then ask for 1-2 role-related questions such as department, title, or company size. When someone submits, have the form redirect to a “squeeze page.” This is an interstitial page between the form submission and the lead magnet being offered. Place 3 images on the page and ask a question at the top that can be answered by clicking I’m a picture. For Example, Download your content by choosing one of the options below: The three pictures could have text on it that are role related such as Engineering Professionals, Marketing Professionals, Finance Professionals. You can add an attribute to the prospect’s profile when they click on that specific image. Another option could be: “My biggest pain” and list the 3 top pains or symptoms on the images. Get it? You’re building a profile based on their clicks.
Here’s a great example from CoSchedule. After submitting their form, a survey pops up asking for deeper information.
This time ask for information that would help you qualify your lead even further. Ask 2 more questions. Where are you in your journey? Have a drop-down for the following:
This time, include conditional fields that show up only after they select a specific answer. By doing this, your prospect has already filled out a couple of fields and will likely continue filling out the new question. Had the prospect known there would be more fields, they may have opted to not disclose this information, but since it was requested after filling out one field, it’s almost an obligation to fill out the remaining field. For example, if the prospect selects “looking for solutions,” include two more fields that conditionally open up asking budget and timeline to fix the problem.
You know them and they know you. They will be unlikely to resist at this point. You have provided them with two valuable pieces of content and they didn’t give you much in return, or so they thought.
Make it as simple as possible. Map out your questions strategically before trying to do this on the fly. Progressive Profiling is a valuable asset when used right. It provides a real-time feedback loop with prospects and helps qualify a marketing lead before passing it to sales. As a side gig entrepreneur, this enables you to spend more time with prospects who are actually interested and less time chasing cold leads.