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Progressive profiling: How to use micro-forms and quizzes to collect user data

Make collecting zero-party data easier on you and your users. Introduce micro-forms and quizzes throughout the user journey. Here’s how.

We know that third-party cookies are going away. (Google and Apple aim to phase out cookies by 2024.) And we know this means marketers will have to start collecting zero-party data themselves.

What we don’t know: just how we’re supposed to do that.

One approach? Progressive profiling, a method of collecting data gradually throughout a user journey. And some of the most useful tools in this approach are micro-forms and quizzes. Let us explain.

The benefits of progressive profiling

Progressive profiling offers a new approach and distinct advantages to the way brands gather and use customer data. Accumulating customer information ‌over multiple interactions helps foster a seamless customer experience:

  • Data accuracy: Progressive profiling garners firsthand information directly from customers, ensuring more accurate insights into their behavior and preferences. It also eliminates the guesswork that's often found when using traditional methods, such as website visit tracking.

  • Enhanced user experience: By spreading data collection across multiple touchpoints, brands minimize user overwhelm. Customers appreciate the subtle approach, feeling less pressured to provide extensive information in one go. Shorter, smarter forms and a separate field approach reduce user exhaustion, refining the user experience. 

  • A refined database: Additionally, the collected personal data aids in defining user personas and journeys and refines the company's roadmap and style guide.

  • Personalization and targeting: Accessing audience preferences directly empowers brands to tailor offerings with precision. This information is invaluable for crafting personalized experiences and targeted marketing efforts. The result is increased customer satisfaction and engagement.

  • Qualified leads and better conversion rates: The insights gathered from progressive profiling help nurture leads effectively, implement personalized journeys, and improve conversion rates. And these all translate into better sales figures.

Progressive profiling isn't just a trend; it's a necessity for businesses across industries. Gartner's 2022 survey underscores this. The stats show that the vast majority of B2C and B2B customers expect the brands they interact with to be well-informed about their personal information, so brands must continually gather data to deliver tailored experiences that resonate with their audiences.

Two tools that are perfectly suited to progressive profiling are micro-forms and quizzes.

Tailor data collection with micro-forms

Micro-forms, as the name suggests, are very brief forms, often consisting of just one or two questions. They're designed to gather essential user information quickly and without overwhelming the audience with lengthy forms.

Micro-forms are great for progressive profiling—they're perfectly suited for data collection throughout the customer journey. During a customer’s initial encounter with a brand, the forms are used to collect basic information and contact details. As the customer moves along the lifecycle, they're presented with micro-forms that collect information on product preferences and behavioral insights. All of these insights ultimately help provide the user with a more personalized experience. 

Typeform’s smart micro-forms allow for a more dynamic approach to data collection—a single form’s questions can be tailored according to the data already collected from other forms. These forms cleverly adapt and progressively ask for information, preventing redundancy, and maintaining user engagement. 

Consider a project management software company aiming to understand user needs better.

  1. Upon sign-up, the new customer is presented with a micro-form that requests basic contact details, such as their name and email.

  2. As the user explores the platform, they encounter another micro-form that asks for feedback on their preferred project management methods.

  3. Later, when the user accesses the Gantt chart feature, a micro-form pops up asking about their familiarity with such tools and any specific challenges they face when using them.

This gradual approach, personalized for each feature interaction, helps the company gather nuanced user preferences and pain points without overwhelming the user.

Make data collection engaging with quizzes

Quizzes differ from traditional forms by offering a gamified approach to data collection. They engage users through captivating and often entertaining questions like personality assessments, trivia challenges, and outcome-based inquiries. 

In progressive profiling, quizzes are thoughtfully designed to align with user interests, drawing them in with relatable content while still capturing essential data points. This interactive format simplifies the data collection process and entices users to participate actively and willingly share information.

Imagine a food delivery app looking to provide its users with more personalized recommendations. The company creates a quiz series called “My Personalized Meal Plan.”  

  1. During sign-up, users are introduced to the quiz series and are asked for details, such as their location, preferred meal times, and favorite cuisines. 

  2. After placing their first order, the customer is quizzed on their favorite dish or what ingredients (if any) they dislike.

  3. When the user saves a restaurant in their favorites list, they are quizzed on their favorite meal of the day or asked trivia on world cuisine.

This engaging series of quizzes enriches the app's user data and empowers the platform to offer tailored meal plans and recommend unique culinary experiences based on individual preferences.

The cardinal rule for online quizzes lies in their brevity—a few well-crafted questions can suffice. The goal is to strike a balance: gather enough data to initiate a valuable dataset while keeping the quiz concise and engaging, enticing users to participate further.

Nail progressive profiling with Typeform

Experience the power of gradual data collection with Typeform's versatile and intuitive forms and quizzes. Start shaping more personalized interactions and understanding your audience better step by step.

Ready to transform your data collection? Explore Typeform today and forge stronger connections with your audience.

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