The Lead Gen Tool You Can Learn from Seventeen Magazine

Keith Perhac
Founder @ SegMetrics

Picture this… You launch a new marketing tool that your prospects are so excited about that it gets shared with all their friends.

This new tool goes way beyond the classic lead form — prospects aren’t just willing to share a name and email address, they happily tell you what they ate for breakfast, their favorite color, and how many hours of sleep they got last night.

They share details about their life, their preferences, and their biggest fears.

What kind of marketing tool am I talking about?

The “Self Assessment” or “online quiz.”

From High School to Lead Gen Tool…

They’ve become incredibly popular in recent years, with sites like Buzzfeed publishing 15 or more such tests in a 24 hour period.

But the truth is this idea is anything but new.

Personality quizzes have been in circulation since at least 1936, when Meet Yourself, a 336-page home-psychoanalysis test was published. And magazines like Seventeen, Esquire, and Men’s Health have included headlines like, “Which Backstreet boy is your perfect match?” or “What fad diet is right for your body type?” on their covers to help convince shoppers to add a little reading material to their carts for ages.

Then along came the internet.

And, like it has for so many things, it revolutionized these self assessments. Not only has it done away with the need for “manually tabulating” what your responses are worth, to figure out your results, it has also made assessments a powerful tool for online businesses.


Two reasons:

  1. First, people love them.
  2. Second, they are valuable tools for businesses with something to sell.

Let’s look at each of those a bit more closely.

Why People Love Online Quizzes

Studies show that hands down, our favorite thing to talk about is ourselves. Talking about ourselves lights up the same areas of the brain that light up when eating good food, taking drugs, and even having sex.

This inherent interest in ourselves extends to learning more about who we are and where we fit in the world.

Quizzes offer us a chance to satisfy both of those desires simultaneously… they tell us something about ourselves, and help us meet our need to feel that we “belong” to a group.

And, because we love to talk about ourselves, when we take a quiz that tells us which sandwich we are, what Harry Potter house we’d fall into, or what state we should live in, we instinctively seem to want to share the results with our peers.

So, if you create a quiz, those who take it are likely to share it organically with their friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter, and any other favorite social media platforms they may have.

So that’s what’s in it for those taking these quizzes; but what’s in it for those creating them?

Why Businesses Love Online Quizzes Too

When a business creates an online quiz, the primary goal is usually to get new leads. Because people enjoy taking them so much, offering people a little insight into themselves is a great incentive for convincing them to hand over their contact information.

In fact, they often get a 50-60% opt in rate — do you have anything else that converts like that? My guess is probably not… and if you do, I definitely want to hear about it.

Because they’re a series of questions, which closely align with Google search terms, and they often gain a lot of backlinks and social shares, quizzes are also good for SEO.

Furthermore, by creating a quiz that’s on topic or relevant to the business, the company gains leads who are also demonstrating that they’re interested in what the organization has to offer. The quiz provides that business with the same insight it’s providing to the quiz-taker, plus all the extra information the person provides during the course of the quiz itself.

“The 2AM Google Search.”

That brings us to what is probably the most common question I get about using quizzes as a lead gen tool — how do you choose a topic?

At the risk of overstating the obvious, your assessment should be on a topic that’s related to your business. It should also help answer a key question ideal prospects are wondering about themselves, or a question they should be wondering, that perhaps they haven’t thought of yet.

It should address that key thing they are searching for at 2am — the thing literally keeping them up at night. Think things like “How do I make more sales?” or “Why can’t I lose weight? ”

But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. One assessment that I found took the DSM-IV diagnostic assessment and turned it into a medical assessment tool for clients with clinical depression.

While for obvious reasons it didn’t include social sharing tools on that one (after all, who wants to tell their friends that they’re depressed?), the tool still performed incredibly well, helping not only capture new leads but also helping “segment” them appropriately.

Bonus: Want to learn how to use quizzes to build your list? Check out my new Free Ultimate Guide to Building Quizzes that Convert.

Let your quiz qualify your leads for you.

As I mentioned earlier, quizzes provide you with a ton of valuable information on the leads it brings in.

That, in turn, lets you determine which type of marketing follow up is most appropriate for that person; this process of breaking out marketing leads into buckets and then marketing to them appropriately is called customer segmentation or lead segmentation.

The idea is that you want to know the most important thing that you can give your lead, the thing that’s going to convert them to a customer, and target them with that content or messaging.

For example, if we return to the anti-anxiety product I mentioned above, a quiz on how anxiety affects you or whether you are overly anxious would be perfect.

Not only does it appeal to the ideal customer, but during the assessment the quiz gives the company information about the person opting into their marketing funnel, so they can suggest an appropriate next step.

Maybe the person taking the quiz has no anxiety whatsoever — in which case they can be sent to an educational course, or something light. They’re not going to become a customer. Maybe their answers are unclear — their responses don’t indicate whether they have anxiety or not; then the company might share some educational information that can help them gain a better understanding of their needs.

Or, maybe the person has crippling anxiety and my client should get on a call with them right now.

In each of these cases, the answers the lead provided during the quiz actually helps the company determine the appropriate level and type of follow up. Not only does doing this create a better experience for the user, it pre-qualifies the leads for the company, so they can focus the most time and energy where it’s likely to be most productive — allowing them to make more money and be more effective in their field.

Thinking about creating a quiz for your business? Download my list of best practices to get the Do’s and Don’ts you should be sure to follow.

Keith Perhac

Founder @ SegMetrics

Keith is the Founder of SegMetrics, and has spent the last decade working on optimizing marketing funnels and nurture campaigns.

SegMetrics was born out of a frustration with how impossibly hard it is to pull trustworthy, complete and actionable data out of his client's marketing tools.

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