Copywriting Growth Marketing

Beyond BuzzFeed: How I used quizzes to generate 10,000+ qualified leads

“Mom, can I have $5 to buy a comic book and some chips?”

And by “comic book” I meant unwholesome magazines filled with smutty novel excerpts, make-out tips and, QUIZZES.

Oh my, the quizzes.

They’re the REAL reason I bought magazines (before BuzzFeed took over the quiz universe).

Tell me…

… do you remember taking any of these quizzes from Seventeen Magazine?

  • Are You Paranoid? (ummm, yes, I’m fourteen – the whole world is out to get me)
  • Is It Really Over? (Pretty sure it never even began, except in my head)
  • Do You Play Mind Games? (That’s how I bought this magazine, so heck yeah)

The power of a quiz has not tarnished since the late 1990’s.

Lots of marketers make this big mistake: assuming leads from a quiz are unqualified.

They don’t have to be – if you create your quiz right.

Like the one quiz I ran that brought in 172 additional course sales, resulting in an extra $25k in just two weeks. That’s not counting lifetime customer value, BTW.

It’s basic human nature to want to know ourselves better.

Even if it’s just for fun.

Sherry Turkle, MIT psychologist and cultural analyst, explains the popularity of modern quizzes as a way of dealing with our existential dread and altering how others perceive us. It’s not so much taking the quiz that people enjoy – it’s sharing the results.

Here’s how she put this phenomenon:  

“They’re specifically for performance. Here, part of the point is to share it, to feel ‘who you are’ by how you share who you are. [It’s] the conflation of who you are and who thinks you’re okay.”

I know what you’re thinking:

How can quizzes help me to grow my bottom line?

‘Cuz we’ve got businesses to run and serious goals. But quizzes will help you achieve your ambitions. Specifically in terms of lead generation.

According to LeadQuizzes, the average quiz has a 33.6% lead capture rate – though in the quizzes I run, I typically see much higher conversions.

Plus, interactive content is far more powerful than a regular ol’ guide. According to a CMI survey in 2016, 81% of respondents agreed that interactive content grabs attention more effectively than static content.

Dang, that means more than 3 out of every 4 people is hooked by a quiz.

If you’re not impressed yet, that’s cool – but consider these additional points:

  • They’re fun. When scrolling through social media, you’re more likely to click on something with entertainment value. (Helloooo, Facebook time suck.)
  • The average quiz is shared 1900 times. No more forking over handfuls of cash for Facebook ads – quizzes are your new BFF.
  • Ideal lead magnet to attract people in the first stage of the buyer’s journey / TOFU.

You may think you’re being approachable with your 25-page free guide. But a total newcomer isn’t going to invest their time or energy in reading that. They’re in the wrong stage of awareness. What they will invest in is a quiz.

Take a look at this chart:

Screenshot 2017 07 24 at 8.54.39 PM

Quizzes for lead generation… and beyond!

Quizzes are NOT going away.

If you think they’re below you or too hard to make, you’d be wise to reconsider.

Here’s why.

1. A quiz (aka interactive content) is the future

According to BuzzSumo, the average quiz gets shared 1,900 times. Compared to the average number of shares on an article, you’re entering an entirely new dimension of social media sharing stats. Interactive content is the nectar of the conversion gods.

A CMI Survey from 2016 stated that:

75% of marketing participants said they anticipated that their company or organization would increase their utilization of interactive content marketing.

As you can see from this chart, the future is already here, my friends:

Screenshot 2017 07 25 at 11.39.41 AM

BuzzFeed’s top stories just a few months ago were ALL quizzes:

Screenshot 2017 07 25 at 11.41.02 AM

2. You get more insight into your target audience

I spy with my little quiz a marketer that just hit the jackpot. 

Quizzes rock because you get to exercise your super spy powers to better understand your ideal client’s needs and desires. This sounds creepy – I know – but it helps you offer more value.

Here’s why:

You get to see the quiz’s results. Often, one result out of 4 or 5 outnumbers the others. Talk about some powerful insight to guide your future content and copy that your audience will resonate with.

It’s like asking people to fill out a survey… except it’s actually fun for them.

As Coy Whittier of Qzzr said:

“Relevant data allows you to offer a personalized content experience. Quizzes provide a way for you to get that data in a way that people like.” 

3. Segment your list the easy way

Contrary to popular belief, email marketing isn’t dead.

In fact, it’s getting more and more sophisticated.

You have the power to craft targeted marketing messages for specific segments of your audience – as long as they’ve told you where they belong

For example, you run an online business that teaches entrepreneurs how to start and grow their business. Someone just starting out needs an entirely different approach vs. someone who’s already successful.

But finding out who your audience is and getting them on the right list isn’t always straightforward. Sure, you can send a survey or use the ASK method right off the bat. Without an incentive, who really wants to fill out a survey? I know, I know – micro-commitments are legit, but what if there was something a smidge easier?

Lucky for you there is.

It’s a quiz. 🙂

Quizzes make segmenting your list fun for your audience AND they’re just as effective as a survey. Talk about a win-win.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Create your quiz results based on your different audience segments. 
  2. Set up tags for each one.
  3. Automatically place quiz takers in the most-appropriate funnel.

K, I see your cocked eyebrow and objections forming on your lips, like:

  • Are quizzes effective for EV-ER-Y niche?
  • Are all quizzes going to be a home run?

And lastly, the humdinger of them all:

What makes a truly killer quiz?

Y’know, a quiz that people can’t help but want to click-through and invest 5 minutes on? That’s what I’m about to show you.

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How I attracted 10,000+ new leads with just quizzes

You might be surprised at how much work goes into creating a high-converting quiz.

One that makes people fall in love with you like you’re Leo on Seventeen’s July ‘98 cover.

Coming up with a great quiz idea is easy. Things get mucky in creating relevant questions and juicy outcomes. Mucky enough to make most people throw in the towel.

Writing highly compelling quizzes – ones that people want to share – is both an art and a science.

Just like any piece of content, your quiz needs to be engaging.

You don’t want to make your audience feel like they’re answering questions on a government survey.

Your questions and results have to connect back to your bottom line. In other words, the data you’re collecting needs to be relevant. And the quiz results you create should loop back to the solution your brand provides. It’s all a little mind-boggling.

Writing a quiz doesn’t have to be a struggle. Just follow the blueprint I’m about to outline for you and you’re well on your way to the Quiz Hall of Fame.

Step 1: You create a quiz topic based on who you want to attract

The title and description for your quiz have to capture your target audience’s pain point and solution. It should be inspired by this question:

What keeps my audience up at night? 

My mom started menopause a few years ago. She’s always talking about hot flashes and mood swings and all the annoying stuff that goes along with it.

One day I stumbled upon Dr. Sara Gottfried’s quiz and immediately sent my mom the link.

She loved it. Because it spoke to exactly what she was experiencing and the outcome she desired.  When your message is on point, getting ideal clients to convert is not a challenge.

Here’s an example of Dr. Sara’s quiz.

Screenshot 2017 07 03 at 12.04.58 PM

Step 2: “The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge”

Thomas Berger said it best:

Ask the right questions and you’ll be swimming in data that can help you refine your messaging and strengthen your value props.

Quizzes are good for more than just leads… and telling your friends which Game of Thrones character you are.

Questions help us understand our prospects and get to the root of how we can help them.

So, how do you come up with your quiz questions? Formulate your questions around what you ultimately want to sell.

For example, if you’re selling business coaching services, sse your questions to prequalify potential leads.

Like this question from a quiz “Should You Hire a Business Coach?

Screenshot 2017 07 03 at 12.24.03 PM

Because of that question, you know this biz offers customer feedback analysis services. Now, with these quiz responses, they’ve got data about how ready their TOFU prospects are to engage in the sales funnel.

Selling products? Use your quiz questions to help your potential customer understand all the possibilities you can offer them.

To make your quiz creating process easier, I put together some example questions: 

  • How often do you _______? (ex. Work out, review your quarterly goals, get mad at your kids, etc.)
  • On a scale of 1-10, how ______ are you? (ex. Happy with your relationship, satisfied with your job, etc.)
  • A genie grants you one wish. What do you choose?
  • How likely are you to ________? (stop eating meat, stick to your budget, not check your email for a day, etc.)
  • Which image best describes your ________? (perfect living space, business, wedding style, etc.)

You should start with these questions in your brainstorming, methinks.

Or check out The Conversation Starters World – my go-to resource for creating outstanding questions that people will want to answer. (Psst, it also boasts a great collection of q’s for those of us who hate small talk.)

Step 3: Write outcomes that give a glimpse of the solution

Creating shareable outcomes that provide value and offer a peek at the solution you provide is an art.

But THIS is what differentiates your quiz from yet another brainless Buzzfeed post.

A major benefit of using quizzes for lead generation is that people share their results. (That’s why you’re reading this, right??)

Overwhelmed by all this juicy info? Grab my free email course and learn how to create a compelling quiz in 6 bite-sized lessons (plus steal my successful quiz swipe file) 

The copy you create for your outcomes should offer insight AND a few actionable strategies. Offer real value. The last thing you want is for people to feel like you wasted their time.

Step 4: You test a few copy variations

This step loops back to the first one: know your target audience.

Understand how they speak, what Facebook pages they like, their age, demographic, and beyond. Set up a few targeted Facebook ad campaigns.

Test a few variations of your quiz title and description against each other to see which performs best.

Step 5: You follow up with welcome emails 

A welcome sequence will warm up your cold leads. Which is exactly what you want.

Long story short: it helps them get to know you. Because odds are they took your quiz for fun. If you don’t follow up, they’ll forget you exist.

Or worse, they won’t ever have known how you could’ve potentially helped them.

You want to get those new leads into a funnel designed to:

  • Help you learn more about them and where they’re at in the buyer’s journey
  • Introduce them to you and your values, so that they can start to know, like, and trust you (before any selling happens)
  • Provide value and depth that far exceeds anything a little quiz can deliver

Enter the ever-gentle “Welcome Email Sequence”

A welcome email sequence is akin to the build-up towards intimacy in a new relationship. It’s your chance to make new subscribers in the awareness stage happy – nay, thrilled – to have you in their inbox.

When it comes to lead magnets that involve minimal commitment from the subscriber – like a quiz – a welcome sequence is more vital.

Otherwise, there’s no real reason your new leads should remain on your list when you start sending them emails appropriate for other stages of the buyer’s journey.

Cover these key items in your welcome sequence before selling anything:

  • Offer your new subscribers a clear overview of who you are, what you do, how you do it and why.
  • Establish understanding and connection. Set the scene and let people get a really good idea of your brand voice and overall tone.
  • How can you learn more about your new subscribers? Give them a reason to hit reply and tell you something about themselves.
  • Build trust and offer value. You can offer a free discovery session, send other free resources, PDFs, videos and links to popular blog posts, give them your best stuff right off the bat – they just might love you forever.
  • Tell your story and share why you give a damn.

A carefully crafted welcome sequence is a key ingredient for a leak-free funnel and essential to make sure those new leads stick around.

How you attract qualified leads from a quiz

It’s possible – you can create quizzes just as clickable as the ones you see on BuzzFeed. The caveat is this: they must have a purpose beyond mere entertainment.

What I’ve learned – through much trial and error – is that quizzes come in two flavors:

  1. BuzzFeed-style quiz, where you capture a ton of leads (that aren’t really qualified)
  2. Quiz like one stolen from Seventeen Magazine’s pages, where you offer a solution to your ideal client’s real or perceived problem

Both of these outlets have very different purposes.

BuzzFeed operates primarily on a traffic generation revenue model. The content itself doesn’t really matter as long as it gets the click.

You want to copy Seventeen’s purpose which is aligned with a business goal: sell magazines. Their alluringly corny quizzes help them do that.

You have something to sell, right? 🙂 Make sure your quiz relates back to your overarching purpose: to sell your product, service or course.

Will a quiz work for my niche?

The short answer is yes. From my experience, quizzes work for just about every niche.

However, they work exceptionally well in these niches:

  • Health and wellness
  • Personal and spiritual development
  • e-Commerce

But if you’re creative, the options of a quiz can work for all types of industries, like:

  • SaaS
  • Online service providers
  • Real estate
  • Non-profits
  • … and the list goes on

One thing to keep in mind is that personality quizzes tend to perform best. According to popular quiz platform, Playbuzz, 77% of quizzes that have been shared 100,000 times or more are personality quizzes. So, if you’re gunning for the fences, create a personality quiz.

For example, Dr. Kelly Ann Petrucci – whose bone broth obsession instantly makes me love her – brought in over 40,000 leads with her Gluten Intolerance Quiz.

Or discover the best facemask is for your personality, compliments of the ever-popular Birch Box:

Screenshot 2017 07 02 at 12.23.27 PM

The quiz fun doesn’t stop there. If you sell services like graphic design or photography, create a quiz that gives you better insight into your client’s needs.

Take a look at this quiz by Eight Three Five Creative, a boutique digital marketing and graphic design business:

Screenshot 2017 07 02 at 12.10.04 PM

Even realtors and other professional service-based businesses can benefit from quizzes. Check out this quiz from MyDomaine … now, honestly, tell me you wouldn’t take this quiz if you were house-hunting?

Screenshot 2017 07 02 at 12.16.09 PM

In your quiz, use you can use images, ask questions you might normally be embarrassed to ask, and gain a ton of insight into what the market wants.

“Naw, quizzes wouldn’t work in B2B or marketing… right?”

Neil Patel saw a 500% increase in leads after implementing quizzes. This is coming from someone who already has everything optimized for conversion to a degree far greater than 99% of online businesses.

Check out a few more of these client case studies that LeadQuizzes put together:

Or these ones from Interact:

If these folks can do it, so can you.

To recap, here’s your seamless system for creating quizzes that convert:

  1. Know your audience
  2. Ask quiz questions to lead back to what you sell
  3. Quiz outcomes give glimpse of solution
  4. Test quiz copy variations
  5. Use welcome email series to warm up leads

So what quiz are you going to create to grow your list?

What tool will you use to run it?

Drop it in the comments below. Funny, serious, business-driven or downright ridonculous—let’s get quizzical!

~Chanti

Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

About the author

Chanti Zak

Chanti is a conversion copywriter and funnel strategist specializing in quizzes. She believes that when you ask better questions, you build a better business. Learn more about Chanti on her website chantizak.com.

  • Olu

    You have given me the reason to put this in my growth arsenal for ((link removed)). A cool quiz idea that comes to mind for me will be to ask if farmers can be rich and explore that to generate lead for our farm management solutions.

    Thank you for the tip.

  • George C. Huang

    Chanti, great timing on this post for me. I’ve recently shifted my focus to crafting interactive visual content experiences that convert – going “beyond quizzes,” so to speak. I totally agree with you the asking better questions helps you to build a better business. You’ve reminded me that there’s a time and place for quizzes (micro-commitment) and an interactive journey (which in some cases can be a slightly longer commitment of time, though not by much)

  • I’ve used interact for quizzes…it’s great. Thanks so much for this awesome post. I was looking for a new lead magnet for my facebook ads funnel, I’m going to get on this and get it done this week!

    • Right on, Kristen! Facebook ads and quizzes are meant to be together.

    • Josh Haynam

      Thanks Kristen! I just did a post on using quizzes as Facebook ads on the interact blog, check it out and let me know what you think!

  • Wayne

    I like this approach, because quizzes are a good way to interact with your audience. If they are willing to take a quiz, they are more likely to take another action. What’s in motion tends to stay in motion. This means that they are more likely to opt-in or subscribe to your offer once you have peaked their interest.

    • And with all the juicy data you collect you’ll be able to create an offer that’s irresistible to a large chunk of your quiz takers. Wins in every direction!

      • Wayne

        I like your website. Do you think we can chat sometime. I would like to know more about how the quizzes work.

      • Thanks! Sure thing, can you hop over here and tell me a little bit more about your business?https://chantizak.typeform.com/to/YVZbYt

      • Wayne

        I am an up and coming copywriter. I also have a background in marketing and mass media. I am totally re-branding my business. I was focusing on everything dealing with marketing. Now I want to niche down to copywriting.

  • Melissa Aretz Bryan

    Question about the psychology of sharing…do they need to feel like a rock star then done taking the quiz or do litigate scores share well too?

    • Score quizzes aren’t quite as shareable as personality ones, but they do inspire curiosity. That said, if it’s fairly easy to score high you’ll likely get more shares.

    • Josh Haynam

      Hey Melissa, good question! we’ve generally found that quizzes with positive descriptions get shared more (which makes sense, because if you are sharing your quiz result and it is positive, it makes you look good). That being said, Chanti’s right that personality quizzes are the most shared type of quiz

  • Becky Dobyns

    What about “serious” businesses? Have you ever seen an instance where a quiz was a detriment to a serious/professional brand? There are industries where I’m afraid businesses that create quizzes might be taken less seriously

    • In this case, I usually call it an assessment instead of a quiz 😉 But seriously, someone once reached out to me for help creating a quiz to sell prosthetics to doctors. It wasn’t something I felt comfortable creating a quiz for. Not to say it can’t be done but some industries make more sense than others.

    • Tariq Salim

      So the quizzes don’t have to be “fun” – meaning they lack seriousness. You can call it more of a questionnaire when it comes to business . I use it for almost every niche – auto insurance, chiropractor, diabetes, you name it.

    • Josh Haynam

      Hey Becky! Josh here from interact. I thought I’d chime in on this one because people ask this question at least 10 times a day, sometimes 10 times an hour 🙂

      Here’s the long answer (sorry there’s no short answer).

      The important thing to remember in a quiz is that you are writing it for a person, not for a company. Most of the time when people question the validity of quizzes as a “real” marketing tool it’s because they assume that a quiz will be treated the same way as a white paper or an ebook, I.E. It will get downloaded and shared with an organization, and then scrutinized heavily.

      That’s just not the reality with quizzes. Most people take them on their phones and I’ve never heard of any company sitting in a conference room taking a quiz together (although please let me know if they do, and send pictures, because that would be awesome).

      What I’m getting at is that quizzes are an awareness play to get your brand top-of-mind in the minds of the people who work in organizations so that when it comes time to make a decision on using a product or service in your industry you come up.

      *There is one incredibly important caveat though, which is that quizzes should always be on brand in the sense that they are written for your audience. The best way to do that is by defining your audience in one or two words and then putting your audience into the quiz title template “What Type of (Blank) are You?” where the (Blank) is the audience. So for example “What Type if IT Person are You?” if you’re selling into IT.

      Hopefully that helps. I totally get that there is a divide between silly quizzes and serious business results, and we’re here to assist with that.

      • Becky Dobyns

        Thank you for the thoughtful reply Josh! Very helpful.

  • Jana Naluai Bresenden

    Interested to see what platform or plugins are best for quizzes. Thanks!

    • Joanna Wiebe

      We use Interact (tryinteract.com) for our quizzes. It’s very easy and has lots of integrations – so you can send those new subscribers to your email marketing platform.

  • Nicolas Puegher

    A great idea indeed. I have seen them very often these days and I have to admit, it’s kind of entertaining. It’s always nice to learn new techniques and since you did very well, I think I’ll give it a try for sure, thanks a lot!

    • Joanna Wiebe

      Awesome, Nicolas! We’d love to hear how it works out for you.

  • Melissa Aretz Bryan

    This is awesome! Next question, what platform do you use to create your quizzes in?

    • indeed… why no recomendations for Quiz plugins or software…

      • Another source for creating calculators, quizzes and things like that is Outgrow : https://outgrow.co/ I used it to make some quizzes and it was easy to do.

      • Great article Chanti! It’s truly amazing to me why quizzes are not part of every businesses marketing toolkit! So simple but oh, so powerful! As long as people remain curious a quiz will usually outperform anything else at the top of a lead generation campaign. I’ve been having great success using quizzzes and Messenger chatbots together. The future of marketing is here! Cheers!

    • There are lots of options out there. I currently use Interact (tryinteract.com) after trying a few others I’ve found them to be the best overall.

  • Thank you for putting this together! I’m definitely going to go through it again while I create my quiz 😀

    • Awesome, share it here when you do Lucia, I’d love to check it out.

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