How Online Quizzes Generated 4,500,000 New Subscribers

By Josh Haynam | Blog

The man investor who bought into Snapchat back when that company was just two guys in a living room once told me that the greatest opportunities come when a brand new channel opens up. For example, when the iPhone first launched and the iTunes app market became public it minted hundreds of millionaire app creators in a matter of months, or when the front-facing camera became commonplace on phones the opportunity for Snapchat and similar apps created billion dollar companies in just a few years.

Likewise, when a new trend appears and begins to take over significant portions of people’s attention spans, there is a similar opportunity. One such trend popping everywhere recently is the online personality quiz. Quizzes get massive amounts of social shares, and in 2014 3 of the top 5 pieces of content created by the New York Times were actually quizzes.

When adapted to your business, quizzes can be a very effective marketing tool for you to promote yourself, capture emails, and drive targeted traffic. My goal today is to talk through why quizzes have made the wild rise that they have, and then dive into how you can set up your own quiz so you’ll walk away with everything you need to capitalize on this new strategy.

Why quizzes are so popular

In order to really get the most out of your own quiz marketing strategy, it’s important to understand why quizzes are so popular in the first place. There are two key elements I’ve identified after seeing over 30,000 quizzes be created through my company, Interact, for just about every kind of company imaginable.

1. Conversation

A quiz is the only marketing channel that lets potential customers talk about themselves, and people love to talk about themselves. In fact, 40% of the words we’ll say in our lives are about ourselves, according to e TIME Inc. study, and we actually get a small “high” when talking about ourselves. A quiz asks personal questions and let’s people answer them, and even though it’s a scripted conversation, it’s still a conversation and delivers the same impact of making people feel good.

2. Self-learning

There is an entire industry dedicated to self learning and self improvement. As humans we crave to learn more about ourselves to better understand what drives us, what motivates us, what we enjoy, what we don’t like, etc. etc. Quizzes satisfy that desire by giving you an immediate and personal piece of information about yourself as soon as you answer the quiz questions, and we absolutely love that.

How to set up your own quiz

Now that we’ve got the background for why quizzes draw so much attention, let’s look at the specifics of using them as a strategy to grow your company and build your email list.

1. What to make a quiz about

To create a quiz that is both appealing to your target audience and relevant to your business, there is a very specific method to follow. To begin with, you want your quiz to fit into the template of “Which (Blank) Are You?” or “What (Blank) Are You?” And then you also want your quiz to be relevant to your core value as a business.

So for a retail brand it could be “What’s Your Style?” so you can recommend products based on style. For a software company it might be “What’s Your Team’s Working Style?” if you are recommending productivity solutions. Or, if you are a brand consultant like the image below it would be “What is Your Brand Voice Style?”

If you make your quiz in the template of “Which (Blank) are You?” and then make sure you tie it back to your business, you’ll end up with a quiz that is both fun to take and funnels right into your sales process.

2. How to write questions

Once you’ve got your quiz concept nailed down, you’ll want to write the questions that lead to your possible outcomes. Quiz questions are really the magic the makes quizzes come alive, as it’s your opportunity to have a conversation with the quiz taker through the quiz. In order to make your quiz really stand out, here are some general principles for writing questions.

First and foremost, the biggest thing you can do to write great quiz questions is to pick one person that you’re writing to, an actual individual, and write the questions as if you were talking directly to them. This will force you to write in a more personal style, which is what works best for quizzes.

Second, you want to write questions with the results in mind, meaning that when you create questions you should be visualizing how each answer choice will lead to each of your quiz outcomes, that way you’ll end up with a fair and balanced quiz.

3. How to collect emails and customer data

You can use a quiz to collect emails as a “gate” after the last quiz question but before the results are shown. When you collect data at this point, you’ll also know which quiz outcome the particular person got and how they answered each question, and that data will be sent to your email marketing program so you can send personalized emails to each quiz taker based on their answers and outcome.

In order to maximize the number of people who decide to opt in, there are two main rules to follow. First, make sure to offer a quiz-relevant add-on to people who opt in in addition to showing the quiz results. So for example, the image below says “Ready to discover your brand voice style so you can start using words that connect AND convert?” which means that you’ll get the right words to say based on your style if you opt in. By making the offer relevant to the quiz it reassures the quiz taker that you’re on the same page and they can feel comfortable giving their information.

On that note, the second thing to make sure you do with this call to action is to be very specific about when you’re going to send emails to the person if they do opt in. That way they know exactly what they’re getting into, and since quiz takers often come from social media and may not know you, it’s important that you alleviate all fears up front.

4. How to create results

After someone has opted in, or skipped the opt-in step, they are shown their quiz results immediately. This is the big moment that quiz takers have been waiting for, so make sure not to let them down. Here’s how to make sure you deliver satisfactory quiz results.

First, include an image that represents the outcome well. This is the first thing people will see, and for some it’s the only thing they’ll even look at or read. Second, make sure to give a concise, very positive, description for your result. We’ve found that positive results get shared more, so make sure to pour on the charm! Third, include a call to action to learn more based on your specific quiz type. That way if someone wants to learn more right away, they can.

Ready to create your own quiz?

And that’s it, now you know why quizzes are so popular, and how to create one of your own!

Quizzes are a trend that just keeps on growing. Take advantage of the quiz wave for your business by creating one for your brand today!

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About the Author

Josh Haynam is the co-founder of Interact Quiz Builder, a tool used by more than 30,000 businesses including The American Red Cross, Home Depot, and Forbes. He's probably seen more quizzes than any other human on earth right now.