How just one question can transform your business.
“You will never know if you do not ask,” says marketing and sales whiz Trish Witkowski, “that is why quizzes and surveys are so invaluable: they help you get inside the mind of your target market.” That is just one of the valuable insights that Trish uncovered while researching the most efficient lead scoring strategies in the world.
You see, a year ago Ms. Witkowski set off on a journey to understand why some seemingly mundane businesses can generate massive success using simple (and often overshadowed) marketing tools: tools like email and surveys. (By the way, if you are interested in what she learned from Vegas Card Counters, read this article.)
“It is so easy to find yourself chasing audiences on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter, but hidden inside your existing audience – your current prospects and customers – is the profit-producing insight you need to be exponentially successful,” Trish says. That’s right. All you need to do is dig deeper into the audience you already own.
The audience you already own
In Trish’s research, she sat down with several companies who’d leveraged their existing customers and prospects to find game-changing insights – insights that would propel their businesses to the next level.
“Some companies realized that if they homed in on a particular sub-segment, they could increase their margins and generate higher profits. Others found that a simple quiz could eliminate time-wasting sales efforts on tire-kicking leads to close bigger deals faster,” notes Ms. Witkowski.
“Unfortunately, most companies squander the opportunity to drive intelligent business insight from their surveys and quizzes because marketers make one massive mistake: they forget to make the survey or quiz about the customer,” Trish found.
It was a story Trish heard from an agency executive named Danyl Bosomworth in London, England that blew her mind.
The Taste Test and the multi-million dollar data point
A few years ago, Danyl Bosomworth ran a small education travel division inside a multi-billion dollar travel company. Danyl’s group sold travel and teaching experiences to college students around the world.
“Danyl’s sales and marketing processes were pretty traditional. Danyl’s team bought relevant keywords to drive prospects towards an opt-in form. Those that expressed even minimal interest received a high-quality direct mail brochure and a few days later a call from the sales team,” explains Trish.
The team’s approach yielded an industry standard 3% conversion rate. “Danyl knew he could do better, then just the industry standard,” Trish notes.
“Danyl and his sales team realized that a particular ‘type’ of person buys teach and travel experiences – people who like adventurous food, for example. So, they decided to develop a fun online quiz to test a prospect’s appetite for adventure. Danyl planned on using the new insight to attract and identify the individuals who possessed a few key characteristics they were looking for,” explains Ms. Witkowski. “Because if they could find those people, they could close more business.”
“The ‘Teach English as a Foreign Language Taster,’ or ‘TEFL Taster’ as it became known, started out as one question and grew to be about 15 questions,” says Danyl Bosomworth. “It became very interactive.”
For example, one question invited prospects to watch a video clip of a ‘teachers view’ inside an African classroom. At the end of the clip, the TEFL Taster would ask the prospect if the video made them feel excited, scared or nervous, or intimidated.
“We had audio clips and multiple-choice sliders even simple A/B polling questions. We collected all the data anonymously and only asked for an email address at the very end of the survey,” Danyl explains. In fact, Danyl’s team learned two valuable lessons:
- You will capture more data by asking for personal information at the very end of a survey.
- Even the anonymous data possesses value.
“Suddenly, Danyl had more information and insight into his prospects than ever before,” Trish says with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a real data-driven marketer.
“Overnight, they knew the ages of their prospects; they knew their food preferences and their language skills, they better understood whether they were the right fit for a TEFL adventure. Danyl could now quickly determine who would most likely pay for a teach and travel experience given the insight they had provided in the quiz,” Trish says.
The survey, in essence, was a goldmine.
“It did not take long for Danyl to refine their entire sales and marketing approach. In fact, only the most ‘qualified’ leads received the expensive direct mail brochure and his sales team focused first on the most viable leads. Suddenly, they were closing more deals, more often, more efficiently, at a reduced overall cost” says Trish. The Taste Test was working!
“We found that people who completed the entire TEFL Taster, received one lead tool (like the brochure or a specific product inquiry,) were 80% more likely to convert,” notes Danyl.
Before Trish told me about the unexpected, million-dollar outcome of The Taste Test, Trish revealed a few simple keys to expanding your audience understanding using simple surveys and quizzes.
The three keys to successful customer data expansion
1. An irresistible question
Using simple, even one-question surveys to expand your understanding of your audience can yield tremendous results. In Trish’s travels, she uncovered the story of a garden supply company that tried month after month to get more insight about their customers. “Their survey response rates were dismal,” explains a disappointed Trish.
“But they did not give up. One month, the garden supply team asked customers to tell them how BIG their garden was. (Who does not want to brag about the size of their garden, right?) Suddenly, the flood gates opened. People gushed about how big their garden was, what type of garden they grew, even how they created it. Finally, they had found the key to unlocking new insight,” says Ms. Witkwoski.
So, “look for an irresistible question your audience would love to answer,” Trish adds.
2. Look for small signals
Long surveys can be cumbersome. Think about mining your current wins for small signals that might lead to bigger success if you consistently ask the question.
“Danyl’s team used a hunch – the idea that if you do not like adventurous food might mean you will not be a good fit for a teach and travel experience in rural Asia – as the basis for the first version of The Taste Test,” notes Trish.
All you need is a hunch to get started expanding your audience insight. Don’t over complicate it.
3. Make sure there’s a benefit for the audience
“One of the reasons Danyl’s approach was so successful is that the quiz was positioned to help the prospect determine if a teach and travel experience was right for the prospect (not for the company),” notes Trish. “This is important,” she emphasizes.
Instead of asking the audience to tell you what they want or what they like, consider the reasons your survey will help your customer. “Position your survey as helpful for your prospect, and you will see your response-rates skyrocket.”
Unexpected new markets
So, what was it that Danyl uncovered with his Taste Test?
“Danyl’s new marketing tool did not come without its share of surprises,” Trish says. As it turns out, the quiz also yielded an entire category of customers that they had never recognized: “the mature adult in transition.”
“Yes, the quiz revealed one surprising new insight. The team discovered that college kids were not the only people who wanted to get away from it all while doing something good for the world. In fact, empty nesters, retirees, career-changers, and divorcees also wanted in on the action,” reveals Trish.
Armed with a mountain of new customer data brought in by a simple quiz, Danyl, and his talented team grew the size of the program by 30%, and the revenues tripled over three years.
That is success.
“You will never know if you do not ask,” reiterates Trish Witkowski. “What irresistable question are you going to start with?”