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Every modern marketer’s dream is the ability to gather lots of data about their customers, and feed that into a strategically-targeted marketing campaign. While it may seem like you’re the only one not living the dream, the truth is, everyone aspires to do better in their data collection and conversion levels.

Let me share with you a tactic that will help you enrich your data by making it easier for your prospects and customers to convert: progressive profiling.

What is progressive profiling?

Progressive profiling is a marketing strategy that involves asking your contacts for small amounts of information over a period of time. This allows you to gather data incrementally rather than in one intimidating, long form.

Why would I use progressive profiling?

Better customer experience – your customers are busy people just like you, and a long form can be  a big turn-off, especially if this is their first interaction with, or purchase from, you.  Keep the form simple, with only 3-5 fields, then use progressive profiling technology to ask for more information later.

Increased conversion rates – short forms are more attractive because they require less time to complete. In a case study from Imaginary Landscape, reducing a form from 11 to 4 fields yielded a 120% increase in conversions.

More positive user experience – repeat visitors are likely to get frustrated by filling in the same information over and over again. By using progressive profiling, you can confirm a field you already know, like their email address, then ask them new questions every time.

Take a page from their book: an example from Timex

I recently signed-up to receive newsletters from Timex, a watch company, as I love their products and they were offering a 15% discount on my next purchase.

To sign-up, I filled in a one-field form asking for my email address.


This triggered an automatic email welcoming me to their subscriber list.

Timex Welcome Email

Five days later I received a simple email asking me to confirm my gender by clicking one of two pictures. This made it extremely easy for me to convert.


Four days after that, I received another email offering me £5 off my next purchase if I would share a bit more about myself. Notice the use of an incentive to motivate me to fill in the longer form.



You’ve got my attention! How do I implement progressive profiling?

Progressive profiling can be used anywhere you have a form, be it hosted on a content download page, or coming from an email campaign.

For the purpose of this post, I’ll explain how you can use progressive profiling to send a series of emails asking customers for more information.

By using marketing automation you can create a workflow that will capture a contact as soon as they fill out their first form. Then, through various triggers and interactions, you can decide what information to ask for at each subsequent step, and monitor how contacts are moving along that workflow.

When setting up your progressive profiling workflow you need to consider:

Acting on your progressive profiling reporting

What happens after you set this all up? I recommend the following:

If you’d like to know more about setting up progressive profiling in MessageFocus, request a demo or contact your account manager today.