Growth & Marketing

October 25, 2020

August 21, 2020

Progressive profiling: 4 real examples and use cases

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Progressive profiling is a good option to obtain useful data from your users. If you think that your forms are too long or you simply want to give your users a break and still get some data, this may be your ideal technique.

Today, we explore some real use cases of progressive profiling. Different sectors, different ways of posing questions. Discover them all and get some inspo for your own business.

What is progressive profiling? How to implement it in your signup processes?

As we have seen in previous blog posts, progressive profiling is a lead nurturing technique that allows getting information about the users over time.

While most of the signups processes ask all the information they need in the initial registration form, progressive profiling triggers questions in different moments and in a progressive way, in order to lighten the process and get better results.

If you want to implement progressive profiling in your site, all you have to do is build all the forms you need, structure all the different questions you want to ask and trigger them as you like. With Arengu, you can build an entire flow and personalize the logic behind it: the right moment to ask and the format to ask the questions.

Let's see some use cases and real examples that illustrate them!

Progressive profiling use cases: This is how to apply profiling to different business areas

Progressive profiling is a broad technique that includes many different applications. Some experts have even defined different types of progressive profiling: indirect profiling and direct profiling. Here you have a bunch of progressive profiling real examples and use cases.

1. Display a popup form after logging in

One of the most popular ways of implementing progressive profiling is displaying an optional form after the user logs in. Ideally, this would occur several days after they have signed up, so your users are not overwhelmed with forms and questions. The form normally appears as a pop-up window, with just a few quick questions.

With Arengu, you can implement this type of progressive profiling with your own business rules, and decide what's the best time to display an extra form. Plus, you can also A/B test the performance of these forms to make a well-founded decision.

A real example: Atlassian direct profiling

It is frequent to find this kind of progressive profiling in SaaS or product-based business.

In this case, when logging in in Jira, the user is asked about the sector of their company. These data will be automatically added to the users database to enrich user data.

Progressive profiling afer logging in (Atlassian, Jira)

Pros and cons of popup forms after logging in

High visibility. Being a popup window, every user that logs in after a certain amount of time (of your choice) will see this form. This ensures a high degree of visibility, and therefore more chances of users submitting this form.

Low conversion rates. Unfortunately, websites nowadays are crowded with popup messages — cookies, privacy, notifications... Including an additional form to complete users' profile may have the wrong impact. Users may perceive this form as spammy and close it without even reading it.

If you're using this type of progressive profiling, make sure the form is not being displayed along other popups.

High friction. Popups usually interfere with the user's intention when navigating. Whatever their intention is when they log in, completing their profile is probably not among their goals.

To avoid friction, focus on the form's UX and display only the necessary questions.

2. Complete the profile under Account Settings

Normally, the forms in a progressive profiling strategy are optional. Since the questions included in these forms are not that frequent in other types of forms (like a registration form), it's a good idea that you display this form only as optional.

Another option for displaying a profiling form is to give the user the option to complete their profile by themselves. Instead of displaying a pop-up form and prompting the user to fill it in, users can find this form under their account settings.

This can be an effective way of getting user's information, since users can complete the form at a convenient time for them, which reduces friction to a minimal level.

A real example: Ikea's indirect progressive profiling

Ikea uses this type of progressive profiling to know what their customers may be looking for.

Progressive profiling forms: Under Account Settings - Ikea

This form includes personal questions about their home: its size, its characteristics, data about the people who live there, etc.

Progressive profiling form example - Ikea
Progressive profiling form example - Ikea

Pros and cons of updating profile under account settings

Good conversion rates. The good thing about not overwhelming your users is that conversion rates will be higher. Your forms will have less participants if they are under Account Settings, but the ones that participate will submit the form.

Low friction. Not interfering with the user navigation equals no friction at all. Don't disturb their process, especially if getting data is not your major goal.

Low visibility. Avoiding prompting the users about the form translates into less participants.

A good tip to avoid this is to redirect the users to their Account Settings after logging in. Displaying a noteworthy and attractive CTA may encourage the users indirectly and get you those submissions.

3. Send a newsletter to the user's email

Forms are not the only approach for a progressive profiling strategy. Sending a newsletter to the users may be a good idea to encourage them, obtain specific information and maybe give them something in return.

Newsletters are generally used to hand in information and offers. You can use this method to remind users to complete their profile and offer some kind of advantage in return.

Did you know Arengu allows building interactive emails? You can opt to send an interactive form in the newsletter, where users can respond in the same email. without leaving their inbox. Cool, huh?

A real example: Airbnb direct profiling via newsletter

Many websites encourage their users to complete their profile with a newsletter. Some days after the signup, you can address them again to gather some information about the site and the benefits of completing their profile.

This approach is particularly interesting in platforms where completing the profile plays a major role, like in Airbnb.

Progressive profiling via newsletter - Welcome newsletter Airbnb

Pros and cons of profiling newsletters

The form stays in the inbox. While popup forms simply vanish when they're closed, a newsletter may stay in the user's inbox for a while. There is a chance that you're addressing your users in the wrong moment, and they can fill it in when they're free.

Low click rates. Newsletters open rates go around 15 % and 25 %, while click rates barely reach 2.5 %, according to Campaign Monitor. Even though this depends on several factors —communication style, topic, timing, sector—, numbers show not so many users will open the email and interact with it.

To improve your open rates as much as possible, write an attractive subject line. Offers usually have a better impact than just a good copy.

4. Give benefits in exchange of completing their profile

Many businesses and platforms encourage users to complete their profile or submit additional forms by offering benefits.

Depending on the type of business you run, these benefits may vary a lot: discounts on sales, points in memberships, free samples, etc.

A real example: H&M's indirect progressive profiling

H&M is one of the businesses that use this kind of progressive profiling. This technique is frequently found in ecommerces or membership-based platforms.

Progressive profiling: Data in exchange of benefits - H&M

In this case, being an H&M member, users can accumulate points and then trade them in for a purchase. Completing the profile is rewarded with 20 points.

Progressive profiling: Data in exchange of benefits - H&M

Pros and cons of benefits in exchange of data

High participation. Good offers usually attract customers. Offering a good deal may be a great idea for reaching complementary goals —personal information, newsletter subscription, or identity verification—, but also to drive users towards your main goal, e.g.: a sale.

Would you like to try building your progressive profiling form? With Arengu, you can build yours as well as the logic behind it. You can personalize the time where it is displayed to the user, build dynamic forms to avoid asking certain questions or embed the same form in different places to avoid maintenance. Try it for free!

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