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Getting to Know Your Contacts Through Progressive Profiling

By Bob Ruffolo

Getting to Know Your Contacts Through Progressive Profiling

completing-profiles-through-hubspot-progressive-profilingIt’s common to have incomplete contacts in your database. Even if you make certain fields mandatory, your prospects and contacts will inevitably omit certain information or enter information incorrectly, causing you to not have the necessary information you need. The missing or incorrect information can run the gamut from missing phone numbers and emails, to missing industry information and missing websites.

How to Complete Contact Profiles

Fear not; There are a number of things you can do to complete your contact profiles and ensure accuracy: 

• Online research: Research the company and / or individuals online, especially on LinkedIn, to complete profiles accordingly. You might even be able to complete missing emails by learning the company email protocols from other contacts from that company. For example, if you know Jamie Smith’s email is, you could probably guess Eric Mitchell’s email address. Here’s a strategic hack using Sidekick that Ginny Soskey at HubSpot uses to guess emails.

• Run campaigns: Provide compelling reasons for your prospects to return to your site and reconvert using a form that gives you all of the information you need. You can do this by sending them an email with a content offering that excites them and provides them with a strong call-to-action to convert.

• Use tools like the HubSpot CRM and Sidekick to complete records for you: These tools have been set up so sales has to perform very little data entry. The HubSpot CRM will actually complete particular form fields automatically with accuracy using what’s called HubSpot Insights. We use this here at IMPACT and we love it.

Do you need more information from your prospects, but don't want to ask for all of it on one form? 

Use Progressive Profiling.

Progressive profiling, an extension of dynamic form fields, helps bring efficiency to the painful process of filling out forms by allowing you to set up an iterative process where certain questions appear in your forms based on what you already know about a particular lead.

Practically speaking, the technology allows you to replace previously-captured fields with a new set of fields, when a contact encounters another form on your site. Earlier, we alluded to the important role progressive profiling plays in reducing the repetition and stress connected with filling out multiple forms.

But progressive profiling technology is important for a number of other strategic reasons:

• Better Lead Intelligence: Progressive profiling allows you to progressively gather valuable new information about your leads each time they fill out a form, while making sure the forms remain short and easy to complete. This enables you to build the data profile of every contact and increase lead intelligence for every collected lead without creating additional friction or barriers to the conversion process. Sound good? Basically, progressive profiling allows you to gather the right information about your leads at the right times. 

• Shorter Forms Produce Better Lead Conversion Rates: Yes, no surprise here: Short and sweet produces the best results when it comes to form conversion. So by reducing the number of fields with progressive profiling from 7 to, say, 3, you reduce the pain and increase the conversion rate. And you’ll probably make a friend for life.

• Makes The Most of Your Limited Time: Progressive profiling allows you to reuse the same forms across different landing pages on your site. You might assume someone landing on your ebook-request landing page is midway in the customer buying journey, in the consideration stage, where you might want to ask some evaluative questions on your form. But they may be further along in the sales journey and be ready to buy. Progressive profiling allows you to ask the right question at the right time and saves you the time of having to create a variety of separate, specifically-targeted forms. (4) 

• Captures Additional Nice-To-Have Information: A writer for Dun & Bradstreet’s CONNECTORS newsletter, promoted the following useful process to avoid any pitfalls and harvest additional nice-to-have information with progressive profiling. Contacts fill out the first form they encounter with critical identifying information, such as name, email, and company. Progressive profiling is then used to capture additional nice-to-have information, from location to current purchase plans, to preferences and attitudes that can be used to shape follow-up communications from sales and marketing. He uses the sale of cloud services to illustrate where progressive questions could capture additional information about preferences (public vs. private clouds), the current state of cloud adoption, or perspective on security in cloud computing. Each response helps to build a more complete profile, but isn’t critical information. (5)

• They Work Seamlessly with Smart Forms: Marketing programs like HubSpot include Smart Forms which, as stated earlier, remember visitors in your contact database and auto-fill form fields using data gathered from a previous form conversion. Progressive profiling works seamlessly with Smart Forms, delivering a better overall end-user experience for your contacts and a smarter, more intuitive approach to sales and marketing lead generation.

So, What's Next?

The content above was an excerpt from our all-new guide, Inbound Lead Management 101. In the full version, you'll learn more about progressive profiling, integrating your CRM, measuring lead sales-readiness, and accelerating sales with technology. Get your free copy here, right now!

Free Assessment:

How does your inbound marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.


Published on July 27, 2015

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