• QUIZ PRO QUO – The Psychology and Power Behind Quizzes

    Connor Child · May 23, 2017

    Note: This post was written by our friends at BounceX. We are partnering with them for a LIVE discussion about The Psychology and Power Behind Quizzes next Tuesday May 30th at 2PM EST. Click here to sign up for this masterclass on quiz marketing.

    Creating the Connection

    Andy Russell, CEO of Trigger Media and keynote speaker at BEHAVE Annual 2017,  describes the term “brand” as an emotional connection between a person and a company. The best brands evoke a feeling of credibility and trust with consumers — and this is not by accident. It’s done by meticulous development and maintenance of their marketing programs. In turn, these programs only excel when they have complete audience awareness, captured through precise audience targeting and messaging based in the foundational tenets of behavioral economics.

    Essentially this means telling a story, centered around the values – and even fears – of your customer. But if you’re not a household brand or a white label publisher (or even if you are), how do you create and sustain that connection? Both parts are hard, but we’ll examine the harder one first: creating the connection.

    The most effective way to do this? The quiz.

    Conquering Your First-Touch

    In an increasingly frenetic digital landscape, standing out is hard. Standing out to the right users is even harder. And engaging those users can be nearly impossible.

    A lot of time has been spent analyzing the efficacy of different first-touch marketing tools. After all, being able to stay the thumb of a prospect and lead them to an interaction is one of the most difficult and critical moments of the entire customer lifecycle.

    Some first-touch tools, like click bait, generate high click rates but lead to one and done traffic. Others reach a viral exponent in their shareability, but the buzz quickly dies with no lasting benefit to the brand.

    Yet there is one first-touch mechanism which stands above the rest when it comes to capturing and sustaining the attention of prospects: the quiz.

    The power behind the quiz rests in its familiarity as well as its psychological effect. It’s a format that’s recognized instantly as both harmless and interactive. Users willingly provide answers to questions about their attitudes, interests, and opinions while being magically drawn to something that used to elicit groans when they were in school.

    The Quiz – A Secret Segmenter

    Part of the appeal is that it’s a series of light asks, broken up between multiple steps or questions. A participant need only click on a handful of choices and voila! – they receive either intellectual validation, or a self-defining ego boost, often clothed in a culturally relevant analog, ala “I knew I was more of an Arya than a Sansa!”

    One of the most successful examples of a quiz being used to engage and convert the right type of prospect was demonstrated by the glasses company Zenni Optical, with a quiz entitled “You’ve Been Framed.” To create the structure for this quiz they worked backwards, designing each possible answer to match a distinct audience cohort unique to their brand.


    To aid in execution, Zenni partnered with Internet Marketing Inc., who summed up the quiz ideation as follows: “With audience insights, demographic data and from what we knew of the Zenni Optical brand in mind, we then evaluated the research and developed eight individual personas.”

    From there, Zenni worked with Qzzr to deploy a quiz that attracted the right audience (reflected in an 82% completion rate) and closed the loop seamlessly by transitioning from the quiz results to a value-laden purchase page featuring the pair of glasses the user had been matched with based on their responses. The fluidity and relevance of this experience was underscored by over a million dollars in revenue and tens of thousands of new leads.

    One interesting insight they discovered that highlights the reciprocal component of quizzes had to do with the “magical, self-identifying nature of an interactive piece of content, like a quiz, that increases brand affinity and organically drives conversion unlike any other medium. This is due to the fact that the consumer plays an active role in the output – creating his or her own personalized solution.”

    Driving the Long-Tail Power of the Quiz

    When a user takes a quiz, they willingly trade their own personality data in return for a new window into their persona, or a tailored solution made just for them. This level of disclosure and commitment is almost impossible for a brand to get from a prospect outside of the quiz; and the secret lies in basic human nature.

    People have an innate attraction to sources of self-affirmation, self-definition or really anything that talks about them in a positive light.

    Pair that with an interactive experience that allows you to express, affirm or even learn about yourself in short, digestible segments. Then build that format around a topic of relevance for your audience. Just like that, you’ve created a magnetic touch point for visitor acquisition.

    After you’ve successfully created this connection, it needs to be sustained. This is most effectively done by opening a frictionless, relevant conversion path, right as the quiz has been completed. By taking immediate action, brands can capitalize on the user’s momentary shift from content affinity to brand affinity.

    In cases of a larger ask, or longer lifecycle, the best method is to initiate a conversation (via email, push, or other appropriate medium) pairing your relevant value propositions with the self-identifying data your audience has already shared with you.

    Generally speaking, one great way to maximize the long-tail power of the quiz is through a targeted email program where you can drop each participant into a relevant workflow.

    For example, Leadership IQ regularly uses this strategy. One of their most popular quizzes is What’s Your Leadership Style? After completing the quiz, which essentially doubles as a lead form, the participant immediately gets an email providing more context about their newly uncovered leadership style (“Steward” for instance). Additionally, the email links back to contextual descriptions of the other leadership styles, for comparison.


    By launching this value-rich line of communication right away and providing an intriguing avenue back to additional, relevant content, Leadership IQ was able to capitalize on the boosted engagement level instilled by the quiz, and convert a content enthusiast to a brand follower.

    These are just a few examples of how to maximize the return on your prospect marketing efforts. Be sure to tune in next Tuesday at 2PM EST, as BounceX and Qzzr take an even deeper look at the role of quizzes in your first-touch marketing strategy during their webinar, Continue the Conversation.

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    Sign up for “Continue the Conversation” by clicking here and bring your questions and notepads – it’s going to be an actionable discussion.

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    Author: Jake Sullivan –
    Jake Sullivan is the Director of Publisher Solutions at BounceX. Prior to joining BounceX, he spent 7 years driving enterprise conversion strategy at Mindspark and Affinion Group.