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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Increase Lead Generation with Progressive Profiling

    Posted by Jasmine Henry

    Perfecting Progressive Profiling


    You've experienced the pain of irrelevant content in your email inbox, and you love your leads too much to subject them to the same, impersonal treatment. How do you reward the customers who continue to give you their business over time? How can you maintain relationships with the people who talk to you on social media, recommend you to their next-door neighbor and might even give you a written testimonial for your website? Make sure that every interaction takes place within the guidelines of progressive profiling, which is the way smart marketers get to know their contacts over time.

    Cut the Creep Factor

    Can you remember the last time you met someone new and what you talked about? You probably discussed names, occupations and maybe sports or where you went to college. Can you imagine if this person started asking you during this first interaction exactly how much money you made, your address and how many people lived in your household? It would be just plain creepy, and you'd likely be tempted to walk away. Progressive profiling reduces the creep factor by letting businesses get to know their customers over time. 

    Smart business to consumer (B2C) companies want to know everything they can about their customers. They want to know their budgets, priorities, demographics, pain points and objections. Gaining this information not only allows them to keep selling to these customers, but it also helps them learn a little bit more about their buyer personas. The companies that know how to retain customers and refine their buyer personas have adopted progressive profiling, which is the way to get to know your buyers without being a creep.

    Tell Me More!

    In a nutshell, progressive profiling asks customers or lead for a little bit more information during each and every interaction. If you required first-time visitors to fill out an enormous form just to download an eBook for the initial conversion process, they'd probably hit the "back" button in a hurry. By recognizing established leads or customers and asking for new information each time they take advantage of a special offer, you can begin to develop detailed profiles of your contacts. The first time a website visitor converts and takes advantage of a special offer, you may ask for their name, email address and occupation. If they click-through an emailed offer and return for more free information, ask for their geographic location and phone number.

    By compiling profiles gently and over time, you can gradually build detailed profiles of your contacts that will help every level of your business model. Effective progressive profiling isn't just a tool for improving marketing automation emails. Customers are the focus of a smart business model, and your customer service representatives, sales representatives, content managers, marketers and executives can all benefit from getting to know their contacts a little better. The key to progressive profiling is asking information in order of importance to sales. The first information you ask for should always be name and email address. When combined with the method of initial site visit and special offer that facilitated the conversion, you can fit the lead into one of your main buyer personas. Focus on compiling more information on demographics, and move towards more subjective surveying on topics such as priorities and interests. 

    Smart businesses have begun to apply the concept of buyer personas to their inbound marketing strategies. Progressive profiling is a natural extension of buyer personas, because you've moved from attracting customers to matter to keeping the ones who count. Cut the creep factor and increase your leads by getting to know your contacts over time. 

    Image Credit: freedigitalphotos.net/koratmember

    Topics: Lead Gen