Back in 2015, I was listening to an interview on Mixergy.
The guest was Ryan Levesque. He was describing a type of funnel I’d only heard about in passing.
It was a survey funnel.
This was something he had consulted on extensively to achieve extraordinary conversion rates.
He would send traffic to a page, convert them, ask several simple survey questions based on who they were and their interests.
Then here came the cool part…
The email automation would work continuously to engage those people based on their survey responses.
It was like an invisible machine behind the scenes that chugged out personalized email content.
The whole concept made perfect sense to me. I’d written about the power of personalized web content in the past.
At the time, AutoGrow’s open rates weren’t anywhere near where I wanted them to be, and our engagement rate was hovering around 10%.
Fast-forward six months.
I implemented a survey funnel of our own. We came up with different avenues, or “buckets”, to put subscribers into based on their interests, and created email sequences to follow up with each segment.
As a result, we immediately started seeing more leads and sales for our services and info product.
Today, our interaction rate is at about 28%. It’s tripled, in part due to this practice.
Some weeks, it even jumps up to 40%.
And I’ve noticed whenever we turn the survey funnel off, the interaction rate dips back to about 9%, sometimes as low as 4%.
Interested in whether a survey funnel could give you better results? If so, then read on.
In this post, I’ll explain more on what a survey funnel is, the tools you should use, and how to create your own survey funnel in less than 10 hours. I’ll also include some case studies so you can see successful examples of how other businesses use survey funnels.
Let’s get funnelin’.
What Is a Survey Funnel?
A survey funnel is a simple but powerful email marketing mechanism that requires a user to answer a short survey after opting into your email newsletter, ideally before they gain access to your lead magnet. The data garnered from the form is used to personalize the follow-up email content sent to the subscriber.
Speaking from personal experience, you want to keep it simple to start.
I recommend keeping the list of survey questions short: between one and three. I also suggest making a video that will “sell” the subscriber on why they should take the time to complete the form.
Here’s an example of where we added a video to our survey funnel:
You can use a survey funnel to segment your audience based on any criteria.
For example, if you’re a fitness company, you might decide to segment your emails based on those who are exercising regularly and dieting, and those who are exercising sporadically and having a hard time with their diets.
Those are two vastly different audiences, yet your products or services could appeal to both.
What Tools Do You Need for Your Survey Funnel?
I recommend using the following tools to create your own survey funnel:
- Wufoo: Wufoo is one of the most recommended form builders out there. I’ve mentioned it many times on this blog because it’s so useful, and you’ll need it to receive data from your survey funnel. You can browse form-building templates based on your marketing goals, such as invitations, lead generation, online orders, surveys, or registrations. All forms are customizable as well.
Here’s an example of a Wufoo template for a health survey.
You can use Wufoo for free, but you’re limited on how many forms you can make per month (only five). Their paid packages are more worthwhile, so you can make as many forms as you need to.
- WordPress: WordPress is an optional tool for your survey funnel. If you do want to embed your Wufoo forms, WordPress is a good platform to use.
- ActiveCampaign: Once it comes time to send your segmented emails to your audience for follow-up, use ActiveCampaign. The data from the Wufoo survey form can be used to tag your contacts when they come into ActiveCampaign. For instance, to continue with the diet example, if someone indicates that they exercise regularly in their survey, they would be tagged with “exercises regularly” in ActiveCampaign. If you’re curious how this looks, below is a snapshot of some of the tags we have set up for a contact in ActiveCampaign who has just completed our survey funnel.
How to Create Your First Survey Funnel in Under 10 Hours
Now that you have the tools you need for your survey funnel, you can finally start building it.
By following these steps, you can make your own survey funnel in under 10 hours. That’s a lot faster than my first time—it took me about 40 hours.
If 10 hours still sounds like a sizable commitment, then maybe you need to evaluate the level of benefit you get from a 3-4X increase in your subscriber engagement…
Is it worth it?
Yeah, I thought so 🙂
Step #1: Identify and create three to five audience “buckets” (e.g. exercises regularly, can’t stick to a diet, etc.). Try not to create more than five. Even if you have a huge audience, making more than five buckets becomes too much work.
Step #2: Integrate these “buckets” into your Wufoo form, and make sure the form displays for people opting into your list (ideally, after they’ve input their email, but before they can download your lead magnet).
This way you have their information, but they need to take a few seconds to fill out your survey before immediately accessing the freebie.
Step #3: Follow my VAC Formula to send three follow-up emails to each of the “buckets” your audience falls into. The VAC Formula, in case you missed my post on it, refers to value, authority, and call-to-action.
These three components are necessary in any email sales funnel.
The value part of the formula comes into play for email one. It refers to the value you provide. You can present value in the form of a tool, giveaway, or educational content.
In email two, you establish authority. You do this by telling the customer more about your company, what it does, and why you’re great at it. Include landing page links as a means of soft selling at the end of the email.
In your last email is your CTA. This is where you incentivize the customer. You can do this by explaining what your service is and why your customer needs it.
Include the benefits as well. This is where the hard selling comes in, but don’t be too salesy about it (e.g. using ALL CAPS to make your point).
Step #4: Present your offer. Follow my VAC Formula above as a way of leading up to your offer.
Now, if you’re selling multiple info products or services (ideal), you’ll present the offer that best fits your audience’s interests or needs. And you’ll know their interests/needs based on their survey data.
Even if you’re selling just one product or service, a survey funnel can still work to increase engagement and conversions.
This is because the power of the survey funnel is that you’re delivering more relevant information. And, you’ll still have audience members who are at different stages of the buying cycle.
Let’s explain with an example.
Say you sell a set of skincare products. Some customers are going to be interested in reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Others are going to have acne and problem-skin and want solutions for that.
Both audiences need your products, even though they have different skin needs. Segmenting them with a survey funnel will help you sell to them at the stage they’re at, meaning they are more likely to buy.
Here’s another example of how this works for a service business.
Maybe you’re a coach for dentists and you help them streamline their dental operations. Your audience might consist of dentists who need help in a variety of areas: marketing, hiring, operations, etc.
Through your survey funnel, you’re finding out their biggest challenges and speaking directly to them.
So you can frame your final offer to say how their challenge (whatever it is), is only one part of the puzzle. Having an expert coach (like yourself) can help them with their specific challenge, and a host of other challenges they may not be aware of.
Two Successful Examples/Case Studies
The Profits Academy Brings in $47,000 on a Two-Week Facebook Ad for Their Quiz
The Profits Academy is an online course for making more money that’s geared towards entrepreneurs and business owners.
Frustrated by how expensive it was to generate leads through Facebook Ads with lead magnets (free reports, free eBooks, etc.), The Profits Academy decided to test a short landing page quiz instead.
It was called, “Are You Destined to Be a Successful Entrepreneur or Forever Be an Employee?” They paid $258 to run the quiz with Facebook Ads for two weeks.
In those two weeks, 10,000 Facebook users accessed the quiz through the ad. Of those who clicked the link to the quiz, 1,040 finished it completely. They also sent their contact information, including their email address and name.
Of those 1,040 people who opted in, a portion decided to buy The Profits Academy’s course. Anyone who didn’t buy the course was put into an email sequence to be automatically followed up with.
In the end, they generated over 30 sales, totaling $47,000 in revenue.
Guitar Mastery Method Obtains More Than 5,000 Leads in Less Than a Week
When Charlie, the founder of Guitar Mastery Method, sought to learn more about his audience, he decided to use a survey funnel.
His company, which provides online guitar lessons globally, had a huge audience with varying needs. Some were beginners who wanted to learn guitar, while others were more seasoned and wanted to grasp complicated concepts.
He decided to create a five-question quiz as part of his survey funnel.
The questions were not complicated, so it wouldn’t take a user long to take the quiz. Charlie would then rate the quiz-taker’s technique and tell them how they could improve if they signed up for his custom worksheets and videos.
By implementing this funnel, in about six days, Guitar Mastery Method obtained more than 5,319 segmented leads.
Survey funnels are used to segment your audience via a quiz or short survey. The concept was popularized by marketer Ryan Levesque and has tripled our engagement rate since we put it in place.
I believe it can work for anyone and any business.
By creating your own survey funnel, you can learn more about your audience’s unique needs and then send them targeted emails for higher conversions.
- You can segment your audience any way you want, but you should ideally only create five buckets. Any more than that and it becomes hard to manage.
- Your survey or quiz should be short in order to encourage the user to answer every question and submit their contact information. I recommend asking no more than three questions.
- Use tools like Wufoo, ActiveCampaign, and even WordPress to make your own survey funnel.
- Be sure to follow the VAC Formula as you write the emails for your first survey funnel. This refers to creating value through a freebie or giveaway, establishing authority by sharing background on your company and products, and hard selling via your call to action.
- You can still use a survey funnel even if you only sell one product or service.
Now that you understand the basics of survey funnels, do you plan on implementing one to learn more about your audience? How do you think this will change the way you target your audience going forward? Let me know in the comments below.
Keep Hustlin’, Stay Focused,