Registered downloads (e.g. whitepapers, studies or checklists) are among the most important and most used lead sources in B2B. Everyone who regularly searches for specialised information on the internet will have come across a download form at some point requesting a large number of (obligatory) details in addition to the obligatory email address. The requested information may refer to the company size, sector or position. These details can offer the download provider important data for the evaluation and development of a lead. From a user point of view, however, an increase of the number of (obligatory) details also increases the likelihood of a cancellation. Progressive profiling can help you to obtain relevant data in the course of the dialogue without putting off users.
There is a big temptation to request as many relevant details as possible with the first user contact in order to immediately assess him and approach him with the right measures. Although this would be optimal, it is not really necessary. A purchase decision or the development of the purchase interest in B2B is usually complex and lengthy and for that reason, the required data can still be collected successively later during the dialogue.

Gradual Expansion of the User Profile Through Progressive Profiling

It is important to generate a lead in the first place in order to be able to start a dialogue and with it the lead nurturing process. Therefore, the hurdles with the initial registration should be as low as possible. It is enough to initially only request the email address and possibly surname, first name and gender. With progressive profiling, every registration hereafter can collect new data according to a previously defined sequence.
Example: When a user clicks on a download link in an email, the fields “Email”, “Surname”, “First Name” and “Gender” are already completed on the linked landing page. Additionally, the still empty field “Position” will be displayed prompting the user to complete it. If the user meets this request, with the next download, the field “Sector” will be requested, if not, “Position” will reappear. This process will continue until all required data has been collected.

More Tips for Successful Progressive Profiling

  • Every sent email should contain a link to the profile management (Self Service).
  • Capturing personal user data is a sensitive issue. You should therefore always clearly refer to the data privacy statement and highlight the essential trust-building elements (e.g. “Your data will not be passed on to third parties.”)
  • For progressive profiling, not only downloads can be used, but all actions which can be linked with a registration, e.g. webinars, competitions or appointment enquiries.
  • The order of the requested data should be prioritised according to the importance for optimisation of the marketing measure.