How To Gather Split-Test Ideas For Your Copy Using Post-Conversion Questionnaires

Marketers often struggle to come up with new ideas and angles to improve their marketing campaigns.

So in this post, I’m going to show you an effective way of collecting the insights and ideas you need to create breakthroughs, by using post-conversion questionnaires.

Why I Started Using Post-Conversion Questionnaires in my Campaigns

A little while ago, I was helping some clients generate leads online with paid advertising.

We were operating in a fairly competitive niche, so I found myself constantly having to come up with new angles and ideas in order to keep my copy ‘fresh’ and to battle campaign fatigue.

After a while though, I ran out of ideas and I knew I had to go back and study my market in more detail.

However, this was a challenge.

There weren’t many resources online (e.g. online forums and blogs) that were available for my particular target market.

And I simply couldn’t rely on my clients to give me the information I needed.

My clients were too busy running their own businesses and even if they did have the time to speak to me, they would end up filtering information through their perspective and language, thereby defeating the whole point of the research.

What I needed was a way to listen to the market directly.

Now, at the time, I had call tracking software setup on the landing pages I had created for my client.

That way, I could track the number of people who called my client directly instead of submitting their details via the form on the landing page.

But the call tracking software had an unintentional benefit: it also recorded those phone calls and literally allowed me to listen into the conversations my market was having.

This seemed like the answer I needed.

Except there was one problem: only a very small percentage of leads ever called the number (less than 5%).

Most people simply submitted their details via the form on the page and waited to be followed up.

Since I didn’t have call recording setup for outbound calls on my client’s end (which would have been virtually impossible to do), I was missing out on an enormous number of conversations and in turn, the rich data I needed to improve my campaign.

It was then when I came up with an idea: Why not include an additional step in my funnel to capture information directly from the prospects that submitted their details on the landing page?

Well, that’s exactly what I did.

I added a brief, optional questionnaire after a prospect submitted their contact details.

Though the questionnaire was optional, 75-85% of people ended up filling it out (some in great detail).

This quickly gave me the information and insight I needed to come up with new ideas and angles in my campaigns.

And because these ideas came straight from the marketplace, I knew they each had a very good chance of succeeding.

Why the Questionnaire is Shown After the Conversion

Using questionnaires to survey leads and prospects is not a new technique by any means.

In fact, since Ryan Levesque released his book, ‘Ask’, the use of questionnaires has exploded across the world of internet marketing.

However, in most cases, questionnaires are placed before the conversion.

The reason for this is usually to increase the conversion rate by tailoring the funnel according to the answers provided by the prospect.

In our case, however, the primary goal of the questionnaire is to collect information, not boost conversions.

In fact, we do not want to alter the performance of the funnel at all until we have collected the information we need to make a well-informed change.

Now, another reason why we put the questionnaire after the conversion is because the people who convert tend to be the ‘hottest prospects.’

They resonate with the appeals in your copy, are motivated enough to take action and are therefore the ideal people to survey.

You may be asking then, “why don’t we put the questionnaire on the initial lead capture form?”

As mentioned before, we do not want to impact the performance of the funnel until we have collected the information we need, and adding more fields to a form will nearly always decrease the conversion rate.

Putting the questionnaire after conversion allows us to leave the conversion rate of the funnel untouched while still allowing us to collect the information we need to improve it over time.

process-lead-genPutting the questionnaire after a lead submits essential contact details allows us to collect information while retaining the performance of the funnel.

In practice, I’ve found that 75-85% of people converting end up answering the questionnaire anyway, even though it is optional, which provides more than enough data to work with.

conversion-rate-performance75-85% of leads usually end up answering the questionnaire

Advantage Over Other Market Research Methods

Post-conversion questionnaires have a few advantages over other market research methods.

  1. You can collect information on your target market very quickly. It should only take you around an hour to add an additional page with a questionnaire into your funnel. After it is setup, you can start collecting a significant amount of data on your target market very quickly. For example, if you have a funnel that generates 100 leads a week; you will end up with around 75 – 85 completed questionnaires after a week.
  2. You can collect information for virtually no additional cost or effort. You are already spending money to generate leads with your funnel. The post-conversion questionnaire allows you to tap into this existing asset and capture the information you need at virtually no additional effort or cost.
  3. You are collecting quality information. When someone converts (whether it’s to request a consult or download a lead magnet), they are in a state of action. They are consciously feeling the pains, frustrations and desires as demonstrated by their motivation to act. By capturing their thoughts while they are in this state, you will gather very accurate insights that can be used to recreate this state in other people in your target market.

What Questions to Ask

In your questionnaire, you can ask closed-ended questions to get a better idea of who the person filling it out is.

However, open-ended questions are what will end up providing the most useful information for improving your campaign.

Open-ended questions encourage people to express their problems, frustrations and desires in detail, without any constraints.

This is especially important because we want to not only capture what problems and desires our market has, but the way they articulate them.

Two open-ended questions I often like to use are:

  • Tell me a little about your situation
  • What is your biggest challenge with XYZ?

example-post-conversion-formAn example post-conversion questionnaire with closed and open-ended questions

“Tell me a little about your situation” is a very open-ended question that doesn’t specify what information is desired from the respondent.

It simply allows the prospect to talk about anything they think is relevant to their situation, whether positive or negative.

This could include how they ended up where they are now, their motivation for wanting to make a change, their current problems and frustrations, their goals or any other relevant details about their situation.

“What is your biggest challenge with XYZ” on the other hand, asks more specifically about the negative issues the prospect is experiencing.

The reason why we ask about the problems and challenges they are facing is two-fold.

Firstly, the human brain has evolved to react more strongly to negative stimuli than to positive stimuli. Pain can therefore often be a stronger motivator for action than wants and pleasures.

By uncovering what problems, pains and challenges our prospects are experiencing, we can use them in our copy to motivate them to buy our product or service as the solution.

Secondly, people often find it difficult to articulate exactly what it is they want in detail and with accuracy – especially if they have never achieved or experienced it.

However, people find it very easy to articulate their exact problems, pains, frustrations and challenges since they are experiencing it in the present.

How I Used Questionnaire Answers to Create New Copy

Here is a Facebook ad I ran to help a client generate first-time homebuyer leads:

facebook-ad-homebuyer-1The control ad

As you can see, the bulk of the copy is focused on an individual’s financial situation. For example, having limited savings for a down payment, poor credit score or a complicated employment situation.

I used the post-conversion questionnaire as shown in the previous section to gather new ideas and angles for the campaign.

Here are some actual answers to the question “Tell Me A Little About Your Situation” on the questionnaire:

answers-post-conversion-questionaireSample of real answers collected from a post-conversion questionnaire.

Even from this small sample of responses, you can see a variety of ideas, angles and phrases, including:

  • Being “tired of renting” and wanting a place of their own
  • Buying a house in order to “establish a base” and give their family a stable environment to live in
  • Battling against rising rent
  • Feeling “ready to buy”
  • Issues with their current landlord
  • Finally discovering the area they want to live in for the rest of their life and wanting to buy a home there
  • Wanting to buy but having financial barriers holding them back (not much money available for a down payment, low credit score, bankruptcy)
  • Already paying a lot for rent and wanting to use the money to pay off their own home instead
  • From the answers in the questionnaire, I was able to ‘feed’ some of the ideas back into the copy of a new test ad:

    facebook-ad-homebuyer-2The new test ad

    Here is a comparison of how the new ad (“TNew”) performed against the old (“TCon”):

    facebook-ad-performanceHow the new ad performed against the control.

    The new ad performed well, achieving a similar cost per lead to the control after a short period of time (the cost per lead tended to stabilize after a few conversions and would stay at roughly the same cost for more than 50 conversions. So even though the number of conversions of the new ad at this point was far less than the control, I knew this ad was good).

    Though I was not able to significantly reduce the cost per lead with the new ad, the fact that it performed similarly to the control ad despite containing different ideas, confirmed the effectiveness of the post-conversion questionnaire.

    It also meant that I had a new converting ad which I could put into rotation to extend the life of my campaign while still maintaining my lead cost targets (since the ROI on the leads was already very high for my client, making sure I could extend the life of the campaign as much as possible and deliver a consistent volume of leads, actually mattered more than decreasing the cost per lead).


    Post-conversion questionnaires can be used in virtually any online marketing campaign that requires people to convert. They are a quick and effective tool for discovering new angles, ideas and ways of articulating your market’s hopes, fears and dreams.

    Try adding them to your campaigns today. It will only take an hour or two and the information you gain from them will be well worth the time spent.

    About the Author: Nathaniel is a digital marketer who specializes in lead generation with Facebook Ads. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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