Only 37% of consumers feel that their favourite retailers understand them, according to Econsultancy’s report The Consumer Conversation. To bridge the gap, digital marketers need to get better at personalisation. So how do you learn more about your customers and show them that you understand them?

With progressive profiling and loyalty programs, personalise to individuals.

What is progressive profiling?

Progressive profiling means building up a profile of each individual customer over the length of your contact with them. The aim is to get to know your customer really well so you can serve individual needs better and market to them individually rather than creating homogenous groups. To do so progressively is to build up your knowledge of them over time, as you would in personal relationships.

By gathering information slowly you spread the questions you want to ask your users over a longer time to reduce the risk of overwhelming them and causing ‘form fatigue’, a problem often brought to light with form analytics.

In conversion optimisation we’re always wary of saying “this works, do it” but as a general rule shorter forms convert better.

Building up knowledge of your customers over time also allows you to adapt your offering as their relationship with your brand and products changes. These methods help you build better relationships with your prospects and paying customers. Loyalty programs with the same aim will be strengthened as a result.

Woman profiling with a camera

How is it done?

Progressive profiling is done by staggering questions instead of presenting a long form. A customer who fills out questions in a form will be given different questions via a smart form that recognises them the next time they visit the site. Marketing automation tools such as Hubspot and Act-On have smart form features that will allow you to profile your website visitors.

Use what you learn to inform how you run your loyalty program. Antavo allows you to create forms, that customers can fill to collect points. By setting criteria to segment customers, you can create different forms that set questions based on what you already know, personalising each customer’s experience.

By asking different questions as the company-customer relationship progresses, customers never have to enter the same information twice. They’re also never confronted with a long set of questions they’d rather abandon.

man using an ipad

So how can progressive profiling improve your loyalty program?

Understand your customer’s needs and wants better

Marketers can expect greater and greater demand for personalisation and 1:1 marketing.

Xavier Colomes gave a presentation on personalisation at Conversion World 2015. He said that while every year there are articles saying 1:1 marketing is the next big thing that so far it still not been fully realised. Why? Because we’ve been doing it a bit wrong, jumping ahead to retargeting without getting to know customer or making them feel like collaborators first.

“Optimisers are always late, catching up with what the user is already doing.” – Xavier Colomes.

More than just which products they buy, profiling can help you pre-empt which offers, products and deals may appeal to which customer in advance of them looking for it. This helps you promote the right products at the right time.

Entrench loyalty

A loyalty program motivates customers to stick with you because it offers access to great deals. If you can build an accurate profile of a customer, their loyalty will become deeper and is less likely to be broken by cheaper deals elsewhere. 69% of customers want to be recognised by brands so show them that you do.

Get ahead of your competitors by becoming more than just the cheaper option. Become convenient and familiar.


Make your customers fall in love with you

People want to feel like they’re understood, that they have your full attention. Imagine a friend or date who never seemed to remember anything you told them. You’d feel ignored, wouldn’t you? Not exactly the recipe for love.

Make sure your customers can easily see that you remember them and you remember what they like. Progressive profiling skips over any previously asked questions, clearly indicating that you recognise them.

Next, give your customers joyful moments that no other brand or service provider has been able to give them. Picking rewards that your customers will love is all the easier when you know them well.

Antavo’s smart review module ensures that customers leave feedback for others to see, spreading the love and bringing in more new prospects.

love letters

So remember, consumers want their brands to be more personal. Being personal requires you to know more about them and that means asking questions. Progressive profiling will help you avoid overwhelming your prospects with too many questions all at once and is a great way to show them that you do recognise them.

Want to learn more? Then find more actionable steps and statistics that a loyalty program can offer you with the help of real-life examples.