How to Quickly Grow Your Email List with an Online Quiz

Jenna Kutcher 

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January 18, 2019


We’ve all heard it, “the money is in the list”, heck – you’ve probably heard it from ME. I’ve talked about why email list marketing is so important and have shared all my list building strategies, too. But what happens when you get stuck on coming up with fresh creative ways to attract the right people to your list? You’re clear out of topics for freebies and content upgrades or offers that will get people to hand over their email address excitedly and need something new to revive your list building strategy.

That was me just two years ago after I created 52 freebies in a year (um, that’s one per WEEK!) There were guides, presets, challenges, stock photos, cheat sheets and as you can guess, we spent a whole bunch of man hours to create all of this content. My list growth was slow and steady, but I wanted to change things up a bit and get a little bit more creative with my list building strategies. What did I think was the solution to my slow list growth? A fun online quiz!

The result? New life, unpaid email list growth, and a way to serve my new subscribers in a fun and easy way! It’s no secret that my list is growing by 5,000 subscribers each and every week and having a quiz plays a big role in this number. Let’s dive into the quiz creation process and why this is such a smart list building strategy, how to segment your list with a quiz and what you need to know to get started.

Why you should use online quizzes in your business

The New York Times and Buzzfeed have both reported that quizzes are among their highest viewed content and top read stories. Why do they work so well? There are a few reasons. First, quizzes are interactive and engaging which is obviously attractive to online viewers of your site. Instead of just handing over their email address for a download, site visitors can interact with the content by answering a series of thought-provoking or entertaining questions which is so much more fun.

The next reason quizzes are successful is that the results are personalized to each person’s unique situation. People are curious about gaining insight into themselves (hello, Enneagram!) and a quiz with personalized results can deliver information that is helpful to them and helps them dig deeper into who they are (even if it’s a silly quiz like “What type of noodle are you?”)

While the quiz is an entry gate that is fun for the person taking it, it also allows you to gain valuable information about your subscribers through their responses. Asking strategic questions gives you the ability to serve them and show up for them in a very specific way based on their answers. We use my quizzes to segment our followers based on their biggest needs so I can deliver content written specifically for them based on their results so that I can directly speak to them in a way that is impossible to ignore. It’s been a great way to both grow my list and then serve my audience in a more specific (and fun) way! 

The First step: survey your audience

Creating an online quiz for the purpose of list building is very different than surveying your audience. In fact, the first step to finding your quiz topic is to survey them. Why? You need to really get inside your audience’s minds and what they are struggling with to create content that is going to resonate with them. Be sure to ask open-ended questions so that your audience can reply in their own words. In order to create a great quiz, you want to make sure the subject matter and/or title is compelling enough for people to want to take it!

This is going to be really helpful when writing any copy for your business, but especially when you’re creating a quiz. An example would be “what is your biggest struggle when it comes to running your business?” Keep this short and focused on questions that will help fuel your action and don’t include a question unless its results will help you in serving your audience in some way.

Wondering what your audience is looking for from you? Check out episode 217 all about how to create the perfect offer for your audience where I dive into how to effectively survey your audience. I also recommend the book Ask by Ryan Levesque if you’re looking to dig even deeper into the topic of an effective survey to help you create an awesome quiz! 

The 3 parts to a successful online quiz

The quiz headline and description. The crazy truth? We should be spending just as much time on the title of our quiz as the content itself. The title is the most important part because if it’s not engaging, your audience will never click through to see your content. And what good is an awesome quiz if no one ever sees it? A good title will be clever, use triggers, spark curiosity and make you wonder what’s waiting for you inside. Just make sure you deliver on your promise in the title to keep the trust of your subscribers! My example: What’s Your Secret Sauce: How to own your awesome, stand out from the crowd, build a successful business and have fun doing it.

Define the end result. Before you write your quiz, begin with the end in mind. Trust me, it’s a whole lot easier to write your quiz questions when you know the result you are heading for. Come up with 3-4 results based on the different segments, phases or audience types you serve and describe them using their own words if you can (based on those open-ended survey questions!) Give participants something actionable they can do immediately based on their results or share how well you “know” them based on their responses. You can point them to specific blog posts or content you’ve created specifically for them.

Craft intentional questions. Be strategic with what you ask so that it can establish you as an expert. Keep the questions intentional and engaging without being overbearing (I suggest 5-10) because attention spans are short. If you are using your quiz to help segment your audience, make a few of those questions intentional to help you know what each participant needs the most. To continue the example of my secret sauce quiz, questions covered why you decided to do the work you’re doing now, what stage of business you’re currently at, what areas of your business you need more help with, what type of business you run and so on… and it takes people about 45 seconds to complete.

You might think the work is done once the quiz is created but here’s the most important step: serve your audience well once they’ve taken your quiz. It would be negligent for me to simply talk about how to attract new subscribers if I didn’t also share that you then need to consistently serve them once they are on your list. You want to show up in their inbox as an expert, a helping hand, an inspiring voice and serve them before you ever try to sell to them. Need help with this step? I’m leading a FREE training I’d love for you to join: What to Say, When to Say it: The How-to Guide to Email Lists.

So what do you think? Will you use an online quiz as part of your list building strategy going forward? If you’re excited to implement a quiz, I love Interact, the online quiz maker I used to create my quizzes. They’re offering your first quiz free with this link to try this out for your own business!

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  1. […] Capture more email addresses with online quizzes […]

  2. […] Quizzify, you don’t have to be an expert or authority in your niche. People love quizzes & interact with them no matter who posts them. While doing so, they will happily click on your […]


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A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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