E-commerce giant Shopify knows a thing or do about shopping. Discover how Shopify leverages quizzes for their marketing funnels from storyteller and all-around content marketing guru Dayna Winter.
Quizzes solve many needs – from building their brand propsition to collecting and converting leads into happy customers.
All right. Welcome, everybody to this episode of The Quiz Makers. I’m joined today with Dayna Winter. And Dana is a guest of ours from Shopify, a small, wee little company you probably heard of, dominating the e-commerce space.
Dana’s title is storyteller. I’m sure there’s a more boring corporate title associated with that. But I’m going to throw it over to you. Dana, thank you so much for joining us!
Thank you for having me, Mike.
And so storyteller, what does that involve? And what is your role?
So I work on the content marketing team at Shopify, and specifically on our sort of core / e-commerce blog. I’m mostly focused on telling stories about our merchants, so amplifying the, you know, what inspires somebody to start a business. How did they get started, success stories, that sort of thing.
Okay, and because I know Shopify has so many customers from small to big companies, that must give you a rich, fertile ground to cover.
Fantastic. So I guess an easy question is how did you end up at Shopify?
Well, I actually started at Shopify seven years ago, which makes me like quite the veteran.
It was a small company back then; I think we probably were about 200 people. And I in Toronto, I think there were just 13 of us when I started, which is quite small. It was honestly a recommendation from a friend. I hadn’t really heard of the company, but I thought it was a good opportunity to grow with with a startup and learn and build it. I didn’t know it would be this seven year adventure.
Awesome. That’s something similar both Boris and myself like to do as well. It’s a fun journey getting in in a small team. And then spiraling and growing, which is fantastic.
As a storyteller, obviously this podcast is about quizzes and quiz marketing. What was the marketing problem that you guys were looking to solve?
Yes, so I work really closely with our market Insights team. And they do a lot of surveys with our customers, buyers, and people in the general public to give us insights about our customers and their buying habits. They had done this really cool project that was that was mostly internal. It was just segmenting entrepreneur types into groups.
And I thought this was just really such cool research.
So I thought we have to put this out there somehow. We reimagined it for the blog as kind of like a horoscope/Zodiac kind of thing, like a fun sort of upper funnel type thing – to get people introduced to Shopify and the idea of entrepreneurship.
But we needed an engaging way to show people these types. And it also helped us like segment and understand your audience a little bit more. So the quiz just felt like the absolute perfect tool for us for that.
Fantastic. And so you’ve run a couple of quizzes or a couple surveys, I suppose.
Yeah, yeah. So I just got really excited about it. We had such good, great results with the “Founder Zodiac series” that we ran as a quiz. But I’ve also used it for some of our other content.
It’s really new to us, at least on the blog. And we’ve seen great success even though we didn’t gate our first quiz; we’re still seeing a 30% + opt in rate, which is fantastic.
So that actually that’s a really good point. One of the things we’ve often seen from quiz marketers is they have this tendency to say “I want to gate off results”.
Basically, for people who don’t know what that is, gating is where you say, “Okay, you can take the quiz. But no, you have to give us your email address before you see your results.”
Very, very tempting. But the downside is that you can really kind of irritate your audience.
Right? And, you know, we decided to start with it not gated, just to sort of see. Who knows if that will change? Who knows if we will try a gated approach in the future?
But really, at the beginning, we just we wanted to get as many people through the quiz and through into the segments. It teaches us a lot about what kind of people are coming to our blog and reading our content. And that was really just as valuable for us as getting the email addresses.
Brilliant. One other thing we’ve seen work well is you can almost do a hybrid approach where you don’t gate results.
You ask the survey or quiz questions, and you give them the optional lead form. But you say for a more, super detailed quiz result, fill in the form.
So everyone will get the basic results. For example, in your case, like, “Hey, you’re an outsider or you’re this type of entrepreneur.”
But someone who gave your email address, you could actually then send a different email with a lot more information or insights. So that is for you Quiz marketers out there. That’s kind of a hybrid approach. We’ve seen that hybrid “short results in-quiz/detailed response by email” approach work really well.
Yes, I actually saw a great example yesterday. It’s 16 personalities and their site is set up where you run through their quiz and you get your result.
But if you want the sort of more robust analysis – “Here are your strengths. Here are your weaknesses.” – you need to sign up for an account, which is exactly a perfect example of what you’re saying?
Definitely. And the thing about today, we are trained to be a little more more cautious about giving our email address. You need to provide something of value. And this is a really good way of giving a little something to get a little something. So a bit of a quid pro quo. (That’s a tainted phrase now, unfortunately.)
You’ve been telling us that not only quizzes are working well for Shopify as a company, but also your customers. You talk so much with your customers that quizzes are working well for them. Do you have any stories or examples they might want to share with that?
I assure you after I used Riddle.com to start our series on the Founder Zodiac, I became really interested and wondered if any of our customers are also using this tool.
We have other sort of quiz apps that plug into Shopify. So as I started to look into it, I saw that there were many merchants using it in really interesting ways.
So one example is Fink’s, and they’re a company that makes that period underwear. And it’s a really specific product. They’ve been around for a few years. But because it’s this product that is aiming to replace something that has been used for so long – it requires a sort of level of education.
And they have used quizzes in this really great way to learn more about their customers, but also to provide recommendations that are really tailored because it’s such a personal product, and they just saw it explode.
So their conversion rates – they told me, the people who take the quiz convert five times more than people who don’t take the quiz and just sort of land on their site. And on mobile, they’ve seen seven to eight times the conversion rate.
There are countless examples of this – like a bike company as well in Brooklyn called the Brooklyn Bicycle Company. They have used the tool because they’ve had so much success in their showroom, where they are able to like really kind of handhold people through the process of buying a bike.
They wanted to replicate it online. So they took a lot of that conversation they would normally have in person, and they put it into a quiz format. And it really helps people, you know, buy something that’s a little bit more expensive and needing more sort of information about like how to buy a bike – they were able to provide that sort of hand-holding through a quiz on their website.
Oh, that’s fantastic. And I love how wildly varied those two businesses are.
Many times when I talk to people about what, well frankly, what Riddle does (the company that Boris and I founded) and quiz marketing in general.
People often go: “Quizzes? Oh, those are those Harry Potter. Those are the ‘What character are you?'”
And we say, “Well, no, it’s guided shopping. I’m going to ask you questions and based on your response and results; I’m going to recommend this.” So underwear to bicycles; those are brilliant, brilliant use cases.
The other thing about quiz marketing. I’m not sure if they did it. But if the quiz part of their funnel converts that well, they can drive traffic directly from Facebook or Google. And they’re going to monetize that traffic so much more effectively.
That’s a really good way to get more sales instead of just waiting for viral traffic, you can actually get things going that way.
Anyways, off my soapbox, thanks for the really cool examples.
We’re going to keep this really short and sweet. Like our quizzes, and whatever we seen in successful quiz marketing campaigns, short and to the point works best.
What advice would you give to people who are just looking to start using quizzes for marketing?
Yes, short and to the point is really great advice to begin with.
I had the challenge of working with obviously a more formal survey that our team had prepared for the the market. We realized we couldn’t directly translate that to a quiz because we would just lose people – with 40 plus questions.
So, I’m lucky enough to work with people who really understand how to build surveys and questions. So not everyone’s gonna have that. But if you do have somebody that understands that world, they really helped me convert something from a business focused formal survey into something more fun and digestible. I think we’re down to 12 questions on this thing, I guess.
Yes, I took your survey. I took your survey right before.
Oh, nice. And what’s your founder side?
Oh, wow. Okay, that’s actually quite rare. Interesting. No, it’s good. You’re an individual.
I guess the other advice would be to just continue to tweak your quiz. As you start getting results and you sort of see like, “Where are the problems with the quiz?”
Are we seeing people start but they’re dropping off? If we’ve got a huge rate of people seeing it and starting the quiz, but then, you know, no one’s finishing it or it’s like a very low finishing rate. So we did quite a few tweaks, as we started to see results come – with the language and the call to action.
We did get feedback through blog comments on the on the quiz, and that people had an appetite to share the results.
That was not done that well initially. So I think just iterating, changing, and tweaking as you go – to get the results that you’re looking for based on your goals.
Yeah, fantastic. And that’s actually like so much of marketing and startups in general. It’s iterate, learn, and proceed. And quizzes are a living, breathing piece of content.
Sometimes people like launching, but forget that “No, no, it’s launch and learn, and that’s how you’re gonna get better.”
Fantastic. Thank you so much for joining us!
We like to end these podcasts on one silly question. Okay, brace yourself.
What is your biggest pet peeve? Your little irritation that just drives you absolutely up the wall.
Oh, gosh. I mean, I guess this is really unsurprising, but as a writer, it’s bad grammar. I hate to say it. So the proper use of there, they’re, there and their – that’s not shocking.
You were speaking my language . That’s absolutely my pet peeve. What are your thoughts on the Oxford comma?
Oh, I’m pro Oxford comma here.
Fantastic. No, absolutely. And when I see marketing materials, we get pitched all the time in our company. You read it and think, “Oh, come on, man. You have to use Grammarly or you someone just to proof it.”
Right, we’re birds of a feather. I love it!
Dayna, thank you so much for your time. And I really, really love what you guys are doing at Shopify, and you guys are crushing it.
Good luck and continued success.
Thanks a lot Mike.