Over the years I have dabbled with the construction of ASK Method-style quiz funnels.

But unlike most people who try this I do not rely on established quiz-builder software to manage my quizzes. Instead I build my own quizzes from scratch. This comes with certain advantages and disadvantages.

The most obvious disadvantage is that this is a technically difficult thing to pull off. In almost all instances this means you should not attempt it. However, there is one situation for which the rolling of your own quiz is more or less mandatory – and that is when you want to implement something complex which you are unlikely to be able to pull off with off-the-shelf quiz software.

To date, this describes all the quizzes I have built by hand and this case study is a good example of what is involved when it comes to figuring out how to go about the task of segmenting the people who take the quiz.

Ordinarily, the advice one receives on planning out a quiz which involves segmentation (the typing of individuals who take the quiz) is that you should choose 3-5 “buckets” into which the users should be placed (so as to make the result interesting) but you should certainly refrain from adopting anything greater than about 10-12 buckets which would make setting up the quiz somewhat challenging.

Can You Reduce The Segmentation Complexity?

When I began planning out a quiz to help women figure out their menopause type, which is characterized by up to 4 hormone imbalances, the total number of types came to 24. This number is arrived at by taking any combination of the following imbalances:

  • adequate, low, or high estrogen
  • adequate or low progesterone
  • adequate or low cortisol
  • adequate or high testosterone

So, 3 possibilities for estrogen, 2 for progesterone, 2 for cortisol, and 2 for testosterone. Multiply the lot together and you get 24 possible combinations (or buckets).

What this means in practice is that potentially there are 24 different ways in which to respond to people who complete the quiz. And there are two places in which this segmentation influences what you present to these people.

The first place is on the landing page seen after someone completes the quiz. This is the page where you reveal the “result” of the quiz. In this case it is the woman’s menopause type. This is just a label, a number from 1 to 24. But it is the hormone imbalances that she is really interested in and there are only 5 contributions to this: low estrogen, high estrogen, low progesterone, low cortisol, or high testosterone.

So on the landing page all we have to do is put up (or don’t put up) copy which is conditional on whether or not any of those 5 contributions come into play. So while the user may be shown any one of 24 different presentations, the construction of the landing page is easy enough to whip up (just 5 separate copy contributions are required).

The second place the user may be shown different copy, depending on their type (or hormone imbalances), is in the email follow up sequence enabled when they opt-in to receive their quiz result. Again we have the potential for 24 different email sequences, and in fact that is what was implemented for this quiz funnel.

But again, because there are only 5 possible contributing hormone imbalances it is relatively straight forward to set up the auto responder to send or not send a given message depending on which of the following 5 tags are assigned to the user’s auto responder profile:

  • has_low_estrogen
  • has_high_estrogen
  • has_low_progesterone
  • has_low cortisol
  • has_high_testosterone

So for example, if the has_high_estrogen tag is set then a message about the effects of high estrogen will be sent at some point during the execution of the sequence.

In high-quality auto responders today it is possible to set up conditional message sending based on the sequence of tags which have been applied to the user’s profile. It is easier to implement this in some auto responders than in others.

For example, with ActiveCampaign you can set up a very complex set of conditional pathways all in the same work space. But if you are using Aweber then (at the time of writing) each pathway needs to be implemented as a separate “Campaign” which considerably complicates the task of setting things up (one would have to plan it out on ahead of time, perhaps on a sheet of paper).

Right now I am using the auto responder service ActiveCampaign which allows for setting up the pathways in a single window. These are called “Automations”, and with a single automation I can wire it up so that all 24 different message combinations are present in the one path configuration window (I may have to scroll left/right, up/down to find a given piece of the jigsaw but it is all there).

Here is what the automation looks like considered as a set of conditional statements:

if ( has_high_estrogen and has_low_progesterone )
	send "estrogen dominance" messages
else {
	if ( has_low_progesterone )
		send low progesterone messages

	if ( has_high_estrogen )
		send high estrogen messages
	elseif ( has_low_estrogen )
		send low estrogen messages

if ( has_low_cortisol )
	send low cortisol messages

if ( has_high_testosterone )
	send high testosterone messages

Note that the combination of high estrogen and low progesterone is considered to be a special case known as “estrogen dominance”, so it is singled out at the start of the conditionals.

ActiveCampaign has a very sophisticated interface for constructing an automation. One can apply if/else conditions on the presence of one or more tags. This makes implementing the conditional blocks shown above straight forward.

This is not the case for Aweber. Presently one cannot trigger a campaign if the user has been assigned two (or more) specific tags. I could not ask of the system “If the has_high_estrogen tag and the has_low_progesterone tag are present for the subscriber then send them this campaign sequence…” Because that involves two tags and I can only ask about one at a time.

So to get around this problem I would need to create a special tag which combines the two underlying conditions. I might call it has_estrogen_dominance and I would be off and running. At least until I realize that Aweber offers no if/else capability on its tag handling. So I cannot send a series of messages in a sequence and then decide on the basis of whether or not the subscriber has been assigned a particular tag to then trigger another campaign. So I could not run “low estrogen” messages and then enquire about whether or not “low cortisol” messages also need to be sent.

In Aweber’s case the least complicated, least confusing, approach is to first create all of the possible messages one might want to send, encompassing all possible hormonal profiles. Then you would create 24 separate campaigns (based on the subscriber’s particular hormonal profile) and assign messages to each campaign in the order you want them to be sent. This is how I would set it up if I had to use Aweber. It is entirely doable, but I prefer using a single tag-conditional-based ActiveCampaign automation rather than deal with 24 fixed Aweber campaigns which do not attempt to determine the presence of tags once they kick off.

Another way to think of this is that with Aweber we are creating one campaign for each of the 24 buckets associated with the outcome of our quiz. But with ActiveCampaign we are making use of the underlying factors (the 5 possible hormone imbalances) to do away with a bucket-driven approach to setting up our email sequences.

When it comes to figuring this stuff out for your own quiz and follow up email series it will likely be obvious which approach you will prefer to go with. But it will also depend on the nature of your auto responder service and what it allows you to do in terms of tagging features.

Hopefully this is helpful to anyone who is thinking through their quiz set up and pondering the email side of the equation.

And that’s all I have for now…