Last month, I finally launched something I’ve been working on for months: the Brand Clarity Quiz!
Over the last two years, I’ve experimented with several different opt-in offers. Everything from printable art, to checklists and planners and workbooks.
Nothing really worked as well as I thought it would. And nothing really sparked joy — even in me.
I can’t remember when exactly the idea for an opt-in quiz hit me… but I know that when it did I was instantly excited. I knew I could make it work. And more importantly, I knew it would be super helpful to anyone landing on my website.
But let’s back up a little…
What is an opt-in offer, anyway?
I’m sure you’ve noticed them all over the internet. Especially if you’ve even dipped your toes into the online business world.
An opt-in offer is something (hopefully of value) that you put together for people who visit your website (hopefully your ideal client) to sign up for your email newsletter (which will hopefully convince them to buy from you through a follow up sequence).
Whenever you see someone offering a freebie in exchange for your email address, that’s an opt-in offer. And more likely than not, they’re gonna try to sell you something down the line.
That piece of the puzzle always felt kind of icky to me. Like I was supposed to trick unsuspecting small business owners into signing up for something they didn’t really want, at best. And triggering a subconscious deeply-ingrained human characteristic for my sole monetary advantage at worst.
I’m not cool with either of those. Because…
Selling is hard
Selling can be hard.
I think any of us who struggle with selling have trouble seeing the value of what we’re trying to sell. Because when you believe in what you’re selling and know your customer needs it selling really isn’t that hard. It’s actually pretty enjoyable.
I know deep in my heart of hearts that what I have to sell is valuable. I know people need it. I even know it’s worth more than what I’m currently charging.
And so, I don’t really have a problem with selling my thing. Really, it doesn’t even look like the icky “selling” we all think of. Instead, it looks more like an open-ended exploratory conversation with another human in which I’m trying to figure out how to best help them move their business forward.
Sometimes that means working with me. But many times, it looks like pointing them to the right resources or just sitting and listening.
Which is why pushing a random opt-in that may or may not actually be helpful to the person downloading it AND following up with a bunch of pushy emails AND trying to sell them something that I’m not sure they really need felt gross.
But opt-in offers can be great
As my good friend Kat of The Startup Funnel Strategist (who I think I reference in every other blog post now… Hi Kat!) told me, most people who land on your website aren’t going to buy your thing immediately. Or even email you to ask about it. Or schedule that free consultation you’re offering.
It’s not that your thing isn’t great. Its that they’re just not ready yet.
Especially if your offer is big and expensive and requires a ton of trus. Anyone else think that sounds like branding?
So how do you start the exploratory conversation with the people who need your thing?
This is what made me completely change my mind about opt-in offers and this whole model of marketing. Because if you look at opt-ins as a way to reach the people who really truly need you, this kind of system totally makes sense.
An opt-in gives the person landing on your site something simple to do if they want to keep in touch with you. It’s a small step they can take while they’re making up their mind about working with you. And it gives them a taste of what you’re like, what your offerings can do for them, and what it’s like working with you.
So instead of tricking someone into a predatory transactional sales relationship, you’re giving them the tools they need to see whether they want to work with you or not.
It’s a lot like the exploratory conversations I have with all my leads. Only it’s over email and it’s automated so I can have lots of these conversations all at once.
Why an opt-in quiz?
Everything so far has been about opt-ins. But what about the actual quiz?
This all ties together. I promise.
What got me so excited about creating a quiz was the potential to start relationships on the right foot.
Someone landing on my website can first choose whether they want to take the opt-in quiz or not. They can choose whether they finish it or leave halfway through. They can choose whether to read their result and whether to sign up for the suggested freebie.
At any point in time, they can decide whether Brand Clarity is what they need or not — before they even sign up for anything.
And I love that.
Because I don’t want to trick anyone, or bully them into doing anything, or rob them of their right to consent.
Another thing my friend Kat said is that opt-ins done well are like choose your own adventure books. Anyone engaging in them should be able to freely decide, without any pressure or guilt or FOMO, where the adventure leads.
Yes, it can definitely lead to a sale. But the person in the funnel should be able to end the adventure at any time if they decide it’s really not for them. Or if they’ve gotten what they needed before buying.
An opt-in quiz feels like the perfect way to start this kind of relationship.
Quizzes are easy. Mine takes less than 5 minutes of your time and gives you some helpful insight about your business. I always struggled to give a quick win in my opt-ins and this totally solves that.
Quizzes can explain. One of the things I struggle with the most is explaining what I do. What is Brand Clarity and why can’t I just design a logo? Instead of reading a huge wall of text to try to figure that out, you can get a feel for what Brand Clarity is just by taking the quiz.
Quizzes are personalize-able. The whole point of a quiz is that you get a somewhat personalized result. On my end, that means I can suggest a next step or a downloadable freebie that actually makes sense for you. On your end, it means you get something that is actually helpful and useful. Win-win!
My ideal client loves quizzes. She’s been taking them since those J-14 and YM magazines she used to buy at the drugstore down the street. She still clicks over to them when they pop into her newsfeed or she wants to see if she still has the same Patronus.
(Because the only thing that I hate more than writing segues into conclusions is bad coffee)
My opt-in quiz has been so much easier to talk about and promote. I’m actually excited about sharing it with the world! And the folks who have taken it have also been excited to share their results and talk to me!
My newsletter sign ups are increasing and none of it feels icky or manipulative or overly salesy. It feels more like the start of a healthy relationship where my role is to help, not rip off. Which is what I always wanted for my business anyway.
If you’re thinking about setting up your own quiz, you want to read How To Set Up Your Own Opt-In Quiz! It covers all the technical details of how I set mine up.