How Progressive Profiling is Not as Bad as You Think

How Progressive Profiling is Not as Bad as You Think

Last Updated on February 10, 2022 by Rakesh Gupta

Once you are done with Pardot Form development, the next step is to build a prospect’s profile with relevant information.

This blog is a sequel to my previous blog – How to create a Form that prospects actually want to fill outIn the previous blog, I discussed how to create a simple form using Pardot form builder.

The key takeaway of the previous blog was that collecting information is a balancing act – asking too many questions may confuse and overwhelm your prospects; on the other hand, if you ask too few questions, it would hamper your ability to capture necessary information to vet a lead.

Progressive Profiling is pivotal in achieving a right balance between collecting relevant information about a prospect without overwhelming them. The profiling allows a user to dynamically frame questions on a form, based on previously provided information by a prospect. For example, if the country selected is United States on a Pardot form, only then, the form will display a Phone field.

In this blog, I am going to show you how to get started with progressive profiling using a real-time use case.

What is Progressive Profiling?

Progressive profiling a feature that is usually an extension of dynamic form fields. The feature allows you to set up iterative forms that enable you to define which fields appear based on what you already know about a prospect.

As a result, every time a prospect fills out a form, you are progressively collecting valuable new information about them while keeping your form as short and easy to complete as possible. In other words, progressive profiling enables you to collect the right information, about your prospects, in a succinct manner.

Why is Progressive Profiling beneficial?

I am so glad you asked! Progressive Profiling is beneficial for a number of reasons, few of them are mentioned below

1. Shorter Forms has better conversion rates: – Check out this article – Expedia gained $12 million in profit by removing just one redundant field from a Form. The field in question was Company Name. The field was confusing because prospects thought that Expedia was asking for their Bank’s name! Due to the confusion, the prospects entered their bank’s address instead of their home address. The error, in turn, frustrated the prospects because it led to failed transactions.

2. Progressive Profiling avoids repetition: – It helps you to avoid asking the same question again and again.  For instance, suppose you have existing prospects who have previously submitted a form (From we have created in last blog post How to create a Form that prospects actually want to fill out) and their primary details are already in your database. If so then, there is no point in asking them to answer the same set of questions every time they download a white paper from your site.

By not requesting a prospect to provide the same set of information -that they have already previously provided – conveys to the prospect that you recognize them, and their engagement, with your site; this is a golden nugget/gesture, for it delivers a highly personal user experience!

3. Capture more valuable prospects Intelligence over time: – With progressive profiling, first time when a prospect fills a form, you must can ask the most critical information about them; and then, progressively, you may ask for more detailed information over time as they become more qualified. For example, on a prospect’s second or third visit to your site, you can ask more sales-specific questions, such as Interested in Buying? or What other PRM products are you using? As a result, progressive profiling can even help you shorten your sales cycle.

Below is a roadmap of how a Progressively Profiling process would look like:

 First submission:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Email

 Second submission:

  • Email
  • Phone
  • Job Title

 Third submission:

  • Email
  • Interest in buying
  • Company Size

4. It Saves You Time: – Last but not least, it also save you from creating multiple forms tailored to different landing pages on your website. For example, you might think that someone who ends up on your product pricing landing page is further along in the marketing funnel, and as a result, you might want to display a form that asks some more sales-specific questions.

Business Use Case

Let us start with a business use case. David Haditsch is working as Content Marketing Manager at GurukulOnCloud. GurukulOnCloud, they are running their first campaign to promote their products and track activities of visitors and prospects on the corporate website. To capture prospects’ data they have created a form in Pardot with the following fields:

  • First name
  • Last Name
  • Company
  • Email

When the prospect submits a form (second) next time he/she visits the site, the business wants to ask another set of question, namely:

  • Email (By default this field will always display) 
  • Phone
  • Job Title

Before going ahead and creating a progressive profiling form, make sure you read my previous blog post How to create a Form that prospects actually want to fill out and create a form as mentioned there.

Solution for the above business requirement

We will modify our existing Form i.e. Brand AwarenessTake following steps to create progressive profiling form:

  1. Click on Marketing | Forms | Brand Awareness 
  2. Then click on the Edit button, as shown in the following screenshot: 
  3. Navigate to Step 2 i.e. Fields of the Form wizard, click on the + Add New Field button, as shown in the following screenshot:
  4. This will open a pop-up for you, where you have to select Phone for Prospect Field. Once a prospect selects Phone for a Prospect field, rest of the fields, namely Label, Type and Data Format will be auto-populated based on the information in the Prospect Field, as shown in the following screenshot:It is also possible to load default data in case of the country drop-down. To do so, click on the Load Default Data button. 
  5. Before you click on the Save Changes button, navigate to the Progressive tab and select Show this field only if the prospect already has data in the following field(s):, as shown in the following screenshot:
  6. The next step is to select Email, First Name, Last Name and Company from the drop-down, as shown in the following screenshot:Once a prospect completes Email, First Name, Last Name and Company fields, the next form they see will a Phone field.
  7. Once you are done, click on the Save changes button.
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 to add another field – such as, Job Title (progressive field) on your form. In the end, your form should look like the following screenshot:
  9. When finished, click on the Confirm & Save button to save your form.

It’s time to test the Form

  1. To see a sample, you can access my form by navigating to the following URL
  2. Let us open the above form and fill it out. Once done, it will look like the following screenshot:

    First Submission
    First Submission
  3. Based on your form setting, you have to either wait 10 minutes or you can try submitting a second form without delay.
  4. Now open the form and try to submit it for the second time. Woooohooooo! it display different fields, as shown in the following screenshot:

    Second Submission
    Second Submission
  5. That is it for today. Thank you for reading my blog on Progressive Profiling. If you liked what you saw, then, please do share it with the community.

In my next blog, I will take a deeper dive by showing you how to:

  • Add a Dependent field
  • Add a custom error message
  • Re-display field that is previously completed.
Proofreader: - Munira Majmundar

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2 thoughts on “How Progressive Profiling is Not as Bad as You Think

  1. Hey Rakesh, Excellent write- up. In the competitive business environment, only one wins who best understand the needs of its customers and provide exceptional customer experience. Progressive profiling is the best way to achieve this where you get information in bits and pieces.

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