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Author's profile photo Arne Manthey

Progressive Profiling in Forms

Introduction

The purpose of forms is to gather information about your contacts and prospects while offering them some benefit (a download, an event registration or a newsletter subscription). Naturally you would want to ask for as much information as you can get away with. However, the more fields you present to the form visitor the less likely it is that the visitor will complete and submit the form.

Of course you could have different forms where you ask for different fields. But since the customer journey through you landing pages and forms is not linear you cannot ensure that you get the most important information first. Therefore an automatic process is needed which is called progressive profiling. With release 2108 we introduce this feature for forms in SAP Marketing Cloud.

Feature Description

Form Setup

In the settings of a Form you can now enable progressive profiling and specify the maximum number of progressive fields that will be presented. This is only possible if you have the pre-fill of contact data enabled.

Now you can enable each input field as a progressive field. You provide a priority number (lowest is the highest priority) to indicate which fields should be presented first. In the form layout you can also see an indicator at the right with the priority number:

Here is the procedure which runs on a live form:

  1. Find the field with the highest priority (lowest number). It does not matter where the field is on the overall form layout.
  2. If the field already has a value for the currently identified contact then proceed to the progressive field with the next lowest number
  3. If there is no value for the field then this field is presented to the form visitor
  4. If the maximum number of progressive fields has not yet been reached then proceed to the next progressive field (see number 2)
  5. If there are no next progressive fields then stop. This means that there can be less than the maximum number of progressive fields

Please note that the form will still show all fields in the landing page editor once you have embedded the form. Only after publication you will see the reduced number of fields in the published landing page.

Example Screen Flow

In the next example I assume that a new contact has registered with just an email address. The contact receives an email with some links to different landing pages which include forms:

  • A landing page for downloads which allows a maximum of 2 progressive fields (see the form screenshots from above)
  • A landing page for newsletter subscriptions which allows a maximum of 1 progressive field. The collection of progressive fields in this form is similar to the one for the download form (see screens above)

Since none of the fields except the email address is yet known in the first call of the download landing page the contact will see 2 fields for first and last name:

He identifies as John Doe and requests the download of the barista tips document:

Then John is also clicking on the second link which shows the newsletter subscription form. Since that form allows only 1 progressive field and the first 2 progressive fields are already known the next field ‘Title’ is presented:

Conclusion

After reading this article you should be familiar with the new feature for progressive forms.

Documentation links:

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      2 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Tobias Schneider
      Tobias Schneider

      Nice blog and a pretty cool feature, thanks for publishing Arne! 🙂

      Author's profile photo Guilherme Paulino
      Guilherme Paulino

      Nicely written! Can't wait to set up and use this new feature 🙂