7 Tips for Writing the Best Lead-Generation Questions

by Liz Huff Second Street

What are lead-generation questions?

Lead-generation questions are questions on a registration or entry form for a contest, quiz, or ballot that are designed to collect data that will help your advertiser achieve their business goals. These questions should be created together with the advertiser during a needs analysis conversation, and are ultimately meant to help advertisers segment an email opt-in list based on specific interests. The real ROI starts coming once you activate these hot leads with great offers.

What do they mean for advertisers?

Lead-gen questions allow advertisers to not only define what a lead means for them, but also to collect that information from people participating in the contest or quiz.
When the team at the Winnipeg Sun spoke to a local appliance, electronic, and furniture store, they found that the advertiser wanted to build up a database of leads and collect data that would allow them to more effectively market their products.


To attract their target audience they ran a dishwasher giveaway that included the following lead-gen questions:

  1. Are you considering buying a new dishwasher?
    • Yes
    • No
  2. What products are you most interested in?
    • Appliances
    • Computers
    • Audio/Video
    • Photography
    • Living
    • Furniture
    • None at this time

From just these two simple questions on the entry form, they were able to identify 215 new leads that were in the market to buy a new dishwasher, plus find out that most people who entered the contest were interested in appliances.


Best Practices for Writing Effective Lead-Generation Questions

Take a look at the tips below before meeting with an advertiser about adding lead-gen questions to their promotion or interactive content:

  1. Talk to your advertiser about what they want to know. During the needs analysis conversation, find out what your advertiser’s goals are and what information would help them achieve those goals. Then, work with your advertiser to craft questions designed to collect that information.
  2. Include no more than three lead-gen questions on one form. If the entry or registration form appears too long and intimidating, fewer people will participate in the promotion. A good general rule is that more than 3 questions will raise the barrier to enter too high.
  3. Make the questions required. Since the lead-gen questions are an incredibly important part of the promotion for the advertiser, you want to make sure you get as many responses as possible.
  4. Don’t ask for information you’ll get elsewhere on the form. If you have a field for zip code, don’t waste a lead-gen question asking people where they live.
  5. Avoid open-ended questions. The most useful lead-gen questions have a finite number of responses and utilize dropdown menus or checklists. This ensures that the data you receive is easier to analyze and segment for leads. For example, if you ask, “What is most important to you in a cup of coffee?”, provide a dropdown with responses like Price, Origin, Convenience, and so on.
  6. Don’t ask questions with obvious answers. If you are running a sweepstakes with a restaurant known for its buffalo wings to give away a tailgate wing party, don’t include a lead-gen question asking, “Do you like wings?” Anyone who would go through the effort to enter the contest is sure to answer Yes. Instead, try something more specific, like “What variety of wings is your favorite?”, with answers like Traditional, Barbecue, Extra Spicy, or other varieties from the advertiser’s menu.
  7. Think about how the answers will be used. How will the advertiser be using the results to segment an email list? What offers could you send out to these segments once they are created? After all, identifying the leads is only the first step – activating those leads with coupons or offers if the real payoff!

Want some examples? Download our Seller’s Guide. It will provide you with great lead-generation questions for more than 40 advertising categories.

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