Can you build an email list with a quiz?

Imagine yourself going to the doctor because you are having a sore throat.
First thing he would do is ask you about your symptoms. When did they start? What did you do? What did you eat and so on…

Only once he knows more about your symptoms is he able to give you a proper diagnosis. He wouldn’t just write you a cough syrup prescription and send you home.

Yet, so many businesses go straight to prescription when they are sending their emails

They assume they know what their subscribers need and then wonder why they are getting no results.

But you are not a doctor, and you can’t get in the same room for a 1 on 1 talk with all your subscribers. So what can you do?

You can try doing a research online and find about their pain points. But if you’ve ever tried this, it’s long and tedious work.

You can also try sending a survey to your subscribers. If you tried running these, you already know that you can expect the responses to be low.


So to increase responses, you could try giving them them a bribe to do your survey. But that wouldn’t get you the best data either, because a lot of people will just do the survey randomly to get your free bribe.

I know, it’s frustrating, but there is another way to build your list and understand your market: a quiz!

Why are quizzes great way to build an email list?

With quiz, you get to ask all the right questions and get that valuable data to your list. In return, you are solving a problem for the quiz taker. It’s a win-win scenario.

And people love taking quizzes. They are pushing their curiosity buttons and are all about them. This is why quizzes are way more fun to do than surveys.

If you’ve done your quiz right, it may also go viral and get tons of shares – which translates to tons of new subscribers on your list.

But if a quiz gets tons of shares, that doesn’t mean it will always be the best one for your business

Say what now?

There are quizzes that are just for fun, like “Which superhero are you?”, which won’t do your business much good. While this is interesting and fun, and a lot of people will take it, it has no connection with your business. OK, unless you are selling superhero costumes, then go ahead.

To make a quiz that will build your list and also give you the most relevant data, it has to be connected with some major pain point your service or product is solving.

If you are fresh out of ideas on what those pain points are, just look back to the most common questions you get from your subscribers or customers. The ideas are out there.

How to create a quiz people will want to take?

Before I write anything else, I just want you to know that you don’t have to go exactly in this order. Do whichever feels easier for you first, these are my suggestions.

Start with the end in mind.

What will be the topic of your quiz? What are the solutions? What are you trying to solve? This will dictate everything else. I don’t need to stress that the end results have to be connected with what you are selling. It should be obvious.

So give some good thought on what results are you going to give at the end of your quiz and write these out.

Choose a quiz building platform

One that integrates well with your email marketing platform. This is extremely important, because if you don’t get the results and emails to your list, what’s the point?

There are various quiz building platforms out there where you can create your quiz. I’m personally using Interact for my own (as it integrates with Drip).

Decide on your quiz type

In Interact you have 3 options:

  1. Assessment – where you test the readers knowledge about something, each question has only one correct answer and the end result is typically a grading system of some sort. This is what you were usually taking in school when the teacher came in and said “pop quiz time!”
  2. Personality – these are one of the most popular types of quizzes, for example “What kind of X are you?”. Each question will give points toward a specific personality type.
  3. Scored – where each answer has a specific score value. At the end of the quiz, the result will be something that corresponds to a unique score range.

Brainstorm headlines for your quiz

Just like everywhere else, a good headline is what gets people to take action.

If you don’t have a good headline yet, don’t worry about it. Just skip it and create everything else, it will come to you in the process. Important part is not to let it stop you from finishing your quiz.

Move on to the questions

This is probably where the most of your work is going to be. Asking the right questions is both science and an art.

Now, you may be wondering how many questions you need in your quiz? The only right answer is: as many as you need to provide a solution.

Don’t limit yourself to some fixed number, if you are able to give great value from just 4-5 questions, great. If the quiz is about some more complex topic, ask more questions.

Don’t overdo it though, and end up with 15+ questions in your quiz! Think about the medium your quiz is on. Online. And there is only so much attention your reader will give you before he clicks away to the next shiny thing.

How does quiz build your email list?

Remember when I mentioned that it’s important that your quiz building platform integrates with your email marketing platform?

At the end of your quiz, you’ll create an opt in form, where quiz takers will be able to leave their contact details and sign up for your list.

You can send them the results once they’ve given you their email or you can give them the results right away and leave the joining your email list optional.

Test and choose which works best for you.

I’m more inclined towards leaving the opt in optional and just give them part of the results right there. Then, if they are interested in more information about their results, they can join my list and get more details from my emails.

While this option may build your email list a bit slower, people who do join, will be better quality subscribers as they were not forced to join your list. They made that decision themselves.

Which leads me to the last part…

The follow up emails

You want your follow up emails to continue the conversation from their results.

This is your chance to use all the data you got from your quiz and personalize your emails so that they really speak about them.

That’s what I really like about Interact and it’s integration with Drip. I’m able to apply various tags from each answer to their email. And with using some sexy liquid language, able to personalize the emails for them.

When to send your follow up emails?

Strike while the iron is hot. Don’t wait with your emails.

Ever browsed through Netflix, saw a show that you wanted and when you choose it, you had to wait few days for it?

Of course not!

This is one of many reasons why Netflix has been so successful, it gives you what you want, when you want it. If someone is ready to binge read your emails right now, give them that chance before they cool down. Send that email immediately when they join the list.

I like to use some more advanced automation here, so people can click a link in the email, which will instantly send them the next email in the series (in case they don’t want to wait).


Email list is one of the most valuable assets your business has, so it’s important that you build it.

Business that wins is the one that knows their market the best and getting to know your market is hard and tedious work. Research takes time and doing surveys will get you limited data because no one wants to take them, they are boring and they are about you, not your market.

When you use a quiz, you kill two birds with one stone. You are able to get to know your market better and grow your list faster. You get to play the doctor, where patients will tell you everything you need to know so you can help them.

Want to start creating your own quiz and profile your subscribers better? Check out Interact, it integrates with a lot of major email marketing platforms and has powerful options to really make the quiz feel personalized.