Q&A with Allison Burns
What problem were you hoping a quiz would solve for your business?
I kept seeing people struggle with creating a cohesive look in their marketing, and I felt like I could help them through a quiz. I wanted to help them figure out their style and how it can be woven into their everyday marketing materials.
The quiz has also been a good tool for business owners who are DIY-ing their brand for the first time. Figuring out which design elements you gravitate toward is really important when you’re launching a new brand. I like how the quiz has helped them while also working as a tool for well-established business owners, who may be a better fit for my brand design services.
I knew that everyone loves learning about themselves, so creating a quiz seemed to be a no-brainer. Also, I knew I needed to give quiz-takers an immense amount of value, so the quiz would be a feel-good solution for me, too.
|Takeaway: If you can identify a key problem you can solve through a quiz, you’re well on your way to creating a successful quiz. It’s best to choose a quiz topic that relates to your expertise and matches your audience’s interests. You’ll be able to attract more quiz-takers based on their curiosity and fascination with the self-knowledge your quiz can unlock for them.
What were your main goals for your quiz?
The quiz was meant to be an easy entry point into design and my brand. I wanted to distill some design basics into an enjoyable quiz. I also needed the quiz to accurately define what my quiz-takers’ overall style was, so that they’d walk away with valuable information, no matter if they signed up for my email list or not.
Speaking of email marketing, I wanted to mainly use the quiz to guide people to my email funnel. That way, I could send them personalized emails to walk them through simple tips to improve their design and understand why design is important. Then I’d give a soft pitch for my course, Design Spirit.
My quiz has been a really great way to introduce myself as a designer and brand stylist. Since I created the quiz back in 2018, I haven’t had to change a thing, so it’s been a great resource.
|Takeaway: The best quizzes are created with a specific set of goals in mind. Without a clear understanding of what you want your quiz to accomplish, you may lose sight of its purpose when you’re creating the content. Instead, set goals early and strategize innovative ways you can reach them.
Since you’re a designer, how important were visuals for your quiz?
Really important! I knew I’d need to include a lot of visuals, but that was easy to do since many of the questions are about visual elements, like fonts and colors.
I’ve noticed it’s often easier for quiz-takers to select a visual answer than a simple text answer. With design, it’s also nice to catch someone’s first instincts because it says so much about what they like about design. It’s hard to talk about visual design without something to look at!
|Takeaway: Adding visuals to your questions and answers will allow you to tap into your audience’s instincts. You’ll discover how they really feel and what they think as they make their way through your quiz.
Keep in mind that answers with images are more engaging and interesting than those without graphics. If possible, include GIFs, brand photos, and other stock photos from our Interact library when it makes sense.
We love how your quiz title correlates with the name of your course! Tell us more about this branding decision.
Since it was my first time creating a course, I wanted to make sure I was intentional about marketing it. I chose the quiz topic based on the name of my course, so it made sense to link them together.
To come up with my course’s name proved to be a little difficult, I must admit! I brainstormed dozens of names until I came up with “Design Spirit.” I liked it immediately because it captures people’s attention and sounds unique. However, it doesn’t tell people exactly what it is, so it makes them wonder what it could be without being confusing.
I ran the name past a few business friends and decided it was the right choice. I’m glad I sat with it for a little while to make sure I was making the best decision.
If you’re wondering which quiz title is the right one for you, think about your brand name and if it’s something you have to describe in detail. If so, you might not want to add it to your quiz title. If it’s easy to tell what it is from a quick glance, then it might work for you. Still unsure? Try asking a few people like I did to see if it’s clear enough.
|Takeaway: It was a smart decision for Allison to brand her quiz with the same name as her course. It builds brand recognition, so when her audience previews the course, it won’t be the first time they see the name.
Other quiz creators, like Jammie Baker, have branded their quiz with their main offering. Jammie’s quiz is titled “What is Your Momiform Style?” and speaks to moms who are looking to update their wardrobe. You can use the same strategy when creating a quiz to promote your newest offering.
Take us behind the scenes into your follow-up email sequence! How do you promote Design Spirit after the quiz?
I decided to include seven emails in my follow-up email sequence, but the first two are the most personalized. The others focus more on my business and start introducing the course as a potentially good fit based on their result.
However, we don’t start there. The first email I send quiz-takers gives them a brief overview of their quiz results and puts words to their ideal aesthetic. Then I tell them what their style is by reiterating their preferences based on how they answered each question. When they see what appeals to them, they feel more understood.
In the initial email, I give all of that information and three action tips that they can begin using in their designs. It’s packed with value!
My goal with the second email is to welcome each quiz-taker to my email list and design community. I go into the importance of design in marketing and why consumers care so much about it.
I try to meet them where they are, depending on how they feel about their current visual marketing. Lastly, I briefly introduce myself as the quiz creator and tell them to stay tuned for the next email.
|Takeaway: Instead of trying to sell your offer right away, take a page from Allison’s book and give upfront value instead. You’ll make a stronger connection with your audience when you save your pitch for later. Focus on introducing yourself and sharing interesting, educational content your audience will love. You’ll be positioned well when it comes time to sell.
Was there anything about your quiz that surprised you?
That it’s become my only lead magnet! I used to give away my brand discovery workbook as a freebie, but I was worried people were taking advantage of it inside their own businesses. Or that it was collecting dust in their downloads folder.
I wanted to replace that lead magnet with something else, and I was surprised to see how much fun people have taking quizzes. While the workbook was a useful lead magnet in its own right, the quiz also creates a memorable experience for everyone who interacts with it. I found much more success with it, which made my decision that much easier.
I also like that I can see more statistics behind how people engage with my quiz based on how they answer each question. Now that over 2,000 people have taken my quiz, I’m learning a lot about how to create even better content for them.
Since switching email providers from ConvertKit to Flodesk in March 2021, I haven’t been able to look at this dashboard and see my new leads. However, I know from looking at my opt-ins inside Flodesk that my quiz is still doing a great job of converting quiz-takers into leads!
|Takeaway: Instead of spending your energy creating dozens of freebies, focus on the few lead magnets that will give you the best results. For Allison and countless others, it’s a quiz. It’s better to use your time to promote your quiz on social media and other platforms than to create even more freebies. The result is a streamlined marketing strategy you can actually keep up with.
What were the best results and feedback you received from the quiz?
Other than seeing my email list grow, I’d have to say seeing how many people send thoughtful responses to my emails and quiz-related posts. It allows me to connect with quiz-takers individually while knowing my automated quiz is taking care of everything else.
I think people reply to my emails because they’re getting so many action tips. Some feel the need to respond with a thank you message, but others type longer notes about how I’ve helped them understand their visual style. They’re so excited to tell me what they’ve learned!
One of my favorite stories comes from a person I knew from high school. She was a photographer and editor who was interested in design, making her the perfect person to take the quiz. She told me, “Allison, I’m such a nerd… I took the quiz twice!”
Because she got two different results, she mentioned how she combined the two “design spirits” into a style that’s all her own. It feels like such an accurate representation of her and her brand, and she knew how to move forward because of the emails following the quiz.
I didn’t realize someone would take the quiz to that level. She also ended up purchasing the downsell product I offer to subscribers who aren’t ready for the full course yet. It’s a Brand Style Guide Workshop with a style guide template and a two-hour-long video module with tips taken from the course. So fun!
|Takeaway: It’s so cool that this fun story ended in a conversion! We recommend adding downsells to your follow-up email sequence as a way to convert more subscribers who may not be ready for your comprehensive offering.
It’s not a necessity, but it’s a good way to generate more sales from your quiz. And who doesn’t want that? If you decide to incorporate downsells, you can either repurpose parts of your main offer for the downsell or create something new.
How have you used your website and social media to direct people toward your quiz?
My quiz has become my main call-to-action just about everywhere! After creating a quiz landing page, I added an announcement banner on my Squarespace site to highlight the quiz.
I also have a pop-up on my blog that directs people to the quiz, and I sometimes weave the quiz into my blog post content when it’s relevant. Since the course covers a lot of what I love to teach and talk about, it’s pretty easy to do.
I’m not as great about promoting the quiz on social media as I’d like to be, but I’m hoping to work on that in the future. Right now, I include the quiz as my main CTA on Instagram, and I receive messages about how helpful it’s been.
I might explore Instagram Reels to promote the quiz, but I’d really like to play around more with Pinterest. Since Pinterest is all about gaining inspiration and pinning visuals, it fits perfectly with my quiz. Now that I’ve hired a virtual assistant, I’ll likely be able to prioritize this.
|Takeaway: Publishing your quiz is only the beginning! Once you’ve launched your quiz, think about how you can consistently promote it to your audience. You can use the strategies Allison shared or follow your own ideas.
We recommend sharing it a few times a month. You may think that’s a lot, but sometimes people will miss your announcements. It’s better to continually remind them about your quiz since it will be valuable to them.
What is your best advice for aspiring quiz creators?
Make sure you’re solving a problem with your quiz. You also want to balance fun details with valuable content, so your quiz is memorable.
If you go into the quiz creation process already knowing what you’ll give quiz-takers after taking the quiz, that’s ideal. At times, I can be an over-communicator, so this has helped me pare down each option and keep it simple.
Set aside enough time to intentionally create your quiz. You can create it quickly, but it’s best to give yourself some wiggle room so you can take purposeful action. Don’t rush through it!