How Scott Keller’s Bird Watching Quiz Grew His List from 3,000 to 70,000 Subscribers

Scott Keller is the Founder of Bird Watching HQ. His mission is to help connect people to nature by providing proven and effective ways to attract birds and other wildlife to your backyard. In a time when so many people are addicted to phones and screens, they adamantly believe that their mission and message has never been more important. Here’s how Scott’s bird watching quiz grew his list from 3,000 to 70,000 Subscribers!

Check out some of Bird Watching HQ’s quizzes.


Learn more about Bird Watching HQ here.

Read the Full Transcript Below:

Meet Bird Watching HQ

Hi, my name is Scott Keller and I have a website that I created about six years ago or so called Bird Watching hq. The point of the website is it helps people learn how to feed birds. So we write a lot of articles about the best bird feeders or tips and strategies to attract the birds you want to see.

In addition to that, I have live cameras in my backyard that stream from YouTube that people can watch. Like, here’s one. Right here. So it’s kind of fun. You can actually see right now it’s kind of a cool view. There’s a bunch of cardinals out there feeding on the ground. I also have a second camera that’s up top on the feeders.

We’re getting some snowy weather right now, which usually means there’s a lot of birds out there. 

Bird Watching Quizzes

Today I want to talk a little bit about the quiz that I have on the site. The reason I created a quiz was cuz I was struggling really badly with getting anyone to sign up for my email list.

From the start of build, starting my blog all you heard was build your email list, build your email list, build your email list. And I really, really struggled getting pretty much anyone to sign up for it. I kept trying different giveaways, PDFs. Different things I’d say on my website, but I was maybe capturing, I’d say half a percent of the people that ever came to my site, to my email list.

And it might have been even worse than that. It was really bad. I was listening to a podcast a couple years ago and someone mentioned trying a quiz as like an email lead generation idea. So I started exploring. I wish I could tell you how I came across Interact, but I don’t know if I Googled it or was recommended somehow. However it was, I got there and I created a quiz.

After about 20 or 30 seconds, I have a quiz pop up onto my site that prompts somebody to take a 10 question quiz. The quiz tests your knowledge of how many common birds you can identify that are across North America and try to find 10 of the most common birds that live mostly everywhere.

I think my email collection ratio was close to 2-3%, and that was a few years ago. And the quiz just blew me away because I was suddenly getting 500-600% better conversions. And it actually made having an email list possible. 

Now my email list is a huge part of the marketing strategy that I do. And it’s almost like a miniature course that goes on. None of that would’ve happened if it wasn’t for this quiz, because I was just struggling collecting any emails.

How is the Quiz Promoted?

Now people come here and it’s kind of fun. I think they’re, whatever they’re reading, it interrupts them. But everyone wants to know how they do. My quiz is not trying to sell you anything. At the end it prompts you to enter your email to see how many birds you got correct. 

Now I do let them opt out – they don’t have to give their email. I tested it both ways and it was about the same. And I think people don’t feel forced to come on your email list. Someone hits skip here, and then it tells how many birds you got right. 

One feature with Interact is after every question I could show them the correct answer. But when I tested that, no one was really sticking around to the very end to sign up for my email list.

My percentage of email collection was really low. So I’d change it to: if you want to see the answers, you have to click this link and this takes you to a page I created with all the answers to the quiz. 

Since this version doesn’t show you what one you got right, or which one you got wrong, the hope is that you would remember your answers. I don’t really get anyone complaining about that. You can kind of see it shows you the picture and what the right answer is. So it helps people learn the common birds.

If you’re on my email list, then I have an introduction sequence to keep you coming back to the site.

The main way I’m promoting it is just on my site and I have it set to pop up after 20 seconds on every single page. But I have a setting where if, once you’ve seen the quiz, you won’t see it again for six months.

What Were Some of the Challenges You Encountered?

Honestly, I didn’t have too many challenges with the quizzes. They worked so well. Immediately it blew me away. This is what I loved about the quizzes what I’ve done: I have the main popup quiz that comes up and is 10 questions. With Interact, you can create up to 20 different quizzes [on the Growth plan]. I don’t have 20, I have 5 and I promote this with my email list quite a bit. 

I’ve probably had the quiz going for maybe about three years, but before I started using the quiz to grow my email list. I might have had 1000-2000 people on my email list, maybe 3000. I didn’t send emails. There wasn’t enough people on there, and that was after probably three years of trying to grow my list. My email list now is over 70,000 people on it.

I get a few people a week, 95%, maybe, probably more of all of my emails come from these quizzes and really that popup.

I made other quizzes too, where that popup quiz only tests 10 of the most common birds in North America, this other one is focused on Eastern. This is for people that really want to test their knowledge. So if you live in Eastern North, Here are the 30 most common backyard birds.

If you’re in Western North America, the 28 most common birds. I did the owls of North America as everyone, everyone loves owls. Ducks, same. Everyone loves ducks – the 15 most common ducks in North America. Then hawks as well. This is kind of a tricky one.You really have to know your birds and your raptors to get that one.

So these are just fun. I have an answer page for each one, but this isn’t really designed for email collection. It asks for it, but I did these more for fun for people on my email list and anyone else that wants to take these. So again, I didn’t really have many challenges other than taking the time to make the quiz, which the software was so easy and good.

How Would You Describe What the Quiz has Done for Your Business?

I really liked with Interact that the quiz showed you all the analytics on your page. I was able to find out, which bird should I start with?

On that popup quiz I found out Northern Cardinal hooked people more so having a bird almost everybody knows, seemed to hook people into the quiz. I was getting better. Quiz starts. I learned that I shouldn’t have a cover page.

So when you start the quiz, you get straight into the quiz. 10 questions was better than 20 questions for the popup. So, I love that with the analytics.

I really use analytics a lot, especially to set up my pop-up. Like what was the best? I had not changed this quiz much. 2% of the times it loads is how many email addresses I’m getting. So in the last month, I’ve gathered 8,000 email addresses just from this simple quiz.

I’m still super happy with it This is something that’s been running an autopilot for the last couple years and I’ve not had to think about growing my email list at all. The quiz just keeps performing really, really well and I think everyone has a lot of fun with it.

Without Interact, I probably would have given up on growing my email list. Instead, I’m able to generate thousands of clicks per month back to my site from my email list  and I think I’ve provided doing this in a really, really fun way for my audience.

My site would not be nearly as far along without having Interact and having a quiz to capture email addresses for Bird Watching HQ. This is one of my best tools I have ever used when it comes to my site. I’ve known this for about six years now.

Interact is one of the best tools I’ve ever used for my site. 

Editor’s note: This transcript has been edited for readability and clarity.

What is the best quiz for you business?

Quizzes are super effective for lead generation and selling products. Find the best quiz for your business by answering a few questions.

Take the quiz