How To Ask Better Questions

Looking to improve the quality of your quizzes? Here’s everything you need to know to ask better questions of your audience!

Create Better Questions for Your Quiz Now!

If you’re familiar with Interact, you know we’re all about quizzes. It’s kind of our thing. So when people reach out to us, it’s usually about their quizzes. And the one question that we hear over and over again is “How can I ask better questions?”

These individuals want to know how they can write questions that people want to answer. They want their questions to speak to their audience, provide value to their quiz-takers, inspire them to opt-in, and eventually get them to buy their goods or services.

That’s a tall order for a few quiz questions.

Since you’re probably wondering the same thing (you clicked through to this blog post, after all!), we’re discussing the very best tips that we’ve found to help you ask better questions. We’ll cover:

  • Why you want to ask better questions in your quizzes
  • How to focus your questions on your audience
  • Ways you can show your expertise through your questions
  • How to make your questions interesting
  • What language to use to ask better questions
  • The power of follow-up questions 

Let’s get going!

Ask better quiz questions

There’s no denying it—quizzes are popular. Whether you’re visiting Buzzfeed in your spare time, scrolling through social media, or checking out top Ecommerce sites for product recommendations, you’re likely to run into a quiz or two. 

This means that it can be challenging to create a quiz that stands out for your business. You want to create a quiz that reaches your people. You want a quiz that provides value to your audience. You want a quiz that’s memorable.

To make that happen, you need better questions.

Your questions need to make your audience feel connected and valued. The questions you use should help prove that you’re an expert and keep your audience interested throughout the entire quiz. Your word choices, phrases, and questions should help build that connection and make your quiz a positive experience for quiz-takers. Your questions need to gather follow-up information to provide extra value to your audience.

When you can do all these things through your quiz, quiz-takers will see the value in what you’re offering, making them more likely to engage with you and your business in the future.

Focus on your audience 

To engage your audience with a quiz, make sure you create a quiz that focuses on them. Your quiz needs to be relevant to your target audience’s lives and their situations. If quiz-takers feel that your quiz applies to their lives, they’re more likely to complete the quiz and engage with your content. Your quiz is only the beginning of your customer journey, so you want to do everything you can to stay connected with your people.

Focus on your audience by asking people about themselves, using their language, and asking the questions they want answered or that help them identify their problem.

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Ask people about themselves

This probably won’t come as a surprise, but people like to talk about themselves. Neuroscience has proven it. People spend 60% to 80% of their conversations talking about themselves, and MRIs of test subjects show that brain activity in the pleasure and reward areas is higher when they’re talking about themselves.

Besides the physiological benefits that come from asking people questions about themselves, a quiz helps the quiz-creator bond with the quiz-taker. When people are asked about themselves, they feel a connection to the person asking the questions. And the more relevant the questions are, the more connected they feel. 

If you want to make your quiz a pleasurable experience for your quiz-takers (which you should!), ask your audience about themselves. 

question about when do you feel the most content with images

Ask the questions people want answered

We’re constantly asking ourselves questions. Those questions range from simple ones, like “What do I want for lunch?” to more complex questions, like “What should I do with my life?” If your quiz asks your audience the questions that they’re asking themselves, you demonstrate your knowledge and empathy for your target audience

The process of understanding your audience is not an easy one. It takes time, effort, and a ton of research. But when you know the questions they’re asking themselves, your audience will feel seen, heard, and valued. When you make them feel that, and you continue to help them feel that way, they’ll become a loyal customer for your business!

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Ask problem-identifying questions

It’s common for business owners to believe that their business is about selling their products or services. While their goods or services are what they do, a business owner is really a problem solver. When business owners market themselves as a person who can solve their customers’ problems, they become significantly more valuable to their audience. 

Problem solved GIF

Since you’re working to solve your customer’s problem, it makes sense to ask questions about the problem. Their problem plays a significant role in their lives. Even if your audience isn’t necessarily aware of a problem they’re facing, you can help them solve it. You might get them to recognize the problem through quality quiz questions, and then show them how they can solve it.

You have to spend significant time researching your ideal customer and their struggles in order to create questions that speak to them. Then you can address the problem that you can help them solve. 

question about struggles

Speak your audience’s language 

To make your quiz especially powerful, you need to sound like your audience. When they see themselves reflected in your questions and answer choices, it reinforces the idea that they are heard and valued. 

If you struggle with understanding how to speak your audience’s language, the answer is always research. In copywriting, the most effective market research strategies are those that let you focus on “taking audience language” and building it into copy. Whether you choose to use data mining in groups or reviews, surveys, or other data collection methods, there’s a wealth of knowledge that you can gain and use to speak directly to your audience.

Show your expertise

To ask better quiz questions, you need to achieve balance. While your questions should focus on your audience, they also should communicate that you know what you’re talking about. People need to see that you’re an expert before they can trust you. When they know that they can trust you, they will be more likely to buy from you. That’s what the “Know, Like, Trust” factor is in a nutshell.

Here are some ways that you can show your expertise through the questions you ask.

Demonstrate understanding in your questions

There are a few ways that your questions can demonstrate understanding to your audience. You need to show that you understand the concepts that are central to your area of expertise. Your quiz is a powerful part of your marketing funnel, and you want to take every opportunity to show quiz-takers that you know what you’re talking about.

You might choose to focus on vocabulary that’s common in your niche. For example, imagine that you’re a start-up in the coffee industry. You might decide to start your coffee quiz (Yes, that’s a thing!) with a question about your audience’s coffee habits. 

question about coffee habits

You could then choose to include questions about their brewing preferences or the flavors they prefer. When you’re throwing around words like “percolator” and “French press,” people can feel confident that you know a thing or two about coffee. Through your quiz results and follow-up email sequence, you can further demonstrate your expert status to your new subscribers. 

Ask consulting questions

When someone comes to you for help in areas you are knowledgeable about, you most likely ask a set of questions to determine what their issue is and how you can best help them. Think about the last time you went to the doctor with an illness. The nurse or doctor asked very specific questions to get the information they needed to make an accurate diagnosis. You’ve probably had a similar experience at the auto mechanic when you took your car in to figure out what was making that awful noise.

Whether you’re talking to a relationship counselor, a real estate agent, or a digital marketer, these individuals use the same method. Their areas of expertise and the questions they ask may be different, but they use questions to find out how to best help their new clients. 

When you’re creating a quiz for your business, consider the consulting questions you can use for your niche. You’re sure to find excellent ideas that you can incorporate into your quiz to provide invaluable insights for your audience and show your expertise.

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Make your questions interesting

Taking a quiz should be a positive experience. Make sure your questions are interesting and engaging. If the questions you ask don’t hold your quiz-takers’ attention, it’s likely they’ll close the quiz before it’s completed. You miss out on providing value to potential customers, they don’t give you their email addresses, and you can’t continue to develop a relationship with them. 

This translates to lost opportunities and lost revenue. 

To avoid this in your quiz, keep your questions interesting. You can give your quiz a fun twist, ask quiz-takers about their goals, or pose situational questions, for example—just make sure the overall quiz adds up to a positive experience for your audience.

Ask questions about goals

One of the ways you can ask better questions is by focusing on your audience, which will automatically make your questions more interesting to quiz-takers! 

When you ask quiz-takers about their goals, you encourage them to dream about what could happen and how their lives could be better. Offering descriptive answer choices will help your audience visualize the different potential business and life outcomes. This will keep them focused and engaged with your quiz. 

For example, you might include a question like: 

question about how your life will be different a year in the future.

The fun language and personality of the question could easily fit with a brand’s voice and messaging. Plus, the answer choices show a wide range of goals that entrepreneurs might have for their businesses. If your audience can see themselves and their goals in your questions and answers, they’ll find your quiz fascinating!

Ask situational questions

Situational or scenario questions are often used in interviews to see how potential employees handle experiences that might occur if they’re hired. These types of questions are good for more than just job interviews. When you ask your audience what they would do in specific situations, you can learn a great deal about their character and how they think.

Situational questions are also interesting for the quiz-taker. You might get them to think about something they haven’t considered before. Your answer choices might have them consider an idea that they hadn’t thought of themselves. 

Your questions are better when you inspire your audience to think. 

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Give your quiz a twist

Some of the most popular quizzes have a fun twist or theme. Jen and Jeff of Tonic Site Shop sell gorgeous cocktail-inspired Show-it websites. To match their websites, they created a quiz called “What’s Your Brand Cocktail?” This quiz offers a fun and valuable twist to the standard branding quiz.

In their quiz, every question ties into the cocktail bar vibe that they were going for with their brand. They use images and phrases that their audience can connect with if they’re comfortable in a bar setting. The quiz also includes the branding information that many entrepreneurs need to grow their businesses. Who wouldn’t want to take a fun quiz like this?

question about brand bar with images

If you’re interested in finding out how successful this quiz with a twist has been for Tonic Site Shop, check out our case study!

Use the right language to ask better questions

The words and phrases that you use in your quiz are very powerful. Your audience should see themselves reflected in your quiz. But that’s just the first step in usingthe right quiz language. Here are a few other ways.

Start questions with “who” “what” when” where” “how”

This idea came from a Ted Talk about how to have better conversations, and it’s honestly genius. When you ask questions that start with one of these “action” words, it incites people to respond. It signals that there’s a question coming, so people recognize that they have to start thinking to be prepared to answer the question. Their minds are engaged from the start of the question.

Imagine you wanted to ask your audience their thoughts on change. You could ask “Do you like change?” and then offer the answer choices of “Yes,” “No,” or “Indifferent.” While this question may produce answers, there are more insightful ways to gather better information. Instead, you might ask “How do you feel about change?” Because this question has a signal word at the beginning, you can offer a wider variety of answer choices. You might include answers like: 

  • Bring it on! I love it.
  • Change is terrifying! My life is just fine as it is.
  • It’s scary, but I’ll survive.
  • It depends…  

Phrasing questions with the “action” words lets you ask better questions. Adding stronger, more descriptive answer choices to these questions helps your audience more clearly connect with what you’re asking them. They stay engaged and finish your quiz. 

Put “you” in every question

“You” is a powerful word. It helps your audience connect with you and your content. It helps them see themselves in what they’re reading. As an online business owner, it can be challenging to connect with your audience online. Using “you” is one way that you can strengthen that connection. 

This concept has been verified through research. One study out of Norway found that individuals are more likely to click through on a headline that asks a question and includes the word “you.” Companies have demonstrated how effective “you” can be in advertising for years. Whether you’re watching TV, reading a magazine, or scrolling online, it’s clear that advertisers use it and that people connect with the word “you.”

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Be specific 

Being specific in your questions and answers doesn’t just help you connect with your target audience. It also disengages those individuals who aren’t your target audience. In a post about what we can learn about the top lead-generating quizzes, I discuss a quiz from Jenna Kutcher that has generated amazing results. The quiz cover clearly states that the quiz helps people discover their “awesome, stand out from the crowd, build a successful biz, and have fun doing it.” This quiz is geared toward business owners.

If, for some reason, people don’t realize who the quiz is for and they continue through the quiz, the questions show that the quiz is for people who have a business. If that doesn’t apply to their situation, they’ll likely lose interest in the quiz and drop off before the end.

You can also be specific in how you phrase things for your quiz. If you’re asking a question about their goals for their business, it’s more powerful to offer an answer choice like “Earn a 5- figure income every month” instead of “Make lots of money.” It makes it clearer to the quiz-takers what your answer choice means. Your idea of what qualifies as significant income might not be the same as that of your quiz-takers. Plus, specificity increases the validity of the data you receive from your quizzes, which makes it more useful to you as a quiz creator. 

Ask Attentive Follow-Up Questions

You can make your quiz even more powerful with the addition of quality follow-up questions. With Interact branching logic, you can set up a quiz where each question leads to different questions, depending on how the initial question is answered. When you use the branching logic to add powerful follow-up questions, you’re able to create a more customized quiz-taking experience for your audience. They’re going to feel seen and heard. 

Because the internet isn’t as novel as it once was, automated email marketing isn’t as effective as it used to be. Personalization in marketing is absolutely essential now. When customers feel like they’re a faceless number in a crowd of people, they’re less likely to opt-in to your email list, less likely to open your emails, and less likely to buy from you. When you create a quiz that tailors the questions to the quiz-taker, your audience will get that personalized experience that they’re looking for. 

For example, imagine that you’re a parenting coach who offers services for parents of preschoolers, parents of school-aged children, and parents of teens. You might have them identify the age of their children in your first question. You can then have a second question where they identify the main difficulties they’re experiencing with their child. If you tried to list all of the problems for all of the ages, your quiz-takers could feel that you don’t truly understand their trials. 

Instead, use the branching logic to create question paths for each age group. You might offer answer choices like biting and hitting, bedwetting, or temper tantrums for the challenges of the preschool-aged children. For the teenage group, more appropriate answer choices might include trouble in school, drug use, or prioritizing bad relationships. Each age group offers unique challenges, so asking appropriate follow-up questions looks different for each group.

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In Conclusion

When you’re creating your quiz,  make the effort to ask better questions. The rewards for asking quality questions are substantial. Your quiz-takers will be excited to take your quiz, subscribe to your email list, get their results, read your emails, and eventually buy your products and services. Plus, they’ll be more willing to share your quizzes, engage with your brand, and sing your praises on social media. When you have that, you’ve got a fan for life! 

To help you ask better questions, we discussed:

  • Why you want to ask better questions in your quizzes
  • How to focus your questions on your audience
  • Ways you can show your expertise through your questions
  • How to make your questions interesting
  • What language to use to ask better questions
  • The power of follow-up questions 

We can’t wait to see the amazing questions that you create!

Create Better Questions for Your Quiz Now!

Joanna May

Joanna May specializes in email and content marketing. When she's not hard at work for her clients or writing for her blog, you can find her spending time with her husband and two sons, volunteering, or learning something new! Head over to mayvirtualassists.com to learn more or follow May Virtual Assists on social media. Facebook // Linkedin

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