Tutorial: Use Progressive Profiling to Segment Your Audience with Laser Precision

Note: We recommend watching this tutorial in fullscreen mode for clearest viewing—just click the rectangle in the lower right corner of the video.

In the video above, Drip product expert Josh Braaten breaks down how to profile your subscribers for higher conversions.

Below, I’m going to show you step-by-step how to build the type of survey shown in this video.

But first, let’s talk about the “why” behind progressive profiling and how it can increase your conversions.

What Is Progressive Profiling?

Progressive profiling is the art and science of asking potential customers specific questions over time, so you can learn more about their unique situation and send them targeted, personalized marketing campaigns.

Whether you’re a founder, consultant, or in-house marketer, profiling your leads is the closest thing you’ll find to a marketing superpower.


Because profiling almost always increases conversions.

When Drip user Brennan Dunn started profiling his leads in Drip, as an example, he literally doubled his sales.

There are many ways to execute progressive profiling.

In this guide, I’m going to show you how to go from zero personalization in your marketing to profiling your subscribers passively … in as little as 30 minutes of setup time.

Let’s take a look at how this works.

How to Profile Potential Customers in Drip with a Simple 1-Click Survey

Step #1: Decide on the Single Most Important Question You Want Subscribers to Answer

For the very first question in your profiling workflow, you’ll want to choose a question that, when answered, lets you meaningfully personalize your marketing.

In other words, if you’re a B2B company selling social media management software, you probably don’t want to ask subscribers for their gender, since that won’t help you personalize your sales process.

If, on the other hand, you sell T-shirts online to both men and women, then gender is a great attribute to use to segment contacts.

You might ask:

  • “What industry are you in?”
  • “Which of the following best describes your #1 challenge?”
  • “How often would you like to receive content from us?”
  • “How soon are you looking to make a purchase?”

You get the idea.

Once you have your question, it’s time build automations so that people can answer your question with just one click.

Step #2: Create Trigger Links to Tag Subscribers Automatically

Do you use Trigger Links in Drip?

If not, here’s a quick overview.

In a nutshell, Trigger Links let you trigger actions when contacts click specific links in your emails. That’s it.

You can ask subscribers what type of content they want to receive from you, like author Taylor Pearson does in this email.

taylor pearson trigger link skitch2

For our purposes, we’re going to want to create separate Trigger Links for every possible answer to the question we chose above.

For example …

Let’s say you’re an ecommerce store that sells hammocks. And your question is:

“What type of hammocks are you most interested in?”

And your possible answers are:

  • “I’m interested in lightweight hammocks for camping.”
  • “I’m interested in backyard hammocks for my family.”
  • “I’m interested in an indoor hammock.”

In this case, you’ll want to create a Trigger Link for each of the answers above.

Here’s how to do that.

First, go to Automation > Rules and click New Basic Rule.

automation rules skitch preview

Now we need to configure our automation rule.

Click the drop-down under Choose a trigger and choose Clicked a trigger link. Then enter a URL for a generic thank-you page to send people to when they click your link.

trigger link 1 preview

Note: if you don’t yet have a generic thank-you page on your site, that’s OK.

For now, just enter a page URL that’s not taken on your site, e.g. yourwebsite.com/thanks.

(We’ll set up your actual confirmation page up in a minute.)

Drip will automatically generate a unique Trigger Link for you. Once you activate your rule, this link will both send folks to the URL you entered and perform any automation you want.

For our Trigger Link survey, I’m going to choose Apply a tag from the drop-down. But you can choose any action (or combination of actions) you want.

trigger link 2 preview

Repeat the steps above until you have an automation rule and unique link for each answer to the question you’re going to ask subscribers.

At this point, you’re ready to set up your Trigger Link survey email.

Step #3: Write and Deploy Your Profiling Emails with This Fill-in-the-Blank Template

To make things easy, here’s an email template you can swipe and deploy.

Subject: Is this helpful at all?

You have limited time. I get it. The last thing you want to do is sift through emails that don’t appeal to you. We don’t want that either.

Let’s make a deal. Click the link that best describes your situation and we’ll make sure the emails we send you stay useful and relevant.

  • “I’m interested in ** ANSWER **” [LINK THIS TEXT]
  • “I’m interested in ** ANSWER **” [LINK THIS TEXT]
  • “I’m interested in ** ANSWER **” [LINK THIS TEXT]

Thanks for sharing. We hope to make it worth your while!

Until next time,


Feel free to tweak this copy to suit your brand and voice.

Once you copy and paste the template above, you’ll need to link your answers so that they’re clickable.

That’s where your Trigger Links come in.

In Drip, adding Trigger Links is as simple as choosing your new Trigger Link from a drop-down.

Like this.

Trigger Link in email editor

Once you link each answer to its corresponding Trigger Link, you’re done!

You can now deploy this email in any sequence, workflow, or broadcast as you see fit.

At this point, if you haven’t yet set up a post-survey confirmation page, let’s look at how to do that.

Step #4: Create a Confirmation Page to Thank Subscribers (and Point Them to the Next Step)

Earlier, we linked each of your answers to a generic URL, like hammockworld.com/thanks.

Here’s where that page comes into play …

I recommend you use a landing page builder to create a universal Trigger Link confirmation page. In Leadpages, your page might looks like this.

typ template preview

Now, whenever subscribers click one of your Trigger Links, they’ll visit this page.

Simple, right?

It’s important to give your prospects a “next logical step” on this page—like a webinar, free trial, or link to book an appointment.


In our tests, we’ve seen that 5% to 10% of Trigger Link respondents “take the next step” when prompted on a confirmation page. So you shouldn’t waste that opportunity by sending people to a blank page.

Pro Tip: You can also get more sophisticated and send people to unique landing pages, depending on which answers they click. If you have customer success stories in different industries, for example, this can be a great place to entice leads with your content.

Step #5: Continue to Ask Questions and Personalize Your Campaigns

The actual questions you ask (and the order you ask them in) will depend on the type of business you run.

But segmenting your leads by even one important attribute can have a shocking impact on your conversion rate.

To get started, build your first Trigger Link survey by following the steps above. Then map out the additional questions you want to ask subscribers.

Pretty soon, you will have a progressive profiling machine that surveys subscribers (and personalizes their campaigns) throughout the entire customer journey.

Recommended Resources: Here are a few other resources to help you take your progressive profiling to the next level.

Increase Your Value Per Lead with Automatic Progressive Profiling

Once you start profiling subscribers (and seeing the subsequent lift in conversions), it can feel like stepping out of the Matrix.

All the sudden, you have the power to create more targeted, relevant, high-converting funnels than your competitors.

You can build a “smart” email sequence.

You can use Workflows to ask a series of questions over time … re-sending surveys until people complete each question in order.

You can even personalize your website to resonate with different visitors.

The possibilities are endless.

If you’re brand new to segmentation, though, creating your first Trigger Link survey is a great place to start.

Luckily for you, Drip’s forever-free plan lets you build Trigger Link surveys, visual workflows, automation rules, drip campaigns, and more. Give it a shot and see what you learn about your subscribers.

Click Here to Join Drip for Free and Start Profiling Your List ASAP


How will you use Trigger Links and progressive profiling to increase your conversions? Let us know in the comments below.