How to Use Quizzes to Increase Affiliate Marketing Commissions

Fun quiz question

At no point during my years as an affiliate marketer have I enjoyed as great of a boost in affiliate commissions for one merchant so quickly than I have this year (2017) using quizzes.

Writing this post makes me wonder why I haven’t rolled out more quizzes.  While I have rolled out some terrific tools across my websites such as this affiliate ROI calculator as well as a good number of quizzes, I really should be rolling out more.

I certainly didn’t come up with using quizzes for affiliate promotion.  I just read about it and decided to give it a shot with one one main product I promote on one of my niche sites.

The increase in sales was startling.

In fact, the quiz is now by far the biggest commission source for that product on that niche site, out-earning all affiliate links.  That said, I embedded the quiz on nearly every page on the site so it gets a lot of exposure.

Results from one Example of an Affiliate Marketing Quiz

Over the last 60 days promoting one product, here is just how effective quizzes have been in generating commissions:

  • Total commissions for the product: $2,558
  • Total commission from the quizzes: $1,299
  • Total non-quiz commissions: $1,259
  • % revenue from quizzes: 51%

My investment of approximately 60 minutes creating that quiz has generated an additional $1,299 in commissions over the last 60 days, which doubled commissions for that product.  I’ve had those quizzes running longer than 60 days so total profit to date is considerably higher.

What is an affiliate marketing quiz?

An affiliate marketing quiz is a series of questions visitors answer that directs them to a particular outcome, i.e. product suggestion.

Here’s an example:

How do you build this type of quiz?

1. Quiz-maker software

There are plenty of free and paid quiz-maker software options.  I’ve tried several including Thrive’s quiz plugin, My Theme Shop’s quiz plugin, Survey Monkey and Opinionstage.  I currently use Opinionstage for all my quizzes.

FYI, the free version of Opinionstage offers all the features you need for an outcome-based quiz so I suggest you give it a shot.  While I have a premium account, the free version will do the job so I recommend giving Opinionstage a try.

IMPORTANT:  If you are using outcome-based quizzes as a lead-generation tool (i.e. requiring an email sign up before getting results), you definitely want to use Thrive’s quiz plugin.  It syncs with most major autoresponders.  Opinionstage sadly only works with Mailchimp, which is a major problem.

One key feature I love about Opinionstage

While most quiz makers are decent, one thing I like about Opinionstage is how it doesn’t require weighted scores for suggesting an outcome. Instead, what it does is for each question, you can select an outcome that the answers are tied to.  This is a much easier way to build outcome-based quizzes, at least for me.

2. How many questions should you include?

This may vary.  There’s no hard and fast rule.  I think 5 at a minimum is good.  The maximum will depend on the complexity of the product line.  However, you’ll probably have people not finish the quiz after 12 questions.  I stick to the 5 to 10 question range.

What you want to do is once you have a results, see what percentage of takers do not finish the quiz.  If it’s high, you’ll want to shorten it.

At the end of the day, test different numbers of questions.  Try 5. Try 10. Try 8. See what converts the best.

3. How many different results should you include

The more results you include, the more complex the quiz.

I tend to stick with 2 to 3 potential results.  This keeps it simple and keeps it easy to create.

4. How do you come up with the questions

This is much easier than you might think.

You should be familiar with the products you suggest so that you can put together decent and helpful questions.

Once you know the product, your questions need to revolve around the benefits and features people are specifically seeking for in the product.

You then break down which of the two to three products you’ll promote by which features/benefits each offer and don’t offer.

Here’s an example for a website hosting quiz:

  • Do you want free website migration?
  • Do you want a free SSL certificate included?
  • Do you want live chat support?
  • Do you have more than one website to host?
  • Do you want to be able to stage websites?

In some cases it may only be one question that distinguishes which product is suggested.  For instance, many hosting companies offer most of the above, except for staging or free migration.  Those two questions alone may be the factor that dictates the outcome.

Price can be a determining question too, although I find pricing questions to not be the best because obviously most people will choose the cheapest option.  For instance, in the website hosting example above, if I included a question “do you want to pay less than $10 per month?” most people would select yes.

Where should you put the quiz?

If your quiz converts, you can place it on every relevant web page in addition to a dedicated quiz post.

I like placing quizzes at the bottom of content, but for content where it’s directly on-point, I’ll place it in the middle of that content or even above-the-fold.

The key here is to test.

How do you track the effectiveness of a quiz

This is pretty simple.  You simply use affiliate links with a tracking ID attached.  Most affiliate networks offer the ability to create tracking parameters to affiliate links.

I think this is a very important step to take so that you actually know whether your quiz is working.

In fact, you may want to create tracking links for each quiz placement so you can see which placements and which quizzes are working.

Should you get the opt in to your email list first?

If you can, yes. I haven’t gone there yet because I’m sure initial commissions won’t be nearly as high; however, in the right niches, the subscribers you do add to your email newsletter will make up for it.

I just happen to operate in niches where email marketing isn’t super lucrative so I think requiring an optin would hurt overall revenue.

Moreover, in order to get a quiz taker to actually subscribe to your email, the outcome must be very important to the quiz taker.  I don’t think a product suggestion is enticing enough.

However, I do think if the outcome suggestions are freebie products you can provide and the quiz is used to direct a visitor as to which freebie is best for them, email sign-up rates could be very high.

Why are quizzes so effective at converting to sales?

I don’t want to give the impression every quiz you create will rain money.

However, if you’re already successfully promoting a product, adding a quiz to your promotional efforts will generally help.

Here’s why I believe they’re effective:

  1. They’re helpful: if they’re created sincerely where the suggested results truly reflect the answers given, they help visitors buy the right product.
  2. Credibility:  cool technology like quizzes make it appear that your site is sophisticated which helps bolster credibility just for having such a tool on the site.
  3. They get noticed:  A quiz stands out on any given page… much more than an affiliate link.
  4. High click through rate:  When visitors take the time to take a quiz, you can bet most will click the suggested link at the end.  They’re invested in the process and so they’ll be curious to learn more about what you recommend.

Quiz ideas for various niches

Actually, for any given niche site or blog, you can incorporate multiple quizzes.  Here’s a few niches with example quiz ideas.

Minivan website:  You can place a more general quiz which covers whether a minivan is the right vehicle for visitors.  You can then have more specific quizzes that help people choose between two or three minivan models.

Finance website: If you promote investing software, you can create a quiz that helps people choose an investing software platform.

Recipe website:  You can create quizzes for any variety of kitchen appliances and gadgets.

Amazon affiliate site:  If you publish an Amazon affiliate site that focuses on a product line, you can create a quiz that helps visitors choose a particular product within the product line.  You can offer even more focused quizzes that helps choose between just two products.

I could go on and on.

If your niche site has relevant products to promote as an affiliate, you can create outcome-based quizzes that help visitors get the right product.

2 Comments

  1. Jason September 21, 2017
    • Jon September 21, 2017

Leave a Reply