“Garbage In… Garbage Out” – The Art Of Effective Data Collection – AutomationClinic.com

“Garbage In… Garbage Out” – The Art Of Effective Data Collection

When it comes to really harnessing the power of Infusionsoft, I find most users don't collect nearly as much information from their prospects and customers as they should.

Put it this way: Infusionsoft allows 100 custom fields and I've used around 92 of them. Call me crazy but I want to know as much as I possibly can about my prospects and customers and whenever there is an opportunity to collect more data, I seize it. On the other hand, I've talked to folks at Infusioncon who have only used 2 custom fields. Without knowing much about their business, I'm confident they aren't harnessing the TRUE power of Infusionsoft. Can't be.

"Name" and "E-mail" are no longer enough. Sure, they get the conversation started and I don't recommend loading your initial opt-in form with a half-dozen fields. But I do advocate asking for more information as soon as possible.

For example, here at AutomationClinic.com, I ask for the typical name and e-mail upfront:

Once on the landing page, not only do I encourage you to go confirm your e-mail to access the free 26-pg report, but I solicit more information that'll help me better segment you later:

Here, not only am I choosing to get your full name, but I'm asking you to estimate how automated you think your business is on a scale of 0 to 10. Meanwhile, this data is being plugged into an Infusionsoft custom field as a whole number. This "whole number" distinction is important as opposed to using "text" as your field type. With any number type field (whole number, decimal, currency, etc), you can use them as conditions in future follow up. In other words, you can use criteria like "equal than," "equal or less than," "equal or greater than," "greater than," and "less than."

If you chose a number under 3,  I could easily have an e-mail or step go out to you based on that. If you chose a number over 8, I could have a step go out with all my ninja tricks sure to impress an experienced user like you.

Next, I ask for their #1 goal. I don't make this checkboxes on purpose because most folks will probably check them all. Who doesn't need to automate every category I've represented? But I want to know the primary goal so that I can put you in ONE bucket with ONE goal, at least to start.

Lastly, I ask if you're an Infusionsoft user or not. Sending Infusionsoft-specific tutorials or resources won't help the non-user. Sending broader strategic tips applicable to non-users with the casual mention of Infusionsoft could certainly work and might even entice non-users to sign up for the service through my partner link.

On the HearandPlay.com side of things, I do similarly except I ask for a bit more information upfront:

In addition to name and e-mail, I ask for favorite style (jazz, blues, gospel, pop, latin, etc) and experience level (beginner, intermediate, advanced, teacher). "But doesn't this lower your conversion rate," you might ask? No, not in this case.

I agree, the more you ask upfront, you might generally see a decline in sign ups. However, I've found through extensive testing that when the questions relate DIRECTLY to the offering, there is no negative effect... and sometimes even a positive one.

Think about it: Asking for skill level makes sense to the prospect who would want to get really basic, "newbie" material if they answer "beginner." Or to the gospel church musician who is looking for material to help them in that endeavor (not jazz, blues, or pop music). Not all businesses can do this. Asking for firmographic data like company size or income level upfront may not be the smartest thing but if there is a question that will GENUINELY alter the type of communications and resources you send them, it's worth a test.

Besides, there are dozens and dozens more ways to collect information. Here are a couple others:

Here's an example of a survey that appears ONLY to gospel prospects under video 3 (in a 4 video sequence) asking specifically what style of gospel is their favorite.

And guess what? All the styles coincide to a different resource in my product line. If you pick slow worship songs as your favorite, you'd eventually be offered "GospelKeys 202 - Mastering Worship Chords." If you picked traditional praise songs, you'd be offered "GospelKeys 300 - Exploring Praise Songs & Charismatic Styles." If you picked uptempo shouting music, you'd be offered "GospelKeys 500 - Experiencing Uptempo Shouting Music." If you picked traditional hymns, you'd be offered "GospelKeys 101 - Introduction To Hymns & Congregational Songs."

Furthermore, if you mention already playing in church, I could build better rapport by telling a few church musician stories you'd surely relate to. But for the person who just wants to play christian music for personal worship in the comfort of their own home, those stories would probably still be okay but I'd be better off with a different approach they can relate to directly.

Even when the user rates my videos, that score is being loaded into Infusionsoft as a whole number. If you pick 5, I'm more often to follow up with you more frequently. If you picked 1, I might send you to a survey or depending on the nature of your complaint, encourage you to opt out (if you're not feeling me now, you surely ain't gonna feel me later and might even complain as spam).

I only scratched the surface here. There are many categories of data collection (and types like external vs internal behavior data collection), many types of follow-up based on data collection, and many buckets to place prospects in. I'm sure I'll explore this in my home study course at some point. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, the lesson is: your automation system is only as good as the data you collect. Look for opportunities to not only collect external and internal data but USE that data to send the right messages to the right prospects at the right time.

(Update: Click here to check out the webinar I did on an Infusionsoft Mastermind Webinar with Jordan Hatch)


  • Marlene says:


    Just listened to your Data Collection Webinar on Infusionsoft. Excellent Presentation!

    Thanks for sharing your framework and approach! Extremely helpful to see how you are applying segmentation and customer nurturing concepts using Infusionsoft.

    Marlene Green

    • J Griggs says:

      Hey Marlene, thanks for your comments. Glad you enjoyed the presentation! Stay tuned for more updates and resources here.

      All the best,

  • John Meyers says:

    This is great information. All your post have really opened up a whole new world for me and challenged me to really take advantage of the software. Thank you.

  • April says:


    Do you know when Jordan is going to have the webinar posted to the archives? or did he forward a copy to you? My boss & I both attempted to record and wouldn’t you know it, he got audio and I got video but neither of us got both on one recording. I’d really rather not go thru trying to put them together if Jordan will be posting the webinar soon.

    Thanks! We love your stuff.

    • J Griggs says:

      ha, that’s funny April! This is proof that you’re a wonderful complement to your boss and if he ever forgets it, remind him of this! He got audio and you got video!

      At any rate, unless there were some technological snags (like Jordan only got video), I’m 100% confident the recording will be up soon. Jordan was out of town at a conference during the webinar and I’m sure is just now getting back to the office. Should be up momentarily.

      Meanwhile, enjoy what I’ve got around here. In the short time since I’ve launched this site, I’ve managed to put out a lot of neat stuff. And of course, if you guys are ever wanting to take things a step further, feel free to inquire.

      All the best,

  • […] #1 – "Thou Shalt Collect As Much Data As […]

  • Kavit says:

    Hey Jermaine,

    Love the video rating idea and have been thinking about it for a while.

    I run a blog with video posts and want to put this ratings form/drop-down underneath. I understand I can send a mail to my list and when they visit have their e-mail hidden so that they can just choose a rating and it will submit (and apply a tag inside the app).

    My only concern is that these are for individual blog posts that are open to the public… so what if they haven’t been on my app – they are visiting and not a subscriber – how would you then get their rating? So far, I am considering having an e-mail field (so it pre-populates if it is from my list, and empty if not)…

    Do you see this working, or have a better idea? And would it be okay for blog posts?

    Thanks in advance! Look forward to connecting


    • J Griggs says:

      I see the “ratings” data collection method working better in a controlled, private setting versus a public one.

      In a public setting, you don’t have their e-mail and thus it’s just a typical youtube rating at that point. If you ask for e-mail, then you’d have to set the expectation of what follows next (you are submitting e-mail to rate but will also receive future e-mails) and that might get a little confusing. Whether someone will submit e-mail just for opportunity to rate is the question (unless tied to other bribe).

      What I would do is use imember360.com and autolog everyone into your blog upon joining. In fact, every link they click can be an autologin link. With imember, you can tag them when they visit certain pages, among other things. Most importantly, you can insert their e-mail right in the web form via a short code and hide the e-mail field just like I do. The end result is a drop down showing and when the user chooses the rating/description that most reflects their opinion, it goes into infusionsoft as a simple number: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (whole number custom field type).

      Now that number can be used to gauge frequency and type of future communications. As long as they are logged into imember, you can put as many of these anywhere you’d like. I wouldn’t be too concerned with public folks as you don’t yet have a relationship with them and wouldn’t be able to effectively use the data yet anyway. Use this strategy on people consuming your information in controlled setting and it can work very well.

      All the best,

      • Kavit Haria says:

        Hey Jermaine,

        Exactly what I was thinking, but with CustomerHub. Which do you prefer out of the two?

        Also, if I set it up as a members area, the blog posts and content would still be open to the public right? They could still see the content?


        • J Griggs says:

          Yes, blog posts are public and for everyone. However, whatever you offer in exchange for e-mail (4 free videos, free report, etc) should be put behind a wall… otherwise, no reason to exchange information. Past blog posts make great nourishment follow up steps too.

          Customerhub is great for account management, subscriptions, managing payments, seeing all past and present invoices, etc. In the past few years, it has also become a platform for membership sites. I use it as well.

          Here, I’m finding imember360 really gives me the flexibility to do a lot. Because it works with wordpress, an open system, I can expand it to no end. I can incorporate other plugins and themes and the sky’s the limit. Customerhub on the other end is a quick thing. It can definitely get you started but in terms of getting really really fancy with functionality and using it in conjunction with other things, that’s where you have to determine what’s important to you.

          I hope this helps,

          • Kavit says:

            Superb response. Just as I thought.

            Thanks mate.


  • […] in, garbage out." Your automation system is only as good as your data collection. That data can be collected externally through web forms and surveys and internally through […]

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