7 Examples of Engagement Lifting Quizzes

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A few months ago, I mentioned NRKbeta, the tech vertical of a Norwegian public broadcaster, in a story. Readers were asked to take a quiz of three basic questions from an article they just read, before being allowed to comment.

The main goal was to ensure that people actually read the story before commenting to produce a more civil tone. "If everyone can agree that this is what the article says, then they have a much better basis for commenting on it." said NRKbeta journalist Ståle Grut.

Fast forward and here's what they've found: People like quizzes more than commenting. "Some may treat it as a 'fun little game after reading,' Grut wrote," as reported in NiemanLab. "Of the 14 articles that included quizzes, the highest number of comments on any one was 77. Meanwhile, more than 300 people took the quiz for that same article... On average, there [are] a lot more attempts—both correct and wrong—than actual comments."

Quizzes get clicks, inspire engagement and take many forms. Here are a few:

  • Kiplinger has a seemingly endless section of quizzes on their website. "Test Your Retirement IQ." "Test Your Small Business Know-How." "Quiz: How Well Do You Know Your Airline Rights When Flying?" "Ethical Dilemmas: Do You Agree With Knight?" - "Here are ten questions about real-life financial quandaries that readers have asked editor-in-chief Knight Kiplinger... you'll find links to Knight's column archive and other quizzes inspired by Knight's mail."
  • Randall-Reilly asks people to take their "quiz," though it works more as a survey, so they can provide "recommendations for reaching your specific audience and accomplishing your goals." Question 10 states, "In order to send your free plan, we'll need to know how to get in touch. Please enter your contact information below."
  • Marketing Envy asks, "Are You a B2B Marketing Ninja?" before launching into its quiz. "Are you rocking your business' marketing or struggling to understand the difference between CPC and CTA? Take this quiz to see if you really know your stuff." 
  • The Folger Shakespeare Library here in Washington, D.C., has enjoyed success with its quizzes. The latest is, "Can you guess the Shakespeare play just from its most memorable props?"—a cauldron, missing handkerchief, skull. At the end, it's revealed where your score lines up with others. (I can't believe people got Titus Andronicus.) It looks like about 3,500 have taken the quiz since Aug. 1.
  • Brandeis International Business School has a fun quiz to see which career might be right for you. The first question asks what your "Best Waiting Room Read" is. In this quiz you have to enter your email before getting the results.
  • Evergage has a quiz asking, "So you think you know personalization?" The first question is, "What percentage of customers expects brands to use their purchase history to provide them with personalized experiences?" 32%, 63% or 14%? You can then download reports based on the questions. (63% is correct.)
  • Past SIPA member Leadership IQ's Quiz—What's Your Leadership Style?—has been taken more than 230,000 times. "Take this Leadership Styles Assessment and see what kind of leadership style you have!" The comments are very positive. It has 13 questions—that's a number you don't see too often.

It's pretty certain that quizzes will continue to be rolled out and take new forms. "We've got some very interesting, never-before-been-tried things in the works, but nothing we can announce yet," Lev Kaye, president of SIPA member CredSpark, emailed to me yesterday. "...But I promise to keep you posted!"

Oh, error rates on the Norwegian NRKbeta quizzes were a "staggering" 72%. The causes? Poor reading comprehension and foreigners taking the quiz despite it being in Norwegian. If that's not a testament to gaming's popularity, nothing is.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…