Creating a personality test is one of the most powerful marketing tools around. Ideal for engaging your audience, your personality test can help qualify leads or product recommendations to potential customers based on their quiz answers.
Online personality quizzes get phenomenal engagement and lead generation opt-in rates:
- A well-written personality test can more than 80% of all quiz takers finish.
- Want to collect leads? You should get 35-45% of quiz takers to opt-in and give their email address. That’s 20X better than typical lead generation tools like ‘sign up for our newsletter’ pop ups.
Sure, personality tests might sound like they’re only suited for light-hearted use cases – but we’ve seen many brands and businesses use a online personality quiz for serious marketing.
Choice Hotels turned to Riddle to create their “Where should you travel next with your Choice Privileges points?” personality test – driving engagement around their popular hotel destinations.
Sure, making an online personality quiz seems so easy when you take one. It’s writing your own using a quiz maker like Riddle that can seem more difficult!
But fear not – there’s an art and science to creating a personality test. It makes them much easier to write – and more accurate to boot.
Let’s dive in!
Step1 : Create the perfect title for your online personality quiz
Choosing the overall title and concept for your persoanlity test is the first (and most important) step. Everything else flows from here.
Be sure your title has a clear subject and follows the most important rule for a personality test – “It’s all about ME.“
Nope, that’s not ‘me’ as the author – it’s all about the people who will be taking your personality test!
This is a core reason why personality tests are so popular and mega-viral. Human beings tend to be a bit narcissistic; we love to discover new things about ourselves – and then share our results with our friends.
However, people have to really, really want to know how they compare to other people.
It could be any topic – from “What breed of dog are you?” to “What’s your management style?”. Follow our four step process to making a personality test that will be irresistible to your audience – to start, finish, then share with their friends.
Writing a great title for your personality test
Your title needs to sum up your concept in an intriguing way to get users to click.
- Don’t just go with your first idea.
- Brainstorm a few quiz titles – write down 5-10, then pick the best.
- Short and punchy titles work better than long and wordy.
Titles that challenge users and use ‘you’ do 23% better. Strange but true – for example, compare “Anxiety stress test” with “How anxious are you – really?”
See how the second grabs your attention – and makes you want to find out more?
We love the work the serious quiz geeks over at Okdork did – they wrote this great article about titles that work best, full of great tips after analysing nearly one million headlines.
Step 2: Creating your personality test result types
Personality tests are a little different than other quizzes – you create the results first, then write the questions. This makes it easier to craft questions that will collect the data you need to give accurate results to each quiz taker.
- How many result types? We recommend 3-6 different results. That’s enough so that each user gets a result that fits them, without making your job as a quiz maker super complicated.
- Does each result fit your audience? Make sure each quiz taker who will take your personality test will fit one of these types.
- Result explanations matter – a lot. It’s not enough to for someone to discover they are a ‘Golden retriever”, they will want to know WHY they got that.
- 50/50 rule – spend as much time and creativity on your result explanations as your questions.
- Great result types drive success – after all, the results are the end of your user’s quiz experience – it’s a chance to show how much you understand their unique needs, and how you can help them. Plus – the more insightful or funny the result, the more likely they’ll share your personality test with their friends.
Using the Big 5 model (OCEAN) to create results
We’re big fans of using the classic ‘Big 5’ model (often called the OCEAN model) when creating a personality test. We won’t go in too much detail here but basically, you want each result to reflect one of these major traits:
You don’t have to use these exact names or traits, but you’ll want split your quiz results into different personality traits – they could be: a leader, a rebel, a creative, a dreamer, an extrovert, a traveller, a home-body.
The list is endless but each one you choose should be different to each other.
For example, here’s our result for “You’re a Golden Retriever” from our “What breed of dog are you?”.
Woof woof! You’re a Golden Retriever!
No bones about it, you’re a popular, fun-loving Golden Retriever. Adored by all and too cool for school, you’re extroverted and enthusiastic. Your magnetic personality makes you the life of any bash.
Since you’re a true people-dog, you genuinely love all kinds of social gatherings. Going to parties, dinners, and other shindigs is the best way to add faces to your constantly growing circle of friends.
But besides being on the social A-list, you’re a confident, well-rounded pup who’s definitely something to bark about. Reasonably accomplished at anything you set your mind to, your sunny nature and winning ways make you one of everyone’s favourite dogs. Woof!
Notice how we crafted this ‘Golden Retriever’ result to be high in Conscientiousness and Agreeableness, while low in Neuroticism?
A chihuahua, by comparison, would reflect a completely different mix – higher in Extroversion and Neuroticism. (Apologies to any chihuahua fans out there!)
Choose your type of personality test:
Every personality test is different – but in general, you can put personality tests into two broad families.
You can ask either:
- ‘Are you a …?’ (ex. ‘Are you a crazy cat lady?’)
- ‘What type of … are you?’ (ex. ‘What breed of cat are you?’)
The ‘Are you a …?’ version gives you a range of three or four main result types along the lines of ‘Definitely, slightly, not really, definitely not!’ You then create compelling titles for each these results based on your topic. These are a bit easier to create – but are also a little less precise; each of these 3-4 results will end up applying to a larger ‘bucket’ of quiz takers.
The ‘What type of…?’ gives more specific result titles, such as our “You’re a Golden Retriever!” example we’ve been talking about. This strength of this approach is the wider variety of more precise results, so your audience might feel a greater affinity towards their findings. The downside? They take a bit more effort by the quiz creator – to think up and write questions and results for these types.
Don’t be too specific in result types
This is a common one of the most common mistakes we’ve seen when people create their personality test.
Remember – you won’t know who your quiz takers will be, so each result needs to be accurate, while appplying to a wide range of users.
- Bad: Don’t say ‘You’re the perfect line manager because you understand how people think’. The user might not be a manager – if so, they’ll instantly think this quiz doesn’t describe them.
- Better: Try something like ‘You’re an empathetic leader’. That’s more general, and can accurately describe people both in and out of the workplace.
People don’t mind a bit of sass in their results, but no quiz taker likes to hear they’re a bad person. (And they’re definitely not going to share their results of your online personality quiz if you’re rude!)
Focus on positive traits that they will recognise in themselves.
Choosing the questions
This is where you get to be sneaky.
Your quiz questions will be multiple choice questions and need to link in some way to the result types. However, don’t make them too close. If you ask ‘How quickly do you make friends?’ in a ‘What kind of cat are you?’ – a user who answers ‘I’m comfortable on my own’ is not going to be surprised to find they are a Siamese.
You want your users to be impressed about the accuracy of their results – but amazed how the quiz figured them out. Obvious questions are too, well, obvious!
Try and craft most of your personality test questions around situations or social behaviour.
Here are some examples of effective situational questions:
- How do you respond in a particular social situation?
- How do you prefer to socialise? In large groups, small groups, one-on-one?
- Your boss shouts at you in the office, how do you react? Shout back, say nothing but get revenge later or cry?
If you can’t think of questions, we’re big fans of sitting in a bar or cafe. Some quality people-watching (and a beer) always gets the creative juices flowing.
(Note – we can’t vouch for what happens after one or two beers… always proofread later when you’re sober!) 😉
How many questions in a personality test?
Here are some our favorite tips and tricks for creating an effective personality test:
- Eight to ten questions tends to be the ideal length.
- Each question should have 3-5 answer options.
- That’s long enough for the scoring system to work well, without users (especially those playing on their smartphones) getting bored.
- Four answers per question are best – so they appear on a smartphone without scrolling.
- Don’t be afraid to switch to three choices or five for variety.
Check our ‘9 reasons your quiz sucks – and how to fix it’ post – full of easy fixes to most common quiz or personality test issues.
Step 3: Scoring your quiz questions
Riddle’s personality test maker lets you give different weights to each answer (none, weak, normal, and strong), with a range of 21 options for maximum flexibility.
- 0: No association
- 1-7: Weak association
- 8-14: Medium association
- 15-20: Strong association
At the end of the personality quiz, our system counts up the points for each result type – then assigns the user the particular result with the most points.
Think of them as points – the more strongly you associate an answer with a particular result of your personality test, the more likely the user will get that at the end.
Don’t be afraid to have a question associated with no result types. It’s good for keeping users guessing – personality tests that are too predictable are boring. Plus, people will figure out how to ‘game’ your personality test – if they can predict which answers will give them a certain result.
Asking slightly random questions keeps things interesting. For example, in our “What color is your personality?” quiz, we ask “If you were given a free car, what type would you choose?”.
We left the scoring blank – because the fact that someone prefers a SUV to a convertible doesn’t really apply to our quiz. But – and here’s the kicker – the audience doesn’t know that!
Now, we know that it can be a challenge to think of questions and answers that can apply to the whole range of result types.
It sometimes helps to think of people you know – or even pop culture characters – who fit the result type.
For example, in our ‘What’s your management style?’ example – you could turn to the classic TV sitcom ‘Friends’ and think of each character – and what type of manager they were on the show:
- Monica – obviously is ‘Authoritarian’, with her leadership style both at work and at her apartment.
- Rachel would be more ‘Collaborative’ – she’s very good at working with people to get the job done.
Get out of your head and into theirs!
Step 4: Optimize and improve your personality test
Awesome – so you’ve finished your quiz masterpiece. Now what?
Riddle’s quiz maker has powerful statistic tools so you can see what’s working with your quiz – and what’s not.
Check out the ‘Analyze’ step of your Riddle
Check out a robust statistics module in your personality test (we call it ‘Analyze’) – so you can easily see how well your personality test is performing.
- How many of your ‘views’ (everyone who lands on the page with your quiz embedded) actually ‘start’ your personality test?
- If that ratio is low, try a different title or main image – just like the cover of a book, you need to catch their attention.
- What about quiz completions?
- If your quiz is below 65-70%, check out the ‘drop off’ graph. If you find one question is causing users to leave, try editing or removing it.
Want to see an example personality quiz?
Our partners are constantly creating awesome personality tests. And sometimes the fastest way to create a quiz is to be inspired by the works of others.
So, without further ado – here are some of the most creative uses we’ve seen for a personality test:
- BBC Sport teamed up with the Game of Thrones for their Get Inspired campaign in their “What’s your Game of Thrones sport?”.
- Shopify powers their blog with interactive content, like the “What Type of Entrepreneur Are You?”.
- Choice Hotels uses quizzes like “What city should be your next travel getaway?” to help their customers discover new holiday options.
How to publish your personality test?
This is the easy part. You can use Riddle’s quiz maker to quickly create and publish your personality test – with or without a lead generation form.
- Embed it on your WordPress site (or use our handy WordPress plugin)
- Copy/paste the code into any CMS (like Squarespace, Wix, and any others)
That’s about it – the only thing left is to just get out there and starting building your own online personality quiz!
Have a question about how to write the perfect personality test?
Just let give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org – every one of our team of quiz maker experts (including our CEO Boris) race each other to respond to every message. (Seriously – there’s a beer prize involved every month.)
Want to make a quiz with right and wrong answers, instead of a personality test? Check out our tips on creating effective and engaging quizzes.
Oh, and finally, and most importantly… have fun. 🙂
– Mike and Boris, Riddle founders
Our quiz gurus put together these more in-depth posts about the secrets behind personality test creation – including using the OCEAN and Enneagram models.
- Make an OCEAN (or ‘Big 5’) personality test: We’ve already mentioned this in the post – but it’s worth repeating. The OCEAN model uses the Big 5 personality traits to provide results that apply to any quiz taker. Our team highly recommends this approach for your personality test.
- Create an Enneagram test: Using the Enneagram for your personality test can be a powerful way to deliver insightful results for your audience. It takes a bit more work to dive in and understand it fully – but it’s well worth your time. (Learn more)
Download our free e-book “Quiz Master”
This article just gives you a highlight overview of what it takes to write the perfect online personality quiz.
But there is so much more science behind this. We’re big quiz geeks – and wrote a book around using personality tests and quizzes to growth hack your marketing.
- What the OCEAN personality types are and how you can use them to your advantage
- How to come up with non scoring questions that make your test so much better
- How to make money from your quiz (there are more than just one way to do that.. you might be surprised)
You can just download the free PDF here – no email or sign up required.
While the book uses Riddle for many examples, it will work with just about any other quiz maker out there as well.