Outgrow has been around as a quiz maker since 2016. Founded by Randy Rayess and Pratham Mittal, their motto is “Trying to reinvent marketing”. As they put it: “Customers today want to be helped. Not sold to.”
And they’re doing a fairly good job of it – Outgrow is a flexible marketing platform built around calculators, quizzes, and other interactive content. The focus is having potential customers engage more deeply with a company through quizzes – as an informational and lead generation tool.
One big note though – if you’re serving traffic to anyone in the European Union, even if you’re based outside the EU, you should be very cautious about using Outgrow. They track and collect a wide range of personally identifiable information from your quiz takers – even if they choose to opt-out. That leaves you open to significant fines from the EU – up to 20 million euros or 4% of your revenue, whichever is larger. Ouch. (Jump to our GDPR risk assessment @ Outgrow.)
Updated: July 21, 2020 – We just found out that your quizzes are not ‘always live’ on Outgrow. If you decide to cancel, they charge you a ‘maintenance plan of around 50% of your monthly subscription cost to keep them on your site. Otherwise, all your work will be deleted – forever.
True – it’s better than Qzzr’s ‘delete all content’ approach, but much worse than Riddle’s policy of keeping all quizzes up and running for former subscribers. We’re not fans – it feels like they’re holding your quizzes hostage, vs. being confident of offering true value.
Quiz Maker Review’s rating for Outgrow:
- Range of quiz formats: ★★★☆☆
- Customization options: ★★★☆☆
- Lead generation: ★★★★☆
- Data privacy: ★★☆☆☆
- Pricing: ★★☆☆☆
- Overall: ★★★☆☆
Outgrow: Quiz types
Outgrow has a fairly good range of contents. Their main focus was around customizable calculators – so quiz takers could enter their information and find out more about mortgages, car loans, and the like.
But they’ve since expanded their range – featuring eight content types:
- Outcome quiz
- eCommerce recommendation
- Numerical calculator
- Form or survey
Outgrow also features an outcome quiz – it’s often called a ‘personality test’ by most other quiz makers.
The idea is straightforward; each quiz taker answers a series of questions and gets an overall result at the end. It can be light-hearted, such as “Which 80’s pop star are you?”. However this mechanic can also be used for quite serious goals as well – we’ve seen quizzes such as “Are you depressed?” created by medical marketers or “What kind of investor are you?” by financial planners.
Outgrow’s outcome quiz is pretty basic at best.
You type a question, then map each answer to a result. However, unlike other examples we’ve seen, it’s all or nothing – you can’t introduce subtle gradations.
For example, in our example “What kind of manager are you?”, our test taker answered ‘Rarely’ to how often they delegate work. That gave one point to ‘Authoritarian’.
However, many quiz makers support the option of ‘points’ so you could assign 10 points to the ‘Authoritarian’ result, but also 5 points to, say, ‘Indecisive’. This leads to a more nuanced, powerful quiz tool – that can handle shades of grey, not just stark black/white outcomes.
Outgrow does support logic jumps (only in their top two plans). We’re big fans of the capability – it allows you to skip questions that don’t apply. For example, a quiz about depression could skip any follow up pregnancy/postnatal mental health questions for each quiz taker who answered ‘Are you a man or woman?’
But overall, the lack of scoring flexibility will be a bit of a limiting factor for many quiz creators and marketers.
This is a clever – if rather poorly executed – format from Outgrow. The E-commerce recommendation is a modification of the standard personality test – but configured around recommending the right products to each user’s tastes.
A big plus: Outgrow lets you sync your products from Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce and others – you can drive people to the right purchase page on your site, for easy conversion.
We love the concept – but found it very confusing to link questions and the answers to various products. For example, imagine we have two types of sunglasses in our online store, so we ask a question like “What shape head do you have?”.
Normally, we’d want to map people who answered ‘round head’ to product A, while ‘square’ would get mapped to product B.
But the user interface was very confusing – even for our team of quiz experts. After trying multiple attempts, we simply gave up.
This is Outgrow’s strong suit and is very well done. Their calculator format is highly customizable for a range of use cases, and is worth a look for marketers.
Why? Calculators provide immediate value to visitors – they enter their information, and receive a personal result around their particular circumstances.
And as a lead generation tool, calculators mean that you can collect all that data for each lead – things like income, budget, and other qualifying questions.
However – it’s also not very easy to get started; Outgrow’s user-interface is pretty complicated and cluttered.
We’re highly experienced using quiz maker software – and it took us 10 minutes to figure out how to actually configure the calculator’s mathematical features, and another 15-20 to sort out the right formulas for our hypothetical mortgage calculator.
But if you can persevere, the builder is really powerful.
You ask a series of questions – and choose how the visitor can enter information, including dropdown, sliders, or text and numbers.
We like how they’ve made their quiz builder ‘click and build’ – and also feature IF logic statements. The bonus? Your calculator can be adapted to a wide range of projects.
This type of format is often just called a ‘quiz’ or ‘pop quiz’ by most other quiz creators. It involves answering a series of questions, each with right or wrong answers. At the end of the quiz, each user gets a score based on their results – such as “You got 5/7 correct!”.
Outgrow does a solid job here – their quizzes support single and multiple choice answers. However we would have liked them to also allow users to type in answers directly (free text entry) – that’s a key feature we’re seeing more and more companies use.
Outgrow also lets you provide different answer explanations the quiz taker – depending if you got the question right or wrong (e.g. “Not quite, the real reason is X, Y, an Z.”)
However, you can’t gate answers or results until after the lead generation form. That’s a key weakness – marketers often want to collect email addresses.
Holding off showing each question’s right/wrong answer incentivizes lead generation – people will give their email address to move on to see their quiz results.
We also noted that each question has the same value. It would be useful to add flexible scoring – so hard questions could be worth more points than easy ones.
That’s especially useful for knowledge-checking and competitions.
Another classic interactive format, polls are excellent, easy to create engagement widgets. You ask your audience their opinion about any sort of topic – which turns them from passive readers into active participants. They stay longer on your site, plus you can also use polls as a lead generation tool.
Outgrow’s poll module is pretty solid.
On the plus side, you can ask multiple questions – and have any number of answer options, complete with images or text.
The downside is that all questions are single choice – so you can only ask “Pick your favorite” questions.
We prefer a more flexible tool, where you can also give multiple votes (e.g. “Select your top 3 reasons…”) and also let users rank their preferences (“Rank the Star Wars films from best to worst”).
But for basic, standard poll questions – Outgrow’s poll module will more than do the job.
This is a good idea from Outgrow. It’s essentially a personality test (or ‘outcome quiz’) but presented as an engaging chatbot for your audience.
Just like the assessment quiz, you go through and create a series of questions. You then map each response to a different result. At the end of the quiz, user receives the result with the most mapped responses.
In this example template, we could ask event attendees about which networking event they should attend, based on their career level, personality, and so on.
We love the idea – but as with the assessment quiz, we would have preferred much more flexibility in scoring/mapping the results.
Someone who indicates ‘To meet a lot of people’ might be a 100% match for result A, but a 70% match for result B.
Outgrow only lets you assign weighting as an all or nothing – mapping both would indicate the user felt the same about both.
This was probably the weakest of Outgrow’s content types. The idea is a good one – marketers often need an easy-to-create, transparent way to create contests and award prizes online.
But the giveaway is essentially just a glorified lead generation form. Users can sign up for the contest – and also earn extra reward points for sharing on social and the like.
However, it’s not clear how the reward points factor into winning the prizes. Does the person with the most points win (or get more chances)?
That’s the intuitive answers – but it’s not apparent to the audience. And any confusion by the audience results in lower completion rates.
We were disappointed by the limited mechanics of the contests.
Quiz contests can be quite powerful. Establishing a minimum threshold for entry is a great way to get more repeat visits (e.g. Answer 90%+ right for a chance to win!). Plus, you’ll see more social sharing from successful entrants – people love to brag about how smart they are.
Most quiz makers will give you more flexibility – and connect quiz outcomes to the contest itself. Riddle, in particular, does this quite well.
Form / survey
The form/survey module is essentially 100% about information gathering – and doesn’t provide an outcome for the audience. The quiz flow has the audience answer a number of questions – then receive a ‘thank you for participating’ message.
It’s not big on ‘discovery’ by the audience – but this is still a highly useful module for marketers – who can use it for market research, community engagement, help in product development, and more.
Outgrow makes a good start with their survey tool – we especially like the range of question types, including grids, sliders, and free text.
However, our team were all stumped when trying to figure out how to export a simple list of all users – and their survey responses.
Most quiz maker tools we review all include a CSV and XLS file export option, for easy import into other programs like Excel for further analysis.
This oversight, or perhaps just bad user interface design, is a pretty big weakness for Outgrow’s survey tool.
Outgrow: Customization and Publishing
We had two very different reactions when trying Outgrow out. At first glance, we were big fans – Outgrow has a modern, crisp interface.
They organize the quiz process into four steps:
However, diving in deeper and creating quizzes proved surprisingly confusing. Outgrow has added a good range of options and flexibility – but at the cost of giving their quiz maker one seriously confusing layout.
Take a look at their ‘build’ step, for example. Content elements are on the left, and a vertical bar with four sub-sections and a very (!) long list of options on the right.
Now take a look at Outgrow’s configure page; it uses a different navigation scheme – with 10 sections, each with upwards of 6-8 subsections.
We found ourselves poking around in lots of places trying to figure where things were.
Outgrow tries to help with video ‘how to’ pop ups, seemingly at every turn. They are of some use- but we prefer software with a more intuitive design. This lowers the learning curve for your team of creators – and gets you up and running as fast as possible.
Creating a quiz is just the start; it’s also important that it matches both your brand and your site’s look and feel. Each quiz maker takes a different approach to how much customziation they allow – beyond their standard quiz layouts.
Outgrow features a good range of different layouts and templates – each of which can be customized in terms of colors, images, and the like. We like their color palettes – both preset and customized.
They also feature a good selection of fonts to choose from. However, they do not feature the ability to upload your custom fonts to a quiz. For brands, publishers, and clients, this could be a deal-breaker.
CSS and HTML editing is also possible – but only on their Business plan (@ $720 a month). That will be out of reach of many marketers.
Like most quiz makers, Outgrow lets you collect leads in each quiz format. On the plus side, we like how they give you the option to ask quiz taker’s for their name and info at the start of the quiz.
However, you’re limited in that this is the only option – they don’t also support the more traditional placement between the last question and the user’s results.
Our research indicates that this is the best place to collect leads – quiz takers are more emotionally invested after answering all the questions.
One other note – their lead form options are fairly limited to name, email, and contact details. You can’t also ask additional qualification questions using things like dropdowns, radio buttons, and the link.
And for the geeky among you – they also do not support hidden text and hidden URL fields, to help track lead sources.
Outgrow’s team has obviously put a lot of effort into building integrations between their software and many of the most common marketing tools around. At the time of this review, they feature something like 15 integrations, including MailChimp, Hubspot, and more:
Two cautionary notes:
- Outgrow limits Pardot, Eloqua, and Marketo integrations to their top-tier Business plan – which costs $720 a month (or $7,200 a year under their annual plan).
- Webhooks are also a premium top-tier feature. This is a bit surprising – as webhooks let you directly import quiz leads and data. It is not technically very difficult, and something we often see included in all plans from various quiz makers.
Quizzes are inherently social and are some of the most shared content around. People love to discover new things about themselves, and then share their results with their friends.
Outgrow supports a good range of social networks – including Facebook, Twitter, Messenger, and WhatsApp.
However, social networks aren’t the same. Savvy marketers will often use different messages and hashtags for each platform.
Outgrow only allows ‘one message fits all’ – you can customize the message that will appear on every network.
This is one of Outgrow’s core strengths – beyond the standard ‘embed in a web page’, we liked how they let you embed in both a webpage but also in pop-ups, chat programs, side bars, and more.
Two knocks on Outgrow here though.
- Clicking ‘Go live’ resulted in a fairly long lag to push changes live.
- Quizzes are very slow to load. In our tests, loading our quiz took from 8-20 seconds across a range of browsers – even on a fast internet connection. This could really hurt conversions – as today’s audiences expect and demand faster-loading content.
Once your shiny quiz is up and running – you’ll of course want to measure and see how effective it is.
You’ll want to track the entire funnel – from how many people encountered the quiz to how many started, finished, shared it, as well as opted-in to your lead form.
Outgrow has a good analytics module – with customized date ranges, and key metrics for the quiz marketer.
PDF reports are a nice touch – but that also only available on their most expensive plans.
Outgrow: GDPR Review
This is a new era of data privacy regulation. The EU imposed their GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in 2018, and California followed with the CCPA in 2020. Both impose steep fines on violations – no matter where your company is based.
The bottom line? Outgrow’s quizzes are not GDPR-safe – either through using their link or their embed code.
(We’re big, big data privacy geeks – especially after the Cambridge Analytica quiz data debacle.)
GDPR: Sharing via Outgrow’s quiz link
After you publish your quiz, if you use the link Outgrow provides, they load both a Facebook Pixel and a Google Analytics tracker – without getting user consent from your audience.
The Facebook pixel is especially troublesome, as you are not allowed to track visitors with their pixel without your quiz taker’s express consent to do so.
GDPR: Sharing via embedding on your site
The same is true when using Outgrow’s embed code.
Outgrow’s Facebook Pixel and their Google Analytics tag are both loaded. This means that Outgrow will be able to track your users, build custom audiences on Facebook and re-target your users for their own marketing efforts.
True, you will see a cookie warning when you visit a page with an Outgrow quiz on it. But, the cookies are loaded before you even get the chance to accept. So this warning is essentially just for show.
Global personal information stored in the US
At the time of writing this review (July 2020), Outgrow states that they have not completed the registration under the Privacy Shield, which makes it impossible for any European customer to legally use them.
See: https://outgrow.co/global-data-privacy-policy/ – Privacy Shield Frameworks
There’s a basic contradiction here.
Bottom line? If you will be serving your quizzes to users from the EU or any other country with decent privacy laws, you should stay away from using Outgrow. (At a bare minimum, you will need to block EU traffic from your quizzes to avoid liability issues.
Outgrow is one of the more expensive quiz builders out there. They feature four plans – ranging from $22 to $720 a month, based on features and traffic.
White labelling: Adding your own logo (or hiding the quiz software’s branding) is a popular feature for any business.
Outgrow’s approach was a bit of a surprise. We would expect the entry level plan to include outgrow branding. That’s industry-standard.
However, you can’t even hide the Outgrow branding with their ‘Freelancer’ option @ $45 a month.
Traffic and lead volume: Outgrow also limits how many quizzes you can create, and how many monthly leads you gather by plan. Even the ‘Essentials’ plan @ $115 a month has a limit of 7,500 leads.
Quizzes are a unique form of marketing. You can never predict which quizzes will go viral. Having caps can leave you open to cost overruns to pay for the extra traffic.
We much prefer the ‘unlimited’ pricing model we’ve seen used by Riddle and a few other quiz makers. You pay entirely on features vs. placing a limit on the numbers of quizzes or leads; simple and easy to plan budgets around.
We always like to start with the positives in our quiz reviews.
Outgrow is a highly capable, but expensive quiz maker – with a solid range of eight content formats, all with lead generation. We’re big fans of the many layout types, and the wide range of options to customize and tweak your quiz to suit your needs.
And of course, Outgrow shines when it comes to data integration with common marketing software, as well giving quiz creators an excellent set of publishing options for things like pop-ups.
However, we were let down by Outgrow’s confusing interface and design. They seemed to have gone ‘all in’ on adding lots and lots of options – but at the cost of making it quite difficult for the marketer to get quickly up and running.
It’s a classic rule of good web design – your product should explain itself.
If you need ‘how to’ videos popping up at every turn, your interface is not as intuitive as it should be.
On the lead generation side, the lack of form options also will limit the range and type of questions you want to ask of each lead (e.g. salary, ‘How many times do you fly a year?’, or what have you.)
Their pricing is also a bit expensive – and strict, charging not only by features but limiting how many quizzes you can make and leads per month.
And finally, in this era of data privacy regulation, like the EU’s GDPR and California’s CCPA, we would advise extreme caution in using Outgrow.
Their use of tracking technologies like Google Analytics and Facebook Pixels, plus storing personal data in the USA (without completing their Privacy Shield application) leave you liable for expensive fines and reputational risk.
Quiz Maker Review rating for Outgrow:
- Range of quiz formats: ★★★☆☆
- Customization options: ★★★☆☆
- Lead generation: ★★★★☆☆
- Data privacy: ★★☆☆☆
- Pricing: ★★★☆☆
- Overall: ★★★☆☆