You want to know your user’s profile: his preferences and behavior based attributes. The two conventional approaches today are to either ask him or make guesses based on his behavior. Both have flaws.
Combine the two and iterate. If you already have some concrete ideas about the user, based on his behavior, show him what you think he is interested in, then ask him to help by telling you where you are wrong, inaccurate, missing facts, etc.
Some theorize that it’s not the influence that makes the change in your subjects’ mind but what they tell themselves in their minds after the get your message. It will be beneficial if you knew what it was and if it’s negative or positive.
A mechanism that detects that a visitor to your web page (a sales letter, opt-in page, etc.) is about to act (leave your website as an example), and pops up an overlay on the page that asks them to give a short input to different sections on the page (different influence techniques). You explain that it would help you to better provide what you are offering (you can provide an incentive.) The object of this is to get them to tell you their self-talk – what they are saying to themselves – so you can see if it’s negative, and use that to improve your on-page influence techniques. They can see the original page and new boxes under each section where they can write what they think.
Get a constant stream of people who answer surveys.
Place these kiosks where a lot of people come through. Make it a game. Some game elements can be:
– Have the surveys done in a delightful and different way each time.
– People who play and give an identification (email or phone number) get to be on a leaderboard of most surveys done, within a period of time, most questions answered etc.
– Allow participants to view on the spot or get the results by email.