Zephr User Guide

Incremental Data Capture

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At Zephr, we like to talk about key-value exchanges. A key-value exchange is where a business and its customer swap something of value, bettering both parties. In many instances, this exchange is a consumer spending money to purchase a subscription, but we think there are far more use cases for value exchange than a straight monetary transaction. Gaining knowledge about your user, while offering them access to your product, helps you better personalise a user’s experience, and builds loyalty through higher use of your platform.

That’s where Incremental Data Capture comes into play.

Incremental Data Capture

Incremental Data Capture is where we ask for additional information from users in exchange for more access to content. For example, a user may sign up to your site providing only their email address and a password. For signing up, you offer them two free views of content, then ask them to provide their First and Last Name to access an additional two views. This process continues, offering access to content in exchange for first-party user data. The approach lowers the consumer’s barrier to entry, as the forms are kept simple and minimal, whilst it builds a clearer picture of your users, helping to increase ad revenue through better user profiling, or generating a more qualified leads list for your sales team.

Creating a Data Capture Wall

In this guide, we’ll lead you through the steps to create a basic data capture wall within Zephr. For this example, we’ll be displaying forms over article content, and the following journey will occur:

  • Anonymous users will see a registration wall asking for an email address
  • Users who register will be granted two views of article content
  • Once these views have been used, a data capture form will display over all article content, asking for the user’s first name.
  • Users who complete this form will be granted a further two views of article content
  • Once these additional views have been used, a paywall will display

Understanding this simple journey will give you the tools and techniques required to build your own data capture wall, with the ability to add further logic to personalise user journeys.


As a prerequisite to this guide, we recommend you have the following set up:

Note: in this example we will be using out-of-the-box Zephr forms. However, if you are using a different identity provider, you can add your own forms to the component library, or as custom component blocks as alternative journey outcomes.

Registration Wall

To begin, navigate to Products > Features within your Zephr Admin Console and click Add A Feature.

Name this Feature ‘Article’, and select HTML for the Type of Integration. Click Continue.

In the Developer Interface, take note of the Zephr Comment Tag and integrate this to your site, otherwise select CSS Selector and add the CSS Selector relevant to your Article content. Click Update & Lock.

In the Rules Builder, check the canvas is set to the Anonymous user journey, then select Outcomes from the Palette menu, and select Add Outcome.

Title your Outcome ‘Registration Wall’, then create a Registration Form where the only input is Email Address. Email address is available by default on registration forms, so you will just need to add the form to your Outcome Components, name the Form and click Save.

Data Capture - Registration Wall

Back on your Rule Canvas, drag your Registration Wall into your rule, and connect it to the Page View node.

Data Capture - Anonymous Rule

Data Capture Wall

We’re now ready to build a Data Capture Wall. To begin, navigate to the Registered user journey within your Zephr Rule. To help manage the complexity of this journey, we’re going to take advantage of the Zephr Sub Rules feature.

First, grant a two-view Trial for all registered users by selecting Access, then dragging a Trials node onto your canvas. Set this to two views of content per week, and click Save.

Next, select Outcomes and drag the Show Article outcome to your canvas. Connect the In Trial node of your Trial to the Show Article Outcome. We will use this to ensure all users with access to the Trial see the correct content.

For users who have an expired Trial, we now want to run a check to see if we have data for their first name, as we don’t want to ask for details we already have! To do this, we’ll create a Sub Rule. Select Sub Rules from the Rules Palette, then drag Sub Rule onto your canvas. Title your Sub Rule ‘Name Check’ and click Save. A new Rules Canvas will open up.

In this new Sub Rule, select User from the Rule Palette, then drag the User Attribute node onto the canvas.

In the modal that opens, select First Name from the User Attribute list. Set the Condition to Matches, then set the value to ^$|^null$, which will check to see if the user attribute has no information stored against it. Click Save.

Incremental Data Capture - User Attribute Modal

Connect this check to the Start Sub Rule node, then select Sub Rule > Output Option and create a new output option called Name Provided. Connect this to the ‘Yes’ output of your user attribute check. In this journey, if a user has their First Name stored against their profile, they will bypass the Data Capture Wall.

Once you’ve added the Name Provided output, select Outcomes > Add Outcome. Call this new Outcome Data Capture Form, then add a Data Capture Form to your Components by clicking ‘Add a new Form Or Custom Component Block’ and selecting ‘Add Form’. Under Form Type, select Data Capture, then add the First Name user attribute to your form. Set this field to Required to ensure users must provide their first name to continue.

Once complete, click Save, and Save your Outcome.

Drag your newly created Data Capture Outcome onto your canvas, and connect it to the ‘No’ output on your user attribute check. This way, users who have not provided a First Name will see a data capture wall. Click Done to save your Sub Rule.

Data Capture - Name Check Sub Rule

Your Sub Rule will now display as a pink box within your rule canvas. Connect the Trial Expired node of your Trial to the input node of the Name Check Sub Rule.

At this point in the journey, we want to provide an additional two views of content to users who have provided their name. Select Access > Trials and add a new trial of two views of article content and click save. Connect this new Trial to the Name Provided output node on your Sub Rule.

Now, connect the In Trial node to Show Article. With this in place, you now have a check which looks to see if a user’s first name is stored within Zephr. If the user has their first name stored, they will be granted a new Trial. If it is not stored, users will see a Data Capture form over content, until they provide their First Name.


The final step in this journey is to add a Paywall. Select Outcomes > Add Outcome then build a Paywall like usual. Once complete, add this Outcome to your canvas and connect it to the Trial Expired Node for your second Trial.

Your rule will now look like this:

Data Capture - Final Rule


The beauty of Zephr is that the above example can be iterated on in any number of ways. Whilst this guide shows a basic example of offering an additional Trial to users who provide a first name, you could continue to offer Trials in exchange for further information too.

Users may be asked to register with an email address, then receive a data capture form for First Name and Last Name, followed by a data capture form for Job Title and Company, or City and Country, with new views added to their meter for each complete form.

To iterate, try adding new Sub Rules after each granted Trial, asking for different information each time, and test the rule out on your site.

You can also add an A/B Test to the rule, to test conversion rates for users providing additional information, versus those hitting a Paywall after the first Trial.