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My initial thought was to have this built as a form with just those two fields, but as far my understanding goes, you cannot capture custom field data until a lead is known.
That's true, but actually any form post can create a lead even if you haven't asked the lead for their email address. For example, you can use their Munchkin cookie value as their email address: I call this a pending lead. You will have a problem (not an unsolvable problem, but one to be aware of) when you do ask for their email address, since you'll have to make sure the email address is added to the previously pending lead as opposed to creating a new lead.
I'm not suggesting that you do this, but just putting out there FYI.
You don't even need JS (though I always use JS for everything I can). In Form Editor, you can set the Thank You URL based on posted form data.
Outside of that, I was thinking of just making buttons with utm parameters and have a smart campaign that eventually adds this demographic data to the lead once the lead becomes known. But to do this, the lead will have to make itself known within 90 days to take advantage of the data. That's a large enough window to make it worthwhile, but I'm still curious if there's a better way to go about this that isn't bound to the 90-day expiration on "Visits web page" data.
Insight from anyone else currently doing something similar would be greatly appreciated.
Save the interesting data to cookies and add hidden fields to your forms that AutoFill from those cookies. The cookies can expire whenever you choose, or not at all. Using cookies to persist the lead's conversion path is common practice.
Thanks, Sanford. Don't know how I overlooked the "add choice" button in the form builder this whole time.
As far as using the munchkin cookie value as a hidden field, would that uniformly cause an issue when trying to eventually merge email into that existing lead record, or would it more so just occur if the lead is engaging on multiple devices anonymously before they convert with contact information?
... or would it more so just occur if the lead is engaging on multiple devices anonymously before they convert with contact information?
It'll occur even with a single device. When a Munchkin session is associated with a lead, identifying a new lead (by email address in this case) will switch the association. Therefore what you need to do is present the lead with a surrogate email field (not literally Email, though it'll look the same to them) and then set Email = SurrogateEmail in a flow.
If you truly plan on going down this path for personalizing your website, you could have a look at RTP since what you are describing is exactly what it does. Infer information about the person and show different things based on that information.