Gates. Not the white picket fence of the classic American Dream. Nor the Bill of Microsoft. This month we are exploring the practice of gating content. We went team wide to collect feedback on how our team members view gating.

What is a gate?

Simply put a gate is a contact form which is a required to unlock content. Across the marketing field there are heated debates regarding the ethics of using gates versus forms and the impacts of locking up your content.

Check out some of the agency team’s feelings on gating. Our first insight is from our newest team member, Amy!

Gate when you want to capture valuable lead information and also demonstrate the value of your content.

Consider your end goal and if the content is gate-worthy. If you need to increase sales leads, then you should gate accordingly. Users will feel like they’re getting something they find valuable. If you’re going for brand awareness or number of views/downloads, go the un-gated route.

-Amy

If the content alleviates the person’s pain, gate it. Good examples are templates, courses, and guide books. If it’s purely informational – a brochure, sales/data sheet, or “let-me-tell-you-about-my-company” video let it be free.

 

Will the person downloading this think: “Wow, they gave that away for free? It must’ve cost them thousands to make.” Or, “I would’ve gladly given them $7 for this stuff.” If not, don’t bother gating it. Basically it comes down to is the person giving you their information getting their money’s worth? They’re submitting their personal information and risking spam. So if you’re going to make them jump through hoops to get your content, it better be worth it.

-Steve
If you’re planning on gating content, it better be worth it. For example, an eBook, that took a lot of time and effort to create could be good content to gate. If you choose to gate something a customer can easily find elsewhere for free, you can be sure that they do.

Gating content can be a great way to get consumer information; It can also be a great way to annoy people. Use your best judgement.

-Michelle

As a marketer, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the email alert that says you have a new form submission.  But that doesn’t mean you should gate every single piece of content on your website and landing pages.

 

If it’s content that can be found almost anywhere or content that is meant to align to someone very early in the buying process, you should avoid gating.

-Greg

There are certain times when it is appropriate to gate and certain times when it is not. If you are trying to generate leads early in the sales cycle and the information is valuable and can’t be found anywhere else for free then that’s an appropriate time to gate the content.

Don’t gate every piece of content that you produce. People should want to fill out your form, they shouldn’t feel forced into it.

-Sam

NEVER! Content is meant to be shared, digested and loved!!! “Hmmm… This ebook looks interesting.” is not the same as “Hmmm… I want to be emailed every month by these people for the rest of forever.

We only produce free range content people!!! If our content is truly good and valuable than people will want to work with us and reach out on their own. *cough* inbound leads *cough* *cough*

-Tim

I don’t think there’s an exact time where it’s ok and not ok to gate content, (I understand gating produces contacts so I’m all for doing so if desired) however the length of the gate matters! If I’m reading an article that has “Free infographic” or “Download our eBook” in the headline, I will absolutely click the article to read the content. Nothing grinds my gears more then being midway through reading and a lengthy form pops up where I have to give my address and unborn child’s name in order to keep reading!

 

If you’re going to gate- keep it simple and relevant. Asking for a name and email address gives you just enough information to follow up on the lead, where you can then find out more.

-Kelly

If you’re offering some really valuable content, I think that having a light gate can be really useful. Nowadays, you don’t need a ton of information to make contact with someone. Just a name and email address can really open the door to a new prospect.

 

Though, offering content for free can help build your brand and costumer loyalty. It really all depends on what you’re looking for to grow your business; nurturing leads that you already have or searching for new ones.

-Annie

So what are your principles when it comes to gating content? Share your thoughts below.
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