Can you remember the last time you were on a website that failed to offer you a guide, coupon, ebook, white paper or something else in exchange for your contact info? (And no, Facebook doesn’t count.) If you spend a good amount of time on the internet, it’s likely you run into a dozen of these every day (I actually have a library of “free” content offers collecting dust on my hard drive). The practice of generating leads through gated content offers, also known as lead magnets, has become so widespread that if you don’t encounter a pop-up or slide-in form during your visit, you might get the feeling something’s missing.
As a marketer, you might click these things away out of habit. But the pervasiveness of this trend testifies to the fact that they do work—or at least they’re working on someone. The fact is, many of the leads generated by such offers are fake (i.e. people using bogus email addresses). This is becoming easier to do with more temporary email address services becoming available. And on top of that, if these offers incorporate intrusive overlays, they tend to drive most people crazy. So, the question is whether the advantages of gating your content outweigh the disadvantages. Are the leads you’re gathering really worth the damage to your user experience? More importantly, are you really getting the most out of your content assets if they’re sitting behind a form?
In this blog, we’ll explore the pros and cons of gating content so that you can decide for yourself which option is best for your business.
Arguments For Gating
- Generating Inbound Leads
The most obvious argument for putting your content behind a form is that it gives you the opportunity to collect contact information from your visitors. Few website visitors are willing to give you their email addresses for nothing. But bribing them (or what should really be called a value exchange) with a quality piece of content is an effective way to get them in. If a visitor is interested enough to download an ebook or white paper and is even willing to give up contact information, it’s likely they’re a good candidate for further sales and marketing engagements.
- Coming Across as Premium
In the mind of a consumer, quality is almost always connected to price. If you have to pay for something, you will inevitably attach more value to it than if you received it for free. The same principle is applicable to your content assets. In a sense, users are “paying” with their contact details. The mere fact that they must fill out a form to get your ebook, white paper or brochure will cause them to attribute greater value to it and see it as more authoritative.
- Gauging the Level of Interest in Your Content
Gating your assets allows you to determine just how much your readers want your content—especially if you perform some testing. If you begin Go to the full article.