Gating content rethink


As always, a good post from David, where he thinks through the right approach for gating content (ie making you fill out a form before you can access a piece of content, usually an ebook or whitepaper).

A few thoughts that stood out for me from his post:

  • don’t gate crappy content
  • don’t ask for more than you need
  • make it easy to sign up

The crappy content point is interesting – it’s strange (to me) that companies still produce crappy content at all, never mind gating it. But we’ve all experienced that disappointment – the promise of a useful resource, followed by the remorse of a useless anchor. Not only did they waste your time, but they set their brand experience into the negative.

Let’s assume that crappy content isn’t something you do.

What about asking for too much on your forms? I have a few thoughts about this. On one hand I agree with David – don’t ask for stuff you’re never going to use. On the other, I see benefit in using it as a qualifier.

Here’s an example: let’s say you are in the fortunate position where your site is generating tons of leads. How do you quickly filter them down to just the high intent leads… Sure, you could use nurture sequences and lead scoring, etc. Or, one quick option is to make your forms a big hurdle – that only the most interested get over.

I’m not necessarily recommending this, but I am highlighting it as an option.

Finally, making sure it is easy to sign up. This point is almost the opposite of what I’ve just mentioned above. And here’s where the difference lies. For simple, top of the funnel, low intent, low touch contacts, letting them easily sign up to your newsletter (or whatever) with a minimum of fuss is a good approach. But don’t send those contacts to your sales team, and don’t expect anything from them yet. Only when they hit your higher intent hurdles (ie see above) are they worth connecting with in a deeper way.

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