You might have seen posts like this one from Drift where companies discuss their amazing new idea about un-gating content ie no more forms to be filled out in order to access ebooks and the like. There’s a follow up here, and then an Inbound.org discussion where other marketers chime in.
A few thoughts:
- if this works for Drift, that’s great, but don’t assume it will work for you
- for Drift the exposure they’ve gained from their article is likely producing tons more signups than any of their forms for content assets ever would have, so it’s a nice campaign they’ve put together here. But don’t assume it will work for you
- MailChimp did this ages ago as well, and have had a lot of success. But they are a huge brand, so don’t assume it will also work for you
- David Meerman Scott has been offering free, un-gated ebooks for close to a decade (get them here) and it very effectively builds his personal brand, but don’t assume it will work for you
- If you offer a free trial for your product, then un-gating everything else might work for (ie don’t get in the prospect’s way)
- But if you offer a high-end product with a long sales cycle, then don’t assume it will work for you
- And if you offer a consulting service that works well with a nurture sequence, then don’t assume un-gating all your content assets will work for you
Ultimately it’s about value. If you offer something unique and compelling enough, then asking for an email address is a fair trade. Giving it away for free might actually work against you – your reader might de-value not only the content, but your overall offering as well.
Think carefully before suddenly changing your lead generation strategy.