Should You Gate Your Content?

by Morgan Alverson | Mar 15, 2022

You’ve spent a lot of time creating valuable content for your audience. Maybe it’s a whitepaper. Maybe it’s a detailed guide or video. Whatever it is, you know you want to put it on your website or a landing page to deliver it to your audience…but should you gate your content? Meaning, should you require an email first before they can see/download it? Or do you just give it for free?

Great question.

The answer, though not really complicated, requires you to answer one thing first.

What’s your goal? 

Is your goal to gather a list of potential prospects? Or is your goal to deliver value to a list of prospects you’ve already identified?

If you don’t have any emails/contacts, or a list to work with, and your campaign is set out to a broader audience to see who might be interested, you should gate the content. For example, you’re targeting all CEOs in Atlanta with your campaign. This allows you to begin collecting information of prospects who are interested enough to download but not to the point of reaching out to you just yet.

However, if you have a list of potential prospects that you’re targeting (like an ABM campaign), then you should not gate the content. For example, you have a list of specific CEOs in Atlanta that you definitely want to work with. You have already identified your prospects and already have their email. You know you want to work with them. Provide them that valuable content without requiring an email to see it.

Identify your goal first, because that is what will determine everything else. 

Keep in mind that you can always test. You could set up a test using a tool like Google Optimize, or you can try gating the content for a few months to see what happens. If no one is filling out their email to download, you might want to make it available without needing an email. And if they still aren’t downloading it, look at the content surrounding that download – is it enticing them to want to download? 

Most importantly, make sure the content you are providing, gated or not, provides value to your audience. The worst thing that can happen here is your audience gives you their email for a download and finds it is in NO WAY valuable. All trust in you is lost at that point.

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 by Morgan Alverson

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