The principle "There’s no such thing as a free lunch" is evident when it comes to "free" online content. In exchange for a free blog, article, white paper, or ebook, businesses usually request users to either register or leave their contact information.
In doing so, you no longer have "free" content, but rather gated content. A recent Business 2 Community article talks about other instances in which businesses give out gated content:
"Gated content is the idea of giving away free information to help a buyer in the exchange for contact information. Examples of gated content that users may need to provide contact information to receive include; ebooks or whitepapers, infographics, instant video demos, among others. Gating content allows inbound marketers to capture target audiences as they move along the buyers cycle through education."
The idea itself is fine; customers don’t have to pay anything and get free content. In turn, businesses get to add another email address to their database.
The problem is that gated content screams one thing and one thing only: SPAM. Many people are hesitant to give their email address out because they don’t want to start receiving new promotional emails. They’re typically on their second, third, or even fourth email account and don’t want this one to end up like their first AOL one.
In fact, some people would rather not read your content at all if it means giving up contact information. So you have to ask yourself if the trade-off of less readers is worth the few email addresses you’ll actually get.
It usually isn’t. That’s why we don’t recommend businesses to keep their content gated — at least not at first. Once you have a great brand reputation in terms of content creation, then you can start requiring contact information.
To talk more about gated content, or anything else, contact us today.