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September 2, 2011

Content Gating: Quid Pro Quo

“He who wants to do good knocks at the gate; he who loves finds the gate open.” – Rabindranath Tagore

Content gating, do you know something about it?

Technically, it’s that thing you do as an online marketer to force potential clients or prospects to reveal their contact details first in order to get free downloadable content. You literally put up some sort of gate to block any interested person to automatically get free content without getting something in return for it. There is a Latin maxim that can perfectly describe this: quid pro quo, which literally means “this for that” or “something for something.”

Content gating is one of the most popular ploys that online marketers or entrepreneurs use to build an email list. It’s a white hat marketing practice but the thing is; it may not really be helping you in your business at all!

Ericka Chikowski wrote an article for the Entrepreneur magazine called, “Why You Shouldn’t Wall Off Your Web Content”. David Meerman Scott, a marketing strategist, mentioned that marketers who are practicing this kind of content gating are harming their business instead of improving it!

Here is a quote taken from the article:

The author of Real-Time Marketing and PR, Scott believes content gating doesn’t make for a good getting-to-know-you phase between marketers and potential customers. “I liken it to a singles bar where some guy comes up to you and says, ‘What’s your phone number?’ without even introducing himself. It sets up an adversarial relationship,” Scott says. Instead, consider collecting information after prospects get a taste of your expertise — and realize how much they can learn from you.

Scott has found that ungated content gets between 20 and 50 times more downloads. He says a gated piece of content that would be downloaded 2,000 times could skyrocket up to 100,000 downloads if you open the lock. So in what way do we ask for their information? Put up a secondary offer at the end of that freebie. But before prospects can view that webinar or download the next PDF, they’ll need to pony up their e-mail address. Assuming that only 5% of the 100,000 takes up your offer, you will still get around 5,000 leads.

And, adds Scott, “you will definitely know that they have read the white paper you sent them. I had a few conversations with sales people and they said that they prefer someone who has already read the white paper and wants to know more about it than someone who just gave out his/her e-mail address, got the white paper, and has never read it.”

So, should you or should you not do content gating? I’d really love to hear the comments of those who are practicing this and those who do not.

Online Marketer Elmar Sandyck Is Giving Free Online Tips On How To Use Content Gating. Learn All About It By Visiting