Have you ever clicked on an intriguing article only to be greeted with a pop up asking for your email address, forcing you to like a page or worse yet asking for your purchasing information? It is accurate to say this has happened to you at least once. Depending on your level of annoyance you may fill in the information or decide to abort the mission and hit your “back” button. Statistics show that most people decide not to proceed.
Companies “gate” their white papers, case studies, etc. because it allows them to better target consumers. By having people fill out this information they will be able to reach their consumers via email or become familiar with their interests. It seems like a no brainer. Companies ask why wouldn’t I do this, it helps curate my consumers?
Before you “Gate” Your Content
David Meerman Scott enlightens the fact that content without a “gate” is likely to be seen by 20 times more people than if it has a “gate”. A “gate” or “wall” heavily limits your audience. It is true without the gate you don’t know your customers as well, but in reality a very small amount of them would fill out the requested information in the first place. What is better 20 potential consumers or 1? Not to mention, this adds up over time.
These statistics are supported by the fact that is unlikely for “gated” content to go viral. Other than the breach of privacy the user feels the, reason why it doesn’t go viral is because it is complicated to share with others. Bloggers who do the majority of sharing, are very unlikely to go through this “gated” process. This takes out a large chunk out of the viral equation. It seems everything points back to the capability to share.
It comes down to weighing the pros and cons. Do you want to possess a small number of your consumer’s information or do you want it to be shareable and read by more people? The purpose in the first place of the case study that your company carefully compiled was probably to gain as much exposure as possible. The information you have to present is probably more effective than the small amount of information you would get in return from the consumer.
Lack of Consumer Information
This is not to say never to ask for consumer’s information. It is to say that you can get to know your consumers by interacting with them through social media interactions. By looking at what is trending, what they are talking about, or even imposing questions. These serve as less invasive strategies to get to know your users.