Your email list is a powerful lead generation tool, so it makes sense that you would want to do everything you can to get as many signups as possible. However, you also need to consider the value that you’re providing to all your website visitors, whether they sign up for your list or not. If you’re keeping all your whitepapers, ebooks, and other assets behind a signup form, here are a few reasons you might want to ungate some of that content.
Higher readership numbers. Gating all of your high-value content means that a lot of visitors will simply bounce to one of your competitor’s sites in order to find the same information without having to sign up for something. Just because someone isn’t ready to hand over their email address yet doesn’t mean they don’t have potential as a lead. There’s a lot to be said for building up readership with quality content and letting buyers decide when they’re ready for the next step.
Stronger brand awareness. The more freely available, high-quality content you have, the more that content can be shared across social channels. If all of the good stuff is behind a signup form, you’re preventing your business from reaching its full potential of organic social reach.
A show of good faith. Today’s consumers can be cynical, and with good reason – a lot of businesses only provide value if they think it’s going to lead directly to a sale. By ungating useful and informative content, you’re demonstrating that your primary goal is to help people solve a problem, not just hook them in and take their money. Building up and staying true to that standard of trust leads to higher levels of retention and customer loyalty, which is the foundation of strong business growth.
The decision of whether or not to gate content isn’t either/or, and you should definitely experiment with ungating certain resources and educational assets to see how engagement changes over time. You may also have to adjust the metrics for how you’re measuring success, because although email list signup numbers will take a hit (at least initially), you’ll start to see greater engagement in other ways that could be even more likely to increase revenue. As always, the key is to test, adjust your approach, and test again, until you get a balance that works well for your business.
If you’d like some personalized tips on how to refine your content marketing approach, contact us for a free assessment of your website, and we’ll give you some practical ideas on how to improve your online presence and move toward achieving your marketing goals.
COGO Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency specializing in online marketing strategy, web design, SEO and social media marketing. We work with clients in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC and across the nation.