We’ve all seen them, gated downloads on websites. You know what those are—when you want a download, often a document, and you must enter your email address to get it.
What is the website trying to do? Why, build an email list, of course. There’s nothing wrong with it provided they disclose what they are doing. Sometimes, they even use a double opt-in process.
Everyone has companies they do business with, and depend upon. Often, the information in their newsletter is an extension of that service.
What sorts of documents are gated? Probably the most common document people gate is the white paper. In a recent post, we talked about the case study. Case studies are usually ungated, wide open for people to read. White papers, on the other hand, are often considerably more valuable in terms of information content, so they make more sense to gate.
We’ve talked about white papers in the past, too. They are commonly technical marketing tools aimed at engineers. If the engineer is researching the solution to a problem, there’s motivation to grab a white paper. If there’s motivation, there’s also a likelihood of joining an email list.
In order for a gate to work, the reward for passing through the gate has to be worthwhile. If the white paper is trite, the user will resent signing up for the email list and probably is lost as a potential customer. On the other hand, the more valuable the reward, the more information the user is willing to share.
If you are trying to build an email list of qualified people, consider using gated downloads.