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Gated Content: Is Your Content Worthy of Capturing Leads?

Don’t know what Gated content is? You’re not alone.

What is gated content?

Gated content is information that is valuable enough to a visitor that they are willing to exchange their contact information to access the content. Consider the email address as the key, and the content as the treasure chest. The visitor just can't wait to see what’s inside.

It sounds simple. The lead gains access to valuable content and you continue building the relationship by keeping the conversation going.

Crowded Inboxes

It’s really not that simple. In a time where inboxes are saturated with promotional emails, it's difficult for visitors to hand over their precious contact information. Because it’s so difficult to gain and maintain trust, you need to make sure of two things:

  1. Your content demonstrates Econ 101
  2. You follow-up with the Golden Rule

Opportunity Cost

There’s an exchange of information, for information. The user gives up something in order to receive something at greater or equal value. It is crucial for the visitor to not only believe that the content is worthy of their email address, but that it actually delivers the value. No one likes to be misled, which brings us to the second (golden) rule.

A Lesson in Ethics

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you gave someone your email, would you want them to bombard you with follow-up emails? No. Give your leads a break and allow yourself to build an authentic relationship with timely content. Don’t just hit send for the sake of hitting send. Follow-up with content that provides utility.

What makes content gate worthy?

Your content should be a step above what visitors can find by browsing your website. No one will cross the gate threshold (i.e. the form), if they can find the information elsewhere.

Your Gated Content

Stand out: Provide unique insights and data that people can’t find anywhere else.

Meaningful: Think quality over quantity. It doesn’t need to be long, but readers should immediately see the value in your content after they hit the download button.

Appealing: Know the main points of your target audience and speak directly to them. You want to create content around subjects that will immediately resonate with your audience.

Consistent: Inconsistency and off-brand content will hurt your credibility. Make sure your content is congruent with your brand’s voice.

How Should I Present Gated Conent?

You may feel that writing content is not worth the time and energy, but it is one influential way to prove your expertise and build a relationship with your leads. Here are just a few ways to format your content:

White Papers As Gated Content

A white paper should be 80% educational and 20% promotional. Your white paper should be persuasive, in that it leverages facts and logic to promote your product or service. White papers are useful for people seeking a solution to a business problem.


Avoid the sales pitch in your eBook. The content should provide valuable information that naturally supports or relates to the product or service you offer. Take your buyer's persona into consideration. What information would be valuable to them? The reader should either be able to take actionable tips away, or feel that much closer to the decision stage.

Cheat Sheets

People love quick tips. It’s a miracle if you can get someone to actually read your content word for word. The cheat sheet should have useful takeaways that are easy to digest. Don’t be afraid to give away some of your insights – it builds trust with your prospects.

Go Green, With Your Content

The greatest thing about taking the time to develop awesome content is that it can be easily recycled. Allow people to share content once they hit download. Shared content that is branded to your company will only work in your favor. Increase the reach of your content by recycling it in different formats. Repurpose content from your cheat sheet and send it in an email. Take insights from your eBook and write a blog post. The opportunities are endless.