Not that long ago, few people thought twice about subscribing to print newspapers and magazines. Not only did readers take the fact they’d have to pay for granted, they also, obviously, had to hand over their names and addresses so their content could be delivered to their doorstep. Now, many people expect immediate access to just about anything, for free.
They get plenty of this so-called ungated, or open access, content in the form of blog posts, videos, press releases, and social media blurbs. Gated content invites readers to take the relationship a step further, by sharing some personal information — like an email address and name — so they can get more of the content they love.
Yes, gating your content is going to scare some people off. Those who do sign up or log in are either loyal readers or people who are genuinely excited about your content, and that can build long-term customers.
The trick to gating your content is to pick the right stuff. Whether you’re offering a course, video, article, newsletter, or live chat session, your readers have got to feel like they’re going to be part of something special, and not like you’re tricking them into giving up their contact information. If you’re going to gate your content, make sure it’s worth your readers’ while!