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11 outstanding examples of lead generating gated content


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The debate about whether or not companies should gate their content is undoubtedly alive and well, but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that many folks have done it and succeeded. When we were writing the Content Gate Debate eBook at (in partnership with Visage), we found some examples of people who did gated content right and discovered that it really pays off.

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11 outstanding examples of lead generating gated content

  1. 1. 11 Powerful Examples of Gated Content Done Right
  2. 2. Great at the Gate The debate about whether or not companies should gate their content is undoubtedly alive and well, but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that many folks have done it and succeeded. When we were writing the Content Gate Debate eBook at (in partnership with Visage), we found some examples of people who did gated content right and discovered that it really pays off. Check out some of the best examples we came across in our hunt…
  3. 3. Kapost’s Master of SlideShare Campaign Kapost came up with the “Masters of Slideshare” campaign, a marketing campaign based on the idea of a content pillar. The first piece was an ungated SlideShare called “SlideShare Masters Share Their Secrets.” In one week, Kapost saw an 84% increase in unique visitors and a 1,962% increase over their average number of social shares. The second piece in the pillar was a gated piece called “How We Made ‘Masters of Slideshare,’” Users who were in an insider’s look could give over their contact info. This gave them a list of higher-quality leads. Why It Worked: Kapost provided next-level content that provided a deeper value-add than what their competitors were doing. They weren’t afraid to give away insider secrets.
  4. 4. Unbounce’s Conversion Centered Design Campaign Unbounce wrote a free ebook called “The Ultimate Guide to Conversion Centered Design.” After that first piece of content, they decided to hold a related gated webinar called “How to Leverage Content for Conversions.” Unbounce eventually had 2,500 people sign up for the webinar. Why It Worked: Unbounce found a gap that could be filled. Not much material exists on conversion centered design and by acknowledging and filling that void they were able to reach a huge audience. The company also decided to include a “thank you” page that appeared after people registered, including an option to subscribe to their blog. They found that 40% of people who signed up for the webinar decided to subscribe to the blog, meaning 1,000 new blog followers from a simple CTA.
  5. 5. MobileCause’s Gated Infographic MobileCause created a gated infographic that answered customer’s questions about mobile and online fundraising for nonprofits. They kept the graphics gated but promoted them through emails, press releases, ad-retargeting and social media. 733 people downloaded the infographic in the first week, and they saw a goal completion rate of 26 percent. Why It Worked: They put their time in. Creating an infographic of this nature is a painstaking and labor-intensive effort but they knew it would reap huge rewards.
  6. 6. Digital Marketer’s List of 212 Blog Post Ideas Digital Marketer created a gated list of The Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas for marketers with writer’s block. They promoted the list of 212 ideas in a myriad of ways, including a successful Facebook campaign. The list resulted in more than 30,000 new leads for the company. Why It Worked: It was HUGE. The sheer amount of information this list provided made users feel it was worthwhile to hand over their contact info.
  7. 7. James Clear’s Newsletter and eBooks Entrepreneur James Clear has a super successful blog and website. He also includes multiple opt-in forms throughout his website where people can sign up for his newsletter and eBooks. Clear uses a clever, subtle CTA: "Where should I send your free guide? His psychology works. More than 200,000 people have signed up to receive his guides.Why It Worked: Clever psychology. As an expert on human behavior, he has found a way to lure people in without even realizing they’re signing up for a newsletter. But it also works because he follows up by actually sending out awesome stuff.
  8. 8. Copyblogger’s MyCopyBlogger Content Library They ended up creating a premium content library called “MyCopyblogger.” ”The library contains 15 high-quality eBooks as well as a 20-part Internet marketing course. They made the content available only to registered users and it ended up increasing their e-mail signups by 400%. Why It Worked: Providing a continuous stream of awesome content helps build lasting relationships with potential client and increases the lifetime value of your leads. Copyblogger wanted to offer their audience something more inventive than a traditional eBook or email course.
  9. 9. Crowe Horwath’s Content Campaign Crowe Horwath, a public accounting and consulting firm, came up with a long-term gated content campaign aimed at C-suite execs in order to grow their list of leads. The campaign was slated to last from 12 to 18 months. In the end, the team hit 133% ROI after only seven months. Over 33% of invited executives entered the program and they saw a 75-80% open rate for their nurturing emails. Why It Worked: The sales funnel was clearly defined and they hit each level of the funnel with the right content at the right time.
  10. 10. Groove HQ Growth Lessons Groove HQ needed more blog traffic, and better leads from the traffic they already had. They started posting more regular, streamlined blog content, and they offered a signup for gree growth lessons, outlining the trials and tribulations of their company on the way up -- from “’aha’ to ‘oh shit.’” In just five weeks they brought in over 82,000 unique visitors and over 5,000 new subscribers and 535 new trials for their software. Why It Worked: They identified a small and narrow niche that hadn’t yet been filled and they found a unique way to fill it.
  11. 11. Social Media Examiner’s Opt-In Pop-Up Social Media Examiner wanted to grow their e-mail list. To do so, they implemented a pop-up window that appears a few minutes after a user has been browsing. The pop-up opt-in form asks for a name and e-mail in exchange for a free Social Media Marketing Industry Report. In the two years after implementing the pop-up, Social Media Examiner’s email list grew 375 percent: from basically no readers to more than 190,000. Why It Worked: They asked users politely, in a contextually relevant place for their info. If they said yes – Social Media Examiner got lucky! If not, they didn’t bug people, or run them off.
  12. 12. Nathalie Lussier’s 30-Day List Building Challenge Digital strategist Nathalie Lussier created a free gated 30 Day List Building Challenge. The list building challenge was intended to teach marketers how to grow their e-mail list “More in the Next 30 Days than You Have in the Last 2 Months.” Lussier let her current subscribers know about the challenge, and she promoted it on her own site and social media platforms. She also turned her challenge into a Kindle book. Why It Worked: She offered people multiple items over 30 days, increasing the content’s implied value. Ultimately, Lussier found that her challenge grew her e-mail list from 15,000 to 26,000 subscribers.
  13. 13. CoSchedule’s 6 Free Quick Tips When opting in, users had to select what their role or interest was in content marketing (editor, social media manager, writer, or marketer.) Then, they received weekly e-mails targeted to their role and their goals. With their “smarter” e-mail course, CoSchedule grew their list by more than 2,000 subscribers. Why It Worked: : The specificity of the course, as well as its size: it came in 6 bite- size, not-overwhelming chunks. CoSchedule decided to offer a “6 Free Quick Tips” e- mail course on creating an email autoresponder course.
  14. 14. Want to know more about creating your own effective gated content? Download The Content Gate Debate e-book It’s our very own free comprehensive guide to gated content, created by Oz in partnership with Visage.