As you can see, we’ve also developed a great decision-tree infographic you can use to help you understand when and when not to gate. Let’s walk through the five questions.
#1 Is this a “contact us” opportunity?
These are typically found at the bottom of the funnel and are a clear signal of serious buying intent. If it is, then you should have a contact form on the web page. If not, move on.
#2 Do we want the audience to register or sign up?
These display forms are presented alongside content and offer the viewer an opportunity to sign up or register for some future content, event, or resource. For example, this could be signing up for your newsletter, or registering for a webinar. Depending on the content, these can be top- and middle-of-funnel opportunities. If the answer is yes, then you should include the sign-up form on the page (but remember Phil’s rule to ask for only what you need at this point).
#3 Is all the content about you, your product, or service?
If your content is too self-promotional, then you shouldn’t be using a form (there are always exceptions). Your goal should be to create content that provides value to the prospective buyer.
#4 Will this teach the audience a skill or save them money?
If your content is going to provide value to the buyer, then you should use an access form. These could be white papers, eBooks, guides, and so forth. For example, I was willing to give up my name and email recently to receive a guide on how to start a B2B podcast.
#5 Is this proprietary information?
This could be a buying guide, competitive comparison datasheet and so forth. If the answer is yes, it is proprietary information, then you should use a gated access form. If it’s information anyone could find on the web, or is otherwise not proprietary, then the answer is to not use a form.
Hopefully, the decision tree helps you better understand when you should or should not be gating your content.
If you’re using a marketing automation platform, such as Act-On, you can also consider using progressive profile forms that allow you build up the information you know about a prospect as their engagement with you progresses. This helps mitigate the desire to ask a bunch of questions in your forms. Instead, you start with a name and an email. Your marketing automation then recognizes these prospects the next time they are on your site and want to see an on-demand webinar or download an email, asking for a title in one instance or a company name in another.
This month, Act-On will be announcing its Adaptive Forms, which will make it even easier to learn more about your customer, sooner in the sales cycle. With this information you can deliver more value and show your impact to their bottom line, as well as your own.
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