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Does gated content really work?

22 January 2018
by Nick Washbourne

Gated content is a great way to gather some handy contact details and refresh data permissions, in return for giving away a helpful and/or value-adding resource. It’s one of the reasons PDFs, videos and other insightful guides have sat behind data capture forms for years.

But it can also be problematic. Implemented incorrectly, it can actually damage the accuracy of data that a brand holds.


At the point of a gate, it is acceptable to ask the visitor to confirm their marketing permissions in order to receive access to the piece of content. But at this point, the user is likely to be in the frame of mind where they see great value in the brand’s marketing content. The marketer may therefore achieve a double opt-in.

However, some individuals are wise to data capture forms and, reluctant to disclose any personal information whatsoever, especially before they’ve verified the quality of the gated content, they will simply input Mickey Mouse style details. This creates an issue if your marketing automation engine is able to append contact information to known individuals within your database. The accuracy of existing contacts may therefore become jeopardised.

This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a solution.

For example, why not consider asking the user to enter their contact details, before directing them to a confirmation page? That way, there is a greater chance they will head back to the original data capture form to correct the fake entry they originally made.

If you lift this process into your automation platform, rather than just providing instant access to a resource, you will also be able to:

  • Retarget the individual if they have not yet downloaded the guide

  • Control the user journey using the platform’s in-built design suite

  • Build a suppression list of contacts who cannot gain access to your content, such as a competitor.

In truth, the list of benefits goes on. And so does our advice on this subject. For more tips surrounding how to maximise the return from gated content – not to mention a host of other marketing techniques – download our free ‘ultimate guide to automation for marketing professionals’.




Photo of Nick Washbourne
Nick Washbourne
Commercial Director

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