It is 2020 and, this may be the year that click–walls come down. I was listening to Shep Hyken‘s podcast episode with David Meerman-Scott discussing David’s latest book, Fanocracy, when the subject of gating came up.
A little background on gating. Years ago, marketers were in a race to build big email lists. The plan was that once we got your email address, we could reach out to you directly and not have to pay ad rates to reach you. Then, with the rise of content marketing, gating became the main feature. Gating content would give you a straightforward metric, how many people filled in the form to read the article, infographic, white paper?
The evidence to tear down the gates is that according to David, a brand can see a 50 to 1 jump in content engagement by removing the friction. It makes sense; a brand creates content to inform new people about what the brand knows. It is the start of the relationship. When a brand uses gates, they are starting the connection with an ASK, give us your email, before we tell you anything. I have been a fan of David for years, and Fanocracy has a rising star co-author Reiko Scott.
It is one thing for David and Reiko to give a prominent brand example of removing the gate, increases engagement, and improves the relationship with the reader. Still, coincidentally Shep had run an A/B test of this concept with one of his white papers and found that the idea holds for small scale brands.