Gated "member-only" content requires the person visiting to provide their email to gain access to "special" restricted content. Most likely you have come across examples of gated content where for access to an article, report or to watch a video you first need to provide your email address.

Possibly the biggest challenge when using gated content is that you need to offer your audience interesting content and that is irresistibly good, content that is so good your audience will be prepared to swap their email for it. Next you need to create opportunities to help people become aware of what you have to offer, and then finally you need to ask for an email subscription.

Where to find irresistibly good content that people want?

Make sure what you are offering is worth it, because people will only swap their email for interesting content and that is irresistibly good.

With online video events becoming more popular to share ideas and tell stories we now have more opportunities to create content that authentically features people and allows them to connect.

Consider recording your next online event and adding a special section that allows people to connect. Then when the event is complete, edit out the special content and post it as gated "member only" content.

Ideas for special content might include:

  • Q&A where your audience can get help with an answer.
  • Reverse Q&A where you ask a panel of experts questions.
  • Hub where people can connect on topics of interest.

Next curate the special gated "member only" content together into a series of posts that can enhance publicly available content to help make it more useful for your audience.

How you share this special content is up to you, you may wish to make content publicly available, or to ask for a paid subscription for viewing.

Before proceeding with any of these strategies and recording an event, ensure to tell everyone involved in advance that you plan to record the meeting and how you will be sharing content.

Helping people find gated content

Make sure you grab your audience's attention when they are interested, because people will only swap their email for interesting content and that is irresistibly good.

For engagement, first people need to become aware of what you have to offer.

Promote gated content in email campaigns, on social media and in links on publicly accessible website content. When promoting ensure that the title, teaser and image that introduces the gated content all entice the reader to want to engage with the content and read more. Peoples faces overlaid with a play button can be very strong images to suggest that there is something more worth viewing.

One of the most powerful ways I find of helping people connect with something special is to ask them to have a look. For example, when a person has reached out to you on LinkedIn to connect, message and introduce yourself sharing a link to your special gated "member only" content.

Ask for an email address

Make sure you ask for an email address when you audience is interested, because people will only swap their email for interesting content and that is irresistibly good.

The reason that gated content is used is so that an email can be collected which can be used with email marketing activities to help your audience become more aware of what you have to offer.

As mentioned earlier, sometimes the easiest way to get an email is simply to ask. If this is not an option then with your special gated "member only" content ensure that there are compelling reasons why the person visiting should proceed. At this stage it is important to ask for permission to add the email address as a subscriber to your email list.  

This is the next in a series of articles about creative ways to connect with your audience, for more ideas read community engagement and message if you have a topic that you would like to see discussed.