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My Contact Info is Worth More Than Your White Paper

Let’s level-set, shall we? If you’re relying on gated content to generate leads, then your content marketing strategy is dependent upon a basic sales transaction. I give you my contact information and you give me some content. Obviously, you think this is a fair trade. The problem is, and let me just be blunt about this, I don’t. This is why.

Let’s start with the fact that I probably don’t know much about your company. One could argue, in fact, that my desire to learn more about your company is motivating my interest in your gated content in the first place. Either that, or I’m just casually curious. I mean, clearly your SEO is working. But just because I’ve arrived at your gate doesn’t mean I want to move in. Or, stated another way, being interested in sampling your content doesn’t equate to being interested in you. I’m just going to call it how I see it - I think you’re over-charging for your content.

Let’s talk more about the price you’re charging for your content, shall we? Obviously you’ve set the price based upon your assessment of the value of your content. Problem is, I haven’t agreed to your price because I don’t yet know whether your content is actually any good. Forget what I do/don’t know about the company. I don’t even know if I’m going to be interested in your white paper to begin with. And now you want me to agree to put myself into your sales funnel? Thanks, but I’ll pass. Why? Well, no offense, but what if it sucks? There, I’ve said it.

And that’s the point when it comes to content marketing. A lot of the content that makes up content marketing does suck. And I know this because, when I see content that’s actually valuable or useful, or compelling, it motivates (inspires?) a potential customer like me to reach out in the first place? I want to be connected to that company. You might even say I become a fan. I mean, I could be wrong here, but isn’t that what marketing – including content marketing – is supposed to do in the first place? Did I miss something here?

Which, if you haven’t guessed by now, is why I hate email gates. Not to sound cynical or anything, but gated content always says to me that the content isn’t good enough in the first place. Why? Because if the quality was there, or the thought leadership was actually leading, then I wouldn’t have to be trapped into reading it –I’d be so inspired or enthused or compelled that I would willingly reach-out to the business that created it in the first place.

Which brings me to the bottom line. Email gates may work for some. But I assure you that, for a lot of people like me , your gated marketing content that’s supposed to be worth the price of my contact information… isn’t.