Gated Content

What Is Gated Content?

Gated content is online content such as a PDF download or webinar event that requires users to fill out a form to gain access to that content.

gated content linksthatrank

Website owners and marketers use gated content as a tool to generate leads.

The form users must fill in before accessing the gated content typically requires their name and email address.

The gated content is then sent to the user’s email address where they can now access it.

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Gated Content Vs Ungated Content

Gated content is considered more “premium” content.

That’s why it’s locked behind a signup form before the user can access it.

Ungated content is freely available to all users without any requirements. It’s used to attract users to your website or brand rather than generate leads or sales.

If you have a PDF download that requires someone’s email address before they receive the PDF – this is considered gated content.

gated vs ungated content

On the other hand, a blog post on your website is accessible to anyone without any specific requirements. This is considered ungated content.

Examples Of Gated Content

The most common examples of gated content are:

  • Free Trials
  • White Papers
  • Ebooks
  • Webinars
  • Email Series
  • Short Course

Each of these examples of gated content can be effective. It comes down to your business goals and what will work best for your audience.

Free Trials

Free trials offer temporary access to premium content or services in exchange for information about the user.

semrush free trial gated content example

It’s typically used by subscription-based businesses such as SaaS companies, streaming services and educational platforms. The goal is to help users decide whether to buy the service before committing to it.

Free trials are the best type of gated content for demonstrating product value and converting prospects into customers by giving a taste of what they can expect when they buy.

White Papers

White papers provide in-depth, authoritative reports or guides on specific topics.

investment white paper example

They are primarily used by B2B companies that offer technical, specialised, or complex services. White papers are one of the best-gated content types to establish yourself as a thought leader while capturing leads.


Ebooks are one of the most common types of gated content.

They usually contain more extensive and valuable information about a specific topic.

ebook example

Ebooks can be used by almost any type of website or business to go deep on a subject.


Think of webinars like a 1-2 hour online seminar or lecture.

They require users to register for the webinar, typically based on one specific topic people want to learn more about.

webinar example

Webinars are a teaching, learning and interaction type of gated content.

That means attendees can learn about a subject and get their questions answered in real-time.

Email Series

Email series is the simplest type of gated content you can offer.

Visitors give you their email address and you have pre-written email series that automatically drips out over a period of days or even weeks.

email series example

Email series work well for almost any type of business or website. It’s a great way to give bite-sized chunks of information over several days.

Short Course

Short courses are just like regular courses…But shorter.

They are good if you want to deliver a specific skill or structured information in an easy-to-understand way.

course example

Most businesses and websites that use short courses generally have an upsell at the end of their course. This could be for their services or a bigger high-ticket course based on the same subject.

Check out my 28-Day SEO Challenge free course for an example of what a gated content course can look like.

Should You Use Gated Content?

Most businesses will benefit from using gated content in their sales funnel.

Gated content is used to generate leads for your business that you can nurture and ultimately convert into sales.

It’s one of the most effective ways to acquire new leads while providing value and trust to potential customers.

The key is understanding what your audience wants to know more about. Then simply choose the right type of gated content to deliver to it them.

Pros And Cons Of Gated Content

Here is a list of pros and cons of gated content:

Pros Of Gated Content Cons Of Gated Content

  • Cost effective way to generate
    leads for your business
  • Qualifies prospects before you
    try to sell them your product
  • Provides a way to follow
    up with your leads
  • Establishes trust and authority
    with your audience

  • Reduces the organic reach
    of your content
  • May deter prospects who don’t
    want to give you their information
  • Takes time and effort to create
    quality gated content that
    people want

Gated content is one of the best ways to generate qualified leads quickly and cost-effectively. You just need to ensure that it’s something people are willing to give their email for.

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