#003 | To Gate or Not to Gate? This Data Might Help You Decide
#003 | To Gate or Not to Gate? This Data Might Help You Decide

#003 | To Gate or Not to Gate? This Data Might Help You Decide


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This report analyzes 625 responses to understand how people react when encountering gated content (resources behind a form). We broke down answers by function and company size.

The Question

To Gate or Not to Gate? It's an ongoing debate in B2B marketing.

You know the classic give/get equation. Buyers get a desired piece of content. And they give their contact info. The model has been around since the dawn of marketing. But in a world with infinite supply of content, gating can be a turn-off for busy buyers.

So how do you decide? Of course, "it depends" is the common answer.

In this edition of Peer Signal, 625 business people weighed in about how they react when encountering gated content. Do they play along? Do they go away? How do they feel? Why?

We scrubbed the data to show how reactions vary by company size and job function. And we highlighted some of the most helpful explanations from real people.

We framed this poll from the buyer’s perspective. How we asked:


The Answers

Take Away 1: 80% will fill out the form, but only 23% of will happily give you real information.

Here is the total break down across all responses:


We could also think about this as a decision tree in 3 steps. According to our audience, you will only lose 20% of people with gated content. But of the remaining group, 34% of those will give fake email/phone numbers, and 57% of the people giving you real information will not be in a good mood.


On the surface, this data supports the "it depends" answer. So let's take a couple deeper cuts.

Take Away 2: People at bigger companies give fake information more often.

If you are selling to the enterprise, you might get more leads from mickey.mouse@disney.com than you'd like. Here's how people at 5,000+ employee companies compare to the totals:


Take-Away 3: Sales and marketing are more willing to play along, but marketers are less happy about the exchange.

People outside of sales and marketing roles were the most likely to go elsewhere for resources.


If you are marketing to marketers, take note. Apparently, marketers are willing to play along with their own game, but more likely to fill out forms begrudgingly.

Sales people were happier to make the exchange. Perhaps they are more welcoming to sales calls than others?


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Behind the Numbers

What other context matters when buyers are deciding how to react to gate content? Here are some quotes you can grab from real people sharing their opinions:

21 people agreed with Dave Rigotti on this point:

"Real email, fake phone. No way I’m giving my personal cell phone number."

Lyndi Thomson, a marketing leader, pointed out that the type of content matters:

"I'll never fill out a form for an infographic or whitepaper. However, I’ll fill out a form for survey results from peers or a chance to learn from peers at an event or webinar."

Rob Anderson, a sales leader, had a similar take:

"If the content is valuable and what I want, I have no problem whatsoever sharing my contact info."

Caryne Say said it depends on perceived quality.

"Since we got more digital in the past year, these forms have stood out more as a friction. Happy to impart real details for what I'd perceive as a high-value offer eg a high end event, or a well compiled/ highly proprietary quality report. If it's just an ebook, it' fake details or do without (lots of good and easily Google-able info out there these days)."

One Sales professional said it doesn't change much:

"I hate to crash this party like this....but 99% of yalls contact information is a dozens of contact databases that most sales teams, including yours, have access too. So if anyone wants to call or email you...they will Lotta people on this thread have clearly never heard of zoominfo...Just saying."

More tech savvy people said they find a way around the gate.

"Google 'site:[company domain] [ebook keyword] filetype:pdf'"
"Check source code to see if I can bypass or search google for pdf with file name if it's indexed."