Digital Marketing: A Gated Offer Checklist

By Ryan Deiss, Russ Henneberry

Gated offers can be a very effective way to garner leads as part of your digital marketing campaign. Because of that, here is an eight-point checklist of factors that can improve your overall level of success by making more effective gated offers. You don’t have to be able to check off every one of the factors in the checklist, but if you find that your gated offer meets very few of these criteria, you have reason to be concerned.

Point 1: Is your offer ultraspecific?

The more specific the promise of your gated offer is, the better it will perform after you provide that promise. By delivering on your promise, you have given value. This, of course, assumes that the promise you are making is compelling to the market you’re approaching. Make sure that your gated offer isn’t vague and that it offers an ultraspecific solution to an ultraspecific market.

Point 2: Are you offering too much?

Believe it or not, your gated offer will perform better if it delivers on “one big thing” rather than a number of things. Consumers live in a multitasking world, so you want to be sure that your gated offer focuses on one topic or theme and provides one path for your lead to take.

If you include too many paths or offers, your leads can get distracted and go off course as they try to follow all the ideas presented in your gated offer, thereby causing them to not opt in. If possible, offer a single solution to a single problem rather than numerous solutions to numerous problems.

Point 3: Does the offer speak to a desired end result?

The members of your market are searching for solutions. What does your market really want? If you can craft a gated offer that promises that solution, prospects will gladly give you their contact information (and their attention) in return.

Point 4: Does the offer deliver immediate gratification?

Your market wants a solution and wants it now. Establish and communicate how long it will take your leads to consume and derive value from your gated offer so that they know what to expect. If it takes days or weeks, your gated offer is not delivering immediate gratification — not by a long shot.

Point 5: Does the offer shift the relationship?

The best gated offers do more than inform; they actually change the state and mind-set of your prospects so that they’re primed to engage in business with your company. After your leads have taken advantage of your offer, determine whether the value it provides will actually teach the leads how and why they should trust and buy from you.

For example, if you sell gardening tools and supplies, a checklist entitled “15 Tools You Need to Create a Successful Container Garden” educates prospects on the tools they need while simultaneously moving them closer to purchasing the products you sell.

Point 6: Does the offer have a high perceived value?

Just because your gated offer is free doesn’t mean that it should look free. Use good design through the use of professional graphics and imagery to create a gated offer of high perceived value in the mind of your lead.

Point 7: Does the offer have a high actual value?

The right information at the right time can be priceless. The gated offer that delivers something priceless will enjoy very high conversion rates, but if you’re promising value, you have to deliver on it. A gated offer has high actual value when it lives up to its promise and delivers the goods.

Point 8: Does the offer allow for rapid consumption?

You don’t want your gated offer to be a roadblock in the customer’s journey toward becoming a customer. Before customers buy from you, they want to receive value from your gated offer. You want the gated offer to help move the lead to the next step, so ideally the gated offer should deliver value immediately. In other words, avoid long e-books or courses that take days or months to deliver their value.

Why should your gated offer be quickly and easily consumable? Because after your gated offer has been consumed, you want to make the next offer whenever possible. There is (usually) no better time to make an offer than directly after someone has taken a prior offer. However, few will buy from you if they have not received the value from the last offer you made — your gated offer. So be sure that your gated offer quickly delivers value, allowing you to then make an offer to purchase something.