In January, I told my team about a bold decision: I wanted to ungate our healthcare content. We were in the thick of the pandemic, and I knew that publications like our COVID-19 Vaccine Checklist could help our fellow overloaded healthcare communicators.

So we unleashed our content. Instead of requiring an email address to get our content marketing collateral, we started giving it away for free.

I knew it was the right thing to do, but, of course, we wondered how it would affect our business. Would our newsletter list stop growing? Would we still get new leads? After 6 months, I’m excited to share the results with you.

4 Reasons We’ll Never Gate Our Content Again

Our worries about losing leads or halting our newsletter growth were unfounded. Just the opposite happened: We experienced impressive growth. Here’s why we’re keeping our content ungated:

1. A more engaged newsletter list

Since ungating our content, newsletter sign-ups increased by 14%. This metric, in particular, excites me. In the past, people who signed up for our newsletter may have felt strong-armed into doing so to get our content.

The subscribers who joined our list since we ungated our content signed up because they want to hear from us regularly. That means we’ll have a more engaged audience that’s likely to result in reaching more potential clients.

2. An increase in the number of people downloading and using our content

We create content so people can learn from it. Anything that gets our content into more healthcare communicators’ hands and minds (or laptops and mobile devices!) is a good thing.

So seeing our overall publication downloads skyrocket by 102% in this past 6 months is a thrill. When we compare our last gated cheat sheet to our first ungated one, the number of downloads grew by 122%.

3. Improvement across all website areas

It makes sense that ungating our content would lead to more people downloading our publications, but we saw growth across our entire site, including:

  • Website users increased by 17%
  • Website traffic is up 48% year-over-year
  • Total social media audience growth is up 42% year-over-year

4. Growth in brand recognition

Of course, I have to approach this from a healthcare marketer’s mindset, too. More people downloading and sharing our content means more people learning about our brand. Down the road, when they need a content agency, they may remember how our content helped them and reach out to us, leading to new business.

If you’re considering ungating your content — go for it! Do it for all of the reasons above, and because you’ll feel great giving people helpful information without asking for anything in return.

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