‘Gated’ content on a website is available only as an exchange, typically for the visitor’s name and email address. It’s not intrinsically a bad idea, but it’s often done without thought, or a plan. And that does make it a bad idea.
The traditional argument against ‘gating’ content is that the search engines can’t see it either. This could mean huge numbers of prospects never being aware of its existence. Sure, by gating it we might get 100% of readers’ names and addresses, but perhaps by making it freely available, we could get ten times as many readers, and enquiries from more than 10% of them.
However, it has its place. The important thing is to ensure that the gated content is part of a well-structured sales nurturing process, normally involving a series of emails leading to a direct sale, call or visit, whatever is the ultimate target.
If we’re prepared to put in the time and effort to create a well-thought-out process for reaching that end result (of which the gated content is just a part), then it can be a strong tactic.
A good starting point to doing it right is the article 7 Steps to Generate Leads With Gated Content on the Wordstream blog.