Level with us… When’s the last time you filled out a form for a piece of gated content with accurate information?
When you’re in the early stages of researching a problem (not a product), all you want to do is get someone else’s point of view on the issue – not dodge the phone calls of an overeager or overworked SDR (who might not represent their brand appropriately on the first touch).
So you become James Bond. Or Laura Dern. Or any other fake name and phone number you can think of. You do it. I do it. Our future customers do it. And it dirties up everyone’s CRM and account history, making it hard to reach out when a contact is finally ready to be called.
If you want to be considered a true thought-leader in your space, gating content behind forms does little to inspire authority or build a positive brand experience. It also limits your audience’s access to important research and insights your marketing team spent time and resources putting together.
You wrote the content because you want your future customers to read it, right? But you added a form to it because that’s the primary way marketing automation lets you track a meaningful conversion.
With Terminus, you can track account engagement even without an explicit form fill, so you’re free to let visitors read your message without feeling like they’re being forced into a relationship with your SDR’s automated email.
Here are four strategies that Terminus uses to fix the gated content problem:
1) Place persistent chatbot alongside content
Try adding a sales chat to your content pages instead of gating them with a form. This will let visitors read the content and reach out when they’re ready – ideally when they’re steeped in your message and have a question or want to have a deeper conversation about your whitepaper or ebook.
This is a great option because it actually opens your sales team up to having deep conversations about your space while the prospect is in solution-finding mode for the problem you solve. Bonus: it also requires your sales team to be deeply familiar with your marketing content pieces, driving greater alignment between both teams.
2) Add forms deeper into your content
Another great option offered by content management hubs like Uberflip is to enable time-delayed or depth-delayed forms. That’s when you wait until a user is a certain number of pages in, or has spent a certain amount of time on your content experience, before requiring a form fill before they can go further.
This will reduce the total number of leads, but increase their quality, which means your SDRs will have time to create higher-quality touches for better qualified folks. And remember, since you can now track engagement at the account level, even if it’s anonymous, you can still trigger different SDR outreach or higher-touch marketing programs based on that anonymous, pre-form-fill engagement info.
3) Save forms for accounts that have Spiked or have some engagement
Terminus gives you Engagement Spikes, which tell you when an account is unusually active on your web properties. These Spikes get passed as a date and topic area into the Account object in your CRM.
This means you can then use them as a criterion for using form-gated pages via ads (within Terminus) and email (within your marketing automation tool of choice). By offering forms only after an account has spiked, you ensure that you’re asking for a higher-commitment action (giving your sales team some contact information) in response to a high-intent signal (a flurry of activity on your site, suggesting an active consideration cycle).
4) Shorten gated content forms to make them less intimidating
Ok, to be fair this is something we should all be doing regardless of whether we’re ‘account-based’ or ‘inbound.’ With the wealth of contact completion options out there – from ZoomInfo to Clearbit – every marketing team should prioritize minimizing their forms to make them as frictionless as possible.
Hey, if you have to get that conversion, get it – just promise us you’ll use engagement intelligence to help your SDR or BDR team prioritize who to reach out to first.