How A Single Piece Of Gated Content Can Fuel Business GrowthWednesday February 1st, 2023
Learn how you can make a significant improvement to your marketing funnel with a single piece of gated content.
Is it really possible to generate quality leads with gated content? The answer is yes. With a clear strategy backed by data, you can create a single piece of high-quality content that positions your brand as an authority, provides value to your audience, increases your email subscriber rate by 10x, improves your customer acquisition rate, and increases organic search traffic, all at the same time.
It takes time to find the piece that will catapult your brand, but with a clear goal and valuable information to offer your audience, it’s easier than you think. In this content marketing case study we’ll show you how we built a 10,000 subscriber email list with the help of gated content.
First a Little Background…
We worked with Rehab Financial Group, a lender specializing in loans to house flippers, for over 10 years. We won’t go through the whole story here (see our case study for that), but we started with a standard mix of search ads and content strategy focused around their blog.
As our marketing strategy matured, we wanted to move up-funnel. Until that point, all of our efforts were focused around people actively seeking money to flip a house. We knew that there was a whole world of people who were much earlier in their journey, and we wanted to meet them halfway. Our guiding goals were to:
- Increase relevant organic traffic to the site
- Generate more prequalified (“prequal”) leads for the business
- Build an email list of people interested in flipping a house
So, how did we go about finding people earlier in their journey and empower them to eventually make their way to Rehab Financial? We decided to create a resource that would walk someone through the whole process, from knowing very little about real estate investment to a flip-ready potential customer.
Thus the Flipping 101 content hub was born, and over 6 months we built out a deep content hub walking people through the whole flipping journey, from beginning to end.
We published the articles and watched as traffic came in. We began to rank at the top of the page for lots of searches around how to flip houses. Before long, organic search traffic grew to be our largest source of traffic and leads.
While successful, that’s hardly a single piece of content. More of a content hub, really. Here’s where things get really interesting:
The Perfect Pieces of Content
One section of the Flipping 101 content hub began to really stand out — RFG was getting a ton of traffic to a page on how to write a business plan for house flipping. Even better, it was high-quality traffic. People were spending time reading the page, and many were browsing through several pages. Ultimately, The Flipping 101 section of the site generated ~100k sessions from organic search in 2018, with a 0.3% conversion rate, leading to ~350 prequal form submissions. We knew we could take it a step further and mine more value for RFG.
While using Moz to do some research into frequently searched keywords around the topic, we found that there were searches looking for an example or template of a business plan which nowadays must include a pay stubs maker.
If these people were actively searching for a template or sample, we wondered: how many other searchers would find value having one? Now we had something we could really sink our teeth into!
So, we created a gated content PDF of a business plan template for house flippers to download, print out, and complete.
Then we created a landing page for the business plan template, with a form for users to submit their email address for a free copy of the business plan template.
When a user completes and submits the form, they receive an email that includes the business plan template. Simple. We provide value to them by giving them the resource they seek, and they give us value by allowing us to continue our relationship with them through email.
We also used Mailchimp to set up a short series of three follow-up emails designed to encourage and support users through the process of developing their house flipping business plan. The hope was that the additional information made them more likely to actually flip a house successfully, while building a relationship, so that they would come to Rehab Financial when the time came. It’s a win/win!
Believe it or not, if you offer people something valuable they’re happy to hand over their email address. Many of them will even sign up to receive more valuable content from you in the future.
Within the first month of launching the gated content campaign we quickly collected 80 emails. From there, our email collection continued to skyrocket. To this day, Rehab gets an average of 150-200 new email subscribers a month, mostly resulting from the business plan template. The email list crossed 10,000 subscribers at the end of 2018, resulting in ~170 lead form submissions that year, 12% of the total lead form submissions — all from a completely owned asset.