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Using Gated Content To Generate New Leads

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by Hugh Duffy

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When marketing your firm, you likely have a sales funnel in process. This is a simple series of steps that prospective clients move through when going from prospective lead to interested inquiry to client. You probably have some things set up to help move these prospects through the sales funnel like free consultations, email newsletters, follow-up phone calls, and so on. However, no matter how good your sales funnel is, it's not going to do anything for you if it doesn't have a steady stream of new prospective leads entering the top of the funnel. And unfortunately, this is where many accounting firms struggle.

In order to capture these new leads, you need to think a little bit like a marketer. As a marketer, you know that the best way to get these new leads is by providing value through helpful and insightful content. This content helps engage a new prospect and move leads through your funnel. Using "gated content," is one of the easiest and most effective ways to capture new leads for your sales funnel

What is Gated Content?

Gated content is any online content (such as articles, white papers, guides, checklists, discount codes etc.) that someone needs to fill out a form in order to access. Marketers use gated content to generate leads by providing a valuable piece of information. In exchange, the user gives them some basic information, usually their email address and name. Gated Content is not a new concept and I'm sure you've opted into access gated content countless times before.

The reason Gated Content is so effective is because it's a very effective and targeted form of lead generation. You create something that is of value to your ideal audience and then you get those high-quality, targeted prospects opting in to have access to that content. They are now a new lead and added to your sales funnel.

Below is an example of an accounting firm using Gated Content. The Neal Group, a CPA Firm in Milwaukee, have a free downloadable guide called "Stay One Step Ahead of Tax Issues." They offer the guide on their website, and when someone clicks to download it, they are prompted to enter a little information first in exchange for the information.

How to Use Gated Content to Capture New Leads

Think About Your Target Audience

One of the reasons gated content is so great is because you can really hone in on the type of person you want to target. Instead of casting your net out into the entire internet and, in return, getting a mixed bag, you can target the exact types of people and businesses you want to reach.

Think about what your ideal clients' pain points are. What questions are they asking? What problems do they need solutions for? The content should be hyper-focused and a quick win to the person opting in to access it.

Provide Value

The key to gated content is the level of value. The content you create needs to extremely useful, informational, and/or helpful in order for a potential client to give up their information to get it.

And keep in mind, you don't just want to make the content appear valuable in order to get the lead, but then be mediocre once they open it. This content is likely the prospect's first impression of you. If the content is second-rate then they will have a second-rate opinion of you and your accounting services. This content should start to build that first level of trust with the prospect and help position you as a true accounting expert and someone they want to work with.

Make Opting In Simple

Let's face it, the internet has given us all a slightly shorter attention span. No one wants to fill out a lengthy form or answer tedious questions in order to access content, no matter how good they think it's going to be. Make it easy for someone to opt-in. A simple form with only a few fields is ideal. Think about the most important information you need from this person, whether it's a name and email, or business name and phone number.


When used correctly, gated content can be the key to driving new leads into the top of your sales funnel. Think about what questions you can answer for your clients and provide real, valuable content that answers those questions.

If you want to learn more about nurturing your sales funnel, consider a recent blog post "What's Wrong with Your Sales Process."

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Hugh Duffy, BYF CEO and Co-Founder

Hugh is the consummate marketing coach for accountants and takes pride in the impact that it has on their practice, and lives. Hugh has more than thirty years of marketing experience. Since 2003, he has been teaching accountants on how to improve their marketing and make more money from their accounting practice.