Gated content is content that requires a contact to submit a form before gaining access (e.g., whitepaper, case study, e-book). In this two-way exchange, you receive the user's contact information while they receive your valuable content.
Once a prospect completes your form, the prospect's browser will be prompted to download the file. Contacts can access these gated media assets until their form cookie expires (1 year) or until they clear their browser cookies.
A great way to use Gated Content is in combination with progressive profiling. Prospects will be shown the form on future visits until the series of progressive questions have been completed. They will have an incentive to complete the new questions each time because they will gain access to your collection of content one piece at a time.
This feature creates a unique Gated Content URL that you will use instead of the standard link to your Form's web page.
Here is how this works:
- Your prospect clicks on the Gated Content URL (such as from your website, an advertisement, or an email)
- The URL takes them to the landing page with your form
- Once the prospect submits the form, their browser will be prompted to download the file
Not quite what you're looking for?
Another way to deploy gated content is via email. You could add a media file download to your form response email instead of distributing content via the browser download. (This is also helpful when you need an incentive for prospects to complete double opt-in for GDPR compliance.)
Step 1: Upload Content to the Media Library
For instructions, see this related article: Upload Images, Files, and Create Redirect URLs
Step 2: Attach Media to Your Form
- Open the Form Composer, select the Properties tab, and go to the Response Page section
- Add your redirect URL to the Response tab. This can go to another Landing Page or a Rich Text Block that says "Thank You".
- Go to the Gated Content tab and click the plus + icon
- Select one or more pieces of content
- Each media file will have its own access URL for the form's Landing Page. Prospects who access the landing page from each URL will receive the associated content piece.
- Click OK to close the Response Page section
- Finish creating your form and Save it
Step 3: Retrieve Gated Content URLs
Gated Content URLs are different for forms embedded in Act-On landing pages than those embedded externally. Check the relevant steps below to get the URL based on how you are deploying your form.
Gated Content URL from Act-On Landing Page
- Once you've completed and saved your form, embed it on a Landing Page with a form block if it isn't there already.
- On the Properties tab, scroll down to the Gated Content URLs section
- Copy the URL of choice from the list of Gated Content URLs.
Step 4: Distribute Gated Content via URL
Gated Content URL from Act-On Landing Page
- Use the gated landing page URL as a link to direct and distribute the Landing Page and Form to prospects. Add it to your marketing anywhere you promote this content (e.g., website, Act-On email, web ads, social media posts, etc.)
- Each piece of content will have its own URL. If you are distributing multiple media files, deploy each URL separately to promote each piece of content.
Gated URL from External Page
- Once you've completed and saved your Form, select the Embed tab and go to the External Pages section.
- Under the External Page URLs tab, press the plus button to add the URL of the page where your form will be embedded to declare the domain.
- Reopen the External Pages slideout and navigate to the Gated Content URLs tab to add the full URL path of the page where your form will be embedded (e.g., https://example.com/fullpath/example/).
- The Gated Content URLs section only appears after adding the gated content to the form - see steps above.
- Gated Content links will be generated from the URL you enter in this section. Add the full address (not just the domain) to ensure your visitors are sent to the right page.
- Once the full URL has been added, a link icon will be next to the URL added under Gated Content URL, highlighted in red below. Clicking this icon will show Act-On generated links for specific gated content; if there are multiple pieces of content to one form, there will be multiple links to use. Once copied, the links will be the anchor to link and share on your website, email, or landing page. The standard URL for your Form's web page will not redirect to your Gated Content.
- If there are multiple pieces attached to your form, a distinct URL will be shown for each – copy the appropriate URL to link to that piece of content.
Due to restrictions on forcing content downloads on iOS devices, the Response page will not be shown for forms completed on these devices. Instead, the visitor will be redirected to the content where they can manually initiate a download.
Classic Form Builder
- Click on Content, and click Media Library
- Hover over your document or media link and click the Down Arrow > Gated Content URL
- Click Add and select the classic form you would like to be associated with this content
- Click Create
- A unique URL will generate, which you can use for gated content
This URL is independent of the forms Public URLs and can be used only if you wish to require visitors to submit a form before being able to access the content.
Can I use content hosted on my own website?
Content does not have to be uploaded to Act-On to be used for your gated content. If there is a white paper, image, or another webpage to use as your gated content, the links to these pieces of content can be used as the redirect once a form is filled out. This way you won't have to use a gated URL for embedding the form, but is recommended to give confirmation the form was filled out successfully and a download starts.
Can I use the same form for more than one piece of content?
Both embedded and externally-linked gated Act-On forms can have multiple pieces of content tied to one form. Each piece added to the form will generate a specific link to share for each piece of content. This does not mean multiple pieces of content cannot be downloaded at one time.
When adding the content to a form embedded on an Act-On landing page, the content is added to the Properties > Response Page > Gated Content area and will show as multiple links on the landing page settings near the bottom. You'll be able to differentiate between the links as the titles of the content will be above each link to share.
Externally hosted forms will have the content uploaded to the same place but the links are found under Embed > External Pages > Gated Content URLs > add a URL with the instructions above and multiple links will be shown in the dropdown.