How to Use “Action-Gating” for Your Small Business

Ever heard of “like-gating”? It’s when a brand or business requires you to “like” their page to receive a deal or a special piece of information. Not too long ago, Facebook banned like-gating because it promotes non-authentic likes and engagement (and it’s just plain annoying!).

We agree that like-gating isn’t an ideal way to grow your social media platforms, but there’s a similar method you can use to drive engagement and generate leads that also benefits your followers. It’s called action-gating.

Action-gating is when you ask your social media followers to take a specific action in exchange for something in return. For example, maybe they enter their email address to receive a discount code for 20% off their next purchase. Bingo! Now you’ve given the customer something they value–a discount– and you’ve also generated something valuable to your business–a lead.

Let’s take it a step further. Instead of just asking for a follower’s email address in return for a coupon code, maybe you up the ante. Ask them to provide their email address and comment with their favorite day of the week to go shopping. In exchange, they get a discount code and they’re entered to win a $50 gift card to your store. Not too shabby, right?

What you’ve done here is used action-gating to gather a truly useful piece of information. Not only do you now know their email address, you also know which day they like to do most of their shopping. So instead of blasting them with emails at random, you can target what day you send that next coupon code or sale alert to maximize its effectiveness. You can use this method to gather all kinds of useful information, from ages and locations to favorite flavors of ice cream. It’s up to you to decide what information will be relevant to your small business. And when you do, you can really have some fun with it.

As with any direct email campaign, the key here is to be strategic and highly targeted with your messages. If you send irrelevant emails too often, you’ll be unfollowed faster than you can say “unsubscribe all”. But if you send useful, welcome information when it’s timely to your audience, those new leads will quickly begin to convert into sales.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Ask followers to respond to a poll. Maybe you’re testing out different names for a new product, or finding the best location for your next store.
  • Ask followers to share what bugs them. Find out what you (or other businesses) are doing wrong, so it can be corrected or prevented.
  • Ask followers to share their birthday. Follow up with a discount or free gift with purchase when the date approaches.