One of the most exciting and lucrative opportunities for businesses is gated content. Numerous big-name companies, including The Washington Post, use membership site platforms as a way to grow their audience and sell more products.

Content is available across virtually all websites hoping to make it big in their industry. Putting your most valuable content behind a premium paywall helps separate your audience into groups of people who are genuinely interested in what you have to say.

The problem many business owners have is they are unable to get high conversion numbers on their gated content. As a result, sales can suffer if you put your website content behind a membership login page. However, we are going to show you how to improve your conversion rate on your reserved content.

Make the Process Simple

The first rule is a no-brainer, but it’s still certainly worth mentioning. When you decide to create gated off content for your website, you have to make sure the process to sign-up is smooth and straightforward.

As a society, we have more distractions than ever before. How many times have you started to fill out a user registration form for a website, only to discover that the process was muddled and clunky? If this sounds familiar, your next move was to bounce off the page and never look back.

You do not want to confuse consumers during the process of signing up for your website. The best way to make sure the process of signing up runs smoothly, perform multiple test runs on the backend of your site before launch. We have a saying called “break it early” where we run various tests simulating a live customer in an attempt to break what we built. After running rigorous testing, you’ll help to ensure a smooth launch when your membership section goes live.

Your tests should focus on speed and functionality while testing for bugs and anomalies.

Promote Content Using Various Platforms

Technology allows us to communicate in ways we could only dream of 20 years ago. Due to the massive influx in social media platforms, email marketing platforms/providers, and live chat, it’s easier than ever to promote your content to consumers.

You should have a good idea of what kind of people fit into your ideal customer persona. Customer personas are character sheets you can build that dive into the goals, pain points, and demographics of your audience. If you haven’t developed these profiles yet, add Google Analytics to WordPress and take a look at your audience statistics. You’ll have access to demographic information, as well as content with the most views. This information allows you to figure out what kind of content users want to see, where they reside, and how often they visit your website.

Use this data to market to your consumers on social media, while promoting the content you know your target audience finds appealing. Similarly, you can create an email marketing campaign that targets people who have subscribed to your email list but still haven’t committed to making a membership purchase. This marketing tactic is known as segmenting your lead lists, and it’s crucial for making sure your audience sees the right message, at the right time.

Combine Prizes with Free Content

Finally, if you want to improve your conversion rate on gated content, you have to make sure consumers have a reason to land on your website in the first place. The Washington Post handles this step well by allowing consumers to read a couple of high-quality pieces of content for free. You can choose whether you want to enable consumers to see specific content for free all the time, or if they can view a certain number of articles before their “trial” expires.

Remember, consumers are only going to invest in your plan for additional content if they found value in the free content. Make sure that everything you publish is high quality; this will ensure engagement in your brand and content.

In other words, you wouldn’t subscribe to another website’s membership plan if the free content they provide is lackluster. You would think, “I’m not going to pay for this!” Consumers feel the same way. They want to read content that’s insightful, provides value, and teaches them something new.

Games are another great way to get people to come to your website who otherwise wouldn’t have a reason for clicking through one of your links. Gamification is common with small businesses who want to improve engagement with their audience.

Improved engagement translates to more traffic, which usually converts to increased sales. There are multiple ways to use games on your website. You could create an online contest where you offer the winner a free annual subscription to your content. The runner-ups may end up getting discounts, which could encourage them to subscribe to your website.


There are plenty of ways to improve your conversion rate on gated content. You have to remember that the purpose of paid content is to provide your viewers with a premium experience.

Make sure to regularly run stress and bug tests on your sign-up forms and website, create free content that provides value before consumers ever subscribe, and share your content on various platforms. If you follow these three tips, you should have no problem improving your conversion rate and creating a website with profitable gated content.