In the past, action gating was an effective way to grow a Facebook page. Action-gating is when a page asks users to do something (such as vote or share information about themselves) in order to get something from the brand such as extra participation in a contest or access to a promotion. It is a ‘give to get’ concept that is no longer allowed. In the past, it did bring a lot to companies, such as the 5 companies below.
Marc Jacobs – fashion brand
During New York Fashion Week 2014, luxury fashion brand Marc Jacobs opened a pop-up store in SoHo called “The Daisy Marc Jacobs Tweet Shop”. No money was exchanged in this shop: cashiers only accepted ‘social currency’. Are you now thinking: what is social currency?
In this case, the social currency consisted of a post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter under the hashtag #MJDaisyChain in exchange for a free product sample. What was striking is that action gating in physical stores was used in exchange for online attention. So there were many ways to use action gating creatively for a wide reach.
Candy Crush Saga – online game
Candy Crush Saga from King.com used a very unique and successful advertising model for the popular game in 2013. The tactics integrated action-gating. Instead of disrupting the gaming experience with distracting banner ads, King presented users with stimulated videos in which a user received something in return, such as extra lives and game bosts, for viewing a video ad.
The click rate on their ads was more than five percent, and about 85 percent of the people who started watching the videos watched them until the end. That was higher than the industry average. So action gating could be used very effectively to convince users to sign up or participate in a particular opportunity offered by the brand.
Wantlet – social commerce company
During the annual South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, Wantlet organized a contest where visitors had a chance to win an iPad2. All they had to do? Share their email address with Wantlet. The winner’s email address was chosen by a random draw. Action gating could thus be used to retrieve valuable information, such as email addresses of the target audience.
SheInside – online store
SheInside gave their website visitors the opportunity to receive a 15 to 20 percent discount on their purchase if they sign up for the newsletter or like the Facebook page. The offer was displayed as a stationary banner at the top of the website. This is a classic example of incentive-based action-gating. Facebook has banned this, but it probably wouldn’t work anymore nowadays because the competition is much bigger and people receive huge numbers of newsletters.
Though Timer – shop for horse harness
Tough Timber created an app for a Facebook roadshow years ago. To enter the Tough Timber contest, app visitors first had to vote for their favourite horse blanket to have a chance of winning one. As soon as a person cast his or her vote, a promotion form appeared allowing the user to submit their entry. This action is similar to a low-cost focus group, where the brand was able to test which product did or did not match the target audience’s wishes.