I was reading an article on www.Fool.com and as I got to the juicy part of the story, it froze me out! It said that I had to enter my email address in order to read the rest of the paragraph and story. I was stunned, amazed and impressed. This technique is called a Content Unlock because the user needs to take action (give an email, pay, download a toolbar etc….) in order to read or engage with further content. Fool placed it a great place that I dutifully gave them an email address.
I decided to test the system and they realized that first attempt at putting in gibberish was fake, however when I typed in firstname.lastname@example.org, it let me slide. They really need to do a verification of your email address and cookie you in order to make it a higher quality data capture.
However, I am still impressed by their use of the technique. It is a money maker for sure for building their database. Use with caution. If your content isn’t juicy enough, users will just go away!