ChartMogul abandons "content upgrades" approach to list building

“Content Upgrade” is marketing speak for those pages where you need to give your email to get the content they are offering for free.

From the article:

Recently, we decided that we’d stop capturing email leads and filling marketing funnels from our content at ChartMogul. Many people have since asked about the thinking behind this decision — so here it is.

  • The quality of leads is low
  • The funnel-based approach is flawed and incomplete
  • New data protection rules change the game for marketing data capture
  • This form of lead capture just doesn’t match our true content goals

Interesting argument. I hope that more companies make the same decision - the gated content can be frustrating to deal with when browsing.

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I hate when I asked to enter email to see the video, demo, or download the white paper.

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Agreed - Zapier is now taking a “just download it” approach to at least some of their content. (see After all, the point of having quality content is to start/build a positive experience with you.


I have 8-9 "content upgrades” on my site. It works to get email addresses, but roughly one third of the signups unsubscribe within the first month. Overall, they don’t perform as well as regular signups, but… it’s probably still worth it for the 1/3 that do end up engaging with the content.