How—and When—to Use Content Locker to Increase Email Sign-Ups for Your Nonprofit

If you’re looking to increase email sign-ups, try giving content locker a whirl. If you’ve never heard of content locker, here’s the gist: a content locker prompts users to subscribe to your email list in order to access special content. At Whole Whale, we use
Optinmonster, but tons of stellar tools await to help you bump up your subscriber count (Sumo, Wishpond, and Bounce Exchange, to name a few). If you recognize these tools, it’s because you might already be using them for pop-ups—and much like pop-ups, content locker tends to get a bad rep for forcing users to take an action before accessing content.

When used appropriately, however, content locker can churn out results by connecting you to the right subscribers: people who will continue to engage with your content long after they get that piece they immediately want. Check out the tips below to boost your email sign-ups and generate genuinely engaged subscribers.

1. Only push your best content.

When someone in your audience gives you their email, they expect great content in return. However, you don’t want to lock content that is vital to your mission—content that you want search engines to index and crawl. Rather, use content lock when your content is supplementary, takes a long time to create, or is longer than 1000 words.


2. Brand your content locker as you would any other element of your site.

Much like pop-ups, content lockers should flow seamlessly into your website’s design.


3. Pit copy against copy. Duke it out in an A/B test and see who comes out victorious.

Write thoughtful copy when creating your content locker. What words do you think will convince people to hand over their email address? More importantly, what does the data indicate will convince users to do so?


4. Prompt users to double opt-in via a follow-up email to their initial sign-up.

By asking your audience to confirm their subscription, you can expect a happy subscriber base chomping at the bit for more of your content—and help prevent unsubscribes down the road.


5. Use groups to target your content to subscribers who care.

A user who signs up to receive a free website maintenance checklist is not the same as a user seeking out content marketing tips. Create groups within Optinmonster (or whatever tool you use) to give your subscribers relevant content that they’ll love.