Get 10%+ Email Opt-In Rates on Your Blog with Content Locking

Content Locks on Blogs

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This is not a click bait headline. You really can get 10% of your blog visitors to opt-in to your mailing list if you utilize the method I'm about to show you. It's called "content locking" (referred to by other names such as "content gating") and it has been insanely effective for me here at EntreResource. 

In a rush? Click here to skip directly to the "how to" section...

Content Unlock

My most recent results with content lock opt-ins.

I'm going to show you how to utilize this same method on your own websites.

"10% opt-in rates is impossible," you may be thinking. It's completely reasonable that you might think that since the average opt-in (according to my friends at is around 3.08%.

According to their research, only 3 out of every 100 Sumo users saw opt-in rates over 11%. Are you ready to join this group of outliers?

The average pop-up conversion rate is only 3.08%

 Let's get into it...first, let me explain what a content lock actually is.

What Is Content Locking?

I could tell you, but I'd rather show you...

Add your email below you'll unlock the definition of content locking....

Nice, pretty straight forward, right?

This is just a demo to show the basic mechanics of it, but I could put anything in here that would be of value to the reader. 

Content locking requires the reader to provide an email (or take some other desired action) in order to view pieces of content that you choose.

Why Does Content Locking Work So Well?

Content locking works for a number of reasons. 

First, it is EXTREMELY relevant to the reason the person is on the website. Many lead magnets are too generic. 

"Get my ebook!" for instance is not nearly as relevant as "enter your email to read the second half of this article."

Second, they aren't annoying (at least not compared to intrusive pop ups).

Content locks are in line and are typically only shown after a reader has scrolled down a certain length of the page. 

For SEO reasons, it's uncommon to lock an entire article from the first word to the last. Readers who see them have already shown that they are interested in the content and are much more likely to respond favorably to a relevant opt-in.

Third, they play on our desire for completeness. For whatever reason, humans enjoy things being whole. No one wants to read an article and feel like they only got part of the value.

The content lock converts well in part because no one likes to "end the streak," so to speak of the flow of the article. 

Finally, content locks aren't over done (yet). Ok, this one is more of a theory, but I think it is true. Anyone can make a pop up (and they do) but only a small number of people are utilizing content locking. It navigates around the natural "pop up blindness" we've developed.

Content Locker Tools

There are a number of tools we can use for creating gated content. 

The tool I use is called Thrive Leads. It comes as part of the Thrive suite of tools that I received when I signed up for the theme I use here at

If you want other options (there are a LOT of theme) check out this article I found while researching for this post. It covers 15 WordPress plugins you can use for content locking.

You can use Thrive Leads for 100% of your lead capturing, but I don't. I use Sumo for everything except content locking.

If you're looking for just one plugin to manage them all, use Thrive Leads.

How I lock Content with thrive leads

I've recorded a short video for you showing how to add a content lock quickly inside of Thrive Themes. 

The process will be relatively similar on other plugins.

Note: I am assuming that you have already purchased and installed Thrive Leads for this video. 

Step #1 Purchase and Install the Thrive Leads Plugin

Step #2 From the WordPress Dashboard, Click "Thrive Dashboard" and then click "Thrive Leads"

Step #3 Scroll to "Lead Shortcodes" and Select "Add New"

Thrive Lead Shortcodes

Step #4 Name Your Shortcode

Step #5 Toggle the "Content Locking" to the Right (On)

content locking

Step #6 Click "Edit" 

Edit Thrive Content Lock

Step #7 Click "Add New Form"

Add New Form Thrive Leads

Step #7 Click "Add New Form"

Step #8 Click "Edit" on the New Form

Step #9 Choose Your Template

Step #10 Hover Over the Lead Generation Area and (Left) Click

Step #11 Click "Edit Form Elements" to Change Form Elements (Email, Name, Button Text Etc)


You'll need to have an email marketing service connected to Thrive Leads to complete this part. Since each service is different, you'll need to follow the instructions provided for the specific service you use. 

Once you've integrated your service, you will need to create a form or tag inside of your service that organizes subscribers of this content lock opt-in.

Step #12 Save Your Form 

Step #13 Copy the Short Code Text 

Thrive Shortcode

Step #14 Paste the Code into the Blog Post, Directly above the Part You Want to Hide

Thrive Content Hiding

Step #15 Delete the "Hidden Content" and Copy the Code Immediately after It

Step #16 Paste the Copied End Lock Code to the End of Hidden Content

Step #17 Save

Step #18 Open the Page and Test 

Content Gating

Step #19 (Optional) Change the Lock Mode to "Blur" Instead of the Default "Hidden" Mode

Thrive Blur

From the form page, you can choose to hide the content entirely OR blur it out. I find that the blur converts better. 

The demo that I showed you above is utilizing the "blur" lock mode.

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