Accelerate Lead Generation by Ungating your Primary Free Offer

This counterintuitive experiment 10xed lead velocity.

Today’s experiment offers a criminally underused solution to this painful (and common) tradeoff. FounderPal delayed asking for their user’s email and it led to 10x lead velocity for their new offer — matching 6 months of revenue in only 2 weeks. 

If you want to copy their exact playbook for increased landing page traffic, higher conversion rates, and a public swell of social proof from happy users…

Try the experiment below.

CXL Experiment #029: Ungated lead generation

The tactic is simple. 

Offer a part of your paid tool absolutely free, then ask for the email after the value has been delivered.

FounderPal offers marketing tools and products – like AI powered value proposition and business idea generators – for indie entrepreneurs. 

Their new AI marketing strategy generator sold consistently ($49/strategy) for six months post-launch… Until it didn’t. 

To combat that, they released a small portion of their tool – the AI marketing persona generator – as a free, ungated, lead magnet.

The outcome: Lead velocity 10xed over the next two weeks and resulted in $4,964 in revenue, almost matching their previous six-month total. 

The delayed email submission unlocked several new growth levers, with impressive results:

  • 71% of the people who saw the zero-friction offer tried it — and 20.1% of those users were satisfied enough to provide their email for the second step.
  • With the delayed email form (offering a PDF with a new set of AI prompts), Sveta and Dan collected 4,058 emails in the two weeks post-launch (vs the 5,469 captured over the previous six months).
  • The ungated primary offer empowered them to double down on early success with a ProductHunt launch, organic features in top AI newsletters, and plenty of social sharing from happy users.

Here’s why it worked

You need both of these ingredients to pull it off:

1) The value in the free offer must be apparent, instant, and complete.

This proves your value without additional expectation, one of Robert Cialdini’s seven principles of influence.

“Free ebook” doesn’t count. Tools that provide actionable output adjacent to your paid offer. 

Input should take almost no effort and the entire promise is fulfilled before the ask. It should require little effort and take no more than a minute to see immediate value.

2) The free offer must move them another step further toward their goal in return for their email.
Only after FounderPal proved their value with the free tool, did they offer the traditional gated asset promoting 9 additional tips to make the data more actionable. This opened a curiosity loop that would presumably offer more “free” value in exchange for an email address.

Try it today: Upgrade your current lead magnet

Here is your recipe to run this experiment today:

  1. Isolate an actionable and/or resonant aspect of your software.
  2. Duplicate that functionality and offer it free.
  3. Add an email form to download your existing lead magnet to bridge the gap between the paid and free offer.
  4. [Optional] Run an A/B test to both landing pages — your existing offer and the new, interactive offer. Target people in your TAM, but outside of your current audience.

Make sure you’re running a valid experiment with the official CXL A/B test calculator, and monitoring on an ongoing basis to make sure the results hold.

Learn to get more value out of your online experiments with our A/B testing Mastery Course.

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Accelerate Lead Generation by Ungating your Primary Free Offer