How to Use Content Upgrades to Grow Your Email List

Are you looking for ways you can quickly grow your email list?

Don’t you wish there was a way you could actually generate leads from every blog post you publish?

Well, now you can. There’s a simple list building method that’s taking over the Internet and it’s called a “content upgrade”. Building your email list doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little extra work you can transform your existing blog into a lead generation machine.

Below we cover what content upgrades actually are, why you want them, and how you can get started.

What is a Content Upgrade?

You’re probably already aware of using certain incentives to get people to join your email list. From eBooks, to email courses, to free trials, there are dozens of means to encourage users to join your list.

The difference between a content upgrade and the other means of lead generation is a content upgrade is specifically tailored to a single blog post. In exchange for your readers email address a content upgrade extends the value of the blog post they’re reading.

For example, if they’re reading a blog post on the benefits of switching to a new web host, you could offer a content upgrade that shows them five questions to ask before choosing a host. The ways you can extend the value of a post via a content upgrade are truly endless.

Then, once they’re joined your list you can email them about new products, new posts, or send them other free content you’ve created.

Why Content Upgrades Work

Content upgrades have been proven to convert at an extremely high rate. Especially, when compared to other forms of lead generation, like pop-ups, email courses, and sidebar optins. These are still important, but if you’re looking to multiply your efforts, then content upgrades are definitely worth throwing into the mix.

For example, Brain Dean of Backlinko saw over a 700% increase in his email optins when he began to employ content upgrades. While Brian Harris of Videofruit saw conversion rates ranging from 20 to 30% once he began to use content upgrades within his blog posts.

Put simply, content upgrades work, so let’s show you how you can let them work their magic on your own WordPress site.

How to get Started With Content Upgrades

Chances are, if you’re already doing email marketing, then you already have everything at your disposal to create your very first content upgrade.

You need three things in order for content upgrades to work.

  • A call-to-action
  • A way to collect their emails
  • A way to deliver your content upgrade

Below you’ll learn how to actually put these three elements into action.

1. Call-to-Action

The first thing you’ll need is a call-to-action. This will be a button, or form, that stands out from the rest of your blog post.

Typically, they look something like this example from OkDork.

Your call-to-action should reference the post and illustrate the value your readers are going to get by subscribing. The more irresistible you make your upgrade the higher your chances of them opting in.

In terms of placement, you should add multiple calls-to-action within your blog post. The most common areas are towards the top and bottom of your post, but feel free to test and experiment to see what increases your conversions the most.

2. Lead Collection

Once the reader clicks on your content upgrade optin they should be prompted to enter their email address. Depending upon the software you’re using this will either be in the form of an optin pop-up, or take the reader to another screen.

It’s highly recommended to utilize an optin pop-up, as the user won’t have to leave the blog post that they’re currently reading. Remember, you want to make it as easy as possible to collect your readers email address.

Software like LeadPages will integrate with your existing email marketing provider and give you an easy way to collect leads.

3. Delivery

Finally, you’ll actually need to deliver the content upgrade. Depending on your service this can either be done by having the download instantly be available, or you could send them the upgrade with an automatic email follow-up.

In terms of relationship building it’s a good idea to automatically deliver the download to your subscribers inbox. That way they get used to opening emails from you and will hopefully be excited about seeing you appear in their inbox.

The backbone of this strategy starts with a solid content upgrade. Think about what piece of information your reader will be dying to receive as they read your blog, then give it to them. The software and automation aspects might be technical, but they’re the easy part.

If you’re still wracking your mind about what kind of upgrade you can actually provide, then consider providing a simple PDF download of your existing post. The benefit of this is you’ve already written the blog post! No need for added work on your end.

Content upgrades can be an incredible way to grow your list. Hopefully the post above has made you excited about the potential of using content upgrades for your own business.

Now over to you. Have you used content upgrades to grow your email list? How did it turn out?

Kevin Wood

Kevin Wood

Kevin Wood is a freelance writer who writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes, Counter Culturist and Wooden Writing.

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