Why content upgrades are the best way to grow your email list

When you have a blog for your biz or as a biz, it’s easy to get fixated on how much traffic you’re getting and how you can get more of it.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Traffic is important. In fact, it’s EXTREMELY important. Because your blog can’t help you make money if no one ever visits it.

But here’s what a lot of entrepreneurs and bloggers often lose sight of: Getting traffic isn’t the endgame. Traffic alone doesn’t help you make money or grow your business.

Instead, if you want results, you have to convert that traffic into something—like leads or email subscribers. Because then you can email the people who visit your blog, build a relationship with them, and, eventually, pitch paid products, services, or workshops to them. You don’t have to just sit around and hope that they visit your blog or website again.

What’s the best way to convert mere blog visitors into loyal email subscribers? By using content upgrades.

Keep reading below to learn what content upgrades are and how they help you turn every single one of your blog posts into a list-building machine.

 

 

Want to grow your email list as fast as possible? Create content upgrades that convert like crazy.
Download my free list of 27 content upgrade ideas.

 

Lead magnets: necessary but not sufficient

Most entrepreneurs and bloggers use lead magnets to convert their blog visitors into email subscribers.

A lead magnet is a free resource that’s related to your business as a whole. And you offer it to your audience in exchange for their email address (or whatever contact info you want to collect).

For example, if you’re a social media manager, you might offer a year’s worth of Instagram post ideas as a lead magnet. Social media is your strength and your audience is probably people who need help with their social media presence. So a  resource that contains ideas for Instagram posts would be relevant and valuable to your audience.

Because lead magnets are related to your business or blog as a whole, your audience probably sees them on most pages of your blog (and website). For example, they might spot your lead magnet in a sidebar, at the top or bottom of a page, and in pop-ups.

 

email list incentives

 

Being able to place lead magnets almost anywhere on your site makes them useful. And that’s why they’re an important part of a solid list-building strategy.

But they aren’t the most effective way to turn your blog visitors into email subscribers. And that’s why you’ll find that common lead magnets, like reports or email courses, don’t have the same kind of conversion power that they used to. *Sigh.*

So if you want to optimize conversions and grow your email list as quickly as possible, what should you do? Instead of relying solely on lead magnets, use content upgrades too.

 

What are content upgrades?

Like lead magnets, content upgrades are free resources that you offer to your audience in exchange for their email address.

But whereas lead magnets are related to your biz or blog as a whole, content upgrades are specific to a particular blog post (or to posts that focus on the same topic). They help your audience implement the information you provide in the post.

For example, in my blog post on how to write a services page that converts, I provide tips on how to write a high-converting services page for your business. I also offer a full services page copy template & example as a content upgrade. This helps my audience take the “next step” after reading the blog post and actually write their own services page copy.

 

content upgrades

 

 

Because each content upgrade is specific to a particular blog post (or several posts on the same specific topic), they appear only on those posts.

 

 

Want to grow your email list as fast as possible? Create content upgrades that convert like crazy.
Download my free list of 27 content upgrade ideas.

Send me the list

 

Content upgrades convert better

Now, when people read my services page blog post and any other post on my blog, they also see my lead magnet: swipe copy for a welcome email series. But because the content upgrade is much more specific and relevant to the post they’re reading, they’re more likely to sign up for it and less likely to sign up for the general lead magnet.

 

Example of lead magnet

 

And as a result, my content upgrades convert much better than my lead magnet does. In fact, I have 11 content upgrades that have each generated more email subscribers for me than my welcome series lead magnet has across all the pages and posts it shows up on.

And it’s not just MY content upgrades that work wonders. Brain Dean got 785% more email subscribers when we started using content upgrades on his blog. And Brian Harris’s blog posts convert at a rate of 20-30% when he adds content upgrades too them.

Pretty crazy, right?

Except it’s not really all that crazy when you think about it. When people are reading a specific post on your blog, they’re probably interested in that topic. Content upgrades let you capitalize on this interest by offering your readers a resource that helps them learn more about that topic or implement information about it.

So if you suddenly get a spike in traffic on a blog post because your Pinterest pin went viral or a major influencer shared your post on social media, you’ll get more than just a temporary boost in page views and visitors. You’ll have a shot at turning all of those people who read your post into email subscribers (score!).

And you know what? That’s not even all that content upgrades can do for you!

What other benefits can you expect? Check out my top 6 reasons to add content upgrades to your blog.

 

What makes a good content upgrade?

Stellar content upgrades—the kind that really knock it out of the park—are specific and actionable.

They’re specific to the topic of the blog post they show up on. This is important because the goal of a content upgrade is to offer a resource that matches the topic your blog visitor is already reading about in the post. In other words, you want your content upgrade to address the same problem that your blog post addresses. (But it should move your blog visitor closer to a solution than the blog post on its own does.)

Content upgrades are also actionable so that it’s easy for your new email subscriber to implement the info you provided in the blog post. Checklists, templates, and cheat sheets are some of the most effective types of content upgrades. Why? Because they’re highly actionable.

What else makes for an awesome content upgrade. Learn my 6 tips for creating content upgrades that skyrocket your conversions.

 

 

Want to grow your email list as fast as possible? Create content upgrades that convert like crazy.
Download my free list of 27 content upgrade ideas.

Send me the list

 

You don’t need a team or tons of money to make them

I know what you’re thinking: “Creating a new freebie for every blog post or even every group of blog posts seems like A LOT of work.”

I’m not going to lie to you. Creating content upgrades for your blog does take time and energy. But you don’t have to have a large team or tons of money to make them.

In fact, you can DIY many of the most common types of content upgrades, like templates, checklists, lists, and cheat sheets, using Word or Pages and saving your file as a PDF.

You can also use a tool like Canva to jazz up a checklist or template or even to create an infographic.

 

Canva screen shot

 

Looking for a step-by-step process to help you create a content upgrade your audience will absolutely love? I’ve got you covered. Check out my post on how to make a content upgrade to get more email subscribers.

 

You don’t need fancy tech skills to get ‘em going

Okay, so you’ve created a checklist, cheat sheet, or template that’s specific, actionable, and packed to the brim with value. Now what?

You’ve got to add your brand spankin’ new content upgrade to your blog.

Don’t have a tech bone in your body? Don’t worry.

Adding a content upgrade to your blog is no harder than adding a lead magnet to your blog or website. After all, just like with a lead magnet, all you need are 3 things:

  • a call to action (to tell people to sign up for the content upgrade)
  • an opt-in form (a form that people use to sign up for the upgrade)
  • a delivery system (a way to send the content upgrade to people who’ve signed up for it)

 

 

 

If you’ve never worked with content upgrades or lead magnets before, this may seem complicated. But even if code scares the living daylights outta you, you’re not out of luck. There are tons of tools you can use to make it easy to add content upgrades to your blog.

For example, I use Leadpages. But you can also use ConvertKit, OptinMonster, and any of a number of other tools.

 

Start growing your email list with content upgrades

If you want results from your blog, content upgrades are the answer. Content upgrades let you turn each and every blog post into a powerful list-building machine. The result? You get more email subscribers and, eventually, more sales and customers.

Ready to skyrocket your email list with content upgrades? Learn everything you need to know about content upgrades by checking out my 4-part series:

Part 1: 6 reasons why your blog needs content upgrades

Part 2: 6 content upgrade tips that will skyrocket your email list

Part 3: How to make a content upgrade to get more email subscribers

Part 4: How to correctly set up content upgrades on your blog

 

 

Want to grow your email list as fast as possible? Create content upgrades that convert like crazy.
Download my free list of 27 content upgrade ideas.

Send me the list

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why content upgrades are the best way to grow your email list

Content upgrades: What they are and how they can boost your email subscribers + free list of 27 content upgrade ideas
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