Things move fast online. That's why, as marketers, we're constantly trying to innovate the way we do things like grow our email lists. One approach, something now commonly referred to as “content upgrades,” started cropping up online in 2015. And, for the time being, at least, this list building method is seeing more and more use. Why? Because it works!
What is a content upgrade?
A content upgrade is simple. It's basically the delivery of bonus content in exchange for someone subscribing to your email list or newsletter. Unlike the old list building strategy of having just one lead magnet for all of your content, content upgrades are created to be relevant to whatever content your site visitor is reading, viewing or listening to on a particular page or post.
Let's say you created a post last year about how to create your own organic garden. You recently checked Google Analytics and found that this has been one of the most popular posts on your site. You're getting plenty of traffic, and you wish you could somehow increase the number of email subscribers you are receiving.
Using the content upgrade strategy, you can develop an “Organic Gardening Checklist” that breaks down in simple to follow steps exactly how anyone can build and benefit from their own organic garden. In the middle of your content on that post, you would include a form, either a graphic or text-based form, that offers your Organic Gardening Checklist as a free download.
A reader clicks on your download link or graphic, and they are taken to an opt-in form to receive their bonus content. Simple, right?
Content upgrades have their pros and cons
Building your list should be the number one goal of your business, and content upgrades improve upon the traditional list building method. However, they are not without their detractors. Consider the following pros and cons if you are thinking about adding content upgrades to your list building repertoire.
Why you may want to start using content upgrades
They have higher than average conversion rates. This is because they are laser focused. A content upgrade is an opt-in incentive that you create which is extremely relevant to a single web page or topic. Because of this high level of relevancy, conversion rates can be very high.
They build your image as a leader in your field. The more free, value-rich resources you offer your readers, the higher level of attention you garner in your niche or marketplace. Think about it. Pretend you find yourself looking at 2 nearly identical sites. One site offers the same opt-in bribe on every page and post.
Your site delivers a different opt-in incentive on each page, which is laser targeted to the topic discussed there. Which website appears more authoritative? Your site, and your reputation, both benefit greatly from creating page-specific content upgrades.
You can use them for multiple purposes. Your content upgrades can be sold as e-books, combined together for a massive resource, added to PDF sharing sites, and used in your autoresponder email sequences. Once you have built these pieces of content, they have an unlimited number of uses.
They are easy to make. Simple checklists make great content upgrades. Any blog post or other piece of content you have lying around can be saved as a PDF and offered as a content upgrade. Cheat sheets, beginners guides, transcripts, resource lists and quick start guides are all easy to produce pieces of content which can be used as high converting content upgrades.
…or maybe you don't want to use content upgrades
The biggest “negative” to content upgrades (and possibly the only one) is the time it takes to create them. Since you are building topic-relevant pieces of content to match what you are discussing on different web pages and blog posts, there is a lot of content to create. However, they are so powerful for building your list and boosting the perception that you are a leader in your field, the extra time spent creating them is more than worth the benefits you receive.
Okay, this list isn't quite as long as the “pros” list, but maybe I'm biased. Or maybe it's just that content upgrades work.
See a real live content upgrade in action
So if, by now, you are starting to see how powerful content upgrades can be, maybe it's time to dig a bit deeper. Let's take a look at a real live content upgrade in action. Download a FREE copy of my Ultimate Guide To Content Upgrades: The Powerful Method for Ultra-Targeted List Building to Grow Your List FAST!