Top 7 Content Upgrade Ideas To Get Targeted Email Subscribers


If you’re not building an email list for your business, you’re missing out a lot.

Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true.

Your email list is one of the most valuable assets you have as an online marketer.

From my research, I’ve realized that the primary reason why email marketing seems daunting to most people is that they just don’t know how to do it.

You have a sign-up form on the sidebar of your blog, and maybe even at the end of each post you publish. But what’s your conversion rate? I’m guessing it’s pretty low.

Getting poor conversion rates after spending so much time creating an incentive to give away can be demotivating. Sometimes, that’s what makes some people to say that email marketing doesn’t work.

But there are a lot of really smart ways to build and maintain an email list. You just need to be creative.

Today, I’ll talk to you about one great list building method:

  • Content upgrades.

Content upgrades are not particularly new, but they drive large conversion rates.

But creating a good content upgrade can be difficult.

That’s why I’ve compiled the 7 best content upgrade ideas to keep your readers interested and engaged with your blog.

But before we get into that, let me quickly explain what a content upgrade is.

A content upgrade is an enhanced lead magnet that adds an “upgrade” to the content that is being consumed. They’re meant to compliment and add in even more value in exchange for a user’s email address.

Best Content Upgrade Ideas

1. Checklists

This is one of the most popular forms of content upgrades. A checklist consists of actionable steps a reader needs to follow to quickly implement what has just been read.

Let’s say you wrote a 4,000+ word article on link building; you can create a checklist that contains the most important steps a user needs to go through to launch their link building campaign.

It can also be a list of all the materials and tools the reader will need to build a link.

It does not have to be anything complex; in fact, you should make it as simple and straightforward as possible.

Here’s a perfect example from

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If you click on the link, it will pop up a form where you will have to enter your name and email address in order to access the checklist.

How To Boost Conversions

Tools to easily create checklists: Forgett, Sweet Process, and Checkli

Check out: How To Create A Checklist In PDF Format For Content Upgrades

2. Audio Recording of the Article

Your readers are also busy people, and most of them like consuming information through different mediums.

Creating an audio version of your blog posts is a really good idea.

Your audience may want to listen to your blog post while sitting in traffic!

By offering your blog post as an audio file, your audience can download it and listen to it whenever they want.

But in order to do this effectively, you need to make sure you have a decent quality microphone and a clear, good speaking voice. You can always hire someone from freelancing sites to convert your articles into audio.

Listen to above audio to understand how effective it is. Especially when your readers are traveling or driving a car, such audio content is a blessing.

3. Additional Tools and Resources

Assuming you’ve mentioned many tools and resources in your article, you can make a big list of all those tools and provide links to them. This will save your readers lots of time so they won’t have to go searching for each of them independently.

Convert this list into a PDF, and offer it for download on the post as a content upgrade.

4. A Cheat Sheet

A cheat sheet is simply a concise set of notes used for quick reference.

For example, let’s say I wrote a post explaining different search engine ranking factors, I could create a one page PDF mentioning all of these ranking factors with a quick summary.

This is a great method of hooking readers because it simplifies a lot of complex information.

5. PDF Version of Post

A lot of bloggers also use this as a content upgrade because it’s easy to create.

Let’s imagine a situation where you wrote an ultimate guide about something which is 10,000 words long.

You know that some people will not have the time to finish such a post in one sitting, so turning it into a downloadable PDF in exchange for your reader’s email address is a great idea.

This will enable them to download the post and read it later at their convenience.

You can do this with a tool like Leadpages.

-55 How to Create a Survey to Find Your Target Market Amy Porterfield

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6. A Quick Start Guide

Have you ever purchased an item and discovered inside the box a small pamphlet titled “Users Manual” or “Quick Start Guide”?

That’s usually the most valuable guide in the box because it’s the only thing that will walk you through how to use/set up the item.

If you’re writing a blog post that is complex or gigantic in nature, you could offer a simple guide about how to use a particular tool, or a guide that will simplify a particularly challenging topic.

All you might need is a simple collection of pictures or videos, and a reader will not hesitate to give you their email address.

7. Templates

This is another excellent content upgrade.

Do you have an easy to copy email formula that you use to pitch influencers for guest posting opportunities?

You can quickly turn that into a template and use it to collect emails.

BONUS Content Upgrade Ideas

BONUS 1. Swipe File

A swipe file consists of some resources you often refer to while working on a particular task.

If you’re a copywriter, you could have some good headlines you use for inspiration while writing copy. This can also serve as a content upgrade.

Here’s a good example of a swipe file content upgrade from

Lead Magnets 11 Ways to Get More Subscribers VideofruitLead Magnet 11 Ways To Turn Readers Into Subscribers

BONUS 2. A Teaser

I’ve also seen lots of people using this method.

Maybe you’ve just created an eBook or an eCourse…

Giving your readers a few chapters of the product will make for a good content upgrade, and they will appreciate you for it by giving you their email address.

It will also help you to sell the full copy of the course to them later on.

Content Upgrades and Collecting Emails

List building is important if you want to become a successful internet marketer. This is why we all need to take list building more seriously by utilizing all of the proven techniques.

I’m aware that offering a content upgrade is extra work, but if you consider the returns it’ll bring, you would be wise to not ignore it.

Remember, nothing worthwhile comes easily.

Hopefully, this post has given you enough ideas to start creating your own content upgrades.

What kind of content upgrades do you offer on your blog? What’s the most successful kind of content upgrade that’s been working for you? How do you collect emails? Share your experience in the comments!

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