Multiply Your Email Optins Using Content Upgrades

Have you started collecting emails on your site yet?

If you have, then more than likely you’ve gone the traditional route and added a popup or stuck an opt-in form on your sidebar and tried to collect emails that way.

Maybe you even went the extra mile, and created a lead magnet similar to this free report at Boost Blog Traffic to increase your optin-rate.


If you’ve been doing this for awhile, you have probably realized that this is a super in-efficient way of collecting emails.

Most optin rates using these traditional methods are in the 0.25% to 1% range. And opt-in rates are continually dropping as more and more sites incorporate these very common ways of collecting emails.

And just look at the stats.

At a 1% optin-rate, you’re collecting just 100 leads for every 10,000 visitors!

Unless you are getting boat-loads of traffic, you will not be getting anywhere collecting leads at this snail-like pace.

However, there is a new technique called the content upgrade that is rapidly gaining popularity.

While it requires some extra work to implement, the results you get by implementing it are well worth it.

Essentially, a content upgrade is any sort of bonus content that you create that is specifically related to a piece of content you’ve written. And to get it, your visitor will have to give you your email address in exchange.

Just how effective are content upgrades?

Bryan Harris uses content upgrades like this to consistently get 20-30% optin-rates.


Brian Dean added a content upgrade to this post and boosted his conversion rate from .54% to 4.82%. That’s an increase of 785%!


Popular marketers including like Amy Porterfield, Kim Roach and Noah Kagen have started incorporating content upgrades on many of their best posts.

Content upgrades work, because they provide continuity for your most engaged readers. These are the select readers that have stuck through and read through your entire content. And the content upgrade is the perfect opportunity to pique their interest by providing a complementary bonus.

While increasing optin-rates should be enough to get you to start wanting to incorporate content upgrades, there are also a few other reasons to start using them as well.

First, they allow you to segment your lists by interest. If you use an autoresponder like ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign which support automation, this is very powerful.

By segmenting, you can better target your emails, resulting in more engagement and more sales.

Second, content upgrades are the prefect way to boost your affiliate earnings. Often times you can create content upgrades which feature resources (with your affiliate link) that you would recommend.

As long as you have already established some trust with your reader, many will click on your links and make you some sales.

Finally, content upgrades won’t actually replace your current opt-in strategy. They supplement it. You should still use your standard un-targeted popups and opt-ins but also add content upgrades to really multiply your leads.

Types of Content Upgrades

There are a lot of possibilities out there that you can use for content upgrades. Choosing the best one for any particular post really depends on the specific content you want to attach it to.

But here are some ideas (with links to examples) to get you started.

For more ideas, check out Brian Harris on 11 lead magnet ideas and how to create them.

To be most effective, your content upgrade needs to be something complementary to your blog post. So lets say you were writing a list post. Then a great content upgrade might be some additional items to your list.

Or perhaps you’ve written a how to post. You might include a video tutorial or an interview as a content upgrade for that.

The best content upgrades are easily consumable. It needs to be something short and super actionable. Do this and you will have a highly engaged subscriber on your list.

How to Implement Content Upgrades

You will need some basic tools to make it easy to add content upgrades to your site.

The first is an autoresponder. While any of the popular autoresponders will do, using one that supports automation will give you some extra juice because it allows you to segment your subscribers by interest.

Next, you will need a way to easily deliver your content upgrade. Ideally, it should be automatic and hands-free on your part.

There are many ways to do this, but Leadpages is the product almost everyone is using to create them. It’s very simple and it makes delivering your content upgrade a snap.

Here’s a quick guide on how to implement content upgrades using LeadPages.

1) Inside Leadpages, go to My Account > Lead Magnet Delivery

2) Upload your content upgrade resource (pdf, video, etc) and input the message you want your subscriber to see once they’ve downloaded it.


3) Create a LeadBox and associate your content upgrade with your resource

4) Go to the post you want to include your content upgrade on.

5) Add an obvious call to action. It could be a big button, colored box or just a simple link. Just make sure it stands out so your readers will notice it.

6) Link your call to action to the Leadbox.

Final Thoughts

I bet almost everyone who reads about content upgrades will agree that it’s a good idea.

But very few will actually take the time to implement them.

Why? Because it takes some extra work.

Don’t fall into this trap. Content upgrades are the perfect strategy for building a bigger, more engaged list.

So take the time to identify your most popular posts, and see which ones can make use of the content upgrade strategies I’ve discussed in this post.

Then create the necessary resources, setup the delivery, and watch your email list grow faster then ever before.