That you can create in minutes!
In this article, I want to give you content upgrade ideas that you can use to grow your email list. And I promise these can all be done quickly. Us business-owning moms don’t need to spend hours to build a helpful and tempting content upgrade.
If you’re serious about building a list of email subscribers, you probably have at least one sign-up form on your website offering a small product in exchange for an email address. That tiny product is known as a lead magnet because it hopefully attracts leads.
If you look around at my blog on the day this is first published, I don’t have many content upgrades. I have category lead magnets and a more general lead magnet that I add to the end of blog posts automatically using OptinMonster. These attract sign-ups, but I believe being more specific can grow my list faster and be more helpful at the same time.
I’m working on these for my own business right now, going back and adding some content upgrades to some of my posts. The posts that people read the most frequently will be my first priority, and then posts that don’t quite relate to the more general lead magnets I offer. I wanted to share what I’m learning so you can do it too!
Want to just skip the read and go to the idea generator? Content Upgrade Ideas Generator
Content upgrades – what are they?
Content upgrades are simply a type of lead magnets. Instead of a tiny product that is designed to appeal to most of your audience, a content upgrade is very specific. It directly extends the value of the content that a visitor just consumed.
The opt-in forms for content upgrades go right on your individual pieces of content (or associated web page). You want to offer something that enhances or builds on the visitor’s experience of that piece of content. You can:
- make the information easier to consume,
- help your visitor use the information they’ve just consumed,
- or dive deeper into the information they’ve just learned about.
Benefits of content upgrades
Just like any other lead magnet, a content upgrade gives/offers something that is obviously of interest to the article reader. In exchange, you get their email address.
Unlike a more general lead magnet though, a content upgrade done right is very tempting to visitors because it is so specifically helpful to someone who has just read through your content. And that means more email subscribers for you.
Content upgrades also allow you to easily divide up your subscriber list by interest (called segmenting in marketing-speak). You can use tags (or other fields, depending on your email marketing software) to label each group, based on the topic of the content upgrade they signed up for. And this is helpful because it means you can send very specific emails to your subscribers, and make offers to them based on what they’re already interested in.
Ideas for quick-creation content upgrades
Sometimes, after you write an article or record a podcast, thinking of a good content upgrade is challenging, so you just don’t do it. You figure that a category-specific or even a general lead magnet will do the job.
While you really can turn any format into a quick content upgrade, here are some of the fastest and easiest to create. They are ultra-helpful to your audience, and done right, should be very tempting too!
Content upgrade ideas that help visitors consume your content
Post or Outline PDF
This could be as simple as a clean, printable PDF of your blog post. A print-out could be helpful if it’s something your audience might want to have handy as they complete a task. A PDF of an outline could also be helpful if your post is something someone would want to take notes on.
By far, the easiest way to do this is to use Google Docs. Keep a branded blank template in Google Docs, and copy and paste your blog post onto that template. Clean up the document to make it easy to read. Then under the File menu, select Download and PDF Document. Done!
Audio recording of a long blog post
If you’ve written an epic blog post filled with your best info, it’s likely to get pretty long. Make that easier to get through for busy folks, and make a quick audio recording. Your audience could listen in the car, or while they exercise.
Your smart phone probably already has a voice memo app, and there are lots of fancier apps to choose from. Just read through your post and save your file.
Video or podcast transcription
If you make videos or podcasts, one problem consumers have is when they need to come back to the content and find one small piece of information. It’s hard if your recording is any length at all.
And, some people learn better by reading than by watching or listening. I know I really like videos, but I can read so much faster than I can watch a video that sometimes I’d prefer written information.
A transcript can upgrade your audio or video content, and you can use a service like otter.ai to create them. Otter.ai is awesome, has a free plan, and is pretty darned accurate. I love it – check it out.
Content upgrade ideas that dive deeper
Tools & Resources list
If your content talks about WHAT to do, one way to extend that information is to give a list of tools the reader will need. Don’t underestimate the draw of a list of resources (note to self – create one!). A list like this can save people from hours of research and testing out tools and software.
A well-written case study can really add to your message. They’re compelling to read too, especially if they reflect the success of someone in your target audience. If you have case studies already, offer one at the end of related content.
Bonus information (more interviews, the extended audio recording, etc).
I wasn’t sure what to call this one! But it can be really tempting to content consumers. It’s just a bit more information on the same thing as your content.
If you’re writing a blog post and have three main points, offer a bonus 4th point as part of a content upgrade. If you’re doing a podcast interview, offer up the rest of the interview that didn’t fit in your time-slot. Or even a few bonus questions for subscribers-only. If you do videos, an idea here would be one more point, or video out-takes.
Content upgrade ideas that help visitors use the information in your content
These are the most expected content upgrades, but can be really very helpful. I’ve picked a few that can be fast and easy to create.
If you’re teaching anything, a PDF with the process steps can be a really valuable resource. Just quickly pull the steps into a Google Doc and save as a PDF.
Watch me do it video
Like the tutorial steps, if you’re teaching something, a quick, short video explaining the process, or even one complex step would be helpful. There’s a lot of software out there that can do both camera and screen captures, but I really like Loom.com for ease and speed. Check them out.
A checklist is good if your content has a long list of items or steps to remember, for a process or procedure that will be repeated often. Create this one in Google Docs and save as a PDF.
A worksheet can help your readers apply what you’ve written to their own situation. With the right questions or fill-in-the-blanks, you can guide people through what you’ve written. Another candidate for a Google Doc saved as a PDF!
A cheat sheet is a combo of a checklist and a worksheet. It’s often a reference list of items or a quick reminder on how to do something. If you’re talking about formulas or explaining complex ideas, a cheat sheet can help people keep those ideas in mind.
Printable – calendar, planner, list
A printable is usually an easy to print out item that your new subscriber can use. Typically, these will have some design elements or special features to temple people to opt in. Good examples of these are: grocery list blanks, blank planner pages, calendars, or inspirational quotes.
These might take longer to create because of the expected design elements. I recommend using these as content upgrades in two scenarios – if you are a designer, and you can create these easily, or if you’re using one of these that you have previously created for yourself.
Time to start creating!
I’ve been playing with bot creation software, Landbot.io, and I’ve created a Content Upgrade Idea Generating tool. Eventually, this will be an opt-in tool, but for now, enjoy!