Content upgrades are lead magnets. They build your list. You get your reader’s emails and they get something great in return.
Lead magnets are right there in your landing page as a juicy, irresistible welcome. Content upgrades are found in a specific blog post only. They’re called upgrades because they give extras, a bonus, something in addition and in connection to the content your audience is already reading. In essence, you reel in readers you’ve already hooked.
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It’s like giving them hearty soup, and offering another serving. Or perhaps a spoonful of minced toasted garlic to go with it. Mmmm.
“Shouldn’t I just do lead magnets, then? Any page in my blog will have it!”
Well, sure. Lead magnets can be just as attractive and effective. But content upgrades boost conversions by 785%.
Sign me up! How to Do Content Upgrades
As if we’re not already convinced, just ONE content upgrade gives magnificent returns.
Blogging for business thrives on building a list. We know this. The list is our audience, our customers. We want people to sign up. Content upgrades make opt-ins nigh irresistible.
Influencers like Brian Dean of Backlinko (linked above) and Will Hoekenga of Leadpages have taken note of content upgrade tricks and techniques.
Their posts have all the samples you need to inspire you. Here’s a handy summary of the top tenets and my favorite tips:
1. Content upgrades are lead magnets specifically made for a post, adding value to that particular post.
You extend the post, you offer more. It’s a level-up of existing content. Behind-the-scenes (reports, links of resources, swipe files) or beyond-the-scenes (a bigger list, a cheat sheet, a short course).
Here’s a list of ideas to start you off:
For example, LeadPages offers this content upgrade on their article about content upgrades. That wasn’t confusing, was it? Haha. They’ve written about content upgrades. In addition, they offer you a review of the top tools for creating them!
2. Content upgrades are little things that make your readers love you.
Like a well-done lead magnet readers can’t resist, content upgrades has real value. Readers don’t feel like they’re giving you their email– they feel like they’re getting a freebie.
Walk around in your reader’s shoes. What would make this particular post even more convenient?
If it’s a how-to, provide a printable checklist, guide or tools. It shouldn’t even take long to create. You can invest 45 minutes in creating and uploading a content upgrade, and earn 450% increase in your opt-ins.
Here’s Will Blunt’s content upgrade from Blogger Sidekick’s: How to Create A Buyer Persona For Your Blog
A ready template. So good! So handy! A template isn’t hard to make either, but it gives real value, and gets awesome returns.
3. The Two-Step Opt-In Process: make them decisive about it.
Lead magnets employ this, too. There’s a difference when the signup box is right there for them to ignore. If they have to click a button first, it becomes their decision. They clicked on it, like they click on things they want. They want it. They get it.
As LeadPages put it, “the two-step opt-in gives the appearance of giving rather than taking. It also prevents visitors from simply ignoring your signup form — once they click the button, they’re forced to make a decision whether to opt-in or not.”
Here’s that button from LeadPages. When you click it, you see the signup box already pictured above.
4. Work with what’s already working.
It’s not a shot in the dark, creating content upgrades. Come to think of it, nothing in blogging should be, right? That’s why we look at our Analytics and study other blogs’ blog posts. We find out what our audience is looking for and we provide it.
Exactly the same goes for creating your content upgrade. What’s your most sought-after article? What gets the most traffic? Your readers are getting value from that post. Offer them a little extra. They get something more, you get opt-ins. It’s a win-win.
Your Blockbuster Post: How to Install A Photo Wall Like A Pro
Possible Content Upgrades:
- Frame Size Buying Guide for Your Chosen Photo Wall Layout
- Cheat Sheet on Mixing B&W and Color Photos in Your Photo Wall
- Printable Geometric Photo Wall Cheat Outlines
5. Offer them the upgrade multiple times.
Have you noticed the dimsum cart getting wheeled around in a Chinese restaurant? The offer is always there, always passing you as you eat. You’re done ordering, but halfway through your meal, you decide to get steamed pork dumplings to go with your noodles, even though you weren’t interested at first. You’d ignored the cart.
Content upgrades are similar. While your readers may ignore it at first, they might change their mind later. Give them a handy place to opt-in after all.
Opt-in first offer: a pop-up when your reader lands on the blog post.
Opt-in second offer: midway through the post
Opt-in third offer: At the bottom of the post, with a proper CTA leading to it.
The most recommended tools and plugins for content upgrades:
The following all give bang for your buck, and all are straightforward but may require a learning curve. But haven’t we agreed that it’s all worth it?
- LeadPages (WordPress or non-Wordpress site)
- Optin Monster (WordPress or non-Wordpress site)
- Thrive Leads
- Content Upgrades Pro
Tried content upgrades already? Planning to add them now? The results can be incredible. Let me know how it went, or how it goes! If you have reviews about any of the tools mentioned above, we’d all appreciate that!