Content upgrades are an additional resource that you offer your blog readers in exchange for their email address. Here are 25 content upgrade ideas to grow your email list.
25 Content Upgrade Ideas to Grow Your Email List
What is a content upgrade?
Content upgrades are a great way to provide additional value to your followers, and build trust and loyalty. They’re essentially freebies that you give to your audience in exchange for their email address. The key to creating a successful content upgrade is to make sure that it’s valuable and to make it relevant to your target audience.
For example, in exchange for signing up for your email list, you could offer a PDF that’s an extended version of one of your blog posts.
Content Upgrade Ideas
1. PDF with the blog post text
The simplest way to create a content upgrade is to put your blog post text into a PDF and offer it as a download to any user who signs up for your email list.
2. Printable version of the post or recipe
If you’ve created a long post or a recipe with lots of photos, why not create a printable version of the post. It’s a great content upgrade that can be sent out to readers who loved your post and want to refer back to it again.
3. Checklist of action items to complete, related to the blog post
People often struggle to know what action to take when they finish a blog post. Giving them a quick checklist of action items to complete, related to the blog post, will help them move forward and take action immediately.
4. A printable sign or piece of artwork
A great content upgrade for your email subscribers could be a useful printable (like a budget planner, calendar, or meal planner) or decorative piece of artwork. You can create a design in a program like Photoshop or Canva, save it as a PDF, and then readers can print it out at home.
5. Audio download
Another great way to make product information more actionable is to give it away in audio format. It’s easier for people to listen to it while they’re driving, walking, doing the dishes, or even working out.
A simple way to do this is to provide a downloadable audio file of your blog post and include a link to it in the blog content itself. You can also embed the audio into your blog post to encourage visitors to listen to it.
6. Bonus podcast episode
If you have a podcast, you can offer listeners a bonus episode as a content upgrade. This could be a behind-the-scenes look at how you recorded the podcast or a live Q&A session with your listeners.
7. Sewing pattern or step-by-step craft instructions
If you’re a crafter, why not create a series of sewing patterns or step-by-step craft instructions that your customers can download from your website?
8. Premade graphics or photos
One thing I do on my website is create a resource library of premade graphics and stock photos for my email subscribers that they can download and use on social media.
9. A bonus video tutorial
If you have a written tutorial or how-to about a certain topic, you could create a content upgrade by turning it into a video tutorial with both visuals and audio.
10. Tip sheet
Summarize the main points of a blog post into a downloadable tip sheet for your readers.
11. Access to a free Facebook group
Another bonus could be getting exclusive access to a private Facebook group related to the content of your blog.
12. A roadmap of the steps to follow
A content upgrade could be a roadmap of the steps to take to achieve a goal. For example, if you have a fitness blog, your content upgrade could be a roadmap for how beginners can go from the couch to running a 5k in 6 weeks.
13. Done-for-you email scripts
An example of a content upgrade you could include on your website is a done-for-you email script. You could create a series of email scripts for different emails you send to your customers. This is a great way to increase the value of your blog posts and give people some useful tools to improve their email outreach.
14. Printable calendar or planner pages
A great idea is to offer printable calendar pages. People love planners and wall calendars because it helps them schedule their lives more effectively.
15. Recommended resource list
For example, if you’re a marketer, you could create a resource list of books, podcasts, and courses that your audience may find helpful in their marketing journey. If you’re a designer, you could create a list of recommended tools and resources.
16. Free trial of a software or membership
For software companies or online memberships, you can offer a free trial of a product or service that your audience would typically have to pay for, or a free membership to a service that they would have to pay for.
17. Downloadable templates
A great example of a content upgrade is a downloadable template. For example, if you have a blog post about how to write a press release, you could offer a downloadable template for people who read the post.
18. Social media templates
If you’re a social media manager, you could try designing some social media templates for a program like Canva Pro (the pro version allows you to create and share editable templates).
19. Premade quote graphics
Similar to the previous one, premade quote graphics are a great content upgrade because they show off your skills as a designer to potential clients or customers.
20. A brand style guide template
If you’re a designer or brand strategist, perhaps you can create a brand style guide for potential clients to figure out their desired color scheme or brand photos that inspire them.
21. A transcript of a video
A transcript is a great example of a content upgrade. Transcripts are great because they allow you to add structure and order to your content. You can make the content more easily searchable and it also allows readers who don’t want to watch a video to get the content in a different way.
22. An instant replay of a live training
If you have a live training or webinar, it’s always a good idea to have a replay available somehow, whether that’s a free content upgrade or a paid digital product.
23. Tech training
If you have a how-to kind of blog post, maybe you can provide a bonus tech training about how to actually implement the suggestions you’re making on the techy side of things.
24. Short 3-5 day email challenge
A short email challenge is a good way to get new subscribers and keep them engaged over a few days as you nurture the relationship. Make sure you’re providing value but also not overwhelming people with the challenge.
25. Short ebook
Finally, a short ebook related to the content in your blog posts is always a classic content upgrade that can get new people to sign up for your email list.
Personally, I like to create a general resource library with several different content upgrades available on a password-protected page on WordPress, and then depending on the them of one of my blog posts, I’ll usually promote a particular one of the blog posts.
On the back end, people are all ending up on the same resource library page with all the available downloads because it’s simpler, but there are a few software programs that will deliver specific content upgrades only (like Convertkit or Leadpages).