One of the best ways to grow your business is to grow your email list. That way you can advertise to a reliable source of potential customers who have already expressed an interest in your product or service.
But growing your email list can be a slow and painful process. Many business owners feel like it’s a waste of time and they don’t get enough ROI for the effort they put in. So they give up and either buy lists (which can be just as expensive and worse for your business), or they don’t bother.
I’m going to tell you about a secret tool that’s incredibly easy to use and will help you grow your email list exponentially. This is a secret that thousands of bloggers use every day to grow their lists. These folks make millions of dollars selling their information products and promoting other people’s products.
This secret tool is so powerful, it can easily boost your opt-in rate by up to 30%.
Bryan Harris of Videofruit uses this tool all the time, and he has a 20-30% opt-in rate on his blog posts.
Brian Dean of Backlinko uses the same tool and it has improved his site-wide conversion rate 185%.
I see opt-in rates of between 15% and 33% whenever I use this amazing tool on my blog. You can get the same results if you use it.
What is this incredible tool that will boost your opt-in rate and help you grow your bottom line?
It’s called a content upgrade. You can add them to any blog post. And because you’re grabbing your reader’s attention with something they’re actually interested in (because they’re reading your blog post), your reader is more likely to opt-in to get one.
What is a Content Upgrade?
First of all, credit where credit is due. I learned about content upgrades from Leadpages. They learned about content upgrades from all the bloggers who were using their service. People like Bryan Harris, Brian Dean and Pat Flynn. But Leadpages helped popularize this tool in 2014.
A content upgrade is a different sort of lead magnet. If you’ve read my blog before, you’ve probably heard me talk about lead magnets and how to use them. If you want to see one in action, click on the “Get Your Free Report” button on the right side of this page.
A lead magnet is typically something anyone in your audience would want to download. It should have a general appeal. It’s usually a chapter of a book or a resource guide (like mine.)
A content upgrade is specific to the blog post it’s attached to. It’s designed to complement or “upgrade” the blog post so you’re giving your reader something extra, something of value, in exchange for their email addresses.
I use content upgrades all the time in my blog posts. Some of you have probably downloaded them, which is how you ended up getting weekly notifications every time I publish a blog post. In fact, I’ve created a content upgrade for this post. You can get my Content Upgrade Idea List here.
How Do You Make a Content Upgrade?
A content upgrade should take no more than an hour to create. It should be a digital file of some sort that site visitors can download and receive immediately. I usually use a PDF or Word .doc file, depending on how I want people to use the content upgrade.
Most importantly, your content upgrade should offer extra value. It should give your reader something they don’t necessarily get from the blog post. Or it should present the information in the blog post in a different form.
Here are some ideas for content upgrades:
- Checklists – A basic checklist that breaks down all of the steps in a complex process or all of the components someone would need to include in a project. (I use this one a lot.)
- Idea Lists – A list of ideas related to the blog post topic. (This week’s content upgradeis an idea list.)
- Topic Guides: A list of instructions on how to use the technique you described in your blog post.
- Buyers’ Guides: All the information on a product, including available options, that a potential customer would need to make the decision to buy your product.
- Spreadsheets: This is especially effective if your blog post is about some sort of statistics or calculations.
- FAQ Sheets: Answers to common questions about the post topic
If you want more ideas, download the Content Upgrade Idea List
How Do You Get People to Download Your Content Upgrade?
First, you tell them about it in your blog post. Just like I did in the last sentence of the last section, and a few other places. Link to it several times throughout the post. (Again, like I’ve done in this post.)
Always add a button at least once in your post. Make it big and obvious. And tell them what they’re getting when they click on the button. Use a strong call to action on the button itself.
See, wasn’t that effective? (Did you click on the button? You should click on the button.)
Yes, I’m being silly. But your goal is to get more email addresses, so you do want to make your content upgrade easily available.
I recommend using links and buttons in your post because some people will click on links and some will click on buttons. No idea why. But you may as well give people the option they’re most likely to respond to.
How Do I Deliver My Content Upgrade?
You can do it the old-fashioned way and send it manually every time you get a new email address added your ESP. I know people who do this, but it’s very time consuming and can be a real hassle, especially if you get behind in your deliveries.
There are lots of automatic delivery systems out there.
Most email service providers (ESP) and content relationship management (CRM) software systems include file hosting so you can link to your content upgrade.
I personally use Leadboxes from Leadpages as my opt-in form, then have the Leadpages delivery system send my content upgrade right away. That way I know people are getting their content upgrades quickly and with no interference from any other programs or apps (at least on my end).
I know Amazon Web Services has a download delivery system, as do several other cloud computing providers. I’m afraid I don’t know that much about them so I can’t recommend one over another.
There are also content upgrade delivery plugins available for WordPress users, such as Thrive Leads and Content Upgrades Pro. Again, I haven’t used these tools so I can’t speak to how they work or how easy they are to use.
What Happens Once My Content Upgrade is Delivered?
As soon as someone receives your content upgrade, they should also receive an automated email, delivered by your ESP or CRM, thanking them for downloading your content upgrade and letting them know what will happen next.
In my case, you get an email telling you that you’re now subscribed to my blog.
You can also send a follow-up email sequence to guide your new subscriber towards a specific goal, like making a purchase or signing up for a course.
(Oh yeah, don’t for get to download my Content Upgrade Idea List so you see this process in action.)
How Will You Use Content Upgrades?
Now that you know all about them, tell me how you’ll use content upgrades in your business?