How to Make Content Upgrades that Skyrocket Conversions

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  • January 4, 2018

Content marketing. It’s all the rage these days, but are you getting the most out of it? If you’re not sure, you probably need this post more than you realize.

You create awesome blog posts that attract the perfect audience. You spend tons of time promoting them to drive traffic to your website.

But then what? If you don’t have a way to activate that traffic into leads, what’s the point, right?

Look, getting someone to your website is no easy task these days. So once they get there, you must, must, must do everything you can to turn that visitor into a prospect. Almost always, the easiest way is to collect their email address.

But wait. I’m not talking about a generic “Subscribe to Our Newsletter” form buried at the bottom of a blog post. That’s basically asking someone if they want to receive more email without giving them a reason why, and who the hell wants that?

Those generic forms might have worked like gangbusters in 1999…and maybe not that well even then. Now, people are rarely going to give up their email if you’re not offering something of value right away.

So how do you get people to give up their email address (and like it)?

Enter content upgrades.

content upgrades

So, what exactly is a content upgrade?

A content upgrade is something of value directly related to the information presented that people can get in exchange for their contact information (usually an email address).

The reason content upgrades work so well is it’s an offer you can be almost certain your website visitors are interested in. You know that because they already showed up to get similar information. Now you’re just taking it to the next awesome level…for free. (A lot more appealing than an offer for more email, wouldn’t you say?)

And, since we practice what we preach, here’s a content upgrade offer for you (since you’re clearly interested in getting more leads for your business): a short PDF guide on how to create a lead magnet and promote it on Twitter for free. Click the button below to download the guide now.

Got the guide? Great! Now, read on for some awesome real-world examples of content upgrades and a killer infographic of content upgrade ideas put together by the fine folks over at Sleeknote.

Foundr Magazine’s Blog

If you’re not familiar, Foundr puts out some amazing content on their blog. And it’s no surprise they are also nailing content upgrades in those posts.

For instance, they recently published a post titled “How to Start a Business Without Betting Your Life on It.” So, let’s start by asking who’s going to read a post like that. It’s will likely be people considering starting a new business (or perhaps already have).

Hmmm, so what else might that person be interested in? How about a step-by-step guide to starting a business from scratch? Well, that’s exactly what Foundr offers with opt-ins throughout the post:

foundr magazine content upgrade example

This is an awesome example of offering more in-depth material as a content upgrade.

Leadpages Blog

One of my favorite types of content to read (and produce) are how-to guides. These kinds of posts are also perfect for the template/worksheet content upgrades.

Take this post from Leadpages: 8 Ways to Maximize Your Facebook Ad Spend. It’s an awesome and detailed guide on how to get the most from Facebook ads.

They provide inspiring ideas for Facebook ad campaigns, the kind of stuff that makes you want to go out and try it right away.

That in mind, their content upgrade is brilliant. Once after the intro and again at the conclusion they offer a free Facebook ad planning worksheet to assist with the tactics they highlight.

leadpages content upgrade example

It’s a perfectly targeted offer and I bet converts like crazy for Leadpages.

Wishpond Blog

Don’t want to do the extra work of creating a content upgrade? For some posts, you don’t have to.

When you create comprehensive guide, like Wishpond did with their How to Build a Complete Facebook Marketing Campaign from Start to Finish post, it’s a resource people will want to come back to.

So, make it easy for them to do so (and get their email address in the process) by offering a PDF download of the post emailed straight to their inbox.

wishpond content upgrade example

And in case you’re thinking creating one of these will take too much time or be too expensive, think again. You can easily turn an existing blog post into a PDF eBook with a free version of Beacon.  It’s an awesome tool to make very slick looking eBooks insanely fast.

A Quick Word on Click Triggers

Sumo (king of website opt-ins) did some research and found that offers presented with click triggers convert 12 times better than other options.

sumo click triggers for content upgrades

A click trigger is simply setting a pop up to only be displayed when a user clicks (meaning they asked for it). All of the examples from this post employ click triggers to present pop up boxes where users can get the offers.

Content Upgrade Ideas

So, are you pumped to start using content upgrades on your site? (I’m sure you are.)

Check out the infograhpic below for some awesome ideas for content upgrades you can offer for your business. No matter your niche or industry, I’m sure at least one of these examples will work for you!

How To Boost Website Conversion With Powerful Content Upgrades
Image Credit Sleeknote: 19 Proven Content Upgrades Ideas to Grow Your Email List

Wrapping Up on Content Upgrades

As you can see, content upgrades are an awesome way to tailor offers to highly qualified website visitors. You know what they’re on your site looking for, so offer them more of that.

They get some awesome info and you get a new lead. It’s a win-win if I’ve ever seen one!

And don’t forget to get our content upgrade, a complimentary PDF guide on how to create a lead magnet and promote it on Twitter for free. Click the button below to download the guide now.


So are there any of these content upgrades you’re excited to try? Have you used content upgrades before? Don’t think content upgrades can work for you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Author David Boutin

David is the Social Quant content Gatekeeper AND Keymaster, as well as a customer relations specialist.Follow and Connect with David on Twitter. 

More posts by David Boutin
  • MM

    This strategy is also the initial step for inbound sales, which you may or may not have realized.

    • Indeed! I think, generally speaking, all content marketing is rooted in the idea of inbound sales (marketing). It’s all about providing value and pulling them in rather than blasting ads and pushing your product onto people 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • MM

        Has that ever worked?

        • I guess, once upon a time that kind of advertising did work. 🙂

  • Great post! You have explained very well how to upgrade our content and yes for sure these ideas will offers a highly website visitors .