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Unlocking Rapid Email List Growth: The Power of Content Upgrades

a pair of hands offering a small gift box

Hey there, decision-maker! Have you ever wondered if there’s a magic formula to supercharge email list growth? Why are some brands thriving while others lag behind?

The secret sauce is content upgrades.

Think of them as the MVPs in your content marketing playbook.

In the world of business, many have heard about the 80/20 rule, right? Also known as the Pareto Principle:

“About 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.”

When it comes to content upgrades boosting your email list growth, I’d argue it’s more of a 90/10 scenario. And here’s why:

  • They’re hassle-free to craft.
  • They’re downright tempting to your community.
  • They build laser-focused prospect lists.
  • They set the stage for relevant offers you know your audience craves.

Before we dive deeper, let’s demystify the term “content upgrades.”

Content Upgrade Idea Generator graphic

What are content upgrades?

At its core, a content upgrade is that invaluable nugget tucked inside your broader content piece.

  • Impactful content upgrades:
  • Are easy for your prospect to digest (and for you to create).
  • Provide actionable insights —and produce immediate results.
  • Elevate and enrich the main content.
  • Create reliable and long term email list growth.

Still scratching your head? Stick around! I’ve got real-world examples lined up ahead.

Why should I create content upgrades?

I get it. Time is money, and every additional task counts.

But here’s the kicker:

Content upgrades are the bridge between your content and profit-driving email list growth.

They handpick an audience genuinely passionate about a topic, making your subsequent offers resonate deeply.

For just a little extra work, content upgrades allow you to gauge interest, gather names, and come away with a targeted list of prospects that you can then make offers to in the future.

When your content is aligned with what you’re selling, these upgrades become your secret weapon. This is how to build an email list that’s marketing gold: tailored, pertinent, and potent.

And let’s be real, who doesn’t want an email strategy that’s a revenue magnet?

Content Upgrades Idea Generator graphic

Speedy content upgrades: How to do it

First off, think small.

Fruit on top of a wooden cutting board

Picture content upgrades as a delightful appetizer, complementing your main dish.

Remember, no one wants a behemoth of a content piece.

In today’s fast-paced world, your audience values concise, impactful insights. So craft something short and packed with value.

Content upgrade examples

Let’s look at 9 content upgrade ideas that will grow your email list without adding too much to your To Do list.

  1. A step-by-step checklist so they can implement a tricky task
  2. A short tutorial video that explains something in detail
  3. A swipe file that shares copy/paste text they can use
  4. A supplemental audio — think “behind-the-scenes” or in-depth content for those who want more
  5. A resource guide with your favorite vendors, websites, or books
  6. A series of quotes or cards they can print and cut out
  7. A spreadsheet created in Google docs they copy and use to mark progress, keep track, or tally up results
  8. A quiz or self testing guide they can use to analyze and understand themselves or their business
  9. A handful of “recipes” — these can be for food, for headline writing, for mixing colors, for creating product ideas … use your imagination!

And the endgame? To create email list growth — subscribers that are keen prospects.

Tailor your content upgrades to your audience’s hunger for knowledge, using the above ideas as a springboard.

Related: Email Marketing Best Practices: How to Connect, Deliver, and Profit in the Inbox

Related: How to Build an Email Marketing Program You Can Be Proud Of

Related: Stop Begging and Start Giving: Why Perks Work to Build Your Email List

How to set up your content upgrades in your email marketing software

To nurture an audience of eager prospects, your website and email software need a little tweaking.
Go for stalwarts like ConvertKit, MailChimp, or AWeber. If you’re serious about scaling your email game, it’s worth investing in pro-level software.

These platforms empower you to segment your audience based on interests. By tagging, you get a bird’s eye view of their preferences.

When setting up your content upgrade you’ll also create specific tags to identify your content enthusiasts. The mantra is simple: Their choices guide your next move.

Read on to see how this works …

A real-world scenario: Meet Mary Pérez

A woman wearing glasses and smiling at the camera, illustrating a content upgrade example

Imagine you’re in the health and nutrition space. Mary, an avid reader, signs up for:
Your weekly recipe newsletter.

  1. A content upgrade about increasing veggie intake.
  2. Another upgrade about maintaining a healthy weight.
  3. Three weeks down the line, you’re launching a new health course. Who’s the first on your mailing list?

Yep, it’s Mary. Her choices show you that she’ll be interested in your new course by what she’s already signed up for on your website.

6 steps to add a content upgrade to your website

  1. Create a content upgrade that delivers helpful information in a compact format that your most interested readers, viewers, or listeners will want
  2. Create a tag inside your email marketing software that you’ll add whenever someone signs up for that upgrade. (My tags all start with CU for Content Upgrade, and then the topic of the upgrade.)
  3. Upload the content upgrade to your email software or host it on your site and send the link in the first email.
  4. Create a form in your email software and grab the form code.
  5. Paste the form code onto the web page where your piece of content will live.
  6. Write a welcome email that shares other information you offer: a list of links, free courses, or other free content

Wrapping up — with a bonus

Hold on, didn’t I promise you a surprise?

How can I round off this piece without a stellar content upgrade just for you?

This quick resource is your fast track to nailing content upgrades. With insightful pointers, probing questions, and an Idea Bank, you’ll be well-equipped to drive email list growth swiftly and consistently.

Best part? It’s on the house! Register below and it’s all yours.

Content Upgrade Idea Generator graphic

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is the Chief Marketing Officer at DCS. She’s the creator of the Offer Accelerator Program. Learn more about Pamela’s content marketing books, and read reviews of the tools used to run this site.
Pamela Wilson coaches people in midlife to build profitable online businesses
I’m Pamela Wilson

In 2010, at the age of 45, I started this site and grew it into a business that offers freedom, flexibility — and consistent revenue.


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