How to Use Content Upgrades to Grow Your Email List

In Internet marketing, your customer email list is everything. Everything you do in this business is about growing your list. Your list is what makes the difference between failure and unimaginable success. The gurus who are pulling in six-figures a month can only manage those astronomical sums because they have highly responsive customer email lists.

“From now on and forever, remember this: you are in the list-building business.”
Bright Humans

The way to grow your list is by offering a lead magnet, i.e. a free “bribe” (for want of a better word), typically a free report or ebook a user can download in exchange for their email address. (No doubt you have subscribed to similar offers in the past). The visitor gets your valuable content; you get the visitor’s email address to market to them in the future. This is a proven method and is used by experts, leading brands and successful businesses the world over.

The success of this technique lies in the lead magnet you are offering. It has to be enticing enough for the prospect to part with their email (they, after all, know they will be sold to down-the-line. If the content you are offering is of high-quality, few would object).

Here are a few characteristics of content that will grow your email list:

  1. It solves a problem/delivers an outcome for your target audience. The best lead magnets solve pressing problems or achieve compelling outcomes for their audience. Your offer should offer some “secret sauce” for producing a desired result. A successful formula for coming up with a winning lead magnet is: specific outcome + short time frame, e.g. how to double your audience in 30 days; how to build a six-figure business in 1 year.
  2. It has a high perceived value. Plan your lead magnet carefully. You should treat it as a product in its own right, not an afterthought. Customers are more selective about handing over the email addresses now. The way to overcome that is to offer content of higher value. Your lead magnet must pass the “I could charge for this (but won’t)” test.
  3. It’s well-executed. Your lead magnet is your representative. It tells your prospect what to expect from your business – both the type of information you produce and the quality. If your offer is a few flimsy text documents or watery PDFs, guess what? Your prospect will unsubscribe immediately. But if you put the effort into the content and design then maybe they’ll stick around and perhaps even become fans of your work.

18 content-types that will help you grow your email list

So what type of content should you be producing to grow your email list? Internet entrepreneur Sarah Morgan of XOSarah, has 18 great ideas for content that converts visitors to subscribers. From her article:

Content upgrades are the best way to provide your audience with a massive amount of value and build your email list at the same time. And it’s the biggest way I’ve been able to grow my own list on a daily basis.

I’ve got eighteen ideas for how you can add value to your blog posts and boost that email list every single day!

  1. Worksheets. This is probably one of the more simple and obvious solutions. Create a worksheet for readers to take the information you’ve provided and apply it to their own situation. Create a PDF that asks all the questions posed in your post so your readers can work through a problem and come up with a solution specific to their niche.
  2. Mini ebook. Maybe the content in your post is just a fraction of what you know and you actually have enough information to turn it into an ebook. This would also be great practice if you see some passive income in your future and want to figure out how all that ebook stuff works with a little less pressure.
  3. Checklists. How about those list posts that people will need to go through on a weekly or daily basis? Creating a checklist that readers can print, laminate, and then use over and over makes for a super valuable content upgrade…

Read the full post here:

Takeaway points

  1. The goal of every internet marketer (that’s you) is to build their customer email list.
  2. The best way to build an email list is to give away valuable, high-quality content in the form of a lead magnet, i.e a free incentive visitors can download in exchange for their email address.
  3. Give your free download offers as much thought as your paid-for products.

Action steps

  1. Choose a content type to grow your email list.
  2. Have it professionally produced in accordance with your brand image. (You can hire some great freelancers on Upwork). Remember, your free content is your representative.
  3. Send influencers in your space a free copy of your lead magnet. If it’s truly useful and high-quality (as it should be), the influencer may direct their followers to your link.

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