Content upgrades can help you grow your list fast. And if you don't know what a content upgrade is, don't worry - I didn't either... but essentially, it's bonus content for a specific post, page, or product that is targeted for the audience in your niche.
The purpose of the content upgrade is to entice visitors to sign-up to your email list - and this can be a VERY powerful technique to turn one-time visitors into subscribers very quickly.
There are different ways to do this, and you can really get creative with it. You can use simple PDFs and video versions of your content to boost the percentage of opt-ins from random visitors to your site.
What is a Content Upgrade?
At first, I had the idea of bonus content upgrades confused with an "add-on" offer that is more like a stand-alone product. A content upgrade is more like a continuation of the content they're already consuming and not something that stands alone. It's not an eBook or another product. A content upgrade is like more bonus chapters of the content they already have and probably wouldn't even make sense on it's own.
PDFs of Your Blog Posts
If you have a blog that you post to regularly, a great way to encourage downloads and opt-ins is to offer PDFs of your blog posts. You can have an option for them to enter their name and email address to have a PDF of the blog post sent to them, and that can get you new subscribers. When they sign up, you can tag them by topic to segment them into a new list, and then you can send messages designed just for them based on what they downloaded. There's an awesome WordPress plugin that makes this process really easy called PostGopher
Checklist to Go With a "How to" Blog Post
Checklists make AWESOME content upgrades! Let's say someone creates a blog post called "How to Organize Your Home". And then they also put together a checklist that their audience can print out and use to organizing their home, away from the computer. If they enjoyed the article, then it's really easy for them to enter their email address to grab the checklist while they're there. Offering checklists can be a very effective way to snag new sign-ups from random visitors to your site.
Video Example of Post Content
What if you described an exercise in a blog post, or you posted a recipe on a blog post? You could offer a content upgrade such as a video of you going through the steps in the blog post. This is an excellent way to get more subscribers for your list as well as segment your audience. These types of content upgrades make it SO much easier to entice people to jump on your list with zero resistance and without having to "sell" them on it.
Flash Cards To Go With Your Free Content
I haven't done this, but it sounds very interesting... you can make up flash cards to go with a free course or training on your blog. This is a great way to get people who like your blog posts to sign up to your email list. It's an unusual freebie, and something they can't find anywhere else. I think marketers can get really creative with this technique and having it lead into other offers and upgrades.
Content upgrades have very high conversion rates and will help you build your list Plus, it helps you segment your list, since the upgrade is specific to the targeted content your visitor is already consuming. They are already highly targeted visitors - perfect for your list. That means that the visitors who sign up for content upgrades on their own - just from visiting your site - are probably going to be responsive to other offers.
This a great technique you can work with and get better and better at as you dial in exactly what your visitors want and respond to the most!