Why You Should Use Content Upgrades to Grow Your Email List

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Brick and mortar businesses are aware that repeat customers help keep their doors open. Well, an online business is no different. If you want to grow your online business, you need repeat customers.

So how do you gain those repeat customers if your business is virtual? Content. Content. Content. Capture those email addresses baby! Yep, a simple highly targeted email list can grow your business fast. I mean really, really, fast.

Now you may be asking yourself, Yolie, I know I need to grow my email list, I’ve heard all about it, but I just don’t know where to start.

I hear you, and that’s what we are going to talk about today. Remember these two words…CONTENT UPGRADES also referred to as INCENTIVES.


A content upgrade is simply bonus content that you give your readers in exchange for their email address.

This bonus content can be in the form of a checklist, an eBook, a worksheet, a template, a tutorial or some other form of VALUABLE, ACTIONABLE content that solves a problem for your target market.

Content upgrades sometimes referred to as incentives or freemiums, are not created equal. For instance, a business coach might use a different content upgrade than someone launching an online course, and a food blogger would definitely use a different content upgrade than a life and style blogger.

Don’t get me wrong everyone can use an eBook, a worksheet, or a checklist to grow their list but what you offer as your incentive, based on what you are selling is what will make people want to sign up to get more information.

Not sure what you should offer as your incentive? No worries…my 50 content upgrade ideas download will help you figure it out. 


Now, if you’re still a little fuzzy on how a content upgrade or incentive might look like to your readers. Look at a couple of examples of folks who are “killin” it by using content upgrades to grow their list.

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See how seamless it’s worked into the blog posts? Once someone clicks on the image, they are taken to a sign-up form generated by your email marketing platform (MailChimp, ConvertKit, AWeber, etc.), where they type in their name and email to get your incentive.


Simply put, it’s a win-win situation, you provide your audience with valuable, actionable content they can use and implement right away, and they provide you with their name, and email so that you can continue to let them know about any offers, or products that may be of interest to them.


Honestly, that’s up to you. You can offer an incentive on every blog post if you want,  but think about it this way. What if your content is so damn good, that you have this one person signing up for everything you put out? I’m talking major loyalty to your brand!

So, how’s that going to work?

Well, depending on what email marketing provider you have, that person could wind up on several of your email lists. Say you are launching a course, and you want to notify everyone who’s ever signed up for something with you. One subscriber receive 6 emails from you about this course launch, because they signed up for 6 content upgrades in the past. So how do you solve this problem?


One way to avoid duplicate email addresses is to create a resource library. You put all your offers into a library, and once a person signs up for one of your offers, they are automatically given access to this resource library that contains all your incentives, content upgrades, and freemiums.


Your readers only have to sign up one time. After they sign up, an email is sent to them that contains the link to the library as well as the password.

Whenever anything new is added, your resource library recipients have instant access. The Essential Grid Plugin for WordPress is excellent for setting up such a library. Melyssa Griffin has a full tutorial on how to setup a resource library if you use Wordpress. Check it out! It’s really detailed.

However, if you are on Squarespace and want to create a resource library, Meagen from Forth and Create has a very detailed video tutorial on how to create one for Squarespace.


We all know that not all blogs are created equal. For instance, a business coach would not provide a content upgrade for a 5 day juicing cleanse. That just doesn’t make sense, right? Make sure your content upgrade is relevant to your audience. Do you need a little help determining what you can offer? Download my Incentives Idea Guide for a little help.


Just provide quality, high-value content that solves a problem, and pretty soon you’ll have an email list you can be proud of. What are you struggling with? Leave me a comment and let me know.