How We Generated 2302 Blog Subscribers In 10 Months Using Content Upgrades

How We Generated 2302 Blog Subscribers In 10 Months Using Content Upgrades

If you're focused on building an email list then you probably already have a couple of tricks up your sleeve. Ebook pages, free reports, exit pop ups, the list goes on and on.

But like every new trick you employ, eventually you're going to start seeing diminishing returns: that ebook landing page starts to plateau, that scroll pop up starts to annoy your visitors.

This is what happened to us about 10 months ago on the Wishpond blog. We had hit a plateau in terms of the number of subscribers, downloads, and leads that we were generating from our content.

Despite A/B testing everything under the sun on our opt in forms, we still couldn't manage to significantly move the needle in terms of subscribers.

Until we discovered content upgrades...

By adding content upgrades to both our new articles and some which received the highest traffic, we were able to generate 2,302 blog subscribers in just 10 months.

If you're looking to jumpstart your blog's conversion rate, this article will break down the exact steps you'll need to get your own content upgrade strategy up and running.

What is a content upgrade?

A content upgrade is a downloadable bonus offer created specifically for a specific article.

This includes (but is not limited to)...

  • Checklists of an article's strategy
  • Bonus content not found in the original post
  • Downloadable PDF's of the article
  • Video transcripts
  • Worksheets
  • Related tools or resources

The point of a content upgrade is that it's hyper specific to the article at hand. Rather than promoting an ebook banner at the bottom of your post, you'll be promoting an extension of the article - something that you know your readers are engaged with since they're currently viewing that post.

At Wishpond, we've found that creating a PDF of the article or bonus content related to it resulted in the highest engagement and most leads generated.

Here's an example of how one of our content upgrades looks on one of our blog posts. We add an inline text link offering 5 bonus email templates related to the email examples we have listed in the article...

When a user clicks the call-to-action, blue link, a click popup appears with a simple form and a prompt to download the content upgrade.


They then enter their email address and the PDF is available for them on the pop up's thank you page.


Users then click "GET MY PDF" and the file is automatically downloaded to their computer.

Depending on the type of content upgrade you decide to use, positioning it within different areas of the page will make sense. One of the most popular areas for us has been right underneath the introductory paragraph since it prompts users who won't make it further down the page with a call to action upon arrival.

If you decide to go this route, one of the easiest and most effective content upgrades is simply providing a PDF copy of your article. It requires almost no extra work and is very valuable for readers short on time.

Here's an example of one that we use:


By adding content upgrades to some of our most popular articles, Wishpond was able to generate 2,302 new leads over the past 10 months. And this was in addition to our ebooks, newsletter opt-in boxes, and various other social campaigns we have running.

Here's a snapshot of our results:


How to get started

In order to set up a content upgrade on your site, you'll need two things:

  1. A unique piece of content related to your content
  2. A click popup

I can't stress this enough: Inserting a link to a related ebook, video, or webinar, is NOT a content upgrade. Content upgrades must be unique to a specific piece of content so as to increase the value of that content rather than linking to something related.

Once you have your content upgrade though, simply upload it into the post-entry page of a popup for people to download once converting. Wishpond has a popup tool which makes this easy, but feel free to use any popup builder that you like.

Once you've uploaded your content, set your popup type to "click popup" and take the generated code and paste it into your article.

click popup

Replace "YOUR TEXT HERE" with your CTA to download your content upgrade, and you're all set!

If you want to add your content upgrade to a yellow box (like shown in our example), feel free to use this code provided here and replace your individual popup code:

<div style="background-color: #FFF2CC; padding: 28px; margin: 5px 0 25px; text-align: center;"><a href='CLICK POPUP URL' type='popup'>YOUR TEXT HERE</a></div>

Wrapping it Up

There you have it! A simple recipe for how we generated 2,302 blog subscribers in less than 10 months using click popups and content upgrades.

I hope you found this short guide useful. If you have any questions about setting up a content upgrade, installing a click popup, or simply need help coming up with some content upgrade ideas, let me know in the comments below or tweet at me @mayoshimp.

DISCLOSURE: Some links in the article above, and throughout this site, may be affiliate links. While there's no additional cost to you, purchases made via those links may earn me a commission. Only products and services which have been tried and tested are reviewed, and those reviews are always thorough and honest. If you benefited from my review and have a genuine interest in the linked product, your use of the affiliate link is appreciated and allows me to continue writing these kinds of helpful articles.

By Kevin Ho

Kevin is a Content Marketer at Wishpond specializing in Marketing Automation, Lead Nurturing, and Conversion Rate Optimization. Follow him on twitter @mayoshrimp.

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