25+ Content Upgrade Ideas to Grow Your Email List

Have you tried using a content upgrade also known as bonus content? I had never heard of the term until I was in a webinar last summer and the person was so casual about it (like everyone in the room knew what this was) that I didn’t ask a single question. 

Since then I have spent some time researching the term, what it is and how I can use it.I have compiled my best researched ideas here for a content upgrade that you can start developing to grow your list. The list keeps growing and probably over time I will add to it. It is a never ending list of ideas.

Why a Content Upgrade Matters

A content upgrade is a powerful tool that can significantly enhance your email list growth by providing exclusive value to your audience. By offering relevant and enticing resources, you can engage your readers, establish credibility, and ultimately convert them into loyal subscribers.

A content upgrade is like an added bonus to a blog post. An extra more in depth something that adds more information, or perhaps gives information in a different way than the blog post. It relates to the blog post and gives more value to the reader and those who want more will complete the opt-in form and join your email list. .These types of specific content are also a great optin.

So what is the ideal type of content upgrade? It depends on your audience, and it depends on the topic. Some topics may do well as a tutorial, and some will work as a checklist. You may want to think about offering a popular topic in a different format to attract a different segment of the population. All blog readers are not alike. Some prefer reading, others viewing video and some enjoy audio files.  

Here is part of my list of examples of content upgrades (I keep thinking of more) and these would make good lead magnets as well. It is by no means the ultimate guide because there are always more ideas out there. 

1. EBooks

Create in-depth e-books that cover  specific topics related to your niche are a great resource and valuable content. Include detailed insights, actionable tips, and valuable resources that resonate with your target audience. It is easy to create a free Ebook  for a specific blog post. 

Start by picking your most popular page or individual blog post add additional links that will be helpful to the reader. Use a program like DESIGNRR to create a pdf of your blog post and readers could download for reference later which is the purpose of a content upgrade.

To have your content used as reference, you could add more content and redesign it, Creating an EBook is a great solution and easy to do. Designrr has a free trial and is a great way to try out the tool to see if it will work for you. It offers some different types of content you can use as content upgrades.  

Use Convertkit? Then you might like my EBook on using Convertkit.

Want to Learn More About Forms? Download the Guide

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

    2. Cheat Sheets and Checklists

    Offer a downloadable cheat sheet and checklist as opt-in offers  that simplify complex processes or provide quick references. These resources save time for your readers and offer practical value. Many PLR packs come with checklists ready to go, and you can find lots of templates on Canva if you are creating from scratch.

    Get Your Pinterest in Order

      We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

      Try a checklist of a process like Creating an Instagram Post, or Pinterest Pin, Someone could take you list and check off the items as they work until they have a finished process. Many PLR providers include checklists or workbooks in their packages. Check this out as an option as well. You may have PLR already that you can repurpose.

      3. Step-by-Step Guides

      Develop detailed, step-by-step guides that walk your audience through a particular process. Ensure each step is clearly explained, making it easy for readers to follow along and achieve their desired results. Easy to create- just take a checklist and add more detail to it.

      You can look to your own SOP’s to get an idea and share those. SOP’s are your standard operating procedures that tell the order and steps to completing something. For example: Blog posts, from doing keyword research, writing, editing, finding images, posting, then promoting on social media. That’s a lot of steps and having a guide with explanations of how to do each step are valuable.

      Perhaps you are a Facebook Ad Guru or an Expert on writing welcome sequences for new subscribers. These are all great topics for guides that someone can refer to. And you could use that optin and in the funnel introduce a course on the same subject.

      4. Templates

      Templates are a great content upgrade. Share ready-to-use templates that provide a shortcut to success. These resources can include email templates, design templates, or copy templates that offer instant value to your audience.

      Canva has a lot of templates, but don’t stop there. You can create templates in PowerPoint, save as a PNG or even share the PowerPoint with your audience. And if you use affinity or Photoshop, you can share those files as well.

      5. Swipe Files

      Share swipe files with your audience. A swipe file is a set or collection of files that are used on a regular basis. Think email subject lines, social media posts, even affiliate posts. All those files are easy to use, and saves time for the user. I recently picked up a file of email subject lines in a bundle, so it’s also a product that everyone is looking for a good product to submit to a bundle.

      6. Resource Libraries

      Curate a comprehensive resource library where your audience can access a wide range of valuable materials such as e-books, guides, templates, and more. Organize the library for easy navigation and showcase the breadth of your expertise.

      Take all your lead magnets, PDFs of blog posts, graphics and templates that you have offered to your subscribers and put it on a web page for subscribers to use. Check out my FREEBIE VAULT

      7. Video Tutorials

      Create video tutorials that visually demonstrate a process or teach a skill. Videos can enhance understanding and resonate with different learning preferences.

      These can do triple duty, post the videos to your YouTube channel for subscribers who like to view content in video form, and also package several of these tutorials together to make a course.

      Note: people who buy a course will be upset to learn the videos were free on YouTube however, you can expand those videos, offer more content and host them on another platform so paying customers are getting value.

      8. Webinars and Workshops

      Host live webinars and workshops that provide in-depth knowledge on specific topics. Encourage audience interaction and offer exclusive bonuses for attendees.

      Alice and Yusef of EKITHUB do a masterful job at this. They offer frequent webinars with topics and quite often discounts on their newest products for attending. Get on the EKITHUB mailing list if you are not already so you can attend the next one.

      9. Audio Content

      Produce informative podcasts or audio recordings that deliver valuable insights to your audience. Make it easy for them to listen on the go and provide transcripts for accessibility.

      If you use Camtasia to record or edit your videos, there is a companion software that will strip and edit the audio portion of the video you make. You can use the audio to add to the blog post or post it as a “podcast” episode. That software btw is called Audiate.

      10. Case Studies

      A case study on a topic that is of interest to your audience would be an ideal content upgrade and useful to see how someone else has achieve success in a certain area. Present real-life case studies showcasing successful implementations of strategies or techniques. Include data, metrics, and testimonials to establish credibility and demonstrate the effectiveness of your methods.

      11. Infographics

      Design visually appealing infographics that communicate complex information in a concise and engaging manner. Infographics can be easily shared on social media platforms, increasing your reach.

      And they double as Pinterest Pins depending on what size you make your infographic. Use color and images to make it appealing. Need more information on Infographics? See the blog post here. CREATING INFOGRAPHICS.

      12. Quizzes and Assessments

      Develop interactive quizzes and assessments that allow your audience to evaluate their knowledge or skills. Offer personalized results and recommendations based on their responses.

      There is a plug in that will create this for you. I have seen this on several blogs. And Facebook always has a new quiz for me to take, usually something totally off the wall.

      13. Resource Roundups

      Curate and share a list of valuable resources, tools, or articles related to your niche. By providing a comprehensive roundup, you position yourself as an expert and save your audience time in their research

      14. Email Courses

      Deliver a series of valuable lessons through an email course. Each lesson should offer practical advice, actionable steps, and insightful tips, keeping your audience engaged over time.

      You can use this idea to create a challenge. I have seen a lot of challenges lately. Once you sign up for the “challenge” you receive an automated email to welcome you. Then you receive an email each day for the length of the challenge with some actions steps or tips to complete.

      15. Expert Interviews

      Conduct interviews with industry experts or influencers and share their valuable insights with your audience. Expert interviews provide fresh perspectives and add credibility to your content.

      This would be a great idea to use reciprocity. Meaning, you interview each other on some topic and now you both share your own interview with your audiences. This has the added bonus of introducing you to the other person’s audience.

      16. Worksheets

      Create interactive worksheets and exercises that allow your audience to apply the knowledge you’ve shared. Encourage them to take action and provide feedback or results for further engagement. If you bundle them, this could be a workbook on a given subject.

      17. Resource Bundles

      Package multiple resources together into a comprehensive bundle that offers exceptional value to your audience. This can include a combination of e-books, templates, checklists, and more.

      I have seen this in several giveaways and bundles. Contributors are giving templates, background papers, graphics, word art, stickers and affirmation cards as bundle of ‘stuff’ you can use to create products. I think it is ideal especially for new subscribers who may not know your products and can have a sampling of it as a content upgrade.

      18. Planners

      Design printable worksheets and planners that assist your audience in organizing their tasks and achieving their goals. Offer customizable options to cater to different needs.

      If you offer a variety of templates, for example several different configurations of meal planning, or even daily schedules, people can mix and match the different sheets together to get a unique product. And I often see a variety of covers included with planners so customers can have choices when they resell the planner.

      19. Interactive Tools

      Create interactive tools such as calculators, quizzes, or generators that provide personalized results or solutions to your audience. These tools engage users and encourage them to share their outcomes. Thrive Themes offers a quiz component as does other vendors.

      I have recently seen several bundles which included some prompts to use in A.I. tools. Since using A.I. has become so popular, providing prompts so customers can get more accurate results could be helpful.

      20. Exclusive Q&A Sessions

      Conduct exclusive interviews or live Q&A sessions with industry leaders or influencers. Allow your audience to submit their questions in advance and provide valuable answers during the session.

      21. Expert Masterclasses

      Host expert-led masterclasses or workshops that dive deep into specific topics or skills. These immersive learning experiences provide hands-on knowledge and give your audience a chance to interact directly with industry experts.

      22. Templates for Content Creation

      Offer templates to assist your audience in creating various types of content, such as blog posts, social media posts, or email newsletters. Simplify the content creation process and ensure consistency.

      23. Comparative Product Reviews

      Conduct thorough and unbiased product reviews that compare different options within your niche. Consider factors such as features, pricing, user experience, and customer support to assist your audience in making informed purchasing decisions.

      24. Polls

      Engage your audience with polls that allow them to express their opinions or test their knowledge. Encourage social sharing and provide personalized results to enhance user experience.

      I see a lot of polls in Facebook groups, but I also see polls in emails. There are done in a variety of ways, Google Forms, Website tools, or even using Canva.

      25. Troubleshooting Guides

      Create troubleshooting guides that address common issues or challenges faced by your audience. Offer step-by-step solutions and provide tips to prevent similar problems in the future.

      26. Exclusive Discounts or Offers

      Provide exclusive discounts or special offers to your email subscribers as a content upgrade. This incentivizes sign-ups and rewards your audience for their engagement and loyalty.

      27. Interactive Challenges

      Create interactive challenges that encourage your audience to take actionable steps toward achieving their goals. Offer guidance, support, and incentives throughout the challenge duration.

      How about a challenge to create a new lead magnet? Or a goals challenge with action tips? These re email driven, and once set up they are evergreen and can be used over and over again.

      28. Roundtable Discussions

      Organize roundtable discussions featuring experts in your industry. Cover trending topics, share diverse perspectives, and foster meaningful conversations among your audience.

      Grab a bunch of friends, put them on zoom and have a Ask Me Anything Party. You can discuss almost any topic but you can also ask your audience for suggestions on topics. And post the recording for subscribers only.

      29. Advanced Tips and Strategies

      Share advanced tips and strategies that go beyond the basics, catering to your audience’s desire for in-depth knowledge and expert-level guidance. Help them level up their skills and achieve exceptional results.

      30. Behind-the-Scenes Content

      Offer behind-the-scenes content that gives your audience an exclusive glimpse into your processes, workflows, or projects. Foster a sense of connection and authenticity while showcasing your expertise.

      If you blog, share your blogging workflow that shows someone all the steps that are involved in creating a blog, posting it and promoting it. If you are have a social media content calendar, share how you created it or the tools you use.

      31. Advanced SEO Strategies

      Share advanced SEO strategies that go beyond the basics of keyword optimization and link building. Discuss topics such as technical SEO, on-page optimization, user experience, and data-driven decision making.

      You can also add tools for finding keywords, or some tips for rewriting content for SEO optimization like a before and after.

      32. Advanced Strategies for Digital Marketing

      Discuss advanced strategies for digital marketing, including topics such as conversion optimization, marketing automation, personalized marketing, and data-driven decision making. Help your audience achieve exceptional results in their marketing efforts. Talk about the measure of return on investment and how to calculate.

      Whew! That was a lot. And I had 25 when I first started writing and then kept getting more ideas. I hope you can use some of these ideas in your business. Drop me a comment and let me know which one you think you may try, or have already tried with success. We all learn from each other. If you prefer to email, send it to hello@creativeplr.com

      Scroll to Top