Lead Magnets: 11 Ways to Get More Subscribers

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris /

lead magnet imageA few days ago I showed you the #1 technique for growing an email list.

Here it is again: You need to create a lead magnet for EVERY blog post you write. Instead of having one universal toolkit or eBook, create a very specific bonus each time you write a post.

These bonuses are called lead magnets or content upgrades.

Content upgrades turn your readers into subscribers better than any other single tactic out there. I normally experience 20-30% opt-in rates on these bonuses and some have been as high as 62%!

For comparison sake, a popup that is optimized to the max has a 6-8% conversion rate.

Would you rather have a 6% conversion rate or a 30% conversion rate?


Feature Download: Download all 35 Videofruit content upgrades. Copy them and use them in your business. (Download Now )

Here are a few friends that have started using content upgrades in the past 2 months.

1. Michael Hyatt

Previously, Michael had a list of 40 literary agents listed on this post. Now he has created a content upgrade in the form of an eBook that requires an email in order to access.

Once his reader enter their email address they immediately download the free information.

2. Noah Kagan

Content upgrades worked so well for Noah, that he went back and created one for every popular article on his site.

Problem is…most of you will never do this.

Why? Because it takes more time.

It’s already a struggle to publish high quality content.

So, when I tell you to spend even more time making a content upgrade your eyes glaze over and you immediately head off to Youtube to watch another cat video.

I know your struggle.

…and I have the solution.

I’m going to show you how to create a content upgrade in less than 30 minutes.

Over the past 7 months I’ve created more than 40 content upgrades and have collected over 4,000 email addresses from them.

Today, I’m going to teach you everything I know.


Is 1,000 email subscribers enough?

Have you ever thought about what you would do with a bigger email list?

What are the tangible benefits?

My goal is to get 10,000 subscribers by the end of the year (at 6,380 now).

But why?

“Why 10,000? What changes when I get there?”

When I first started this blog last year I would ask myself the question…

“How many subscribers do I need to make a living and quit my job?

200? 2,000? 20,000?”

I had no clue.

So, I started tracking it. I began writing down the results that other people publicly shared about their list size.

For example: 

I heard of one person that built a very targetted list of 2,200 people and launched a $97 information product to that list and sold 239 copies.

That’s $24,250 in gross revenue.

Not bad right?

That is one of the reasons I am so focused (and you should be to) on building your email list.

Later on I want to share three more success stories – and all of the details on how they built their list and the launch strategies they used – with you.

That will be coming soon.


Today I’m going to show you 11 different ways to create a content upgrade in less than 30 minutes.

I also have a nifty little strategy to use these upgrades to double or even triple their effectiveness.

Sound good?

Ok, lets gets started.

11 Lead Magnet Ideas and How to Create them in Less than 30 Minutes

As you read through all 11 types of upgrades, don’t get overwhelmed. The key to getting started is to pick one. Start small and grow from there.

If you have any questions as you go through the process, feel free to email me OR (better yet) leave a comment below and myself and the entire Videofruit community can jump in to help.

1. Checklist version of the post 

One of the easiest ways to create a content upgrade is by turning your blog post into an easy to follow checklist.

3,000 word blog posts are great but it’s really easy to get lost in them. By turning the post into a short checklist the information becomes much more actionable.

This is pretty easy to do.

In this example we’ll use the post, How did Pat Flynn get 100,000 Youtube views and 764 new subscribers?

Here is the process that I follow.

Step 1: Outline your action steps

In this article I analyzed how Pat Flynn used a free tutorial based video series to grow his Youtube channel. What I didn’t do in the post was tell you how to do the same thing.

That’s where the checklist comes in.

To create the checklist I quickly outlined the 7 steps I would follow to implement this strategy for my own business.

Tips If you feel stuck in creating your checklist, ask yourself these questions.

  • If I were telling my 5 year old child how to do this, what steps would I give him?
  • How can I make this extremely easy and foolproof to implement?
  • Can I use pictures to make it even clearer? If so, use them.

If you’re still stuck, take a drive over to Wikihow.com and checkout some of there checklists. They are really good at boiling complex processes into easy to follow checklist.

Here are a few examples to get your juices flowing:

  1. How to Prepare a Charcoal Barbecue for Grilling
  2. How to Make Chocolate Brownies
  3. How to Grow Vanilla

Step 2: Provide details on each step

Now you need to elaborate on each step of the checklist. I try to keep these short descriptions under 200 words.

Here is an example of a step description from the Pat Flynn checklist:

Step 3: Format and Finalize the Checklist

I use a program called SweetProcess ($) to create my checklist. They make the checklist process much quicker and the are well designed.

For more details on SweetProcess read my full rundown.

If you’re wanting a free option you can use Google Docs to accomplish much of the same thing.

  1. Write your full checklist inside of a new Google Doc
  2. Format it to look like you want
  3. Then click File > Save as PDF to export it

Bonus: I’ve included a pre-formatted Google Doc in the bonus section of this post (click here to download )

Time: Start to finish creating a checklist version of your post should take no more than 15-20 minutes

2. Package of Relevant Links 

Suppose you have never cooked on a charcoal grill before and you want to learn. So, you do what anyone would do and Google “How to cook on a charcoal grill” 

…and you run across this article How to Prepare a Charcoal Barbecue for Grilling.

Inside of the article is every step you need to follow in order to cook on a charcoal grill.

Now suppose at the end of the article was a downloadable list of recommended equipment to buy in order to get started

It would contain:

  • 4 different grills (all at different price points)
  • 3 types of briquets
  • 5 different chimney starters
  • And a package of lighters and lighter fluid

…literally everything you need to start cooking. All you have to do is click the link and enter your credit card information.

Would that be helpful?


The good part for you (the content creator) is all that ‘list’ has to be is a link to the product listing on Amazon.

Spend 10-15 minutes. Throw them in a Google Doc (see instruction on that in the previous step) and export it as a PDF.

Here is an example:

Recently I wrote a post called: How to go from one Facebook ad to $197 in less than 60 seconds.

In the post I described an advanced technique for creating a one click upsell (for all of the details go read the post).

In the bonus section, I included links to the support documentation of that describes exactly how to setup thich technique in 4 of the most popular shopping cart programs.

Screen shot of the ‘bundle of links’

This specific content upgrade converted 42% of all people that read it.

Here is a list of 5 different types of links you could include in your content upgrade:

  1. Links to support documentation
  2. Links to a Youtube video that goes into more depth
  3. Links to other relevant blog posts on the topic
  4. Links to equipment or software that would aid the implementation of your post
  5. Links to a checklist or a template that someone else created

3. How-to Video

This is my personal favorite. There is nothing more helpful for me than to read a blog post that teaches a new concept and then to jump over to Youtube and see that concept in action.

Think about it, would you rather read a long post or watch a 2 minute video? What if you could do both?

Here is an exampleHow to create a high converting pop-up in 5 minutes

Example of a tutorial video as a content upgrade

The idea of creating a how to video for each blog post can sound intimidating, but once you see the process I think you’ll change your mind.

Here is how to do it:

Step 1: Set your expectations

Don’t feel like the production quality has to be high, it doesn’t. This isn’t a paid product you are making it’s a free giveaway.

You never want publish something that looks terrible AND isn’t useful.

Just remember, the point is to be helpful – not to win an Emmy.

Step 2: Outline your content

The key to creating a how to video in under 30 minutes is your outline.

In the above example I quickly jotted down a 4 part outline before I started recording.

This was my outline:

  • Intro Greg
  • Examine site in Buzzsumo
  • Choose a template
  • Customize template

Step 3: Record the video

I use Camtasia to record all of my how to videos. It allows you to record your screen and webcam at the same time.

Two things to keep in mind when recording:

1. Do it all in one take.

Don’t psych yourself out with this part. Make your outline, know your content and just start recording.

People like raw. My most popular videos are ones that were off the cuff, with dead airtime and were not edited at all.

Your readers are looking for actionable information, focus on that

2. Use your iPhone headphones as a mic

An easy way to immediately make your videos better is to use your iPhone headphones when recording. This makes your sound quality MUCH better than recording from your computer mic.

Again, don’t obsess over this but it’s a really quick way to instantly improve your video.

Link: Buy a pair for $3 off of Amazon

Step 4: Trim and Upload

Up to this point you have outlined your video, put on your headphones and recorded the tutorial.

Now, trim off the beginning and end of the video. Usually I’ll have 10-15 seconds after the video starts recording where I’m fumbling around and getting everything setup.

Use Camtasia to trim this section off. Also, fast forward to the end of the video and trim off any dead space there too.

Then…upload it to Youtube and embed on your bonus page (details on how to deliver the bonus to your readers).

Time: Start to finish this should take no more than 15 minutes.

The KEY to this is to do it in ONE TAKE. Don’t obsess over it.

4. Q&A Video

This is similar to #3. However, instead of recording a how to video you are going to record an answer to 2 questions related to the topic of your blog post.

Your readers will always have a few questions after reading your post. Anticipate and answer these in advanced.

Record a quick video of you answering two of these questions and offer them as a content upgrade.

One easy way to come up with questions to answer is Quora.

Step 1: Enter your keyword phrase into Quora

Let’s go back to our “How to cook on a charcoal grill” example.

If we enter that keyword phrase into the Quora search bar it returns back dozens of questions that people are actually asking about that topic.

Step 2: Make a list of two of the most relevant questions

Jot down two questions from the search results that are related to your topic.

Sometimes you might not know the answer and that is the beauty of using Quora. You can click on the question and get the answer in seconds.

For example: 

Let’s say you wanted to answer the question: “What fruits taste particularly delicious when grilled?”

Just click on the question, read the 8 answers to the question and formulate your own response.

Step 3: Record the video

Follow the exact same steps given in the “How To Video” section above. However, most of the time with a Q&A video you do not need to record your screen, just your webcam.

Toggle the webcam option off and start recording.

Time: Total time start to finish (including research) should be no more than 20 minutes

5. PDF version of post

I didn’t like this idea at first. Then I tried it one time and the feedback from my readers totally changed my mind.

I thought that copying the post and putting it in a PDF would be kinda…lame.

But I learned blog posts are hard to implement from.

Think about this blog post. You read (skim) the post. Decide you want to use this method on your site. But in order to do that you have to bookmark this page, remember what folder you saved it in, and then scroll endlessly down the page to find the instructions for the content upgrade you want to create.

Then when you get to actually implementing you have to constantly flip back and forth between this article and the one you are writing. It’s a pain.

Blogs are great for teaching in a linear fashion but they are NOT reference books.

By putting your blog post into a downloadable PDF format you accomplish two things:

  1. Increased perceived value: What’s more valuable a ‘blog post’ or an ‘eBook’?
  2. Increased efficiency: I can save a PDF to my Desktop or even email it to my Kindle. Much easier than remembering the URL of your article.

This is how you make a PDF version of your post.

Step 1: Create a new Google Doc

Step 2: Copy and paste your entire article into the Google Doc

Step 3: Fix all formatting issues (images sizing, chapter divides etc.)

Step 4: Export as a PDF

Here is a quick video tutorial on how to do that:

Time: Start to finish this should take no more than 10 minutes.

6. Mini Video Course

This has the highest perceived value of all of the content upgrades that I have tried.

A mini video course is a combination of the Tutorial Video and Q&A Video upgrades previously covered.

Here is an example of a mini course that I created (38% opt in rate): The High Jump Formula: Mini-Course

To create a mini course follow this outline:

  • Video #1: Tutorial Video (2-3 minutes long)
  • Video #2: Tutorial Video (2-3 minutes long)
  • Video #2: Q&A Video (2-3 minutes long)

 For example: If we were making a mini video course on “How to turn a blog post into an eBook” our mini course might look something like this:

Video #1: Topics Covered (Tutorial)

  • How to create a new Google Doc
  • Setting up the margin properties in your Google Doc
  • How to create a title page
  • How to create the table of contents and link to chapter divides

Video #2: Topics Covered (Tutorial)

  • How to get your blog post content into the Google Doc
  • How to properly format the content
  • How to link to your website from the eBook

 Video #3: Q&A (Tutorial)

  • How can I get a cover professionally designed?
  • Is it possible to put my eBook on Amazon?


        This type of upgrade has the highest likelihood of going over our 30 minute time limit.

However, it’s definitely doable. One way to cut down the time spent creating the video is to make one long video that you then cut up into 3 separate videos inside of Camtasia.

Press record, shoot all of your footage, then cut and paste the footage into three different projects.

Techsmith (makers of Camtasia) have an extensive library of how to videos to help you learn how to do this: Tutorial Videos

Time: 30 minutes.

7. Exact Scripts

Many topics that I teach lend themselves to being asked questions like: “What was the subject line of the email you sent?” “What did you say to them when you cold called?” OR “Can you share the source code of the sidebar you used?” “What headline received the best response rate?”

Your industry may or may not lend itself to similar types of question.

However, I would encourage you to explore how you could give your customers exactly what they want in a script format. These have been among the most demanded bonuses that I’ve made.

To get your juices flowing on how you could use this in your industry ask yourself these questions:

  • Is there a common formula I use that I could share with my readers?
  • How can I give my reader exactly what I wish I had when starting out?
  • Is there a mantra, quote or common saying I use in my business that they could use?

Once you have come up with the script, simply put it into a text file and offer that text file as a download in exchange for their email address.

Here is an example of how I did this: How to get a $3,000 monthly contract (with exact scripts)

Time: Start to finish less than 10 minutes

8. Swipe File

A swipe file is more common in marketing and copywriting but can be expanded to many other industries as well.

Traditionally a swipe file is a tested and proven collection of advertising headlines.

If you were writing a headline for your magazine article, you would reference your swipe file first and draw inspiration for your headline form a list of 50 other headlines. However, they have many more applications than just advertising headlines.

Here are a few from a variety of industries:

  • Recipes (cooking)
  • Workout sheets (fitness)
  • Landing Pages (marketing)
  • Prayers (religion)
  • Speeches (Public Speaking)


         Once you have identified the contents of your swipe file, you need to package it into an easily deliverable format.

I’ve found that for most written mediums Evernote works extremely well.

Here is a quick tutorial on how I use Evernote to manage my swipe files:

9. Templates

My readers absolutely love templates. A template is like Swipe Files meets Exact Scripts.

I gave away three templates in this post and got a 36% opt in rate.

Like the previous two content upgrade types, depending on what industry you are in – you’ll need to put on your thinking cap to come up with a template appropriate for your audience.

Here are a few ideas to get you started

  • Writers: The template you use to write blog posts (example)
  • Religion: Prayer Templates (example)
  • Web Design: Full website templates (example)
  • Marketing: Popup Design templates (example)

If you need help coming up with ideas on a template for your business, leave a comment below the post and we’ll all try to help you come up with an idea!

10. Software Giveaways

Software giveaways can be extremely effective. Appsumo built an email list of over 700,000 subscribers by hosting giveaways and providing major discounts on popular software products.

I’ve done this three different times on Videofruit and it has worked moderately well. I’ve averaged a 23% conversion rate.

There are two steps to hosting a giveaway:

Step 1: Identify relevant software for your audience. 

One of the easiest ways to find relevant software in your industry is to do a quick Google search for “[keyword]” + software

For example: If you run a fitness blog you could search for…

From these search results you can identify the high priority software companies to focus on.

Step 2: Run the deal

The temptation is to approach the software company and get them to go in with you on the promotion. Don’t do that. It will slow you down and at this stage you don’t know if your audience will resonate with the offer.

Noah and his team at Appsumo have found it’s easier and quicker to simply front the cost of the initial giveaway, judge response and THEN double down on the offer that is the most effective.

Here is an example of how Appusmo did this recently with a free Lifetime account of Buffer.

Time: This should take no more than 20 minutes to implement (hint: use this software to host your giveaway)

11. Time with you

Last but not least…

Time with you.

Call it coaching, mentorship or masterminding…it’s the #1 thing that your readers want.

So, give it away.

You can do this in the form of a Skype or phone call. You can even host a Google Hangout and include more than one person.

How to Double the Effectiveness of Your Content Upgrade

There you have it…11 killer ways to build your email list with content upgrades in less than 30 minutes.

Now you have no excuse for not using this strategy.

My challenge to you is to try it once. See for yourself.

I’ve put together a swipe file *wink wink* of every content upgrade lead magnet that I have published on this blog.

This is a great resource to get you kick started to creating your content upgrades.

• See how bad my initial ones were (hint: they still worked really well)

• Study how I put together my videos

• Reverse engineer my entire sales funnels I used to turn these free giveaways into paid products.

You can download that entire swipe file (for free) here.


Alright, I mentioned a technique earlier in this post for doubling (or even tripling) the effectiveness of your content upgrades.

I used this technique last month and collected 503 email addresses from ONE article.

But I’m at 3,700 words in this post and I’m an hour past the time I was supposed to be finished writing.

So, lets get to that next week.

Be sure to grab the swipe file: You can download that entire swipe file here.

PS: Do you have another type of bonus that you’ve tried and would like to share? Leave it in the comments section below

  • Bryan – Thanks for an(other) extremely valuable post!

    • Thanks Sharon. Plans to use it? 🙂

      • Absolutely! Time is always an issue, but if you’re efficient with your time, you can leverage one blog post by adding content upgrades and in the end, SAVE time while building your list faster. Why wouldn’t I? 🙂

        • Am I missing something? Why don’t you have social share buttons on your blog post? I had to buffer it to share it – THIS IS HIGHLY SHARE-ABLE CONTENT! (which is ok, but not everyone uses buffer…)

  • Cathy

    I just did this for the first time the other day
    (I may have got the idea from your blog 😉 )
    I used it to provide a taster from an ebook that was mentioned in the post.

    • What kind of results did you get Cathy?

      • Cathy

        Early days so not much to report yet 🙂

  • Mridu

    I love this idea and WILL implement it starting next week. And I’ll admit, that I thought the PDF version of a blog would be lame too…until I read your rationale. In my case, I do all video blogs, so I could see why a written version would be really valuable. And makes my “bonus” job MUCH easier. Thank you!

  • Claudia

    Amazing post and resource Bryan.

    I have a question about existing subscribers. I email all new posts to existing subscribers and my concern is that they may get annoyed having to sign up AGAIN for the content upgrade. How do you handle this?

    • There are a few schools of thoughts on this. Right now you have to enter your email to get any of my bonuses.

      There should be a better solution, right now there isn’t unfortunately.

      • Claudia

        Hey Bryan – Quick follow up: I have just started using Optinlinks and it’s great. Avoids problem of having multiple lists and subscribers get quickly redirected. Kind of like a mini – membership login.

        • So with Optinlinks, if somebody has already provided an email address they get straight access to the bonus? They don’t have to re-enter their email? That was the original question. Did you solve that?

          • Angela Wilbraham

            If you use something like Hubspot, it uses cookies to recognise a return visitor and has their email (and more if you have more fields) already pre-populated so they just have to click submit

  • Awesome content as usual. Lots to digest AND implement.

    Another great way to create a PDF of your posts is to use a plugin for your browser called PrintFriendly so you can skip the copy and pasting into Evernote step.

    You’d go to your article, click the print plugin button and select the PDF option. Also allows you to remove line items from the post you don’t want to show up in the PDF.

  • Great post. Here’s a question — what do you think about offering TWO free downloads on the same post, such as a checklist and a pdf of the post? Do you think the double CTA converts better or worse?

    • I like it alot. Did it with this post actually.

      I haven’t noticed a sizeable jump in conversion rate with it. When I’m creating the upgrade I think less about… “What will convert the best” and more about “What would be most useful”

  • Brian Wallace

    Loving your stuff, thanks. One if my fears about doing this is , what do you do when people see that they got one lead magnet and then next week they want that one too. Then they realize there is a lot more “free stuff”

    Do you deliver it all to them if they ask? Do you wait for them to ask or could you create a page with links to all if

    If you did a PDF of the post content as your giveaway I would want one for all if your posts.


    • I have 40+ lead magnets. What I do is email gate all of them. If you read a post and want the bonus – give your email. If not, no lead magnet.

      Something I implemented laters on (and am stil refining) is a free members area that has the best of all of the lead magnets in one place.

      Don’t over thinks it though. Do the easiest possible route (gate all bonuses) make sure it works for you and then gradually over time improve it.

      It’s easy to read a strategy like this and get overwhelmed. Just keep it simple.

      • Brian Wallace

        Thanks. Off to put it to work.

  • Cyrus Khambatta

    Bryan, I read alot of blogs on the interweb with solid marketing tips. But you BLOW ME AWAY with how much content you provide. And your stuff is super actionable. I’ve put some of your tips into action and they’re working like a charm. Thanks a ton for all your help. http://www.mangomannutrition.com

    • Thanks Cyrus 🙂 Let me know if you ever need help. (email me @ bryan@videofruit.com)

    • I agree with Cyrus…I’m out there on the interwebz reading this sort of stuff every single day, but man, your posts are always so. damn. good. I’d like to just turn your whole blog into one big evernote notebook 🙂 I’m at the earliest stages of putting together my product/funnel, but I’ve stocked up so many killer ideas from you, I feel like I’m totally rarin’ to go. Thank you x a million!

  • Bryan, I spent 1.5 days writing a new blog post, creating a members site using wordpress for downloads, creating content for download for the new blog post, creating new list in getresponse and creating a new leadbox in leadpages. I published my blog post on 7/31 – just 3 days ago. In 3 days I have gotten 6 new subscribers to my website. It took me 9 days to get my previous 6 subscribers so I got the same # of subscribers in 1/3 of the time. Feel free to check out my work at http://www.ratracegrad.com/how-you-can-create-a-targeted-list-using-facebook-ads/ and I am always open to feedback. Better yet you can use me as an example in your post and any future posts 🙂

    • Love. it. Shoot me an email (bryan@videofruit.com). Up for a skype call to chat about results?

      • Hey Bryan, I just emailed me my results. Thanks. Jennifer

  • Christopher Walker

    Dude I freakin’ love your posts. Thanks for spending so much time on this. My favs are #1 and #9. The software giveaway is brilliant. I’m going to run one of those with my audience soon.

    • Glad you liked it Chris. Be sure to post a link back here when you get it up.

    • This just gave me a great idea, gracias.

  • Brian,

    This is yet another awesome article – thank you 🙂

    I have used this technique in the past (but not exactly in the way you have described it here), then I stopped using and I’m about to start doing it again next week. This time I’m doing it differently (for instance, the infrastructure is different and I want to measure my results).

    Yet, there is still something that’s worth mentioning: Setting this kind of system requires some initial effort before you can start offering bonuses.

    In specific, I have realized I needed to:

    a) Invest to LeadPages, so that I can deliver my bonuses
    b) Create a new entry point to my e-mail autoresponder sequence (for instance a new welcome message to those people who opt-in through content upgrade).

    Anyways, the post specific bonuses that I have offered in the past were (and in addition to your list):

    – “Distilled wisdom”: After reading a book, I took the key concepts and created a PDF out of it
    – Infographic related to the blog post
    – MP3 version of the blog post

    But yeah … I think that this strategy is very interesting and after I have finished configuring LeadPages and other stuff, I’m able to say how effective this is in my case (I guess the effectiveness of this depends of your blog topic and your target market).


    • Here is a quick rundown on how to set up the tech side (in case you missed it last week): http://blog.videofruit.com/how-to-build-upgrades/?hvid=UTaZm

      • Hi Bryan!

        Oh … I missed that. Thanks, I’ll take a look!


        • Hi Bryan!

          If all the subscribers end up eventually to same list (say, blog post bonus list), how can I prevent that the subscriber doesn’t have to go the same autoresponder sequence again when he/she downloads a new post bonus from a new post?

          For instance, if I have blog post A with it’s bonus and blog post B with it’s bonus, I’m using the same list to store the subscribers.

          What happens when the same person requests these two separate bonuses?



          • You can do that by using segments. Only send the autoresponder to people that the relevant custom field tag.

            Example: If you want an autoresponder to go to everyone that downloaded bonus “XYZ.”

            Step 1: Create a segment that only includes people with a ‘YES’ in Field “XYZ
            Step 2: Setup your autoresponder to target only people in that segment

            Make sense?

          • Hi Bryan!

            Ok, I’ll have to dig into to the segmenting stuff bit deeper first.

            If you don’t mind, I still have two questions:

            If the person opt-ins to my list once (post A, bonus 1) and then he/she downloads the second bonus (post B, bonus 2), doesn’t he/she get greeted with a message that the he/she is already subscribed to the list (since all the content upgrade subscribers are on the same list)?

            Also … do you send the person through separate autoresponders each time with your bonuses? Just wondering if an autoresponder sequence is necessary in the first place …

            Sorry, these questions may seem like self-explanatory, but I’m trying to wrap my head around this stuff, so that I can also get started content upgrades.


          • No worries.

            I don’t send autoresponders for bonuses. I take the email, tag them and send them to the page. If you use Leadboxes and Mailchimp to collect the emails you will avoid and ‘already subscribed’ error messages.

          • Thanks Bryan!

            Well, I’m using GetResponse so I’ll have to figure out how this works with them.


          • Hi Bryan!

            I’m assuming that when people get added to your list, you are not using confirmed opt-ins (or are you?)


  • Bryan you just earned a place in my Bookmarks’ Hall of Fame. Can’t wait for your next formula!

  • GREAT post Bryan! You are QUICKLY turning into a force to be reckoned with!

  • Do I need to use leadpages to deliver the content? Are there other options?

  • Awesome post! I’ve been going back and putting content upgrades into my most popular posts and podcasts.

    But I’m a little stumped.. on Friday we do the Weekly Friday Reload covering some of the best stories from the week. For example this blog post is being covered this week.

    Anyways I’m currently stumped as to what to use for a content upgrade for it. Thoughts?

    Example: http://digitaltriggers.io/friday-reload-12/

    • PS.

      “Alright, I mentioned a technique earlier in this post for doubling (or even tripling) the effectiveness of your content upgrades.

      I used this technique last month and collected 503 email addresses from ONE article.

      But I’m at 3,700 words in this post and I’m an hour past the time I was supposed to be finished writing.

      So, lets get to that next week.”

      Awesomely done. You’ve done extremely well keeping me looking forward to the next post.

    • How about a short PDF list of the best articles with a one paragraph excerpt describing the article. Think alltop style.

  • Jason

    Awesome stuff Bryan!

    From now on we’re going to adopt this strategy to offer a bonus in each post but after writing a draft for our next post we’ve got about 5 different bonuses to give away.

    Do you think this is too many?

    • No not necessarily. I wouldn’t burn yourself out on the first one though. Make sure it’s sustainable.

      • Jason

        Good call. My fear is it gives readers to many options (on what to download first) and because of that it makes it hard to make a decision so they end up leaving with nothing!

  • Joel Widmer

    Bryan, Just implemented this for the first time with an existing free ebook on my site that fit perfectly with my post. The post went out 2 days ago on Friday (terrible timing but the goal was just to get it published and experiment and have gotten 8 new subscribers compared to my usual 1 or 2. Huge win!

    I’ve also gotten a lot of good feedback in the places I’ve shared it specifically on how much people are enjoying the content upgrades, which is awesome!

    Here’s the post: http://fluxedigitalmarketing.com/how-to-write-blog-post/?hvid=1QGcQU

    I also found a great plugin called Shortcodes Ultimate for easily creating any type of callout box within the post, which really sped up the process.

    Thanks for all your awesomeness!

  • Love, love, love this idea so much and I’m ready to dive in and implement it, BUT, it seems as if there is no way to do this in get response. Unfortunately, that “you’re already subscribed” message keeps popping up, and according to their support team, there is no way around that. Grrr. I’m familiar with mailchimp, but avoided it for other reasons (aweber was my second runner up to getresponse). Do you know which other email providers would let you set something up like this? I know infusionsoft does, but I’m not quite there yet. Thanks, @bharris007:disqus!

    • Good question. I’m haven’t used Aweber or Getresponse but am thinking of making a guide for both. I’ll update everyone if I move forward with that.

  • On the posts that include the content upgrade, do you recommend we remove our usual opt in offer (the box that would appear on the bottom of posts normally)?

  • Went back to past content and created upgrades. Gained 200 more subs in a week. I’m giddy looking for ways to add upgrades to content. Slightly addicted to checking mailchimp stats now. You rock!

    • Ha! Love it Keith. Shoot me an email, would love to hear more about your story. Bryan@videofruit

  • I just did this on only my top 10 posts (out of 400 on my blog) and it already increased my daily subscribers by 25%. Imagine if I implement it on all the rest of the posts, starting with the most popular and working my way down.

    This is the best breakdown of lead magnet possibilities I’ve found. Great post – I’m sharing it 🙂

    • That’s awesome Shayna! Good work.

      Shoot me an email (bryan@videofruit) would love to chat with you more about it.

  • Sarah

    This was extremely helpful. I’ve implemented 3 content upgrades in the past week and my email list is going crazy. One of my posts is enjoying a 20% conversion rate! Thanks for the details you provided. Now I need to do a better job of monetizing all these people.

  • Hi Bryan.

    Thank you for this post. I’ve made content upgrades for all my popular posts and got more than 1 000 subscriber in a 3 months.

    It’s the most effective technique I’ve ever used.

    Keep on!

  • Rich Cook

    I’m in the process of creating content upgrades for each of my posts, which are actually short stories. I’m creating PDF, Kindle, and standard ePub versions (an easy export from how I create the posts in the 1st place so no extra work). The challenge is the coding process, etc., to manage the backend process, but once I’ve nailed that down, every post/short story will be downloadable in all 3 formats in exchange for an email address. I’m hoping it’ll translate well into lots of sign ups. Based on data from sites like yours and those you mention, it should.

  • Dr. Nic Williams

    Can you link me to a page where you do #5…turn your post into a pdf. Also thanks for the amazing information. I found your site through the webinar you did with author launch and am just getting up and going. You have made an overwhelming task manageble. nicwilliams.me

  • You give too much on every blog post. Darn!

  • Wiyono Lee

    Hi Bryan.. What is the tools you use on the left side to create full page pop up? It was incredible!

  • Thanks for this, Bryan. I’ve been using content upgrades as well, but not converting at near 30%…jealous…. 🙂

    Will try out the PDF version of the post. Super quick and easy. Thanks again.

  • Hahhaha when I read the “But I’m at 3,700 words in this post” part I was like damn. Nice article man. Props

  • Fantabulous info Bryan. Many thanks. Yes, I’m working on implementation now.

  • I’m struggling with content upgrades for home organization systems (like a laundry system) and parenting (like what to expect with a twin pregnancy). Any ideas? I feel like BabyCenter would have everything already

  • Interesting!! So what do you do with all these email addresses you’re collecting? If every post is slightly different, do the content upgrade opt-ins all lead to one list? ~Jeanine

  • MaryJaksch

    I think there’s something missing here, Bryan. And that is using a branded look when creating a content upgrade. Like Brian Dean does on Backlinko.com.

    It’s easy to do.

    For creating written content upgrades, here is the workflow:
    1. Decide on which software you’re going to use. (For example, I use Pages on my Mac).

    2. Create an attractive design for a content upgrade which reflect the look of your blog, complete with logo, author name, and link in the footer area. This design should also included a striking front page with the title of the content upgrade.

    3. Use this design as a template for future content upgrades.

    If you’re not a visual person, look for someone’s content upgrade with a great look and copy the design (just tweak the design so that it now shows the branded colors of your blog and your logo).

    You can do the same when creating a video.

    Even though, the initial task of creating a template may take an hour or so, it will make creating subsequent content upgrades much quicker – and make them look more professional.

    Another upside is that you can use a screenshot of the front page, take 1 minute to turn it into a 3D booklet image online, and then use the image in the landing page or popup with the email form.

    Ah well, I better go and write a post about this… 🙂

  • Been following this guidance (using content upgrades) for a few months now. Here are the results… (see picture)

    I’m not great at statistics, but in three months my list has seen a 300+% growth with no sign of slowing. I’ve also used List Goal for the last 60 days which accounted for a 200+% growth in my list as well.

    I say all that, to say this… this technique works. But you HAVE to do the work. Thanks, Bryan!

  • Jermaine Edwards

    Bryan. You are my go to guy from now on. Great stuff

  • Laurie Neverman

    Just FYI, by suggesting that readers put amazon affiliate links in a downloadable pdf, you are advising them to violate amazon terms of service.

    Amy Lynn Andrews explains here – https://amylynnandrews.com/do-not-put-amazon-associates-links-in-emails/

    (I am not in any way affiliated with Amy Lynn, I just thought you should know.)

    Other than that, your suggestions are interesting, and I could see how they would work.

  • Javier Mora

    Good morning. I have a question. In all lead magnets about video, should I record my face with the webcam? I know It could give more trust on my site, ….or maybe not, becase I’m a newbie. Thanks.

  • Seton Hunvenu

    Excellent post. You are awesome.

  • Awesome post, working on a content upgrade project at the moment, already seen some super impressive stats.

  • I got some ah ha moments from this blog. Thanks so much. I needed this!

  • Bryan, I’ve been using these ideas on my blog but one thing I found frustrating was having to pay for lead magnet plugins. So I built a content upgrade widget that works in WordPress and on the Medium blogging platform. Dead simple to use, simply create a content upgrade, we give you a link, and it automatically expands in your blog post.


    Please do check it out and let me know what you think.

  • Emiloi

    my family was searching for FL Publix Undergraduate Reimbursement Request Form recently and was informed about a web service with lots of sample forms . If you are searching for FL Publix Undergraduate Reimbursement Request Form too , here’s a https://goo.gl/WBvamT

  • R.E.

    Holy cow what an awesome post!! Sharing with my Mum/biz partner ASAP!
    Glad to have found you just as we’re in the process re-doing our website and revamping our approach to magnets and opt-ins!

    Quick question… do you assign a separate list/tag/segment to each content upgrade sign-up?… Once they’ve received their email with the magnet they opted-in for, do you just add them to your main business autoresponder sequence?…
    Hope that makes sense!
    Cheers 🙂