Download 11 Killer Lead Magnet Ideas & Templates

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris - August 7th, 2017

Quick case study…

1. This website used to get 15 new email subscribers per day.

2. Now it gets 75 per day.

What did I do?

I ran a small experiment in which I tested a handful of new lead magnet ideas, picked the ones that performed the best and then showed them to visitors on relevant pages.

infusionsoft search results

In this article, I’m going to share the 11 highest-converting lead magnets from that experiment. You’ll also get downloadable free lead magnet templates and real-world examples of each.

So if you’ve been looking for fresh and unique lead magnet ideas–keep reading…

Pro Tip: We use one simple hack with almost all of our lead magnets to 2x the effectiveness. If you get nothing else out of this article, please read to the end and use it.

Lead Magnet #1: Turn your most popular article into a checklist.

One of the easiest ways to create a lead magnet is by turning one of your most popular blog posts 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’s 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.

lead magnet brainstorm checklist

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

  • If I were telling my 5-year-old kid 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 and check out some of their checklists. They are really good at boiling complex processes down into easy-to-follow checklists.

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’s an example of a step description from the Pat Flynn checklist:

sweetprocess ss

Step 3: Format and finalize the checklist.

I use a program called Process.St to create my checklist. They make the checklist process much quicker and they are designed well.

If you want a free option, you can use Google Docs to accomplish much of the same thing.

  1. Write your full checklist in 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.

Lead Magnet #2: Create a package of relevant links.

Suppose you’ve 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.

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

Now suppose that at the end of the article is a downloadable list of recommended equipment to buy to get started

It contains:

  • 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” needs to be is a link to the product listings 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’s 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 the details, go read the post.)

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

one click upsell example after lead magnet

Screen shot of the “bundle of links”

This specific lead magnet converted 42% of all people who read it.

Here’s a list of 5 different types of links you could include in your lead magnet.

  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

Lead Magnet #3: Make a short how-to video.

This is my personal favorite. There’s nothing more helpful to 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’s an exampleHow to create a high converting pop-up in 5 minutes.

blog post example

Example of a tutorial video as a lead magnet

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’s 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 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 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.

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


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 set up.

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 here.)


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.

Lead Magnet #4: Record a quick 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 your blog post’s topic .

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

Record a quick video of you answering two of these questions and offer them as a lead magnet.

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 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 don’t 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

Lead Magnet #5: Turn your most popular article into a PDF.

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 and decide you want to use this method on your site. But to do that you have to bookmark this page, remember which folder you saved it in, and then scroll endlessly down the page to find the instructions for the lead magnet 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: Which is more valuable, a “blog post” or an “e-book”?
  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 an 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 (image 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.

Lead Magnet #6: Create a mini video course.

This has the highest perceived value of all of the lead magnets 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 e-book,” 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 e-book

Video #3: Q&A (Q&A)

  • How can I get a cover professionally designed?
  • Is it possible to list my e-book 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 using Camtasia.

Press record and 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.

Lead Magnet #7: Give away 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 when you cold called?” OR “Can you share the source code of the sidebar you used?” “Which headline received the best response rate?”

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

However, I encourage you to explore how you can 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 can use this in your industry, ask yourself these questions:

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

Once you’ve 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

Lead Magnet #8: Give away your 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, 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 from a list of 50 other headlines. However, swipe files 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:


Lead Magnet #9: Give away 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 lead magnet 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: Blog post template (example)
  • Religion: Prayer templates (example)
  • Web design: Full website templates (example)
  • Marketing: Pop-up design templates (example)

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

Lead Magnet #10: Run a software giveaway.

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 can 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 AppSumo 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.)

Lead Magnet #11: Give away 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 Your Lead Magnet’s Effectiveness

There you have it: 11 killer killer lead magnets that you can use to grow your email list. 

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 lead magnet that I’ve published on this blog.

This is a great resource to get you kick-started in creating your next lead magnet.

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

• Study how I put my videos together.

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

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


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

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 let’s 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

          • TifNicole – Your Action Taking

            Hmmm… I wonder if you can just add a comment that folks on your email list will automatically recieve the download in the next newsletter so no need to enter your email if you’re already recieve my newsletter. This solution seems to simple so I’m wondering if this would work. Thoughts?

  • 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.

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

    • 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 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 ( 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):

      • 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?


    • 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:

    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.

  • 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

    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 –

    (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

  • 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 🙂

  • bevin1gaines

    Bryan – I LOVE your work and how willing you are to give away so much incredible value. What advice do you have for someone in a local business selling actual product. I do marketing for a brewery. While it sounds like that would be SUPER easy to sell (give away free beer!) my challenge is that all of the marketing folks I follow focus almost exclusively on online companies. What if I’m operating out here in the real world?

  • Awesome BRYAN, you went an extra mile including all valid but top valid points. planning to add some of your tips to my next articles. Thanks

  • I don’t know where to begin on how helpful this is. Using Quora to source search queries? Genius! I recently launched my very own services shop on Shopify and I can’t tell you how helpful this article is, Bryan. I swear my heart sped up a bit. Haha. Bravo and HUGE thanks! (Congrats on your impressive metrics, too! How empowering to see how we can get there, too.)

  • vino

    I really appreciate the insight here in this post and confident it’s going to be helpful to me and many others.

  • Jane Lizlie

    nice post

    follow me to ( jasabola )

  • I just found out about this blog through the Teachable Summit and I’m amazed to find such useful and good content. Thanks for sharing!

  • Great article. Thanks. I’ll certainly be applying some of the content 🙂