The Content Offer - How to Use Upgrades to Increase Email Signups

The Content Offer - How to Use Upgrades to Increase Email Signups

Getting new visitors to your website is only half the battle. After reading your blog posts, you want visitors to take action so you can establish a relationship. The content offer, particularly the content upgrade, is a powerful way to do that.

If you’re a regular blogger (or blog-reader), you probably know that many blogs sign off with a call to action (CTA) that encourages the reader to take the next step in the buyer’s journey. Usually, bloggers use generalized, uninspiring CTAs such as “Sign up for our newsletter” or “Click here to find out more.”

Today, we’ll show you how using a content upgrade as your offer can dramatically boost your CTA conversion rate.

Understanding the content offer and content upgrade

Let’s begin by looking at the concepts of content offer and content upgrade in a little more detail.

What is a content offer?

A content offer is an additional piece of content that you can offer your readers for free in exchange for their email addresses.

Blog posts are a great way to attract newcomers to your business website. However, if you can’t convince them to leave their email, you can’t turn those new visitors into leads. By offering another valuable piece of relevant content, you’ll be far more likely to entice your readers to give something back in return.

Depending on your resources and what appeals to your readers, the offer could be anything from a white paper to a downloadable list or a practical guide.

What is a content upgrade?

A content upgrade is a type of content offer that very specifically relates to the current blog post a reader is on. It differs from a content offer, which refers more broadly to any content you can offer to the reader. You would offer the upgrade only on the content that it closely complements.

For example, on your blog post about how to evaluate CRM tools, you could offer a content upgrade in the form of a report comparing features of the most popular CRM tools in the category. The reader would need to provide their email address to access the upgraded content.

Why does the content upgrade work so well as a content offer?

The power of the content upgrade lies in its highly targeted nature. You know the reader is interested in the topic because they are reading about it on your blog. At the moment when you know they’re immersed in the topic, you offer them even more valuable information on the same topic. It’s all about getting the right content in front of the reader at the right moment.

Real-life examples of content upgrades

See how these brands are using content upgrades on their blogs. Typically they would appear on pages that already draw traffic, because it takes extra effort to create targeted content for use with one or two specific blog posts only.

Offer a related resource

Let’s look at Brian Dean, for starters. His post on Google ranking factors features a pop-up offering the reader a “definitive guide” on SEO—a resource that’s related to the one they initially clicked to read. In return, of course, they have to enter their email address to access it. Dean was able to boost his conversion rate from 0.4% to 5.5% by adding this content offer.


Entice with an exclusive bonus

This blog post about boosting conversions on OptInMonster features a CTA that offers an “exclusive bonus”:


As you can see, this bonus promises to provide readers with something useful related to the blog post they are reading. When they click the link, readers are taken to a quick email signup pop-up.

Promise a useful checklist

This blog post about getting more visibility for your blog posts features a content upgrade in the form of a blogging checklist that the reader can download in exchange for their email address.


This blog post about building your inbound funnel is another great example:


Here, the writer has offered a relevant list for targeting sales-ready subscribers that complements the original blog post.

Create your own content upgrade with one of these tools

In the examples above, the content offer links all generated a pop-up prompting the reader to input a name and email address.

Pop-ups are an excellent way to format content upgrade offers as they don’t take readers away from the main blog page: For readers who don’t want to hand over their info, it’s easy to click away from the pop-up and return to the blog post.

Equally important, for those who do enter an email address, it’s simple to return to the original page quickly after registering.

Plus, pop-ups are usually much quicker to load than a whole new web page.

If you want to create your own content upgrade links in your blog posts, these tools and plugins will help you seamlessly insert the offer into your content.


OptinMonster is a WordPress plugin that allows you to add clear, professional opt-in forms throughout your blog content. You’ll be able to choose between adding in pop-ups, slide-in forms, floating bars, sidebars, and more. If you’re a WordPress user, this option is easy to set up within your dashboard.

Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads is another easy-to-use WordPress plugin that helps you build opt-in forms in your CTAs or in pop-ups and sidebars. This plugin comes with a range of professional themes to match your blog style.


Sumo is an email capture tool. You’ll be able to insert opt-in prompts on certain links. You can also use the plugin’s other list-building tools, such as the automatic email responder and the subscribe success redirect, which will take new subscribers directly to their download.

Increase email signups by starting with quality content

At SaaSpirin, our team of writers, editors, and content strategists knows what it takes to get your blog on track — from generating content ideas to writing high-quality posts for you.

Want to see more conversions from your posts? We can even help you build upgrades into your content so you can start growing your email list today.

Get in touch to find out more about how we can help!