For anyone who runs an email marketing campaign, you know that the hardest part of the battle is getting people to actually sign up in the first place.  Maybe you have great info to share, fresh ideas, and relevant content –unfortunately getting someone to actually sign up to receive all this great info is a different story.  Maybe you’re in the same boat as us where you are posting original content every week and you have plenty of readers coming to your blog.  However, people are reading the article and leaving the site.  Not signing up for more.  So, how do you change this?

Well, honestly, this is something we’ve been racking our brains about for months.  We have valuable info to share! Why doesn’t anyone want to be subscribed to it?  Are we not presenting it well enough? Are people not interested? Maybe they just have commitment issues? We’re talking free experience and tips here!  After researching more and more on the subject, I’ve come across an idea that we haven’t tried yet.

Content upgrades.

Who? What now?

Content upgrades are a sort of ‘opt-in’ freebie.  These can come in many shapes and sizes.  You can have a pop-up over your article, a slide-in form, and simple feature boxes within your article to place the tempting freebie in front of users.  This is a great way to motivate your visitors to subscribe to your email list.  This is not a one size fits all approach though.

Look at our own blog for instance.  We have two different authors and a guest blogger most weeks.  One single opt-in freebie isn’t going to be relevant or tempting to every reader of every article on every subject.

You have to do two things to make this truly work.

First, you have to spend some time on this. You need to go through ALL of the subjects that you cover and make sure you have a valuable tool or ‘freebie’ to share with each reader of each various subject.  For instance, we cover social media marketing and software development.  Those are two very different subjects and the readers of these are looking for completely different materials.  We can’t offer ‘10 Secret Tools for Facebook’ for the guy who’s looking for UI/UX tips.  Cover all of your bases.

Second, make your content upgrades appealing.  You want these to be things that people absolutely will put their email addresses down for.  If they’re reading XYZ blog post, then they will absolutely want to have access to ABC.  Also, make sure it’s unique.  If you have it posted somewhere else on your website, why would they sign up for it? It has to be limited to email subscriptions only.

Lastly, remember that you need to be clear with people.  Don’t just sign people up for your email marketing campaign.  Be clear that they are signing up for this with their content upgrade.

What have your experiences been with content upgrades?  Have you used them in your marketing? Have you been the reader that has signed up to receive that freebie?  What do you think?  Comment below!