How To Deliver Content Upgrades For Free In 7 Easy Steps

Content upgrades are a great way to build your list fast. I recently added 315 new subscribers from a content upgrade in a single post.

But here's the problem: how do you deliver all those different free reports?

How To Deliver Content Upgrades For Free In 7 Easy Steps

In this article you'll discover:

  • how to deliver content upgrades using automated sequences
  • create a segmented list that divides your readership into groups according to their interests.

Let's get started:

Recently I published a guest post on Smart Blogger about how to use transitions to increase reader engagement.

In the article I gave 90 examples of transitional phrases that keep people reading and keep them moving down the page.

And in the author bio I included a content upgrade - a free PDF containing 391 transitional phrases:

That content upgrade has added 257 new subscribers to my list:

deliver content upgrades

And I'm not the only one getting good results from content upgrades. Bryan Harris of videofruit went from 15 new subscribers a day to 75 a day using content upgrades. Brian Dean of backlinko increased his optin rate by 529% using content upgrades. And Devesh Kanal used content upgrades to increase his optin rate by 492%.

Why Are Content Upgrades So Effective?

So why are content upgrades more effective than any other type of lead magnet?

Well, it’s quite simple...

It’s all about context.

Have you ever seen those sales reps in the supermarkets? They usually have a plate of bite-sized delicacies, a new type of cheese or sausage.

As you approach she asks you: “Madam, can I interest you in our new BBQ flavoured cheese?”

You smile nicely and say: “Not now, thank you”.


Because you’re headed to the aisle with the coffee beans. You’re not focused on cheese, you’re focused on coffee.

It’s a bit like that with most lead magnets.

Random windows pop up offering all kinds of resources: cheat sheets, swipe files, templates. And they’re all free.

But like the cheese bites in the supermarket, these lead magnets are not your focus right now. So you ignore them and close the popup.

But what if you could present your visitors with a lead magnet that exactly matches their current focus?

Well, that’s what a content upgrade is. It’s a lead magnet that is directly related to the article your visitor is reading.

But there’s a problem with content upgrades.

Delivering Content Upgrades - The Problem

If you’re making post-specific content upgrades very soon you’ll end up with dozens of different lead magnets. And they all need to be delivered to different subscribers.

Some marketers gave got around this problem by directing every new subscriber to a download page that contains links to every single content upgrade they ever created.

The welcome message a new subscriber receives is something like this:

deliver content upgrades

The new subscriber then clicks through to your download page where she has to wade through 35 different lead magnets to find the one that was referred to in your article.

Obviously, it’s not a very satisfactory option, for various reasons:

Delivering Content Upgrades - The Solution

So what’s the solution?

It’s quite simple – you need to send a different welcome message to different subscribers, depending on which content upgrade they signed up for.

This is called ‘asset delivery’ and there are various email marketing platforms that allow you to do it.

Here are some of the best known:

  • LeadPages
  • ThriveLeads
  • ConvertKit
  • ActiveCampaign
  • Drip

But as you might expect with enterprise-level solutions, these services are not cheap. For example LeadPages starts at $31 p/month, ConvertKit starts at $29 p/month, and Drip starts at $41 p/month.

But what if you could deliver different lead magnets to different subscribers without paying a cent?

How To Deliver Content Upgrades In 7 Easy Steps

To start, open a Word document and create a table with three columns. This is your Master List of content upgrades:

  • The first column identifies the subscriber group,
  • The second column identifies the content upgrade
  • The third column identifies the article or blog post where the content upgrade was offered

Next, go to MailerLite and sign up for a free account.

Step #1

Once you’re logged in to your MailerLite account, click on ‘Subscribers’ in the top menu and then click ‘Add New Group’:

deliver content upgrades

Give your new group a name from Column 1 of your Master List:

deliver content upgrades

Step #2

Next, click on ‘Automation’ in the top menu and then ‘Create a new workflow’:

On the next screen, give your workflow a name and choose the first option ‘When subscriber joins a group’:

You’ll then be prompted to choose which group the workflow applies to:

Click on the name of the group you just created and hit ‘Save’:

deliver content upgrades

Step #3

On the next screen, choose ‘Email’ as the next step in your Workflow:

deliver content upgrades

Then enter a subject line for your email and click ‘Design email’:

On the next screen choose the ‘Drag and Drop Editor’:

deliver content upgrades

Drag a text block onto the left side panel:

And then write your email and include a link to the content upgrade:

deliver content upgrades

Click ‘Save’ and then click ‘Done Editing’:

On the next screen, activate the workflow by toggling the button to the ‘On’ position:

Step #4

Now go back to the main menu and go to Forms > Embedded Forms.

Then click on ‘Create Embedded Form’:

Give your form the same name as the Group you created and click ‘Save and continue’:

deliver content upgrades

Step #5

On the next screen, choose the ‘Embed Form’ option:

deliver content upgrades

You’ll then be prompted to link the form to a subscriber group. Check the box next to the group you just created:

Step #6

Click ‘Save and continue’ and then edit and format your optin box:

Note that the bottom field can either be a 'thank you' message or the URL for a redirect.

Click ‘Save and continue’.

Step #7

On the next screen copy the JavaScript to the clipboard:

deliver content upgrades

And then paste that JavaScript into your WordPress Editor, with ‘Text’ mode activated:

deliver content upgrades

The screenshot below shows my landing page with the MailerLite optin box:

And that’s it – you’ve now created an automation within MailerLite that delivers your content upgrade for a specific blog post.

At this stage you may be wondering what happens when you want to send out an email, update or newsletter to your list.

It’s really simple!

In the top menu of the MailerLite dashboard, click on ‘Campaigns’ and then ‘Create Campaign’:

deliver content upgrades

The 3rd step in creating a campaign is to identify which groups should be include din the mailout (campaign).

You’ll see a screen with all your groups listed. These are all of your content upgrades.

Check the box at the top of the screen to select them all:

deliver content upgrades

Every subscriber who signed up for any of your content upgrades will now receive your email update.

But wait!

What if someone signed up for more than one of your content upgrades. Are they going to receive multiple copies of your email update?

Good question.

And the answer is ‘No’.

For each campaign (mailout) MailerLite will go through all your groups and eliminate duplicate email addresses.

Content Upgrades & List Segmentation

If you follow this method outlined in this article, you’ll end up with a segmented mailing list. And that’s a very powerful marketing tool.


Because the people who have signed up for your content upgrades don’t all have the same interests.

For example, someone who signs up for an SEO checklist has different interests to someone who signed up for a list of transitional phrases.

The system I’ve described above keeps these subscribers with different interests in separate buckets.

And that means you can target a particular offer to a particular group.

Good luck and let me in the comments know how you go!


Content upgrades are post-specific offers. They convert much better than sitewide optin forms because they are targeted to the reader of a particular page.

But delivering content upgrades can become a headache, especially if you are using a free email marketing service.

In this article I've shown you how to deliver content upgrades for free using Mailer Lite.

Setting up content upgrades across your entire website is more work than using a generic sitewide optin. But it pays off in higher conversion rates because your offers are targeted to the readers of each specific article on your website.

And that's why delivering content upgrades will gow your list fast.

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Rob Powell
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2 thoughts on “How To Deliver Content Upgrades For Free In 7 Easy Steps”

  1. Thanks for sharing good blog post about content Technics, I tried all those steps and its working …. I always look your website for new update. Go ahead….

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