What is a content upgrade & how to use them

You probably keep hearing about content upgrades or email opt-ins and know that you probably NEED one, but wtf are they and what’s the difference between a content upgrade and an opt-in? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

An opt-in and a content upgrade are the SAME THING (different names, same beast). Click To Tweet
What are they?

They usually are an 1-3 page pdf related to your services/products that gives people an incentive to sign up for your newsletter (also known as your ‘list).

Why bother? Because content upgrades allow you to do the following:

  1. Build your list– we all know having people to sell to is important – by having people excited about hearing from you, it allows you to be in control and are not reliant on another service which could go kaput or change wildly at a moment’s notice, e.g. Facebook or Instagram. You own your list. It’s your biggest business asset.Build your list because unlike LiveJournal it won’t ever go out of style. Click To Tweet
  2. Make sure you have the right people signing up – because your awesome content upgrade relates directly to your products/services, only people interested in it will sign up for it (in theory!) and therefore all the people on your list should be primed and interested in YOU and what you have to offer, making selling to them easy peasy!
  3. Give them a taste of your services/products – your content upgrade should basically be a quick and simple version of what you’re selling, something to give people a little teaser of what you can offer them and entice them to want more, as well as know what working with you could be like.
Examples of awesome content upgrades:

(yes, I keep a stash of the ones I love, shush)


6 Steps to building offerings that align with your brand + vision – by Fresh by Sian
Worksheet format with gorgeous photo background with deceptively simple design that just WORKS. Same design format throughout the pages.



Top design resources by Branch
Single page list of helpful resources, clean and classic design.



Stop wishing and start working – Jessica Larsen
Super awesome colourful design with a variety of different page layouts



Finally, my own, which is obviously pretty rad but I might be biased.


One of my main services is designing content upgrades for other people, so MY content upgrade is a photoshop template for people to use to design their own. Yeah, I’m basically giving away my service for free, right? RIGHT. It gives people a chance to see what I can do AND what’s involved in doing it themselves, so maybe they might want to hire me to make theirs awesome and take the job of their hands.

And there you have it! If you want to get more people in the door, make sure they’re the right fit, and start getting them excited about giving you money you gotta have content upgrades.

p.s. you can grab my content upgrade below!

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Copyright © Kristen Ashton 2017