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Today’s marketers are faced with a variety of ways to communicate with their audience. The advent of digital marketing has allowed businesses to reach a broader target audience more cost-effectively.

Most consumers prefer email as their primary source of information from businesses they follow. Blog posts are also an effective way to increase ROI. In fact, 57% of marketers claim they’ve acquired customers through their blog posts alone.

Blogs serve several purposes. They allow you to post quality content on your website, which can increase SEO and boost your business in search engine rankings. They also enable you to expand your contacts. Provide more value and grow your email list with content upgrades. Not sure how to work this into your email marketing strategy? Campaign Monitor can help.

Why content marketing is a valuable asset

Blog posts fall under the category of content marketing. It’s digital material that builds interest in a product or service but doesn’t necessarily promote a brand. It necessitates a strategic approach focused on distributing relevant, useful content that resonates with a target audience. Its goal is to convert contacts to profit.

Content marketing can be anything from educational articles to instructional videos answering specific questions and providing information not found elsewhere. It’s a great way to help your product stand out from the competition, as well as portray your business as an authority on subjects that are important to prospective customers. This helps build customer loyalty and assists in strengthening your brand.

People are looking for information online. By answering their questions through content marketing, you’re providing valuable information that equates to improved search engine rankings. This leads to the right people finding your products and, ultimately, generates revenue. According to 74% of companies surveyed, content marketing has increased their number of quality leads. It’s clearly an invaluable tool for improving SEO and turning leads into profit.

How to use content to grow your email list

Your email list is crucial to the success of your digital marketing campaigns. These subscribers are individuals who’ve already alerted you, stating that they need your product. They consist of quality leads who are now easy to reach. The more quality emails you have on your list, the better.

Content marketing generates three times more leads than outbound marketing. The idea behind it is that people will share their contact information in exchange for valuable information. If viewers see a compelling resource on your website, there’s a chance you can get permission to contact them again. This enables you to gather quality email addresses that can be converted into customers.

Visitors are ultimately subscribing for free content, which enters them into your funnel. Determine your prospects’ needs and create content that fulfills those needs. The free content you offer should be useful and increase your credibility. By building trust, people will be more likely to leave their information with you for future communications. The more people whose needs you meet, the more quality email addresses you’ll acquire.

7 ways to upgrade content to grow your email list

Content upgrades are additional giveaways on your website that viewers can access in exchange for their email address. These materials meet a specific need that people are already exploring on your site. Here are seven ways to upgrade the content on your website to help grow your email list.

1. Gated content

Gated content is a way to gather qualified leads on your website. Its online material that’s locked behind a form readers must complete before gaining access. It could be guarding a video, the entirety of an online article, or a blog post. However, even though the information is locked, content continues to be available to search engines, so SEO isn’t impacted. Research shows 80% of B2B content marketing materials are gated.

Gated content gives material a higher perceived value and tempts visitors to complete a lead capture form, so they can see the information hidden beneath. Forms could require basic contact information. They could also offer more insight by asking in-depth questions like interests and behaviors. Once you’ve obtained this information, use it to strategize a marketing plan to grow your revenue.

Example of gated content

Source: The Times

2. How-to guides

When presenting complex information, sometimes it’s best to provide an abridged outline. People don’t necessarily want to invest a lot of time in learning new information. They often want to jump right in and get started. Provide a simplified guide that’ll save readers time while delivering valuable information.

For readers who are looking for more in-depth guidance, consider a comprehensive guide that walks readers through each step. Use images, infographics, and diagrams to offer visual interest and help to create digestible material for which people would be willing to trade their email address.

Content upgrade of a how-to guide

Source: Backlinko

3. Mini ebooks

Maybe you’ve written a series of articles that all discuss the same topic. Or perhaps you have several articles that could be categorized into themes. Either way, consider combining several previously written articles into mini ebooks that readers can download, once they’ve offered their email address.

Use analytics to choose popular posts on a related subject. Package them together as a PDF and offer these as bonus material. Promote them on each of the book’s original blog posts. The final product should be manageable, concise, and easy to digest. Overwhelming material won’t entice people to leave their contact information with you in return for eBook access.

Content upgrade with an eBook offer

Source: InstaPage

4. Checklists

Part of the appeal of content upgrades is that they make the execution of your article’s strategies easy for your readers. Checklists are great because they’re usually something people want to print and keep handy. This means you’re reaching your audience when they first download the material and every time they reference the printed copy.

Checklists are ideal for longer educational posts that cover several steps. Ideally, they could easily be divided into simplified, actionable points. Think step-by-step instructions, project materials, or bullet points taken from a more in-depth guide. The beauty of checklists is that readers love them, and they don’t take a lot of time for you to create.

Content upgrade offer of a checklist

Source: StartupDevKit

5. Printables

People are busy and often multi-tasking while online, so offering a downloadable PDF version of your articles will likely be more enticing to your website visitors. Repackage the posts with full-color graphics and easy-to-read formatting. Seventy-five percent of content marketers experience higher ROI when visuals appear in their content.

Printable files offer users a chance to display the information where they can reference it as needed. You might include an uplifting message or motivational quote, something to give even more value to the material.

Content upgrade offering a downloadable .PDF

Source: RazorSocial

6. Video or audio recording

Video is engaging, informative, and entertaining, and 64% of B2B companies cited podcasts as valuable content when beginning their buying journey. When writing a blog post, review past files to determine whether you’ve recorded a webinar, podcast, or another informational multimedia file relevant to your current post and offer the recording as bonus material.

If you don’t have something in the vault, consider creating a how-to video or an audio recording of yourself reading the post aloud. A multimedia summary is a great way to give visitors the freedom to absorb your educational information at their own leisure. It wouldn’t take you long to do, and it’d be an invaluable tool to encourage visitors to leave their contact information.

Content upgrade offering a webinar

Source: Kissmetrics

7. Reports or case studies

Conduct a survey, do some research, or learn more about a topic that’d interest your target audience. Share a case study about your own success and use your findings and experience to write a report that’ll further educate your readers about their interests. This process will also benefit you as you become known as an expert in your subject.

Content upgrade offering a downloadable report

Source: Lithium Technologies

Content upgrade best practices

Content upgrades can help grow your email list. Whatever content upgrade you choose to add to your website, you’ll achieve more success by answering these three questions.

Is it relevant?

Site-wide upgrades can certainly assist in capturing contact information. However, an upgrade that relates directly to the blog post a reader is exploring at that time will result in better conversions. Target your audience thoughtfully and create offers that’ll be the most useful.

Does it have value?

Remember, these offers are considered an upgrade. If someone is willing to provide their contact information, they expect worthwhile materials. Anything less will damage your credibility and lose their trust, so create materials that are high quality, useful, and provide a real solution to a problem or answer to a question.

Is it appealing?

Go the extra mile to make these giveaways something special. People value their contact information and don’t give it away to just anyone, so be sure what your visitors are getting in return is something attractive, professional-looking, and a true upgrade.

Wrap up

Content marketing is an effective way to drive traffic to your website and help gather contact information. Any email marketer can encourage email signups by incorporating these easy content upgrades into their website:

  • Gated content
  • Guides
  • Mini eBooks
  • Checklists
  • Printables
  • Video or audio recordings
  • Reports or case studies

By offering bonus materials that are relevant, valuable, and appealing, any business can grow their email list with quality content.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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