The Best Strategy to Get Subscribers

If you have been doing any research into how to be successful with an online business, you know that you need to get subscribers – lots of them.  Research has shown that email has the highest conversion rate and that 4% of visitors to your website from email marketing buy something compared to .59% of social media.  Do a quick search and you’ll see why increasing your subscriber base is the best investment in business growth.  But I’m not here today to talk about why you need to get more subscribers, I’m here to talk about the best strategy to get subscribers.

Whether you call it a lead magnet or content upgrade, the result is the same.  Visitors to your website will convert from casual visitor to subscriber by using your newsletter opt in.  You now have the green light to send them carefully crafted email right to their inbox where they are more likely to click through to your website to purchase something.

Get Subscribers through Content Upgrades

The formula is really quite simple:

  1. Write an Awesome Article or Tutorial
  2. Create a free downloadable document or resource that fits with the theme of the article
  3. Use your email marketing tool to create a form that sends the content upgrade in exchange for an email address

That’s really all there is to it!  However, what email marketing tool you use will determine how easy it is to send a content upgrade in exchange for an email.  I’ve used a few different email marketing tools in my time for various clients and not all are created equal.  I highly suggest you take advantate of free trials to try out a few email marketing tools before committing.

Why I Chose ConvertKit

I decided to use ConvertKit for this website because I found it so easy to use.  I really didn’t want to spend time creating complicated form after complicated form for every content upgrade.  ConvertKit really made it simple by giving only a few customization options.  The form is attractive and I can make it stand out or make it blend in.

I also liked that each subscriber is linked to a form and is only subscribed to my newsletter once even though they may be attached to multiple forms.  Knowing what content a subscriber is most interested in by the form they opted into makes it easier to figure out what content to send a subscriber in the future.  For example, if a subscriber opted in to a form for a free WordPress tutorial, if I later create a online course for WordPress, I know that subscriber may be interested in purchasing the course.

Finally, I really liked how simple it was to deliver a content upgrade.  In fact, you can attach the content upgrade directly to the email that gets sent from ConvertKit without the need to upload it to Google Drive, Amazon AWS, etc.

Content Upgrade Ideas

There really are a massive amount of content upgrade ideas out there.  I’m going to give you a short list of a few you might find good starting points.


Every one loves a good checklist.  If you have a checklist of things you do that relate to the topic of your article, type it up in Word, create a PDF and offer it up!

Resource List

People think that if they use the tools that you use, they will be as successful as you.  At the very least, it will save them time from having to research the tool they may or may not need.  I love to do research and share with others what I’ve found to be the best tool for the job.  Create a list of resources in Word, PDF it and send it along.  I’ve actually offered my resource list on my website, so have a look for an example.


Who doesn’t love a good worksheet?  The best way to make a worksheet is to use a PDF maker tool that allows you to create fillable form fields on the computer, but you can also use it as only print and fill out.  The Free Productivity Planner Worksheet is a fillable PDF.  Just a warning, creating a fillable PDF is not for the faint of heart!  It’s not complicated, but it does take some time to create.


If you’ve created a great template that you use over and over again for a specific task, consider offering that as a content upgrade.  I have templates I use for every video or article I create, email templates for communicating with clients, proposal templates when bidding on new websites, and the list goes on.  My Editorial Calendar template for Evernote is a great example of this.


Offer a discount on a product that you offer by giving a coupon in exchange for an email.


The article you wrote may not be a definitive guide, but if there is so much more you could write on the topic, then consider offering an ebook.  Also not for the faint of heart as writing, editing and producing an ebook could be a significant investment in time, but ebooks are a great way to increase subscribers.

Video Tutorial

Video tutorials are an awesome way to teach something to someone, but since they take significantly more time to create than writing a simple article, it could be a great way to get people to opt in to your newsletter and make that investment in time worthwhile.

Go Do it!

There are so many more ideas out there, but I suspect you may have found something you can use to get started.  The point is, go back and view posts or pages on your website that are popular and add a simple content upgrade to it to increase your subscribers.  After you’ve edited old posts, make a habit of trying to create a content upgrade for every post you write.  It can be overwhelming, but when you get into the rhythm, it will become much easier.

Also, be sure to reuse content upgrades so you aren’t having to create new ones for every post!

Not sure how to organize your content upgrades?
How to Organize Content Upgrades Using Evernote

The Complete Guide to Email Marketing

Want to learn more about email marketing?  ConvertKit has put out an awesome ebook called “The Complete Guide to Email Marketing”.  You can download the book here.

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