I was working on a new content upgrade today and as I was setting up the delivery method I starting thinking about ways it could be done for free. I use Thrive Themes for this and have for years, I love their products but they're a paid service (although reasonable for all the value they provide, IMO).
Content upgrades are a great way to get targeted email subscribers but I couldn’t offer them when I was first starting out because I couldn’t afford the systems necessary to make it happen. If you ask bloggers how to send out content upgrades most people will point to LeadPages as their go-to solution but this service costs between $25 and $37 per month depending on whether you commit for a full year.
I created a video walking you step by step through the processes I describe in this post, click below to get access.
How to Deliver a Content Upgrade
The basic formula for delivering a content upgrade is:
- Create the Upgrade and upload it to the internet.
- Create an opt-in on your blog post.
- The subscribers email goes on your list.
- A link for the upgrade is sent to the subscribers email.
You'll need a way for people to opt-in, an email marketing software for collecting those emails, and a delivery method for your upgrade. Luckily, there is a free and easy way to achieve this when you are first getting started building your email list.
The Email Marketing Software
Mailerlite is email marketing software that has a great free starter plan and really reasonable paid plans too.
You can join the forever free plan and get access to all the features offered to their paid plan subscribers for your first 1,000 email subscribers. This includes features like single opt-in, campaigns, web forms, landing pages, and auto-responders just to name a few, which is a lot more than most other free plans offer.
So, a free Mailerlite subscription will take care of the opt-in, the subscribers, and delivering the link to the upgrade.
All that’s left is to figure out where that upgrade will live online.
Storage Solution for the Upgrade
One almost free option is to sign up for Amazon AWS. Their S3 cloud storage service is free for a full year and after that is a very tiny amount based on pennies per GB transferred.
But you can go completely free by hosting the upgrade on your own website. All you will need to do is create a Page in WordPress that has the upgrade on it. Then in Quick Edit you can set a password. You will simply email the link to the page and the password to each subscriber.
Alternatively, you can create a password protected page that houses all your content upgrades as downloadable links that live in your wordpress media files.
If you go this route you'll just want to keep an eye on how much storage and bandwidth your site is consuming so you don't incur any overage charges from your web host. (You'll have to store a lot of files or have a lot of traffic for this to be a big concern though.) If you are concerned or just don't want to keep up with it Amazon S3 is most likely your best option.
I created an awesome video that walks you step by step through the set up process for Mailerlite, WordPress, and Amazon AWS. You can grab it below.