Just because you’re getting a lot of traffic on your website doesn’t mean you’ll also be generating a lot of leads. People can come to your website, browse your content, then just bounce, having found nothing of value there.

In fact, a lot of people tend to bounce from websites – up to a 55% bounce rate is considered normal across the internet. 

One of the best ways to reduce those bounce rates is with content upgrades – small and varied “extras” that expand your existing content, biding your visitors to stay a while and listen.

With proper content upgrade implementation, we can elevate our lead generation strategy to a new level. These updates will let us separate wheat from the chaff – we’ll generate more qualified leads than unqualified ones, and, ultimately, see more conversions. 

What Are Content Upgrades Exactly?

But, first, let’s answer one question – what exactly are content updates?

We mentioned in the intros that they’re “extras,” meaning they’re extra content, and that’s, for the most part, exactly what they are. Content upgrades are bonus pieces of relevant content added for further reading and nurturing interest in a particular topic. 

This extra content, however, isn’t “free.” Or, rather, you don’t pay for it with your money; you pay for it with your email. 

That is, essentially, the core purpose of creating content upgrades – to gather as many emails as you can. This lead generation strategy is one of the favorites among some of the best app marketing agencies, as it helps them build extensive email lists for their clients while also providing extra content for the leads.

It should be said, however, that content upgrades don’t always have to be more content. Sometimes, these extras can be additional tools that help apply the content, or the same content presented in a different medium that’s either more digestible, or more easily digestible in a different situation, such as with videos and transcripts, but more on different types later. 

For now, let’s reiterate what content upgrades are with a single definition:

Content upgrades are extra pieces of content or additional tools that are locked behind an email “paywall.”

The Benefits of Content Upgrades

So, how does a website benefit from gating its visitors from extra content? We already hinted at a couple of benefits, but let’s compile them all together here for a more in-depth understanding:

  • Content upgrades generate quality and qualified leads – That’s what separating the wheat from the chaff is all about – people who are truly interested will opt to sign up for extra content, and those that aren’t will leave.
  • Upgrades entice and create interest – By gating some of the content, you’re signaling that that content is really valuable and interesting, sparking further interest in it and pushing leads further down the funnel.
  • They can also be used to convert – Content upgrades can be used near the top of the funnel to create interest, but they can also be a good tool for the bottom of the funnel, allowing the lead to make a more informed decision and act upon that decision further down the line.
  • They allow you to reshape and repurpose your content. As we’ve mentioned before, you can use content upgrades to reshape your content so that it stays with your audience for longer. 

Types of Content Upgrades

So, what kinds of content upgrades can you make? Well, here’s a list of some of the most popular content upgrades websites employ to generate further leads.

Continued Content

One of the most common content upgrades is continued content. In essence, this is just a continuation of what you’ve presented before, but this time, you’ve put the juiciest part in the extras. This will entice interested parties to give you their email to get to that extra juicy part. 

This kind of upgrade is often employed within listicles: 

10 best SEO strategies in 2022 – sign up for 5 more! 15 content marketing strategies that will knock you off your feet in 2022 – sign up for a newsletter for 10 more predicted for 2023.  

That’s because listicles can be easily expanded, or updated, so you can always tease your audience with more. 

Video and Audio

It is no secret that video content is extremely popular. In 2021, video content had an audience reach percentage of almost 92%!

The reason behind it is that video content is extremely easy to digest, and requires far less from a person in terms of attention. You can be cooking, exercising, or gardening, and you can watch a video at the same time.

This is why more and more websites like to include videos with their blog posts, usually reiterating the content of the post in the video itself. They offer you this convenience, but you have to sign up first, after which you gain access to the video, and they can keep sending you more to further spark your interest.

Audio operates in a similar manner. You probably noticed this, but more and more websites also like to include voiceovers for their posts. This is also way simpler to do than creating a video, as you only need a text-to-speech robot to read out your post.

Again, this is all about offering a convenient alternative to your content – if your audience doesn’t have the time to read, they can always sign up and listen instead. 


In a, perhaps, ironic twist, transcripts are a very popular alternative to video content. We just stated how popular video is, so why would we want to go back on that statement?

Well, video might be popular, but sometimes it’s not as convenient as just a standard blog post.

For example, say you have a video that describes a step-by-step guide on how to do something. If that something is very complex, you might want to add a transcript so your users can follow the guide a bit more closely, or stop and analyze it better. 

Transcripts are also a better choice if one wants to enjoy the content in a place where playing a video on your device might not be considered appropriate, such as on the subway, on the bus, or in a hospital. 


While it is very true that people don’t tend to use their printers anymore, certain types of content lend themselves very well to being printed out.

For the small fee of offering your email for a newsletter subscription, a cooking blog can offer you the ability to print out recipes. How convenient is that?

Or you’re a D&D blog detailing the best character builds in for 5e. Why not let your readers print out premade character sheets? And all that and more, if they just subscribed!


Exceptionally popular with clogs that publish studies, reports are usually offered as a quick review of that study. You can also make them as PDFs or printables so that your audience can use them for their own purposes later. 


Infographics are the perfect upgrade for statistics blogs. Stats blogs have become very popular within the past 5 years, as they offer a lot of link building potential while also offering credible sources of information, and infographics are an excellent way of making all that info more digestible. 


Offering to teach your audience how to create videos, or how to form an email strategy? Why not spice up your offer with a template you’ve prepared for them?

Free Trials

What better way to encourage your leads to become your customers than to give them a taste of your product?

Free trials are very often used by companies selling a particular service in a subscription-based model to entice people with a sneak peek at what their highest subscription plan has to offer.


In the end, content upgrades appear in a myriad of forms and can be utilized in various ways. However, it all comes down to one core premise – subscription for convenience. 

With this in mind, you can tailor your content upgrades very well to your content and use them to catapult your lead generation strategy to new heights.

Author Bio

Sophie Douglas is a digital marketing specialist and a journalist based in Columbus, state of Ohio.
Her characters are passionate, innovative, and ambitious. 

Before becoming a writer for DigitalStrategyOne, she was writing short stories, screenplays, and directing short films.