How to add content upgrades in WordPress and grow your email list

Do you want to add content upgrades in WordPress to grow your email list?

Content upgrades are specific bonus content that your readers can receive when they sign up for your email list.

In this article, we are going to show you how to add content upgrades in WordPress and grow your email list.

What is a content upgrade?

With content upgrades, you offer your readers exclusive bonus content for signing up to your email list. This additional premium content offered to complete a promotion is also known as content bribery.

What are some content upgrade ideas?

  • eBooks
  • Checklists
  • Excel worksheets
  • Downloadable PDF version of your blog post
  • Exclusive video interview on the contribution
  • Bonus instructions for the article

Basically, content upgrades need to be highly relevant to the post you're offering them on.

For example, in a post on content updates, we should offer a content update checklist, as the readers of this post will find it extremely useful.

Human psychology plays an important role in the effectiveness of content upgrades.

The psychological principle known as the Zeigarnik effect states that people are most likely to get a task done when they initiate it themselves.

This works for content updates because users initiate it by clicking a link or an image. This increases the likelihood that they will complete the task by completing the login.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?

Check out these stats on the Syed website and compare a regular popup and MonsterLinks ™ content upgrade.

Comparison of a regular popup and a MonsterLink content upgrade

The generic popup ran across the site and was seen by nearly 26,000 users, 744 of whom signed up.

On the other hand, the targeted MonsterLink ™ was placed on a single page. It has been viewed by 270 people and 74 users have signed up. That's a crazy single page conversion with no split testing!

Now that you know what a content upgrade is, let's see how you can use it on your own website to get more email subscribers.

How do I add content upgrades in WordPress?

The easiest way to add content upgrades to WordPress is to use OptinMonster. It's one of the best WordPress lead generation plugins out there, used by over 1.2 million websites.


You can add beautiful opt-in forms like lightbox pop-ups, scroll-triggered slide-in forms, floating bars, sidebar optins below the content forms, and more.

It's super fast and works wonderfully with WordPress-based websites.

Note: Our founder Syed started OptinMonster for WPBeginner and increased our email subscribers by 600%.

Adding content upgrades is a breeze with the MonsterLinks ™ feature in OptinMonster.

If you don't have an email list, check out our guide on why you should start building your email list right away.

Step 1: Set up OptinMonster

First you need to install and activate the OptinMonster plugin on your WordPress site.

This plugin acts as a connection between your WordPress website and OptinMonster.

After activation, click on the OptinMonster menu item in your WordPress admin bar.

OptinMonster setup page

Now you need to connect your site to OptinMonster by clicking on "Start Setup Wizard".

Next, you'll be asked to connect to an existing account or claim your free account.

OptinMonster setup wizard

Once you've gone through the setup wizard, your WordPress site will be connected to OptinMonster.

You can navigate OptinMonster »Settings to check if you are connected.

OptinMonster account connected

Step 2: create a new popup optin

Once you are successfully connected, navigate to OptinMonster »Campaigns.

Then click the "Add New" button to create a new campaign.

Add a new OptinMonster campaign

After that, you need to select the campaign type. In this case it is a "popup".

You can then choose a popup template.

Choose the type of OptinMonster campaign

Simply move the mouse pointer over the desired template and click on "Use template".

This is the basis for your popup design.

Choose the OptinMonster template

Then enter your campaign name in the "Create campaign" popup and click on "Create start".

The name of your campaign is here to help you remember that it won't appear in your design.

Name your OptinMonster campaign

This will open the OptinMonster app, where you can fully customize the appearance of your popup.

You can change virtually any part of your design, including background and font colors, text, subscribe button, and more.

Customize the OptinMonster popup

When you're happy with your design, click the "Display Rules" tab.

Here we set the display options for your content update.

OptinMonster display rules

First, let's set the conditions under which the popup will be displayed. To do this, click on "MonsterLink" in the "Search display rules" search bar.

Then click MonsterLink ™ (On Click) to add the rule. Then click on "Next Step".

Add MonsterLink as the next step

You can leave the default options on the next screen. However, you can also add an animation effect or a sound effect to the popup. When you're done, click Next Step.

On the Summary page, click Copy MonsterLink ™ Code.

Copy the MonsterLink code

Now you need to open a plain text editor like Notepad and paste the code you copied. You will need this code later.

Then navigate to the Publish tab and switch the Publish Status from Draft to Publish. You can then click on "Save" and exit the screen.

Publish the OptinMonster popup

Step 3: Activate MonsterLink ™ Optin on your site

Once you exit the form creation screen, you will be taken to the WordPress Output Settings screen.

Here you can specify which pages and posts MonsterLink ™ should work on. You can keep the default settings. However, make sure that the status in the Visibility and Status field is changed to Published.

Make the OptinMonster form visible

If you make any changes, click Save Changes.

Step 4: Paste your monster link into a WordPress post or page

Adding your MonsterLink ™ in WordPress is very easy.

Just edit the post or page you want MonsterLink to appear on.

After editing, switch to the text editor on the screen and paste the previously copied MonsterLink ™ code.

It will look like this:

Subscribe now!

This code shows a simple link to the users, but it won't really attract any attention.

How do you highlight it? You can add a field like this:

Exclusive bonus: Download the blog post checklist before clicking Publish.

Content update popup example

You can also create a shortcode to make box styling easier in the future.

Simply paste this code into your topic's functions.php file, into a site-specific plugin, or using the code snippets plugin:

Function wpb_make_yellowbox ($ atts, $ content = null) {
Return & # 39;

& # 39 ;. do_shortcode ($ content). & # 39;

& # 39 ;;
add_shortcode (& # 39; yellowbox & # 39 ;, & # 39; wpb_make_yellowbox & # 39;);

You can now add your link to update content in your WordPress posts by using the following shortcode:


Exclusive bonus: Download the blog post checklist before clicking Publish.

(/ Yellowbox)

You can also display the link with an image. That way, you can make it a lot more prominent and attractive.

This is how you can add the image with MonsterLink ™ in WordPress.

Download the e-book

MonsterLink around an image makes it look more prominent

Step 5: Deploy the content upgrade in WordPress

Now we need to look at how we can deliver the content upgrade we promised the user.

Your content upgrade can be anything. You can use PDF, video, audio, or any other content.

Once users have entered their email address, you can provide them with the promised content upgrade. There are several ways to do this:

Show download link as success message

You can display a download link as a success message in your popup.

Edit your optin in the OptinMonster Form Builder and click on the "Success" tab.

Next, edit your success message text and add a URL to your downloadable content upgrade.

OptinMonster success message

Forward to thank you or download page

You can also redirect users to a thank you page that has the link to download the file. To do this, you need to be on the Success tab.

Next, we'll add a button that says "Download Now".

Then click "Action" and select "Redirect to a URL" from the drop-down list.

Then enter the URL in the "Redirect URL" field.

OptinMonster success redirect

Make sure you click "Save" to save any changes you have made so far.

Send as email

Most email marketing software providers offer autoresponder features that you can use to send welcome emails to new users. You can use it to send the download link to the user.

For instructions on how to do this, see the documentation section of your email service provider. OptinMonster offers a wide range of integrations with the most popular email marketing tools.


Content upgrades are not as popular as they used to be. However, they are still an extremely effective way to generate leads and grow your email list.

Brian Dean from Backlinko, Bryan Harris from Videofruit, Neil Patel from QuickSprout, Pat Flynn from SPI and of course our own Syed Balkhi have had phenomenal results using content upgrades.

If you're serious about adding to your email list, then you should definitely try content upgrades. Creating and adding a content upgrade to your post will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours, but it's definitely worth it.

We hope this article has helped you add content upgrades in WordPress to grow your email list. You may also want to check out our guide to building an email list in WordPress and our list of 17 ways to grow your email list faster.

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