How To Combine Content Upgrades With Viral Sharing To Grow Your Email List

Written by Danavir Sarria

In the past few years, 2 “new” things have really shook up digital marketing.

The first is content upgrades. While it’s still “new” and little known compared to a lot of tactics online, it’s been quietly gaining popularity due to its sheer effectiveness.

The second is viral sharing. Every since Dropbox shocked the world with their insanely effective viral sharing feature, just about every startup entrepreneur has tried to look for a way to make it work for them.

But what if there was a way to do take these two things to help build your email list building? Even better, what if there was a way to combine these 2 tactics in the same funnel to supercharge your list building efforts?

It’s possible.

But first, lets talk about what the building blocks to make this work.

What Is A Content Upgrade And Why Should I Use It?

It used to be that everyone had a set number of lead magnets to be used across the board. With content upgrades though, that’s changed.

A content upgrade is essentially a content-specific lead magnet. So instead of picking out from your collection of already made lead magnets, you make a brand new one from scratch that further delivers value on the post it’s being offered on.

Some examples can be post-specific cheat sheets, checklists, bonus content, and downloadable versions of the post itself.

It’s not some “gimmick” or just someone’s airy fairy idea of “delivering extra value”. The reason why you should be offering content upgrades instead of standard lead magnets is because content upgrades just convert much better.

To give you an example, Brian Dean increased his opt-in conversion rate by 785% by switching from a regular lead magnet to a content upgrade.

There’s nothing magical about it though.

The reason why content upgrades convert higher than regular lead magnets is due to relevance. If I read a blog post about “How to burn 10 pounds in 30 days”, then a checklist summarizing the article is going to convert higher than a random “top 10 superfoods” grocery list.

In other words, the more relevant the offer is to the content, the higher the conversion rate.

What Is Viral Sharing And Why Should I Use It?

When Dropbox first started, their main mode of customer acquisition was adwords. However, the cost to acquire these customers was so high, it was impossible for them to actually be profitable. They would go out of business fast if they were to continue relying on adwords.

Their solution?

By giving away free space in exchange for sharing with a friend. When anyone talks about viral sharing, this is the example they point to because it single handedly built Dropbox and every company that tries their hand at this tactic looks towards this case study in the hopes of replicating their results.

Now, while there are some nuisances to it, the concept is simple. Create a situation where people will want to share whatever it is you want to be shared.

The great benefit to doing this is that you get both traffic and actual paying customers at no cost. The viral nature of this tactic also means fast-growth and the ability for you to create a reputation (aka a brand) out of nothing.

Vyper.IO: The Software That Combines Both To 5X Your Email Opt-Ins

If you notice any of my blog posts, you’ll see that I have a content upgrade on each one.

For the longest time, I used LeadPages purely for their Leadboxes feature. It’s pretty simple, straightforward, and got the job done.

So for all intensive purposes, I was happy.

Then, when I was introduced to by Kevin Tang, I was curious. I’ve been doing content upgrades for a while now, but never viral sharing. Much less both at the same time.

What the content upgrades app by does is allow you to set up content upgrades, create a giveaway on the thank you page, and all while being wrapped up in a nice user interface.

Check it out:

It essentially walks you through the process, step-by-step, so you’re never overwhelmed and so you get the job done without ever having to hire someone thousands of dollars to do the same thing.

Here’s an example of what pops up after someone clicks to on my content upgrade image on my blog:

What I really like about this popup is that it covers the entire screen. While most content upgrade popups will just show a box, this particular feature removes all of the distractions someone would have.

Just this alone increases conversion rates.

Now, here’s a screenshot of the thank you page:

This is where the real magic happens.

Instead of a regular thank you page that just says “thank you” and lets you download the lead magnet, allows you to add a step in between so you can offer yet another lead magnet in exchange for sharing the post.

Now, the question is… does this work?

Here was a quick test-run I did recently…

The main content upgrade converted 66% of people who click on my blog post image. I’ve seen similar results to this before, so I’m happy the conversion rate was at the high-end of what I usually see on my blog.

The “+29” you see at the top?

That’s how many of my new subscribers shared my post to grab the giveaway. If I did my math right, that’s about a 57% “conversion rate” from subscriber to giveaway.

The best part is that it didn’t cost me anything to get those 29 extra shares. Without, those 29 shares would be lost.

Of course, this is a very small sample size. Only 77 visitors. However, just that alone has me optimistic of what it could possibly do if it got 1,000 visitors who clicked on my image every time I published a new post.

In that scenario, a 50% conversion rate from visitor to email subscriber would generate 500 subscribers. Then assuming a 40% conversion rate from subscriber to giveaway, that would lead to an extra 200 shares.

In other words, it’s one of the few, if not the only, content upgrade software that helps you generate more traffic and actually exponentially grows your email list as you convert that traffic from visitor to subscriber, then subscriber to giveaway.

I’m a huge fan of and would recommend it to anyone who is interested at maximizing their email list size for free.


If you’re tired of the same ol’ list building advice, then make sure to try out content upgrades and viral sharing. By combining the conversion maximizing effect of content upgrades and viral traffic received from an effective viral sharing campaign, you’ll have a much better chance to grow your email list faster than ever before.

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Danavir Sarria

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