Difference Between a Content Upgrade and a Lead Magnet

Difference Between a Content Upgrade and a Lead Magnet

Skyrocket Your Lead Generation With Content Upgrades & Lead Magnets

Lead Magnet, Freemiums, Opt-in Incentives, Content upgrades. All those terms can be pretty confusing. 

You may wonder “what are these terms and how are they different? 

"Do I need to use them all to grow my business?" 

The terms used in the realm of online marketing are confusing and make heads spin. 

In this blog post, I will break it down for you, so that you know how they are different and how to use both to grow your list! 

But first, let me address the elephant in the room!


That’s because the Internet is a BIG NOISY, CROWDED place. When someone lands on your website or blog, there’s no guarantee that they’ll come back. And it is unlikely that they will buy from you on the first visit. 

As per research, people need to have 7 interactions with you before they buy from you. You want to have a way of obtaining their contact info so that you can continue to stay in touch with them after they leave your site. If you do that, then in the future you stand a chance of converting them into customers or clients! 

People don't part away with their email addresses just like that anymore. Instead, they need an Irresistible incentive to give you their email addresses. This is why we use Lead Magnets and Content Upgrades. 


Lead magnets and content upgrades fulfil the same function. It is a free resource you give away in exchange for their email address 


Lead magnet is an In-depth, stand-alone free resource you create which will serve your Ideal Customer Avatar’s most pressing problems.

It gives them a taste of what it is like to work with you. Most lead magnets are attached to a nurture sequence that helps in building a relationship with your subscriber. 

One of the most simplified ways of defining lead magnets has been described by Hubspot: "A lead magnet is a marketing tool that generates leads by offering a long-form resource in exchange for a prospect's contact information. 

Leads magnets can take the form of ebooks, white papers, templates, and similar downloadable assets.

Now, since you are aware of what is a Lead Magnet and why businesses use it to get the reader's attention, we can look at some of the best ideas for Lead Magnets:


  • eBooks 
  • Free Training 
  • PDF Quizzes 
  • Templates Swipe

    Click this image to see my lead magnet.


A content upgrade, meanwhile, is like a lead magnet and is also created with an intention to list build, but its intention is to be an additional resource on a specific topic shared on the blog. 

Content upgrades provide your audience with a free bonus resource that is directly related to the blog post they are reading. It’s an “upgrade” because it adds additional value to the content they have just read. 

The reason everyone needs Content Upgrades is that when done right they convert your website visitors, into email list subscribers at a much higher rate than the standard “subscribe to our newsletter” or “sign up to get updates.” 

The reason this happens is, because of the immediacy and relevancy of the reward as opposed to a more generic call to action.

After reading your blog post, your reader is quite likely to give you their email address in exchange for something that can help them even more to solve the problem they were facing when they came across your blog post. 

I have got a Content Upgrade in this blog here, have a look, it is at the end of the blog.

And once your readers are on your email list, you can continue to build a relationship with them, which in turn will build the Know, Like and Trust Factor. Content Upgrades are easy to make, as it is a simple resource. It need not be as comprehensive as the main lead magnet that you use as a freebie on your website. 

It can be just a synopsis of what you cover like a checklist, cheat sheet, printable, or a template. Anything that adds value to what you shared on the blog.


Look at your best-performing blog posts and see if you can add content upgrades to them to turbocharge your list-building efforts! 

Now that you know Lead Magnets and Content Upgrades can help you grow your email list, you can combine the two to create a high lead-generating strategy, keeping your reader's persona in mind.

If you need help with any aspect of email marketing, then I have a few resources for all stages of business listed here.

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