The Lightbulb Podcast

Join Guernsey girl, Martine, for a weekly creative chat where she shares resources, actionable ideas and the occasional knowledge bomb (!) This podcast is for artists, makers and creative business owners interested in marketing, social media, business and technology. The Lightbulb Podcast is available to download and subscribe to in iTunes and other podcast directories.
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Jul 7, 2017

The one where I bust email marketing jargon. 

Podcast Episode 52 Transcript and Show Notes


Hello, it's Martine here. Welcome to episode 52 of The Lightbulb Podcast. Today we're talking about one of my favourite topics: email marketing.

You can locate my previous episode about email marketing by clicking the links below:

Today, however, we're focusing on one specific part of email marketing, and that is the content upgrade.

What is a Content Upgrade?

Well, essentially, it's an incentive or a piece of content or value, which is created specifically for a particular blog post or page on a website. Visitors have to opt-in, in other words, give you their email address to receive the content upgrade.

What this means is, you have their email address so you can email them again in the future.

And Lead Magnets?

A content upgrade is sometimes confused with a lead magnet, and there are various descriptions all over the internet to explain the difference between the two. But for me, I very much think of content upgrades as part of a blog post, so they are giving you additional content on top of that blog post.

A lead magnet I think of as a more general opt-in incentive. For example, you might have a general lead magnet on the home page of your website and it could be something like an ebook that relates to the topic of your business.

Whereas a content upgrade would be on just one blog post, or you might use the same content upgrade on similar blog posts, but the blog posts would all cover the same sort of topic, and that content upgrade would do what it says on the tin, it upgrades the content that you have received from the blog post.

Why Should I Use Content Upgrades and Lead Magnets?

Use lead magnets and content upgrades is to build your email list.

I'd highly recommend segmenting your audience according to their interests via your lead magnets and content upgrades.

Segment Your Audience

Now, I use ConvertKit as my email service provider, and I highly recommend them. I've mentioned them a number of times on the show.

But basically, what they allow you to do is, if somebody opts-in to your content upgrade about, for example, email marketing, you can then tag that person as interested in email marketing.

Then later on down the line when you decide to launch an online course all about email marketing, you know that that person has already expressed an interest in this topic. Therefore, you're going to have a much better result if you market specifically to them.

So I really recommend using your content upgrades and lead magnets to segment or tag your audience according to their interests. It's going to make your marketing far more targeted. Now, not all email service providers allow you to do this easily, which is why I am with ConvertKit.

With MailChimp, I think you are able to have separate lists according to interests, which works fine as well. The only downside is, you'll probably find your audience have multiple interests, so if there are multiple lists, you have to pay for those, I think, if you're over 2,000 subscribers.

Ideas for Content Upgrades

Okay, so we know content upgrades are a good idea. But what are you going to create as your content upgrade?

I've had great success using ebooks in the past. However, if you're going to create a free ebook, I don't want you spending months and months and months writing it because ultimately, you're giving it away. So that's not a brilliant use of your time.

If you're going to create an ebook, I recommend taking the content from existing blog posts and then editing it all together so it flows as an ebook.

Some of my most successful content upgrades include resources lists and checklists, they're really very popular.

MY Content Upgrade!

Now, obviously, I'm going to add a content upgrade to this post. But what do you get?

Well, I've already mentioned some ideas for content upgrades to you in this episode. But what I'm providing in my own content upgrade is a list of 20 ideas you can take away to use to create your own content upgrades.

I've also included links to some resources that you might find useful too.

This is a really good example of providing a bigger list as your content upgrade. I've listed already some ideas, but I'm giving you a way bigger list if you subscribe.

I'm being totally transparent here. I'm not trying to be dodgy in the way that I obtain your email address. I want to be totally clear on the strategy behind it, because I think that's why you listen to The Light Bulb podcast, you like the transparency.

Stay Legal

Now, ultimately, from a user perspective, you can sign up for the content upgrade and then unsubscribe straightaway, and that's totally okay.

You know, it's really important if you're producing content upgrades and you're using email marketing in this way, that there's a very easy way recipients can unsubscribe. Because if you don't do that, it's against the law. So it's absolutely essential that unsubscribe button is really clear in your email.

How to Create a Content Upgrade

Right, so you're bursting with ideas, you know exactly the sort of content upgrade you want to create, how do you create it?

Personally, I tend to keep it really simple. If it's a list of resources, for example, I will create that in Google Docs and then I'll download it as a PDF.

If I want to create something a bit more visual, I'll go to Canva. Canva is one of my favorite tools. It's super easy to use and they've got great templates.

I am actually perfectly capable of creating stuff in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, but I just find Canva so much quicker, so I highly recommend it.

Right, that's your brief introduction to content upgrades. I really hope that was helpful.

New Membership Site

In other news, I've got a new venture that I want to tell you about, and I'm really excited about it.

You might be aware that I offer some online courses and resources under the banner of The Lightbulb Academy. I've made a decision to take those resources and courses and place them into a membership site. I'm going to be adding to the courses and resources on a monthly basis in the membership site.

Now, if you've not been part of a membership site before, basically how it works is you pay a small monthly fee, and it is going to be small, I'm going to keep it really affordable, to access exclusive resources and courses and that sort of thing.

There's also generally a live training element, and I'm very much planning to do that. On top of that, there's also going to be a community. Right now I'm experimenting with Slack to see if that will work for the community element of the site.

It's going to be small, exclusive, and incredibly active. So if you are a creative business owner or hobbyist and you are looking to take your business to the next level and maybe really nail your blogging and that sort of thing, then this could well be the community for you.

I'm aiming to launch during early August. So in the meantime, if you are interested in being kept in the loop about what's going on with The Lightbulb Academy, then please hop over to and pop your name on my list. That way you're not committing to anything, but what I know is that you might be interested, so I can send you an email when we go live.

If you join the membership early, I will make sure that you are doing so at a heavily discounted price and that that price is what you pay for the rest of the time that you are part of the membership. So there will be an incentive to get in there early.

Wrap Up

OK, I think that's all from me today. I really hope you've enjoyed the episode.

If you want to chat about it, come and join us in The Lightbulb Club. Just go to, and we've love to talk to you in there in the free Facebook group. Thanks for listening. I hope you'll join me next week.

***Hop over to my blog to grab this week's freebie***