The Easiest Way to Deliver Content Upgrades on WordPress

Easy Content Upgrades - The easiest way to deliver content upgrades on WordPress

When I got started with content upgrades, I had zero desire to login to my email marketing provider and set up each one.

  • I didn’t want to make a new form.
  • I didn’t want to make a new automation.

I just wanted to login to WordPress, write my blog post, and add my content upgrade. No annoying setup—just upload it and have it work.

So, I built that, and it was awesome. But it was kind of a rudimentary thing that I threw together that worked for me. It wasn’t really polished enough to distribute, so I didn’t.

But over the last few weeks I’ve been rebuilding my plugin into something that’s even better—something that is polished enough to distribute. And now it’s finally here!

Easy Content Upgrades

Easy Content Upgrades integrates with ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, and MailerLite. It allows you to manage all your content upgrades without having to fiddle with forms, welcome emails, automations, or weird hacks (particularly where MailChimp is concerned).

Here’s how it works:

Form for uploading a content upgrade file

Upload your content upgrade file directly through WordPress.

Select which mailing list to add new subscribers to

Select which mailing list you want to add new subscribers to.

Shortcode for adding a content upgrade to a post or page

Copy and paste the shortcode to embed your content upgrade on any post or page.

Box for entering your email address to get the freebie

Your viewers see a form where they can enter their email (this is totally customizable!).

Form for saving the download to your computer

If that email is already on your list, they get the download prompt for the upgrade immediately.

Email containing a link to the content upgrade

If it’s a new subscriber, they’re sent an email to confirm their subscription, and then they’re taken to the download

Problems this solves

  • After the initial plugin setup, you don’t need to login to your email provider at all to add a new content upgrade.
  • Existing subscribers can still access any content upgrade on your site. No errors about how they’re “already subscribed” or other funky things.
  • No need to manage multiple lists with multiple welcome emails (*cough* MailChimp *cough*).
  • You can add as many content upgrades as you want without dealing with hacks or weird complications.
  • The content upgrades are delivered after completing a double opt-in.

But for me, using ActiveCampaign, the most important thing to me was saving time. I didn’t want to login to ActiveCampaign each time I wanted to add a new content upgrade. I didn’t want to have to set up a new form or a new automation or any of that stuff. I just wanted to quickly put everything together right inside WordPress, and that’s what Easy Content Upgrade accomplishes!

Totally customizable

I knew that a lot of people were going to want customization. They want the opt-in forms to match their blog design, which is totally understandable.

Easy Content Upgrades integrates with the WordPress Customizer so you can see a live preview of your form design as you’re working on it.

Form designer in the Customizer

  • Change colours.
  • Have a popup (button trigger) or embedded form.
  • Show a thumbnail (and choose the alignment/size).
  • Optionally show a cool progress bar above the form.
  • Customize all the form text (globally and on a per-upgrade basis).

Plus, I even put together three “quick templates” you can select and the settings will automatically be configured to designs I bundled into the plugin.

Content upgrade opt-in form designs

Manage your resource library

Easy Content Upgrades also comes with a resource library. You can add your content upgrades to the library and let subscribers access everything at once—all on one page.

Resource library

The key to unlocking the resource library is entering an email address that’s subscribed to your list. So your subscribers don’t have to remember some password—their email address is the key! Doesn’t that make more sense?

The resource library is also integrated into the Customizer. You can change the number of columns, drag and drop each upgrade to rearrange them, and toggle some of the display options on and off.

Get Easy Content Upgrades

Easy Content Upgrades currently integrates with ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, and MailerLite. ConvertKit is coming soon! 🙂

Get the Plugin

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  1. OMG Ashley this is amazing! For the longest time I’ve been trying to find a way to do this but I couldn’t find any way to do it with Mailchimp. And sure, sometimes I give away completely random shit that I’m not going to ask people an email for in exchange, but there are other things that I would.

    This is the most awesome thing I have seen in a while! I legit feel like crying because this plugin is just what I needed! Thank you so much!

    1. I’m so glad this is what you’ve been looking for, Pamela! 🙂 Let me know if you have any questions. 🙂

  2. This seems awesome! And definitely a MUCH simpler way to implement these things. One question, though. Is there a way to populate a custom list field (on MailChimp) based on which content upgrade people download? For example, I have a content upgrade about book cover design, and in MailChimp when people download it they get a ‘yes’ value in a custom ‘bookworm’ field (this requires some of the MailChimp/WP hacking you were talking about). That field is then used as an audience segment for an automation workflow that follows up after that specific download with further relevant content. A different content upgrade would have a different field and different automation follow-up. Does that make sense? Is this something there’s a way to work with in your plugin?

    1. Yes, totally! One of my beta testers actually requested this so I added it in. Here’s a screenshot of how it looks:

      So you can choose which merge fields to add and when someone downloads that upgrade they get that merge field populated with a “yes” value.

      And these merge fields are added to both new and existing subscribers. So if a current subscriber fills out the content upgrade form, the plugin goes like this:

      – Check to see if this email is already subscribed.
      – If it is subscribed, update this subscriber with the specified merge fields.
      – Then start the download.

  3. I was looking for content upgrades combined with Mailerlite and found your wonderful solution to what I am sure is a common problem to many non tech-savvy people like me who still need to run a website of their own… Thanks for working on this, I will definitely think of buying your plugin as you are offering it for such a reasonable price 🙂

      1. Yes it can! Automation (or a paid plan) isn’t required at all. 🙂 The whole plugin works with just the free plan.

  4. I’m definitely thinking this is a (WAY) more cost effective way to offer content upgrades than using LeadPages. Do you have a timeline on when you’re going to add ConvertKit? I’m sure CK has its own set of roadblocks, but I’m eager to use something prettier than their forms for upgrades.

    1. Hey Kory!

      I actually have ConvertKit already in the plugin, I just haven’t advertised it yet because I haven’t had someone test it other than me. But I’ve got a beta tester lined up so once she’s had a play with it, I’ll be officially announcing CK integration. 🙂

  5. hi Ashley,

    I brought the Plugin and set up my Resource Library but it doesn’t seem to be working right. For one, the Opt In form where you type in your email to subscribe to get access to the Library isn’t showing up on my Library Resource Page on my website. Then, I tried to test it out by subscribing. For some reason when I first set it up the opt in form did show up and I subscribed that way to test it out. Once I did that however when I bring up my website the opt in form no longer shows up on the Resource Library page. And also once I subscribed, and got the confirmation email and clicked on the link to the resource library it just took me to the Resource Library page and not to the actual document I loaded onto the Resource Library. Can you help? Thanks.

    1. Hi Gin!

      The opt-in form should only show up if you haven’t already filled it out. Once you enter your email and confirm you’re a subscriber, you maintain access to the library after that so you don’t need to enter your email each time.

      After you subscribe, it takes you back to the resource library page because you now have access to download whichever files you want.

      If you have any other questions please get in touch with me here: 🙂

  6. Thanks for the plugin! This is great.

    Once someone confirms their email, it seems that it takes a very long time (up to 5 minutes) to get the final email with the downloadable link. Is this a plugin issue? If so, any way to fix this? Would be great it if people getting the download link received it sooner.

  7. Hey Ashley – a noob question, but will I be able to deliver the content upgrades stored on a cloud drive (e.g. say DropBox or something similar), rather than store it on my WP host?

    1. Rather than uploading a file you can specify a “redirect” URL. Users will then be redirected to this URL when taken to the content upgrade. You could enter the Dropbox (or similar) URL in this box.

  8. I have this plugin installed and integrated with my MailerLite! I added in 2 of my opt ins already. I tested out one of my forms yesterday and it worked great to send the email I set up in the plugin, but then this morning I had the automation email from MailerLite as well. I just want to know, will I need to delete the automation emails from MailerLite to use the emails from the plugin? Or is there a way to use the emails from MailerLite instead of the ones from the plug in?

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