If you’ve read our case study about Yoast or Biddyco, then you know that you can easily double your email signups with just exit-intent. But what if you want to go further? In this article, we will share how ValueWalk increased their conversions by 216% by offering content upgrades through OptinMonster.

Meet Devesh and ValueWalk

Devesh Design is a conversion optimization agency based in San Francisco. They were hired to improve the conversions of a popular financial and investment news site, ValueWalk.com.

Despite having millions of monthly readers, they were only collecting about 732 email addresses each month.

Devesh, an avid user of OptinMonster, recommended their client to use OptinMonster.

The results were phenomenal.

They started with basic exit-intent optins and after-post forms. With some quick A/B testing, Devesh was able to double the number of subscribers on ValueWalk.

Doubling once is nice, but they wanted more.

Could they double it again? Or even triple it?

As you may know, offering a content upgrade is one of the most effective ways to increase email opt-ins. Could content upgrades help ValueWalk triple their subscribers?

What is a Content Upgrade?

A content upgrade is a technique where you offer your readers a chance to get exclusive bonus content by signing up to your email list. This additional premium content offered for completing an action is also known as content bribe.

Some different type of content upgrades:

  • eBooks
  • Checklists
  • Excel Worksheets
  • Downloadable PDF version of your blog post
  • Exclusive video interview related to the post
  • Bonus how-to’s for the article

Basically content upgrades have to be highly relevant to the post you’re offering it on. For example, on a post about content upgrade, we should offer a content upgrade checklist because readers of this post will find that highly useful.

Exclusive Bonus: Download our Content Upgrade Checklist for a step-by-step guide on how to boost your conversions with content upgrades.

The challenge for ValueWalk was that they publish 50+ articles a day! The sheer volume of content published on the site made offering unique content upgrades for each article unrealistic. That would surely double their editorial work every day.

Like nearly all content-heavy sites, ValueWalk’s articles are grouped into categories of similar content. While ValueWalk couldn’t produce a content upgrade for each article, they were able to produce a content upgrade for several categories of content.

Devesh Design worked with ValueWalk to create specific optins for their readers targeting entire categories of content. All of the article tagged with “China” received one optin; articles categorized as “Investing” received another.

They did this with several categories of content and were able to offer the same optin on tens, or hundreds of similar articles all at once.

The Results: Increased Conversions 216% in One Month

Before we share their technique step by step, let’s look at exactly what happened to ValueWalk’s email subscribers.

First, after implementing category content upgrades, the total email subscribers per month tripled. Here’s a screenshot right out of Mailchimp:

Valuewalk increased conversions 216% using OptinMonster

700 subscribers per month…

to 3000 subscribers per month.

That’s the difference between 8,400 and 36,000 subscribers in year!

Would you like to increase your subscribers like that?

Here are the three steps for making a handful of optins around a few highly targeted topics on your site.

Step 1: Find a handful of topics that cover most of your posts or articles. You can use your site’s existing categories to help discern which categories or topics to start with. Start with the categories with the most content, or which receive the most traffic.

Step 2: Create a bonus of each of those topics that your readers will actually want.

Step 3: Promote those bonuses with category-specific popups that only appear for articles on that topic.

Using OptinMonster Page Targeting for Category-Specific Content Upgrades

OptinMonster can target where and when your optins display based on WordPress’ categories and tag using our powerful Page Targeting feature. If you’re not using WordPress and can’t target based on existing categories or tags, we also offer the option to target optins by URLs.

Post specific content upgrades are an excellent way to capture the focus of your reader and gain a subscriber. Our founder, Syed Balkhi, saw an increase of 845% with content upgrades.


ValueWalk increased conversions 328% using targeted category-specific content upgrades.


If your team is not able to produce upgrades for each post, don’t let that stop you from offering upgrades. Be creative when deciding where and when to offer additional content in exchange for an email.

Use categories and tags like ValueWalk did, or start by placing optins on your most heavily trafficked pages. When you implement content upgrades at any level, your subscriber rates will increase.