Double Your Profits With Upsells
When you go out to eat they always try to get you to buy dessert or have fries with that, and when you shop at retail stores they always try to get you to buy one more thing as you are checking out. These are cross-sells. They are a tried-and-true way of increasing the value of shopping cart. In this report, we’re going to discuss this and two other ways to increase your profits.
What Are These Types of Sale?
What we’re talking about is the practice of encouraging customers to purchase more expensive products (upsell), less expensive alternatives or entry level (downsell), or just additional products – sometimes complementary and sometimes just related (cross-sell). In other words:
- Upsell – Encourage customer to buy a more expensive item instead of the item they thought they wanted.
- Downsell – Encourage customer to buy a less expensive item if they are wavering about buying the first item.
- Cross-Sell – Encourage customer to buy additional products, sometimes complementary to the first purchase but sometimes just related products or services.
It’s important to understand how and why each of these practices helps increase your revenue. Even if you get the terms mixed up, as many people do, these options should always exist in your business practices. Luckily, with technology it’s easy to set up your funnel so that all of this is automatic.
How Do They Work?
Most people who are in a buying frame of mind don’t really like leaving without anything. They also like to feel as if they’re on the inside and getting a good deal. As a business owner, you want to ensure that you never leave money on the table. As a customer, you want to ensure that you get a good deal.
Upsells, downsells, and cross-sells all work by playing into the idea that the customer doesn’t want to lose out. In some ways, it’s a psychological trick that feeds into the customer’s ego, but it’s so subtle that it doesn’t make the customer feel pushed or coerced.
- Upsell Example – Let’s say that you sell digital products online, and you are promoting your “Guide to Sales Funnels” for $27 dollars and your customer clicks on that item to purchase it. But you also have a “done-for-you” option for $127. This means that right at checkout, you can offer anyone wanting to buy the 27-dollar guide the option to upgrade to the “done-for-you” option and get the guide for free. This is a wonderful example of upselling.
- Downsell Example – Let’s say that your customer goes to the sales page for the 127-dollar offer for the done-for-you sales funnels, but they’re not really ready, so they leave the shopping cart without checking out. You can set up the page to send them directly to the 27-dollar guide offer, or you can use remarketing ads and send them to the 27-dollar guide offer.
- Cross-Sell Example – With either of these options, you can include some additional options. Right on the checkout page or after they check out, you can send them to the download page where you can offer additional items to them. Either way, these additional items are somehow related to the same topic as the original offer.
So, for example, you may have an affiliate link to software such as Leadpages.net or ClickFunnels.com that you can recommend. Or, you may have a graphics package that will work for them to help create their sales funnels that you can promote now. Or, any number of reports, books, or offers that relate. The point is that the offer is in addition to whatever they’re buying.
The reason this works so well is that your customer was either in a buying frame of mind already, or really wanted to buy but could not afford your original offer. The point is they are in your shopping cart and inside your funnel now, and you need to take full advantage of that fact.
Getting Started with Upselling, Cross-selling, and Downselling
The key to creating just the right sale at the right time is to understand your customers’ buying process. But, unlike most sellers, you’re not going to stop when they choose to buy.
Most buying processes are similar and look something like this:
- Awareness – How does your customer find out about your offerings? They usually search the internet, ask friends, or look on social media. This means that you’ll need to have social media updates, blog posts, articles, and information out there so that your customer learns about your solution.
- Investigation – When your customer is doing their research, you want to ensure that you have enough information for them. Usually, at this point they might sign up for your email list to get a white paper, eBook, view a webinar or get other types of industry reports that you’ve created.
- Evaluation – At this point your customer likely has signed up for other people’s lists too, so you need to ensure that you are filling in all the gaps of information by offering case studies, demos, testimonials, free samples and anything you can reasonably offer so that they can make the choice you want them to make.
- Commitment – Finally your customer decides to buy what you’re offering. This is where most people stop. But this is not where you will stop if you learn to create powerful funnels using upsells, cross-sells, and downsells to keep people inside your funnel and increase their lifetime value.
Once you’ve worked out your customers’ buying cycle, you can focus on what happens after commitment. What do you do after they buy? Now is the time to focus on upselling and cross-selling. Depending on what they’ve bought, you should determine whether customers who buy that item will want additional add-on items that you can cross-sell, or whether you have a bigger and better offer for them that they can switch to.
How to Use Them Effectively
There are a lot of sellers who are using upselling techniques in ways that simply make customers mad. You don’t want to do that. You want your customers to feel good about their purchase. Follow these tips to ensure that you use the techniques effectively.
- Know Your Customer – You may get tired of hearing it, but you really need to research your customers continuously. Don’t just research them at start-up and then assume they haven’t changed in some way. Think about the difference in how TV commercials look today for some products compared to 30 years ago, for example. A good one to look at is Dove. Dove has the same audience it’s always had, demographically speaking. But their marketing has changed, because their audiences’ values have changed.
- Understand Your Products – As you create more products for your audience, you should know how they relate to each other. For example, if you wrote the guide for sales funnels, how does your “create a lead magnet” guide match up to it, and would the same customers want both products? Knowing how things go together will help you write better marketing copy.
- Ensure That They’re Related – When you offer an upsell, downsell or cross-sell, the items must be related in some way, and you should be able to explain how they’re related to your customer so they can make a good choice. If they’re not related, they won’t really work because it’s not what your audience is looking to buy.
- Help Your Customers Feel Like Winners – Your job as a seller of any type of product is to improve your customers’ lives and make them feel like they won something even though they paid for it. The more help you can give them to make their dreams come true, the happier they’ll become.
- Limit How Many You Offer – This is where knowing your audience and your products come into play. You need to understand how their minds work during their buying journey. How do they feel when they see your sales pages, go to your shopping cart and are offered additional or replacement products? You can only know by asking them. But, for the most part, you want to limit your immediate offers to one or two. Remember, you can always remarket to them later once they’re on your list.
- Use Your Shopping Cart – Many shopping cart solutions can offer additional products at checkout. In any case, most at least offer you the ability to send buyers or those who leave the system to certain URLs which can enable you to provide the additional or replacement offer. In the shopping cart, cross-sells work better than other methods, so you’ll want to implement that.
- Use Bundling – One good way to offer your customers a variation on your offer (and this can work with all forms of upselling and cross-selling), is to combine offers into one big bundle to offer them an “all-in-one” option that doesn’t break the bank but adds to your revenue nicely.
- Know Your Pricing – When you begin to offer upsells, cross-sells, and downsells, it’s important to really understand your pricing and create a pricing strategy that involves value-based pricing that your customers understand.
- Make It Seamless – Don’t make the process very difficult for your customers to understand. If you make the checkout process too confusing, they may abandon buying at all. Try to make the checkout process smooth so that nothing stops them from finishing the purchase.
- Don’t Be a Pest – You’ve likely experienced it. You wanted to buy that great new WordPress plugin so and so offered. You hit “buy”, and then before you could really buy you were offered more. Then you must click, “no, I don’t want more” a few times before you can check out. This is not a good way to get on the good side of your customers.
Upselling, cross-selling, and downselling are all legitimate ways for any business owner to increase their revenue. There is nothing tricky about it. It’s been done for ages. The important thing to remember is that whatever you can do to add value to your customers’ lives is something you should do if it’s related to your business’s niche and goals.
How to Position Yourself for the Biggest ROI
The truth is, in many ways selling is just mathematics with some persuasive writing thrown in. If you’ve convinced someone to buy, it’s now time to offer them more. Because they’re in a buying frame of mind when they click “add-to-cart”, it’s best not to just toss them aside. Instead, you want to get more out of the relationship and offer them more as well. It’s a win-win situation.
- Use Email Marketing – One of the best ways to get your customers to buy more from you is to make some of your new offers via email. For example, when someone buys product A and they didn’t take advantage of your immediate upsell opportunity, you can market to them that very thing via email within a week or two of their purchase.
- Offer Discounts on Upsells – If someone is already your customer, consider offering discounts on upsells. So, for example, if you normally sell item D for $997 and your customer is trying to buy item B for $497, and item D is a bigger, better, more awesome version of B, let them know and then offer them a discount. Perhaps you can halve the difference. If it’s a digital product, your expenses don’t go up.
- Promote Only Relevant Products and Services – Don’t confuse your customers by offering items that have nothing to do with the product they want to buy. If you were buying a car, it doesn’t make sense that they’d throw in a dishwasher. But it does make sense if you’re buying a house.
- Build Relationships – One way to encourage your customers to buy more is to get them to join your communities. For example, you can start a Facebook group for your customers where you give added value in the form of live events, tips, and more.
- Offer Exclusivity – One thing that all customers love is the feeling of being in on something that is exclusive. They like feeling included. They like feeling special. If you can provide offers that won’t be offered to the public (or them again for that matter), then you can evoke the idea of exclusivity and scarcity.
- Create Behavioral Triggers – You can set up your entire website, shopping carts, and autoresponders to react in certain ways based on what your customer does. If they click to join your email list, they get an email. If they buy product C, they get specific emails geared toward people who bought C and now need F.
When you have developed a good relationship with your audience and you set up your upsells, cross-sells, and downsells properly, your customers will only walk away feeling as if they won something and sing your praises to everyone they know.
When Not to Make Additional Offers
While upselling and its cousins have been around for ages, some people do take offense at it and think it’s some sort of scam. You can avoid that impression by knowing when you should not make any additional offers to your customer.
- When You Feel the Need to Pressure – If you feel like you need to threaten or use harsh language to make your buyers buy more, it’s probably not a good idea to offer any sort of upsell like that. You want your customers to feel happy about the upsell, not angry. No one likes being told their stupid. You’ve seen the trend to put something snarky in the “no” box such as “No, I don’t want to earn more money.” That’s ridiculous and not very friendly.
- When It Would Be Disrespectful – If you make a sale by being extremely pushy, it’s very disrespectful to the buyer. It shows that you don’t care about your customer at all. Customers are humans and should be treated as if they’re special. If you call them names or insult them to push them into buying, you’re doing the wrong thing when it comes to effective upselling.
- When Your Customer Has a Complaint – If you receive a complaint from a customer, it’s not the time to offer them an upsell to solve their problem. It’s commendable if you have products that will help them better than the one they bought, but it’s not really the time to tell them unless you’re willing to give them the product instead of giving a refund.
- When You Can’t Add Value – If your upsell, cross-sell, or even downsell doesn’t add value to your customers’ life, then what’s the point of it? Your job is always to put your customers’ needs first. You want to always seek to build trust with them by not wasting their time with things that send them off to another path instead of the path you’ve set within your product funnel.
- When It’s Not Ethical – If you feel uncomfortable in any way by making an offer to your audience, just don’t do it. You need to be honest with your audience – always. You don’t want to offer them any type of product or service that is questionable. If you stick to this, you’ll reap the rewards by earning more faith and trust from your customers.
- When the Upsell Is Needed to Make the Product Useful – The worst upsell trend that has come along is the upsell that is required to make the first purchase work fully. Now let’s be clear – this is common practice with software demos where they don’t work as fully until you pay. This isn’t about different levels of software or product access, though. This is about paying good money for a product that won’t even work without an expensive upsell. This is not fair to your customers at all.
- When You Can’t Be Transparent – If you can’t be fully transparent and feel the need to lie about limiting sales, never selling for less, or other things that you have no intention of sticking to, this is not only dishonest but can also end up ruining your entire business. There is no need to lie about anything if you have a good product or service.
In any of these cases, the easiest thing to remember is that you want to please your customers and solve their problems. Yes, you want to make money, but you’re not going to build a long-term business by tricking people.
Tools to Make It Simple
Working out upsells, cross-sells, and downsells might seem like a lot of work. For sure, it takes time to set everything up properly, but once you do it will be truly simple.
- Visualize Your Product Funnel – This will help you set up your upsells more easily. If you can see your entire funnel at a glance, it’s going to make it easier to ensure that you have the right products at the right time. Being able to see how it all works together is going to keep everything working better. You can add to it as you create more products where you see potential gaps. FusionCharts is a product that helps you create charts to visualize your product funnel.
- Marketing Automation – You’ll need email autoresponder software. There are many choices to choose from, such as AWeber.com, GetDrip.com, ConvertKit.com, MailChimp.com, GetResponse.com, Infusionsoft.com, and others. Check out as many as you can to find out which ones have the features that you most need within your budget. You need to be able to change segments based on your customers’ behavior every step of the buying cycle. Most autoresponder software comes with opt-in lead capture forms.
- Developing Marketing Strategies – To make upsells work, you need more traffic. Marketing properly is a good way to ensure that you get the right traffic. A good marketing strategy that considers every step of your buyers’ journeys will have higher conversions. You can use tools such as Google Webmaster Tools to accomplish this.
- Setting Up Automated Sales Pages – There are tons of different options when it comes to software to help you set up sales automation. You can use Leadpages.net, Instapage.com, InstaBuilder.com, Infusionsoft.com, and many others to help you set up innovative and beautiful funnels that get results.
- Shopping Cart Software – You’ll need a good way for people to pay, and a lot of shopping carts offer landing pages and the ability to upsell already. Some of your choices are 1ShoppingCart.com, aMember.com, Infusionsoft.com, and others. You can even use some affiliate software such as ClickBank.net, JVZoo.com, and others for this purpose, but you’ll still need a payment account like PayPal, Stripe.com, or an Authorize.net account.
- Website – Of course, you need a good website. Most of these ideas can be implemented on any type of website that you’ve built. But, right now the best software to use to build your website is self-hosted WordPress. It’s not harder than using a builder if you have the right website host like MomWebs.com.
- Analytics and Reporting – You can use Google Analytics for this, as well as the analytics native in each type of software that you purchase. If you don’t know how well your sales pages are converting, and you don’t know how well the upsells convert or how well your email marketing messages convert, then you are just shooting in the dark.
Using the right tools will ensure that you have far more success than if you just wing it. If you’re been winging it up until now, imagine how much more effective you’ll be when you can look at your funnel to find out how much traffic you need based on your conversion rate to give yourself a raise. Like we mentioned before, a lot of this is just math.
How to Upsell Successfully
As you know, upselling will make your business more profitable by encouraging your customers to buy the more expensive item over the less expensive item that you sell. But what are some of the ways this can be accomplished?
- They Buy – Your customer has clicked your “buy” button to put the product in their cart. At this point, you can set up your automation, using whichever software you chose, to either send them to an upsell offer or send them to the cart to check out.
- You Encourage – If you send them to an upsell offer instead of the shopping cart, you need to ensure that your sales page for the upsell offer is amazing. You don’t want to upset your customer.
Also, you want to give them a chance right from the start to turn down that offer and buy right now. Don’t be mean to them about it. Use straightforward anchor text so they know where to click depending on what they want to do.
If you send them straight to your shopping cart, you still have two ways you can offer the upsell. One way, if your shopping cart has the functionality, is to make the offer for the upsell right inside the shopping cart. This is one of the most popular ways to do it, because if all your customer must do is click that they’d like the upsell, then it’s done.
The other way you can do it is to let them make the entire purchase including paying. Then, you can market the upsell to them either on the download page or via email autoresponder. If you do it on the download page, let them know where their product is, but that they have one chance to upgrade their order for just an “additional” cost. If they upgrade, send them directly to a download page without further delay.
If you choose, you can send the same offer via the autoresponder emails that you send to buyers. But, give them just a short time to upgrade to the larger version of your product or service.
One final point about upsells is that it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t want the upsell price to be out of their range. You’ll need to know your audience to know that information but in general, you don’t want to sell them a product for $27 dollars and then upgrade it to $450 dollars. That’s too big of a difference.
How to Downsell Successfully
A downsell is not something you really want to make a habit of offering, therefore consider how you might need to offer a downsell to keep a customer. There are a couple of reasons to use downselling – cart abandonment and clicking away from the sales page.
Have a Pop-Up
To provide a downsell opportunity you need to have the right technology installed. For example, you might use Leadpages.net to set up a pop-up that is shown to the customer when they click away or abandon the cart.
There are several ideas of what to offer:
- Percent off coupon
- Free white paper
- Free webinar
- DIY cheat sheet
- Inexpensive eBook
- Email course
Your item should be either free or considerably less expensive than the first product. It should also relate very closely to the more expensive product. The reason you need to do this is because you’ll get them into your sales funnel by getting them on your email list. There you can educate, inform, and persuade them toward your other products and/or services.
Another way you can handle downsells is to install a special pixel on your website and run Facebook ads directed toward retargeting/remarketing the people who abandoned carts, visited your site and didn’t sign up for anything or buy anything. Remarket to them via the Facebook ads using a free offer or very low-cost offer to get them into your funnel.
You can offer them the same types of offers as in the pop-up. But, it will feel even more personal due to it showing up when they’re not even on your site. They’ll see it every time they get on Facebook until you stop the ad from running.
This is a great way to keep someone interested after they’ve already visited your site. Most people expect to get pop-ups, so if it’s easy to get away from it won’t feel intrusive. The remarketing is something that while people often describe it as creepy, works from a purely mathematical standpoint, so it’s also worth doing. The only other option would be to lose the customer.
How to Cross-Sell Successfully
Probably the most popular form of making other offers is cross-selling. Some people call it upselling but it’s not. It’s offering purchases in addition to the chosen item, not instead of. The items should be related to the first purchase and either the same price or less expensive, with one exception. This is a good time to offer an “I’ll do it for you” option which will, of course, be more expensive.
Make the cross-sell laser targeted, such as software to help them follow your instructions in the info product. Or, a “done-for-you” option for what you’re teaching them how to do, such as a private label report that they can use as their own.
For example, when you click on a product to buy a pressure cooker in Amazon, you’re given recommendations of what to buy with it. Usually, it’ll be more lids, parts, or cookbooks for this item. You can do the same type of thing regardless of whether your product is physical or digital.
This is a good place to repurpose content and other products to bulk up their purchase. But, be careful to avoid offering them products they already bought. This will require that you invest in powerful technology. You can find something that works in the tools section of this report.
What to Do Now
The best place to start is to go over your product funnel and your customers’ buying cycle. Ensure that you have all the right types of content and products to meet your customers’ needs and desires. Then get the technology set up that you need set up so that you can automate everything that’s possible to automate – other than direct one-on-one contact with your customers.
When you start using upsells, cross-sells, and downsells, you’ll find that you increase your profits by at least twice. Some people report even more improvement. Why? Because you’ll increase your customers’ lifetime value, improve customer relationships, differentiate yourself from other brands, enhance customer engagement, build brand loyalty, and build a bigger and stronger audience ready for any new products you offer.