How to upsell

Upselling is the lifeblood of many business models. Some companies are even willing to sell some items or services at a loss, banking on the hope of a future upsell.

As a leader of several SaaS companies, I’ve discovered through trial and error some techniques that will guarantee upsells. Every business is different, and every customer is unique, but these tactics are sure to generate more upsells for your business.

First off, what is upselling? Upselling is getting your customer to make a higher cost purchase than he or she originally planned.

The goal is compounding profit by using the momentum of purchase. My model in upselling is to earn 30% or more of the business’s profit from upsells. Since upselling current customers is 5-10 times cheaper than acquiring new ones, it makes pure business sense. Build upsells into your business from the very beginning, and design your marketing approach around an upsell strategy.

Now, here’s how to do it.

1. Make the upsell relevant to the customer’s original purchase.

If you’ve ever ordered at a McDonald’s , the cashier may have asked you, “Do you want fries with that?” Fries go with burgers. Their upsell is relevant to your original purchase.

Bluehost does the same thing with their hosting. They throw in a lot of upsell pitches, but they are all generally related — extended hosting, domain security, additional domain endings, etc.

Relevance is the key to successful upselling. A customer becomes a customer by buying one product. Make sure that you either augment or improve that product with your upsell.

Here are some examples:

  • You sell a knife. Sell a knife sharpener.
  • You sell software. Sell premium support.
  • You sell sunglasses. Sell a microfiber cleaning cloth.

2. Make your customers sell themselves.

One of the best SaaS upsellers is Salesforce. Here’s how they do it: s torage limits.

Built-in limitations are a brilliant upsell for SaaS providers whose process includes storage or bandwidth. If a user wants more data or more storage, they have to pay for it.

By using this approach, you aren’t making a huge or obvious effort to upsell them. The customers themselves realize the need and make the prudent decision to upsell.

Joel York calls this “design for discovery,” and explains ,

Your customer naturally discovers and digests new capabilities just-in-time as its needs grow.

The most successful and complaint-free upsells are those in which the customer realizes his or her own need and makes a willing purchase.

3. Make your upsell discounted.

Customers can smell an upsell. They are going to think about the upsell from one main perspective: How much does it cost?

If your upsell is too expensive, they won’t bite. If, however, it’s a discounted upsell, they will be more interested.

Here’s a rule of thumb: The upsell should be half the cost of the original purchase (or less). The customer is trying to rationalize the price. They’ll think, “Well, I’m already buying this, which costs $100. I might as well buy this, too. What’s another $50 anyway?”

If you want to make a higher upsell, be sure to break it down into a payment plan — e.g., only $29/month for six months — to create the illusion of a lower price.

4. Make the upsell after the original purchase.

One mistake I’ve noticed in some SaaS upsells is the way that they crush you with upsells before you’ve even completed your checkout.

For some customers, this is a pure, salesy turnoff. The number one reason that customers abandon shopping carts is because of added or increased prices. Upsells before checkout are risky at best.

As a simple alternative, I suggest upselling customers after they’ve made the purchase. To make it even easier, don’t require customers to input their payment information again in order to complete their second transaction.

5. Sell something that solves a problem.

Here’s the interesting thing about most purchases. Even though they are intended to solve a problem, they also introduce additional problems.

  • You buy a burger. You want something salty and crispy. You want fries.
  • You buy a knife. It gets dull. You need a sharpener.
  • You buy software. You need to learn it. You buy training.
  • You buy sunglasses. They get fingerprints on them. You need a cloth to clean them.

Think carefully about the product you sell, and try to understand the new challenges or problems that it introduces. Then, upsell the customer on the solution to that new problem.

If nothing comes to mind, you can always introduce similar items. For example, Amazon offers customers a whole series of upsells and cross-sells.

  • “Frequently Bought Together”
  • “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”
  • “Sponsored Products Related to This Item”
  • “Compare to Similar Items”
  • “Special Offers and Product Promotions”

You can always sell something. I suggest selecting a benefit-focused product that solves a real problem.

6. Eliminate risk.

Any successful selling process involves guarantees. With an upsell, this is more important than ever.

Customers are naturally on guard when they sense an upsell. If you can gain their trust through a bend-over-backwards guarantee, then your upsell will have a higher chance of success.

Conclusion

The great thing about upsells is not higher profit margins. Through an upsell, you also retain the customer longer.

Customers who buy more, stay longer. Not only do you earn more profits from superior sales, but you retain customers and combat churn. As long as you’re adding value with your superior product and strategic upsells, you’re going to have some very pleased customers.

How do you upsell your customers?

Learning how to upsell effectively can be hard. We’ve put together this guide to help you.

If you’re new here and you don’t know what an upsell is, here’s a scenario you might be familiar with:

You go to Chipotle (or whichever burrito venue you prefer), and you complete your order. While the skilled team behind the sneeze guard tenderly fills the tortilla, turning it into a vessel of delight, a war wages in your mind. You know they’re going to offer guacamole. Not FREE guacamole. Guacamole at a charge.

Oh the decision! You love it so, but it’s an extra $1.95! What’s a hungry person like you to do? Yes please, no thanks, yes please, no thanks—back and forth you go until… it’s time.

You already know how this ends. You get the guacamole. Every time. But why? Because Chipotle (or whichever burrito venue you prefer) knows how to upsell like a boss.

The Upsell

According to me (not quite a famous online marketer… yet), upselling is dance of desire, will, and discount. According to Neil Patel (a seriously famous online marketer) the quick definition of upselling is this: “Upselling is getting your customer to make a higher cost purchase than he or she originally planned. The goal is compounding profit by using the momentum of the purchase.”

You can see this very phenomenon unfold in the burrito scenario… you’re already buying the burrito, heck… it’s in the very process of being made right in front of your eager eyes. For retailers—burrito makers, affiliate marketers, or otherwise—the moment when a sale is already en route is a prime opportunity for an upsell.

So, how is it done? What are the steps to this ornate and exquisite tango? Below, find some expert tips from those who know best.

Be Subtle

According to a Harvard Business Review study conducted over a seven year span, there are two essential qualities that ensure sales success for an individual: empathy and ego drive. In the article “What Makes a Good Salesman,” authors David Mayer and Herbert M. Greenberg outline the findings:

“A salesman with much drive but too little empathy will bulldoze his way through to some sales, but he will miss a great many and will hurt his employer through his lack of understanding people.”

While this data was sourced primarily in reference to auto and insurance sales, the findings truly still apply when developing your upsell content. Buyers can sense when you’re trying too hard to finagle an upsell… and they don’t like it. Behind the ego drive for success, there must be an authentic connection to the consumer. This connection is called empathy. Developing empathy is a slow and subtle process that creates a cozy den of trust. Trust is an essential for first time buyers, and–most importantly, for repeat buyers.

Let’s talk about how this can be done with online marketing:

  • Keep Brand Language Congruent
    It’s easy to fall into the “But Wait! There’s more trap!” to encourage buyers to add additional items to their order. The “over eager salesman” is a well-known trope largely due to this kind of language. In your upsell content, don’t switch on the gimmicky verbiage if that’s not consistent with your regular sales content.
  • Provide Helpful Quality Content for Free
    Providing high quality and helpful content for free builds trust with your customers. Doing so demonstrates empathy and can help increase your upsell conversion because buyers have experienced your brand and product in a low risk arena. Thus, they have come to rely on a certain caliber of capability. Just make sure that your upsell products are on brand and as good as (or better) than your free content.
  • More is Not Always More
    Most importantly, always keep in mind that more content does not always mean that more people will engage more often. In fact, in 2015, the amount of content rose an average of 35% per channel, but engagement declined by 17%.

If the goal is generating more upsells, sellers have to fine-tune content to reach customers where they’re going to feel it. This starts with defining your customers wants and needs and tailoring your language for the upsell moment.

…But Not Too Subtle

The same Harvard Business Review Study also pointed out that a salesman cannot be too subtle if they want to be successful. An overly empathetic approach to sales is ineffective due in part to a lack of actual desire for the sale. Again, Mayer and Greenburg write:

“A salesman with fine empathy but too little drive may be a splendid person but will be unable to close his deals effectively. This is the ‘nice guy.’ Everyone likes him, and from all appearances he should turn out to be one of the best men on the force. He somehow ‘doesn’t make it’… He will get along with the customer, understand him, and bring him near the close; be he does not have that inner hunger to move the customer that final one foot to the actual sale.”

This is all to say, if your upsell content has connecting ethos, but doesn’t possess the persuasion to compel the shopper to buy, you might need to realign your empathy/ego balance in your marketing strategy. Here’s some ways to do just that:

  • Use Urgency
    Urgency is a tried and true method for converting the upsell and many people shy away from it because of its “salesy” tone (i.e. “For a limited time only!” or “Don’t miss out on this special offer!”). It doesn’t have to be this way though. A few choice words can add a bit of pressure to a buyer. Thinking using terms like “limited batch” to imply that the product won’t be around forever. Or, put a time limit on when an order must be placed to receive an upsell opportunity.
  • Use Social Pressure
    Encourage buyers to commit to an upsell by displaying the addons with words like: “Similar buyers also bought… ” or, “Similar shoppers also added… ” Just a small indication that people of a comparable social stature also committed to an additional purchase can be compelling enough to capture an upsell.

Get Your Ratio Right

Neil Patel encourages sellers to keep their upsell at half the cost of the original purchase or less. This is the ratio at which a consumer can typically rationalizing spending more. If your upsell costs just as much as the product, the consumer won’t feel like they are getting any sort of “bonus.” If an upsell is too cheap, it may seem gimmicky and useless. Try out different ratios and see which ones work best with your products to optimize your conversions.

Eventually, All Things Must be Cleaned

Choose your upsell product based on something that will solve a problem that arises from the initial purchased item. Every single thing that someone buys will at some point or another require attention in some shape or form. For example, software will require updates or training; all books and e-books can be sold with a specialized workbook; and eventually, all things everywhere must be cleaned, or sharpened, or charged, or renewed somehow because that is the nature of stuff. Use this fact of life to your favor when tailoring your upsells to your products.

Most Importantly, Steal Ideas from Experts

When it comes to a successful upsell, you don’t have to reinvent the burrito. There have been experts conducting psychological studies to figure this stuff out for decades. Tap into the collective genius of sales and marketing and try out some of these tried and true methods to optimize your upsell opportunity.

If you want to get a jumpstart on your digital marketing career, check out Spark, the only ClickBank-endorsed education platform.

How to upsell

Research confirms the likelihood that a company will upsell and cross-sell with email marketing to an existing customer is more than getting to sell to new ones; the most effective way being upselling and cross-sell with email marketing.

“Would you prefer oyster or mustard sauce?”

“Would you like to get a maintenance package for your car with a 90% discount?”

“Would you be willing to invest in home insurance in case of fire or flood?” All these are simple instances of upselling and cross-selling products and services to customers who already bought something from you or an organization you represent.

Have you ever walked into a restaurant with the hope that you eat something of choice but you end up eating something way beyond your budget? What happened to you between the minute you tried to place your order and the time your order was delivered was a worker doing his or her job by up-selling another product to you.

In general, to upsell and cross-sell simply means ways in which companies sell a complementary product or a higher product to a client. Now, let us look at these two terms in a little more detail.

What is Upsell and Cross-sell and How Do They Differ?

The target of a customer representative tasked with the upsell and cross-sell of a product is to increase the customer’s purchase amount, that is, spend more for the company by selling something else that is beneficial to the customer but which the customer either forgot to ask for or did not budget for. It could be insurance for a mortgaged apartment or extra services for a newly bought car.

In cross-selling, the customer is offered similar or complementary products to add an edge to their purchase. For example, offering a customer that bought pink sneakers the matching slippers. Cross-selling tries to meet customers’ needs in an advanced way because of the trust the company has built with the customer. Selling car seat covers alongside the car is a way to cross-sell because the quality you provide is already trusted.

In a nutshell, Upselling involves selling different products which are beneficial to the customer while cross-selling is selling complementary products to what was already purchased by the customer. In reality, there’s not much difference, it’s all a way to have the customer patronize you for other materials they did not plan for initially.

How to Upsell and Cross-Sell with Email Marketing

Email communication is one of the best ways to upsell and cross-sell to customers. This is because the customer already believes in your ability to provide him with his choice. That being said, when upselling and/or cross-selling, you want to be gentle and not overly pushy.

Remember that if they desired what you intend to sell, they would have asked and inquired on their own, moreover, people will water down an outright act of selling, so you want to be strategic in your actions and make it seem like they need the product or service being offered. If done correctly, the customer will fall in and listen to your suggestion especially where your trust level with him is unwavering.

The trick to upsell and cross-sell is as an organization, you should have various products in the line of your business. For example, if you offer mortgage services, then you can have a subsidiary that deals with insurance and lawsuits. A mobile phone company should have phone covers and cases, screen protectors and every other thing that will enhance the ownership of a mobile phone.

How to upsellSource: Vectezzy

Techniques to Upsell and Cross-sell via Email

Analyze your list of customers

You may have to carry out market research in order to segment customers into set groups, depending on what will appeal to a particular sect due to the product/service they already enjoy. When this is done properly, you will be able to sell the right product or service to the right customer. You will personalize the content to send out to each recipient. According to MailChimp, segmented email lists are usually more readable than non-segmented ones.

Leverage on great service

Take your service beyond selling a product to existing customers but rather, look them up occasionally and ask how they are enjoying the product or service purchased from you. Thereafter, throw in how they will benefit from another product and/or service you also offer, something that will speak ‘you will be happy’ to them. For example, a customer complaining about the heat generated from a laptop may be offered a laptop cooling fan at a discount.

Enlist your voice

The way you speak to customers go a long way in how you are endeared to them. Remember this technique and adopt it for the email you are sending. If you got off a great start with the smile on a customer’s face the day they buy a product from you, then, find a way to make them resonate with you again by either reiterating how beautiful their smile was or just saying a different compliment altogether. This endears a customer to you and ultimately makes it easier to upsell to them.

There is time for everything

For email campaigns, timing is very crucial. Space out your emails and avoid repetition. Ensure you send emails that are specifically tailored to the client’s benefit and don’t send them at strictly peak times when they will want to ignore your emails and focus on what matters more important to them at the time. Nobody wants to be constantly bombarded by emails trying upsell them.

Automate and call to action

With the use of Marketing Automation Softwares, you can easily determine what products a customer uses and determine what is next required. Hence, in your email marketing, there should be a call to action so that when your customer skims through, what he needs to do is obvious because of the presentation of the ‘call to action’. Don’t forget to upsell and be gentle in your writing.

Track your marketing results

Tracking your email upsell and cross-sell campaign will help you determine what should be avoided and what strategy to stick with. When you realize that an email is not producing the expected results, then you may want to revamp what you do and how you do it.

Summary

The 6 tips above will serve as a reminder to upsell and cross-sell via email marketing. It will help put together a detailed actionable marketing campaign, one which, if well utilized, will keep clients coming back and loyal.

Have you used any other technique to upsell and cross-sell? Or you have other additions, please list them in the comment section.

By the way, if you would like to get rid of poor grammar, punctuation, spelling mistakes, and lousy sentences in your emails, reports, and other written content, try this automated proofreader that we use at Woculus to keep our contents professional.

How to upsell

Research confirms the likelihood that a company will upsell and cross-sell with email marketing to an existing customer is more than getting to sell to new ones; the most effective way being upselling and cross-sell with email marketing.

“Would you prefer oyster or mustard sauce?”

“Would you like to get a maintenance package for your car with a 90% discount?”

“Would you be willing to invest in home insurance in case of fire or flood?” All these are simple instances of upselling and cross-selling products and services to customers who already bought something from you or an organization you represent.

Have you ever walked into a restaurant with the hope that you eat something of choice but you end up eating something way beyond your budget? What happened to you between the minute you tried to place your order and the time your order was delivered was a worker doing his or her job by up-selling another product to you.

In general, to upsell and cross-sell simply means ways in which companies sell a complementary product or a higher product to a client. Now, let us look at these two terms in a little more detail.

What is Upsell and Cross-sell and How Do They Differ?

The target of a customer representative tasked with the upsell and cross-sell of a product is to increase the customer’s purchase amount, that is, spend more for the company by selling something else that is beneficial to the customer but which the customer either forgot to ask for or did not budget for. It could be insurance for a mortgaged apartment or extra services for a newly bought car.

In cross-selling, the customer is offered similar or complementary products to add an edge to their purchase. For example, offering a customer that bought pink sneakers the matching slippers. Cross-selling tries to meet customers’ needs in an advanced way because of the trust the company has built with the customer. Selling car seat covers alongside the car is a way to cross-sell because the quality you provide is already trusted.

In a nutshell, Upselling involves selling different products which are beneficial to the customer while cross-selling is selling complementary products to what was already purchased by the customer. In reality, there’s not much difference, it’s all a way to have the customer patronize you for other materials they did not plan for initially.

How to Upsell and Cross-Sell with Email Marketing

Email communication is one of the best ways to upsell and cross-sell to customers. This is because the customer already believes in your ability to provide him with his choice. That being said, when upselling and/or cross-selling, you want to be gentle and not overly pushy.

Remember that if they desired what you intend to sell, they would have asked and inquired on their own, moreover, people will water down an outright act of selling, so you want to be strategic in your actions and make it seem like they need the product or service being offered. If done correctly, the customer will fall in and listen to your suggestion especially where your trust level with him is unwavering.

The trick to upsell and cross-sell is as an organization, you should have various products in the line of your business. For example, if you offer mortgage services, then you can have a subsidiary that deals with insurance and lawsuits. A mobile phone company should have phone covers and cases, screen protectors and every other thing that will enhance the ownership of a mobile phone.

How to upsellSource: Vectezzy

Techniques to Upsell and Cross-sell via Email

Analyze your list of customers

You may have to carry out market research in order to segment customers into set groups, depending on what will appeal to a particular sect due to the product/service they already enjoy. When this is done properly, you will be able to sell the right product or service to the right customer. You will personalize the content to send out to each recipient. According to MailChimp, segmented email lists are usually more readable than non-segmented ones.

Leverage on great service

Take your service beyond selling a product to existing customers but rather, look them up occasionally and ask how they are enjoying the product or service purchased from you. Thereafter, throw in how they will benefit from another product and/or service you also offer, something that will speak ‘you will be happy’ to them. For example, a customer complaining about the heat generated from a laptop may be offered a laptop cooling fan at a discount.

Enlist your voice

The way you speak to customers go a long way in how you are endeared to them. Remember this technique and adopt it for the email you are sending. If you got off a great start with the smile on a customer’s face the day they buy a product from you, then, find a way to make them resonate with you again by either reiterating how beautiful their smile was or just saying a different compliment altogether. This endears a customer to you and ultimately makes it easier to upsell to them.

There is time for everything

For email campaigns, timing is very crucial. Space out your emails and avoid repetition. Ensure you send emails that are specifically tailored to the client’s benefit and don’t send them at strictly peak times when they will want to ignore your emails and focus on what matters more important to them at the time. Nobody wants to be constantly bombarded by emails trying upsell them.

Automate and call to action

With the use of Marketing Automation Softwares, you can easily determine what products a customer uses and determine what is next required. Hence, in your email marketing, there should be a call to action so that when your customer skims through, what he needs to do is obvious because of the presentation of the ‘call to action’. Don’t forget to upsell and be gentle in your writing.

Track your marketing results

Tracking your email upsell and cross-sell campaign will help you determine what should be avoided and what strategy to stick with. When you realize that an email is not producing the expected results, then you may want to revamp what you do and how you do it.

Summary

The 6 tips above will serve as a reminder to upsell and cross-sell via email marketing. It will help put together a detailed actionable marketing campaign, one which, if well utilized, will keep clients coming back and loyal.

Have you used any other technique to upsell and cross-sell? Or you have other additions, please list them in the comment section.

By the way, if you would like to get rid of poor grammar, punctuation, spelling mistakes, and lousy sentences in your emails, reports, and other written content, try this automated proofreader that we use at Woculus to keep our contents professional.

There are plenty of marketing strategies that involve reaching consumers who have never heard of your brand. These tips are crucial for your success, but we want to talk about something equally important today.

Upselling and cross-selling are two marketing strategies that involve getting existing customers to spend more, which results in an overall higher average order value. In other words, these two techniques can help your small business grow fast and improve customer loyalty. Maintaining your existing customers is one of the best ways to ensure robust and consistent growth.

Upselling is when you try to persuade customers to buy upgraded versions of products they already intend to purchase. So, if you try to buy a 32GB tablet online, and the business tries to sell you the slightly more expensive 64GB version, that’s upselling in action.

Cross-selling is when you offer users products that complement a current or recent purchase. Let’s say you added the tablet to your cart and made it to the checkout page. Before you enter your debit card information, you may get a pop-up that asks if you would like to buy a protective case for your device. The goal is to get users to bundle these two items together and spend more at checkout.

Now that we’ve defined both terms, let’s look at four upselling and cross-selling best practices.

Put Emphasis on Value

If you want people to spend more on each order, you have to learn how to put your value proposition on display. Depending on how you promote your products or services, you may have to adjust your marketing strategies.

For example, SaaS companies often have to shuffle features when they are making tiered plans. There are certain features that an enterprise user would absolutely need, but a one-person time wouldn’t. Distinguishing between your customers’ needs and finding ways to highlight value is the key to making your upselling and cross-selling campaigns work.

Business leaders and marketing teams selling physical products will need to think about how the individual items complement each other. Remember the tablet and case example from earlier? The moment a user sees how buying the extra item can increase the value of their purchase, they are likely to add to their shopping cart.

You can improve your chances of highlighting the right value points by doing extensive customer research. When you understand each segment’s needs and pain points, you’ll have a much easier time establishing customer touchpoints and getting users to upgrade their orders.

Personalize Your Recommendations

While we are on the topic of customer research and segments, let’s talk about personalization. A whopping 80% of consumers report wanting more personalized offers from brands. If you’re willing to take the time to create specific upsell and cross-sell offers for your various segments, you could see a substantial boost in sales.

We suggest engaging with your customers on social media, reviewing feedback, and paying attention to your analytics. Use this information to create personas for your customers. Now, you can create various offers designed to appeal to each segment.

For example, an online pet shop owner might use this strategy to cross-sell cat toys and food with one campaign and dog toys and food with another. This technique ensures that each user will see a relevant offer.

Amazon does an outstanding job of personalizing offers for users. If you go to your profile right now, you’ll see countless completely personalized lists based on your past purchases. We know that every business doesn’t have the resources of Amazon, but this strategy is easy to implement if you have a small business with a limited product catalog.

Know When to Make an Offer

You’ll improve your chances for success if you know when to make an offer. For now, let’s stick to when you should make an offer before their purchase.

Here are several instances where an upsell or cross-sell could lead to additional sales:

  • A customer adds something to their shopping cart. As soon as they click “add,” you can show them other products that complement their first choice.
  • A user checks out a product landing page. You can show a side-by-side chart that demonstrates the value of upgrading to a premium plan.
  • Your customer service team gets a message from someone on the verge of completing an order. Train your team to cross-sell and upsell based on the needs of each customer.

There are other instances where you can make an upsell or cross-sell offer. But the examples mentioned above are usually the first signs that a user is ready to finalize their order.

Cross-Sell After the Order

Finally, let’s talk about how to cross-sell and upsell after a customer places their order. There will be times when a user makes a purchase, ignores your upsells, and comes back at a later date.

The thing is, you have to actively work to get them back to your website. One of the best ways to reach customers with your offer is with your social media marketing strategy.

On Facebook alone, you can reach over 2 billion people. Use this to your advantage and create campaigns for followers that buy something from your website. If you’re personalizing offers, there’s an excellent chance you can get people to come back to your website from the most popular social media networks.

You can also create email campaigns designed to go out to customers after they’ve had some time with your product or service. Use this as a chance to gather feedback and make suggestions on complementary products.

Let’s use the pet store example from earlier. If a user buys cat food, the business could send an email saying that they hope the customer is satisfied with their purchase. At the bottom of the page, they could include new cat toys recently added to the shop. This type of delayed marketing can be very effective.

When you’re cross-selling and upselling, we recommend using FOMO marketing. FOMO stands for fear of missing out. Simply put, FOMO means customers make split-second decisions to time or quantity limitations. Research shows that 60% of people have made placed an order due to FOMO. In most cases, their purchases occurred within 24 hours.

The easiest way to add FOMO to your cross-sell or upsell is to give customers a time limit on your special offer.

Back to You

As you can see, cross-selling and upselling are both complex marketing strategies that can yield big results for your small business. It may take some time to see results, but this is one surefire way to boost sales, engagement, and customer loyalty. It’s up to you to take these ideas and tweak them for your unique product and audience.

Businesses use many tactics to maximize profits and provide value for their customers. Upselling is one of the most important sales tactics available. Upselling allows you to learn more about your customer and offer them a product or service that best meets their needs and goals. In this article, we describe what upselling is and how it is different from cross-selling, then offer tips for successful upselling with examples.

What is upselling?

Upselling is when a salesperson offers an upgrade or premium version of the product they are selling. Upselling can also include offering add-ons to increase the functionality of the product. The goal of upselling is to increase the total sale and to introduce customers to options that might better suit their needs. Upselling is often built into a conversation about the customer’s goals in purchasing the product and what they hope to accomplish over time.

Upselling helps build a relationship with customers by letting them know what else you offer, how they can get more functionality for their money and by showing them that you are invested in their needs and goals. Upselling is not necessarily an immediate process. While you should offer the upsell at the time of purchase, you can also use marketing techniques like direct mail and email newsletters to keep your customers up to date on their options.

Upselling vs. cross-selling

Upselling and cross-selling are different sales techniques, but they are often used together to increase the overall profitability of a sale. Upselling is focused on upgrading or enhancing the product the customer is already buying. Cross-selling is suggesting the customer buy a related product or service. For example, a housekeeping service might upsell a customer buying a weekly cleaning package by offering a package with more rooms, and cross-sell by also offering a carpet deep cleaning service.

Both cross-selling and upselling are based on the premise that sales are driven by recommendations. The customer is already interested in the company and products, and the customer is more likely to return when feeling like the salesperson cares about their goals.

Upselling tips

Upselling is an important part of sales and can be a valuable service to your customers. Here are some tips for successful upselling:

  • Listen to your customer’s needs and goals: You can tailor your upsale suggestions to what customers seek to accomplish. Customers are more likely to upgrade their order when they see how the more expensive product meets their needs.

Display your higher-end products and services: Customers respond to visual displays and information regarding premium services. Having them on display also allows you to easily reference them for upselling.

Offer side-by-side comparisons: Customers are more likely to buy an upgraded service when they see the value it offers them. Showing them what the more expensive package or product offers will help incentivize them to upgrade.

Educate your customer: Let your customer know what risks they can avoid and what benefits they can get from upgrading their purchase. Approach the upsale from the perspective of helping them maximize their experience.

Accept your customer’s answer: You will build a stronger relationship with your customer by avoiding pushy sales tactics. If they decide not to upgrade, give them a brochure so they have the option to upgrade later.

Keep price in mind: Customers will respond more positively to upgrades that are relatively close in price to the product they have in mind. You can also incentivize your customers to upgrade by offering sales and discounts on your premium packages.

Offer a la carte add-ons: Customers may be more interested in adding individual functions to their current package. Having a la carte options that customers can choose for a small fee can help them customize their packages.

  • Stay in touch: Keeping in contact with your customers is great for maintaining a relationship and growing with them. You can use email marketing, social media and direct mail to tell them about new products, update them on sales and create value for upgrading.
  • Upselling examples

    Here are some examples of upselling:

    • A customer is looking at standard earbuds in an electronics store and the salesperson suggests a model with noise canceling.

    A client is looking for an email management platform and the website displays three packages. Each package shows what functions and automation are available, showing the customer how much value they can get from the more expensive packages.

    A client uses a website-building platform to build a free webpage. They receive an email from the platform when there are discounts on premium packages.

    A business owner visits a print shop for business cards. They intended to use a basic design, but the salesperson helps them see the value in a professionally designed business card. The business owner chooses a glossy finish to best display the colors.

    A diner visits a restaurant and orders an iced tea. The server offers to add raspberry or peach flavoring for a small fee.

    A customer is buying a new smartphone. The salesperson learns they use their phone to take pictures of their family events and outings, so they suggest a phone with a higher-end camera and more storage space than the customer was originally considering.

    A customer is buying a new laptop and the cashier offers to add a protection plan. When the customer asks for details, the cashier gives him two options and outlines what each plan covers.

    A client is looking at publishing packages and chooses a print-on-demand package. The client orders a professional book cover design added to the package for an additional fee.

  • A customer orders a suit from a retailer. The salesperson lets the customer know that they have a tailor on-site that can alter the suit within the week for a discounted rate.
  • How to upsell

    Cross-selling and upselling represent easy wins for increasing revenue, because existing customers are far more likely to buy than a new prospect. Marketing Metrics puts the odds of making a sale at 60-70% for existing customers and only 5-20% for new prospects.

    Yet many salespeople leave this easy money on the table simply for lack of skills and coaching. Help your salespeople maximize the potential of their existing customers by learning how to cross-sell and upsell effectively.

    Upselling Vs Cross-Selling: Understand the Difference

    First things first: your reps should understand the difference between upselling and cross-selling, and the relative value of each.

    Upselling means getting a customer to purchase a more expensive version of something they have either already purchased or have agreed to purchase. Examples include premium memberships, a larger scope of work, or a product made with higher end materials.

    Cross-selling means getting a customer to purchase products or services in addition to something they have already purchased or agreed to purchase. Examples include service add-ons and complementary products.

    In general, upselling should be the rep’s first go-to when available. It’s easier for customers to see value in a better version of something they already know they want, than in something different. Cross-selling also introduces the risk of diluting the customer’s attention, while upselling does not run that risk.

    However, cross-selling is valuable in cases where upselling is not an option, as well as when the additional product or service has a clear and obvious relationship to the original purchase, and provides an obviously related benefit.

    For example, if your sales reps are selling dialysis machines, they can introduce cross-selling products such as pumps, tubes, or IV bags. Another example would be to offer execution services to go with strategic consulting.

    Jul 1, 2021 | 6 min read

    Would you like to make that a meal for an extra $5?

    Why not, you need something sweet to go with the salt.

    We’ve all upgraded or added on to our original purchase at the movie theater, Subway, McDonald’s, on Amazon, in the Sephora checkout line. the list goes on and on. What works about these sales is that they’re subtle, relevant, and catch you at a time when you’re about to make a purchase.

    Upselling and cross-selling aren’t new phenomena, and with the rise of online shopping, we’re seeing more ecommerce merchants use these strategies (as they should).

    In this post, we’ll show you how to successfully upsell and cross-sell on your online shop, explain why it’s beneficial for your bottom line, and provide some examples of effective upsell and cross-sell strategies.

    Upselling and cross-selling, defined

    Before we dive into the how let’s cover the basics.

    Upselling is when you encourage customers to purchase a more expensive version of a product. A common upsell strategy for ecommerce brands is promoting best-sellers on checkout pages.

    Supergoop shows a more expensive version of their Unseen Sunscreen after the item is added to a cart. i.e., after shoppers express intent to purchase an item.

    Cross-selling is when you persuade customers to buy items related to the original purchase. An effective cross-sell strategy is to show cheaper complementary products on the checkout page.

    Supergoop does a great job at cross-selling, showing you products to wear their sunscreen with before you check out.

    Often done in tandem, the key to successful upsell and cross-selling is to identify products that satisfy additional, complementary needs unfulfilled by the original item, and present them to customers at the right time.

    Benefits of upselling and cross-selling

    Ultimately, upselling and cross-selling are about helping customers feel more satisfied with their purchases and solving customer problems. And happy customers come with some added business benefits, too.

    Upselling increases revenue by an average of 10-30%. And, it’s 68% more affordable than acquiring new customers. When done well, these tactics can also increase customer retention, average order value, and lifetime value.

    Effective upsell strategies

    Upselling is so effective because it’s done at a time when customers are already interested in your product. When you show people relevant upgrades at the right time and place, they’re likely to go for it. Here are some effective ways to upsell:

    Offer more (items) for less (money). Physician’s Choice offers 1, 3, and 5 bottles of their women’s probiotics. The more you buy, the more you save. A classic, effective way to upsell consumables.

    Pro tip: show customers just how much money they save by purchasing multiple items.

    Include a subscribe and save option. Another great way for ecommerce brands to upsell is to provide a subscribe and save option in addition to a one-time purchase.

    Overnight Oats shows you exactly how much money you’ll save by subscribing. So the decision becomes why wouldn’t you subscribe and save money? (Remember, it’s all about easing the decision process!)

    Offer a free gift or small item at checkout. When you offer a free gift or small item pre-purchase where the risk is low, you’re setting up the upsell for a larger/pricier version of that item down the road.

    When you offer a sample or a gift, customers don’t need to have a lot of information about the product before they purchase it (or, to say no if it’s free). Sephora does a great job at upselling new/ upcoming products by offering small samples as gifts during checkout.

    Then, you can hit customers up with a follow-up email or text upselling the more expensive item.

    There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to upselling, and there are a lot of great strategies to try, so we recommend doing an A/B test to see what resonates with your customers best. It’s all about easing the decision-making process and adding customer value.

    Effective cross-sell strategies

    If upselling is about upgrading, cross-selling is about complementing. The most effective cross-sells tap into impulse buying and easing the decision-making process for a customer.

    If I’m buying one I may as well buy the other!

    That’s what you want your customer to think. Show them something that goes so well with the item they’re intending to purchase, they just have to purchase both.

    Here are a few ways ecommerce brands can cross-sell effectively:

    Feature cheaper, related, or easily forgotten items before checkout. Blume does this well by surfacing cheaper, related items from their catalog before taking you to your cart.

    Pro tip: It’s best to keep it simple and start with one product; too many choices are overwhelming & decrease the likelihood of buying.

    Bundle multiple products. Physician’s Choice does a phenomenal job at bundling their products. They tap into social proof with the “frequently bought together” copy. And, they instill and sense of FOMO by displaying exactly how much money you save.

    Surface complementary items on product pages. Take advantage of the real estate on your product pages. For example, apparel brands can effectively cross-sell on product pages by showing bottoms that go with a top, or by showing items other shoppers also purchased.

    Make an exclusive offer immediately post-purchase. This offer from Blume is a great example of a post-purchase cross-sell.

    They showed me this right after I checked out—but before the thank you page. This helped me get the most out of the other items I purchased—face wash and oil—while taking into account my cart value (which was over $100).

    Hats off to Blume for making the (correct) assumption that I would be willing to pay another $17 for what normally would be a pricier item. This effectively increased my average order value and customer lifetime value.

    Upsell and cross-sell like a boss

    No matter which strategies resonate best with your customers, remember to keep it subtle, relevant, ease the decision-making process, and always add customer value. Effective upselling and cross-selling should always add to the shopping experience, not degrade it.

    Are you ready to upsell and cross-sell like a boss? Start your free trial of Drip today to get started!