7 Profitable Ways To Upsell From Your Digital Products

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Fries with your burger?

How about upgrading that economy class airline ticket to business class?

7 Profitable Ways To Upsell From Your Digital Products

Shopping at Old Navy? Choose a cute top, and the saleswoman will suggest an adorable infinity scarf to match. Oh, wait! There’s this fabulous chunky bracelet with earrings to complete the outfit.

It’s called upselling, one of the most often overlooked ways to make very easy money.

Unfortunately, this tactic is also very easy to forget. I’ve let thousands of dollars slip through my fingers by failing to upsell consistently. I’ll bet you have, too.

Maybe it’s because, as digital marketers, we’re so busy cranking out the next product that we never stop to think about how to milk the cow that’s already in the barn. Also, configuring the upsell in your shopping cart takes a little time and patience. But if you do it once, you can set it and forget it.

Here are seven ways to ask, “Do you want fries with that?”

1. As soon as a customer clicks the “Add to Cart” button, ask if they’d also like a product that’s equal to or cheaper than the one they just chose.

It must be related to the primary purchase. If I’m selling a webinar registration on how to convince Walmart and Costco to sell your books, I might ask if the customer also wants the webinar replay on how to launch a book and sell a truckload.

I use 1ShoppingCart (Marketer’s Choice), and I upsell by creating a “bundle offer” that tells the cart, “When they buy this, offer them that…” When the customer clicks the “add to cart” button, they see this:

Stewart - Books upsell

Notice that the upsell is half the original price. Never automatically add the second item to the cart or you’ll anger customers and they might leave without buying. Always give them the option of adding it.

2. Offer the same product in a different format for a fraction of the price.

When I sell replays of teleseminars, the MP3 and the electronic transcript are $39.95 each. But if you buy one, you can buy the other for only $10. Tell customers exactly how much they are saving and why they should buy both.

“Since you bought the transcript, you can buy the MP3 for only $10 more, a savings of $29.95. And you can review the material again while working out at the gym or walking the dog.”

This upsell is also a bundle offer.

3. Tell the customer the item they purchased is frequently sold along with another product.

Amazon is the master of this upsell. It look like this:

Stewart - Customers Who Bought This Item

Most shopping carts will let you do something similar.

4. Send an autoresponder series after they have bought and offer a special deal.

But send two service-related emails before making the offer.

The subject line on the first email I send immediately after they buy, says, “Problem with your order?” It gives a name, phone number and email address of someone they can contact if they have problems with downloads or other issues. I’m amazed at how many people respond and thank me for following up!

My second email, sent about five days after they purchased, asks if they’ve had time to review the material and, if so, what did they think about it? This is a great way to gather testimonials, with their permission.

The last email makes the offer. It can be a two-for-one special, or an inventory clearance, or a “pre- launch deal only for our special customers.

5. Offer a small discount if they add something to their order.

If they buy something for $39.95, tell them you’ll give them 10 percent off if their order totals at least $50. You can explain this in the short message at the top of the screen as soon as they “add to cart.”

Then give them a coupon code to use at checkout. Be sure to tell the shopping cart that the discount is only for orders of $50 or more.

6. Give them a coupon code with their receipt, good for a certain percentage off their next order.

Include an expiration date. In most shopping carts, you can create a coupon that gives them X number of dollars off, or a certain percentage. You can also specify if the discount applies only to orders of a minimum amount.

7. Call a customer who has already bought and try to sell them something else.

This is my favorite.

“Thanks so much for buying one of my $10 special reports, Megan. This is your lucky day. We’re running a special this week. You can buy five for the price of only three and save $20. So you’re getting two free reports. Would you like me to add four more reports to your order and charge your credit card on this end to save you the hassle of ordering again?”

Notice all the phrases in bold. Be sure to use them, especially “this is your lucky day.” By the time you’re done with that spiel, most customers can hardly wait to choose their free reports. And you’ve just made another $20.

Some Internet marketers wouldn’t bother making a call for a piddly 20 bucks more. But the bigger value to you is the relationship you’re forming with the customer. How many companies that you’ve done business with online have called you to say thanks?

If you want more ideas, check out the excellent PowerPoint presentation “Up-selling and Cross-selling” by Stephen Hertzenberg.

Then go sell something. And sell more…and more…and more…

Joan Stewart
Publicity expert Joan Stewart coaches business owners on how to promote their expertise by creating content and generating free publicity. Subscribe to her twice-a-week email tips at PublicityHound.com. Joan lives (and tries to stay warm) in Port Washington, Wis., where her German Shorthaired Pointer, Bogie, takes her on walks twice a day.
Joan Stewart
Joan Stewart
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  1. Thanks a lot for sharing these tips. Implementing these will sure help to increase returning customers.