By Kelly Forst June 18, 2021
The selling process shouldn’t stop when someone purchases from you. In fact, it’s only just beginning.
The selling process doesn’t end when the initial sale is made.
Otherwise, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity for additional income.
That’s because of a principle called the Pareto Principle — or the 80/20 rule — saying 80% of a business’s revenue comes from 20% of its customers.
And while your numbers may not match this exactly, there’s some truth to it. Most of your revenue likely comes from a small set of loyal customers.
While loyalty is an important factor contributing to that 80% of revenue, it’s not the only factor. Applying smart selling principles online can make a big impact on your bottom line.
Two of those principles are called upselling and cross-selling
What is upselling?
Upselling is the process of suggesting a better version of a product or service to customers going through the purchase process.
Imagine: you’re purchasing a car. You went in expecting to purchase the basic model to keep costs down. But, the salesperson extends an offer for power windows and heated seats at a discount. They want to get you into a better version of the car you initially came in for.
You decide it’s worth the extra cost to get the better car. Now you won’t have to hand crank the windows down when you’re driving on a nice summer day. You say, “deal.”
You’ve just been upsold.
The benefits to incorporating smart upselling tactics span further than profits. Upselling is another opportunity to show your customer you understand their needs and can help them solve their problems.
But it’s not the same thing as cross-selling.
So, what is cross-selling?
Have you ever grabbed a pack of gum while waiting in the checkout line at a grocery store?
If so, you’ve experienced cross-selling.
While upselling is the process of offering a better version of a product or service, cross-selling refers to the process of offering relevant products or services at the point of purchase.
One company that cross-sells extremely well? Amazon.
Let’s say you’re looking at purchasing a coffee maker on Amazon. If you’ve ever looked at a product on Amazon, you’ll probably see a section that looks like this…
Amazon is cross-selling relevant products based on your initial search.
But you don’t have to be a huge company to cross-sell or upsell effectively. Here are some strategies you can put into place now to earn more money online.
6 strategies to upselling and cross-selling more online
Upselling and cross-selling online follows the same selling principles you would in retail environments. And we’ve identified 6 ways to apply those strategies to your marketing.
But before anything else, you have to understand your customers
Good upselling and cross-selling starts by paying attention to what your customers are buying or interested in. Once you learn what they like, you can recommend other products to fill their needs.
Our advice: pay attention to your customers’ shopping habits. Know what pages they’re visiting on your website. Tag them based on products they purchase or interests they tell you about when joining your list.
Then, you have the information you need to upsell and cross-sell most effectively.
Thank you pages
Thank you pages are one of the best places to upsell or cross-sell.
Why? Because a subscriber will never be more engaged with you than in the moments they decide to give you their money.
You’ve already done the hard part. You convinced a total stranger that what you offer is valuable to them. That you can help them achieve their goals.
If you can reaffirm their decision to purchase from you by offering a relevant product right off the bat, you’ll only deepen their trust in you. Plus, positioning an additional or better product on your thank you page as an exclusive offer can help them feel special.
Want to use this Upsell Thank You page template in your marketing? Copy this template into your account when you sign up for AWeber Free.
Valuable content is more important than a sales pitch and will resonate with your customers much more strongly. One of the best ways to provide that value is through a nurture campaign.
A campaign — sometimes called a drip campaign — is a sequence of automated emails sent over a specified period of time. Campaigns are a great tool to:
- Welcome new customers to your email list
- Deliver a series of emails promoting a discount when a subscriber opts-in
- Keep in touch with customers post-purchase
You can even drive subscribers to an ecommerce landing page where they can easily purchase the products you suggest to them.
Let’s say you sell custom tee-shirts. A customer puts in an order for 10 baseball tees. You can add them to a nurture campaign that follows a flow like the one outlined below:
Email #1: Thank you for your purchase.
Email #2: How are those baseball tees working out?
Email #3: Did you love your purchase? Leave us a review for 10% off your next purchase.
Email #4: We thought you might like matching hats!
See how this campaign not only thanks subscribers for their purchase but cross-sells relevant products over time? Providing a personalized experience in email could make customers more likely to purchase from you again and again.
Tap into your customers’ networks by offering better versions of the product or service they already have when they refer you to their network.
If you offer a product, send customers who refer you a relevant product to say thank you. Or give them an exclusive discount on a product you know they’ll love to try out (based on their past purchases).
Or, if you offer a service — like home organization — let customers know that if they refer 5 people to your business, you’ll give them a free month of one of your higher priced services — say, a complete kitchen reorganization.
By giving customers a taste of the better version of your product or service for a limited time cost free, they’re more likely to see value and purchase it over time.
Let new customers know it’s not too late to get a better version of your product. Create a sense of urgency to upsell your products or services even after they purchase.
You can include this information on your thank you page or in an email thanking them for their purchase. If your business model allows, you can tell them that they can unlock an exclusive offer to swap the purchase they purchased for the better version within a set period of time or for an exclusive discount.
Making it easy for them to swap out the product after the purchase through a discount may make them more likely to try it out.
Or, to cross-sell add on products, you can apply the same principle by offering a limited time discount to those specific products.
Creating a sense of urgency through limited time discounts or offers drive customers to action faster because they have incentive to take advantage of a deal.
Establish a loyalty program
A loyalty program rewards customers for their continued business with you.
For instance, REI — a retail company for outdoor enthusiasts — rewards members through their “REI Co-op” program. A lifetime membership is $20 but customers receive 10% back on purchases each year.
Not only is the membership considered an upsell at the point of purchase — as customers pay more for access to membership benefits — but they’re more likely to purchase from REI repeatedly because of the promise of rewards.
Implement a similar loyalty program so customers think of you first before looking elsewhere for similar products or services.
What do you need to make more money through upselling and cross-selling? We recommend starting with an ecommerce landing page and an automated email campaign.
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