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What is a Downsell? A Guide to Downsells

How to Make More Money Series: A Guide to Downsells

Continuing my series about different parts of a sales funnel, let’s talk about an often overlooked piece of the sales cycle: Downsells.

What is a Downsell?

A downsell is one of the last parts of a checkout funnel (but not the entire sales funnel. Remember that the sale is never over. There are always new ways to get a customer to buy something new!) that gets a bad rap in my opinion. If a customer says “no thanks” to an upsell, then a downsell is activated. And is normally a similar product but at a lower price point.

This is NOT an “Okay, you wouldn’t buy it for $197, what if I knocked it down to $99?” Instead, downsells are something that is kinda parallel to the upsell you offered but has less value.

So if you’re a business coach who had an upsell of a 1:1 coaching, a downsell could be a group coaching package, mastermind, or course.

If you’re a product-based business who had an upsell of a bundled package, a downsell could be a 3 piece “essentials” kit.

If you’re a service-based entrepreneur who had an upsell of an evergreen course, a downsell could be a template pack or workbook from the course.

Do Downsells work?

They can if it’s used correctly. Though not as profitable as upsells or bumps, downsells can add to a customers lifetime order value. So it’s important to think of them as a useful tool. 

They can also be used for lead generation. Karta does this with their $1 14 day free trial. If you decide not to sign up, they release a pop-up with a lead magnet that will deliver a valuable guide to you for free while still getting you into their sales funnel. 

Consider the buying journey for your customer and look at your funnels to see where the leaks are. Where your customers are stopping their buying experience. If there’s a product that just seems to make customers hit a wall, consider either replacing it OR adding a downsell that can deliver value but at a lower cost.

How to Not Sound Desperate Offering a Downsell

I think one of the reasons entrepreneurs don’t use downsells often is the fear of sounding desperate or annoying your customer.

The truth is, that is scarcity mindset thinking there and hurts everyone, including your customer!

Consider a downsell more as an act of empathy. You understand that this customer is clearly ready to buy from you. (They’re already in the checkout stages!) But maybe they’re not ready to drop a chunk of change on your next tiered offer which was the upsell. 

You can completely get that, right? Maybe they’re new to you and don’t trust you completely yet. Or the offer you’re giving is out of their budget. Or the offer you’re giving is in their budget, but it’s a stretch and they’d need to think about it before committing.

What could you give them that would still help them achieve their goals, but maybe is a less-scary price point?


Want to watch me create a funnel? Join me in my Conversion Masterclass, a 3-day course that goes over how to make sure your sales funnels are optimized for conversion. Sign up here, it’s free!

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