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What is an Upsell

How to Make More Money Series: a Guide to Upsells

Continuing my series on sales tactics, let’s discuss one of the most well-known: the Upsell.

What is an Upsell?

The upsell is different from a bump because it is usually a higher-tiered product, though not completely outside the realm of possibility. So it’s not like you’re going to add a $3,000 coaching package as an upsell to a $7 e-book. 

Rather it’s a next step up in your buying ladder that gets people comfortable with the idea of seeing you as a next tiered business. (aka, you’re not just a $7 e-book business, you’re a $97 course creator.)

Structurally, this is usually done after credit card information is added to the cart BUT checkout has not been completed. So it’s easy for them to add it to their cart and continue the checkout process.

How to Create an Upsell

The least-sexy-but-most-effective way I’ve found to create upsells is just…to ask my customers what they want.

Customer surveys are clutch for this. But if you’re not into asking your customers (which…why!?) then start thinking about the journey your products or services take your client through. If you’re a skincare company selling a face scrub, then the customer journey would be to create a feeling that their skin is in better shape than it was before using your product. So an upsell would be to include a higher-priced serum, moisturizer, or tool that will help them achieve this goal.

If you’re a business coach selling a guide for better social media engagement, then an upsell would be a done-for-you collection of Instagram feed and story templates which takes the guesswork out of figuring out what to publish. 

If you’re a blogger who is launching her first book, then an upsell would be an instant download of the audiobook. So they can take your book with them wherever they go.

If you’re selling Lightroom presets, then an upsell could be an evergreen course showing how you use them.

Do Upsells Actually Work?

I can’t even him-haw about this. Empirically yes, an upsell is going to work. Sumo says that upsells increase revenue 10 – 30% on average. In addition, companies have reported that 70 – 95% of their revenue comes from a combination of upselling and subscription methods. 

NINETY-FIVE PERCENT. Are you feeling a mix of shock and anger at how much money you’ve been losing? I know, I felt the same thing! 

Sumo also says that upsells make the push for new customers less of a worry, as they’re on average 68% more affordable than spending money for new customer acquisition. 

Upsells Don’t Stop After Checkout

This is where email funnels come into play. Where you spend time nurturing the customer and adding more value to their buying experience. I can get into more about this later. But essentially you’re slowly increasing their access to higher-tiered products/services in your arsenal that will help them take their goal (better skin, better business, better photos) to the next level. 

Remember that the buying journey is never done! The more ways you can solve a problem, the more opportunities you have to help make a difference in your customers’ lives!

Take some time this week and look at your entire catalog of offerings. What sort of journey can you create for your customer that will get them to where they want to be? 


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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