When Should You Offer An Upsell?

by Kristen Burgess
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This is the definition of an upsell in digital marketing: if someone purchases Product #1 from you, they have an opportunity to buy Product #2 on the download page, or the thank you page, or on a one-time offer page. That’s a great place to create some more revenue right now.

However, I’m not fully convinced that that’s the way to maximize total revenue through the lifetime of the customer. Is it a way to bump an extra 20% today? If you have 10 people buy a $100 product, so it’s $1k, and you get 2 of them to buy another $100 product, let’s just say for example on an average. You know, you add another 20% of revenue. Can you create nice up-sell streams that you create 50%, or even 100% of additional revenue right there on the up-sell? Yes, in many niches you can. So, you double the $1k, to $2k, right there on the spot.

However, my experience is that if you don’t up-sell these individuals, then a week or two later, they’ll spend the same money they would have spent with you right there on the up-sell page. That’s my experience. They’ll spend just as much with you a week later as they would have right away. You might be thinking of only sales and not a lot about trust and relationship…

Upsell When You’ve Built Trust

But, in my business, I’m big on the trust and relationship. I don’t want people who just buy one product from me. I really don’t! I mean, sure, the extra $97 is nice, but that’s not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for the person who’s going to buy from me once and study it, and say, “Wow, this is great information. I’d like to get more.” And, they go out and buy something else.

And a month later they say, “Boy, that was great! I used it, and it helped my business, I’m going to come back to you.” And they buy something else. I want people who are going to buy something from me every single month, for 3 years. And, continue to create great value.

I want to build that relationship. I believe that those instant up-sells pull away from that. I work so hard for 14 days when somebody comes into my campaign, especially the first 5 to 7 days. All I want to do is to have them to trust me. That’s it! I want to give them competent information, and I want people to trust me. I want them to already use something that I give them for free. And, have some results in their business.

Then, when they buy the first product, to me that’s not an opportunity to sell them as much as possible. I think that should be an opportunity to over deliver. I want them to build on the trust that they’ve already established with me. So that now their trust grows. And, they’ll buy more in the future.

Which Strategy Wins Long Term?

Now, that’s just my personal theory. Obviously, split test it in your own lists. Do you make more revenue by doing an instant up-sell, or do you make more revenue by waiting 10 days? You know, where do you make the most revenue? Where do you make the most revenue 3 years from now? Here’s the thing, I know a lot of people when they’re first starting out, they don’t care about their revenue 3 years from now. Because, they don’t have any idea what that might look like. I have people on my list that have been buying from me for years now. I mean, literally, right now today as I record this, there’s people who have bought from me for 4 years. Literally, for 4 years. And, still trust me to buy the next thing that comes out.

Now, for me, when I make a sale today, I’m not interested in the quick buck that I’m going to get by making that quick up-sell happen. Folks, that’s not to say that from time to time, if an up-sell is appropriate, if everything looks good, that I’m not going to offer an up-sell. In terms of just making it the standard thing that I do all the time, I believe that he value, the total customer value can be higher if you hold off and build relationship. Test it in your business.

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