You’re Losing Out If You Don’t Do Upsell

I come to write about this topic is because of my recent experience at a BookFest. It’s amazing how they do upsell and cross-sell!

You’ve probably heard of other internet marketers talking about upsell. Or maybe you’ve experienced the upsell process itself while purchasing something online.

But little thing you know, upsell will help you generate more profit than before!

Yes, it’s actually the core of expanding your business revenue as well as getting more engagement from your subscribers. Or simply, giving more values to your customers.

What I observed from the BookFest?

Let me just show you some pictures and then from there we explain one by one.



In the picture

#1 – Purchase with purchase (PWP) offer was placed at the payment counter in order to attract customer to pay extra for the offer.

#2 – After you’ve paid, you still get a chance to see the actual lunch box PWP offer. This is to persuade you for another time to get the offer. You can still buy it after you’ve made the payment at the counter.

#3 – They also placed a stack of books which is currently doing a price cut. It’s a recipe book at a very cheap price. People buy.

#4 – Before payment counter, there’s a recycle bag for you to purchase for those who purchase a lot of books! Part of the money will go to charity.

#5 – Again, another lure to make you purchase more, the actual product offered under PWP before you enter the payment counter.

#6 – Another notice on PWP of the lunch box

Out of the picture

While I’m walking around, I can see there are some salesperson walk around and approach customer to buy a set of bookmarks in support of charity. This is a great way to promote charity and at the same time help increase the sales for the BookFest.

What we can learn from here?

From the observation, it seems at every single moment we’re being showed on the PWP offer or price cut items. This is to lure us to spend more and hence increase the overall revenue for the BookFest. It may be annoying sometimes, but this tactic works. So as long as you have great offer on hand and find ways to show it to the customer, they’ll buy it. Let’s read more on the concept below.


What’s Upsell and Cross-sell?

Upsell is a strategy to sell more expensive products/services, sell upgrades or add-ons in order to close a more profitable sale. This brilliant strategy can be easily noticed on McDonalds’ example.

When you’re at the counter and intend to order a burger, the salesperson will ask you whether you want an upgrade to value meal set instead by adding extra dollars that comes with fries and Coke. End up you paid more than what you originally intended to spend (on a burger only). This is a typical example of upsell.

Cross-sell is a strategy to sell another type of products/services which complement the main product you want to sell.

Taking back the same example at McDonalds. The salesperson can just ask you if you would like to have a dessert maybe after your meal. Most of the time, you’ll just go for it. That’s how it increase the sales.


How you can utilize upsell and cross-sell to improve profit?

In any business, if you want to improve your profit, there are few ways to do it.

  1. Lower your product/operation cost, thus improve profit margin
  2. Drive more sales, thus higher profits
  3. Increase selling price, thus improve profit margin

So upsell and cross-sell actually fall under the 2nd point above.

Upsell is to suggest customer upgrades to a higher price product with additional features, while cross-sell is to recommend additional products that complements the main product.

Many companies use both upsell and cross-sell together in order to get more sales. They interchange both strategies to get a customer to spend more.

But in order to do upsell/cross-sell, you have to establish your Value Ladder of your product/service. This is particularly spelled out in Russell Brunson’s book DotCom Secrets.

Value Ladder

Value ladder is a way to structure your business to appeal to your customer at different phases of their growth. It gives you a competitive edge because it ensures you have products or services available to continue to serve your customer as they grow with you.

Value Ladder

If you have the value ladder defined for your business, then you don’t have to worry if your product cannot sell. Because you’ll have the right product for right audience who is willing to pay for the value they’ll receive.


Examples in different industries

Internet marketing

You can always see internet marketer leads you to a sales funnel, where you’ll be offered a front-end product, then the first one-time-offer (OTO1), followed by OTO2, OTO3, etc.

This sales funnel technique utilize upsell strategy that helps them to get higher sales per customer, hence improve profit margin.


Sales Funnel OTO

The above chart has down-arrows which is called down-sell. This is another strategy to hook customer into paying for OTO with lower price, of course by removing some features. You get what you paid really. 🙂


E-commerce store use upsell and cross-sell frequently to increase their revenue. You’ll see pop-ups of upsell after you add one item at cart. This is to persuade you to spend more on related items that can be used together. Or it can be a complement to the original product that you added to cart. There’s various tactic as well to show customer offer. Store like Amazon will show “customer who bought this also bought…” to upsell other items as well. All in all, e-commerce store uses upsell techniques to increase add to cart value per customer, hence increase revenue.

Email marketing

Email marketing itself is more like a follow up sequence mail to customer to keep customer up-to-date. Normally they will provide values for the first few emails on the newsletter. After a few days, it will start to offer some great products. After you’ve obtained they offer, they will placed you under another subscriber list and will again provide you more offer. Slowly moving to the higher ticket products.

Retail stores

You can easily see upsell or cross-sell at retail stores. Convenient store place sweets at counter to lure customer to purchase. Watson do PWP offer and show it over the payment counter and throughout the store. There are promoters walking around serve you and ask you what you are looking for, and then introduce you to a better brand.


Key Takeaways

  1. If you’re not doing upsell, you’re losing out
  2. Develop your value ladder to improve your potential of getting higher profits
  3. Work out more OTO on your sales funnel. More OTO, higher profits


I hope you enjoy reading.


Do you think upsell is important?

Let me know what you think.

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