Up-Sells, Down-Sells, and Funnels, Oh My!
Now that we’ve been talking through successful launches for the past few posts, this post assumes that you’ve had at least one successful launch by now. So, without any further ado…
You’ve landed your first set of customers and thanked your lucky stars that online business is starting to work. You appreciate what they’ve bought, but you’re wondering if there’s a way to bring them even more value. You want to increase your profits while helping your market with their problems and pain points.
So, how do you make your customers feel supported, appreciated, and understood? How do you connect them with the right products to turn them into loyal advocates for your brand?
We found that by offering up-sells and down-sells in our launches, and by creating an airtight funnel for our business, we increased our profit and customer base.
By the way, if you want to hear this in podcast form, simply follow this link.
How Funnels, Up-Sells, and Down-Sells Interact
First of all, you need a funnel. You may have heard this word in the world of online business. Perhaps you’ve even used a tool with “funnel” in the name. But in my time, I have seen no formal definition of what a funnel truly is.
At its core, a funnel is simply a series of offers. That’s it. There are often tangents and twists, but the ultimate goal is to get the customer to say “yes” to a certain number of offers and enter into a series of agreements with you. By this definition, every business in the world has a funnel. It’s up to you, however, to sculpt it into the right shape, using the right language and ideas, to get the “yes” from the customer at each step.
An up-sell is an additional offer immediately following a “yes” from a customer. For example, many golf courses will offer a golf cart or a caddy service immediately after someone purchases a tee time. Up-sells have gained a bad reputation in the world of marketing, often because the marketer gets the offer wrong, or even offers something the customer doesn’t want.
Up-sells help move customers along your funnel by offering them products and services they enjoy. Instead of pressuring or coercing somebody into your funnel, you should come alongside them and offer solutions to their problems.
A down-sell is really an up-sell. If someone doesn’t say “yes” to your up-sell but seems to want the product you offer, then money could be the issue. In this case, a skilled marketer has another, lower-priced offer for them. This isn’t the same up-sell with a lower price; it’s something more stripped down. This, of course, increases your up-sell rate.
So, let’s put these elements together, and look at how to get the most out of each one.
For miscellaneous tips and tricks surrounding launches, check this post out.
How to Reorient Your Launches Toward Maximum Profit
Here are the main things you need to do:
- Make sure you have a clearly defined funnel.
As mentioned before, a funnel is a series of offers. The idea of a funnel has been around long before the time of digital marketing, but it has been articulated and perfected in this era of sales and marketing.
You want the customer to say “yes” to you at each step, up until they are making significant purchases from you on a regular basis. However, you are not manipulating someone into doing your bidding like an evil genius, you’re developing amazing products and meeting them with fantastic customer service. This inspires loyalty and builds your base of customers far more than anything underhanded would.
If you haven’t already, familiarize yourself with my M.I.L.K. It Method. It will explain how to develop the right products for the right people, and make a cool chunk of change while doing so.
Here’s an example of a funnel. A person scrolls along on their Facebook feed until they see a sponsored post from you. They click the post to learn more, thus moving one step down the funnel. This takes them to a landing page explaining the product you’re launching. On this page, we often like to include a video explaining the product in addition to text that makes the offer.
They agree to buy your product, and this takes them to an up-sell page explaining an additional offer. They agree to that. After all this, they are either directly or eventually invited to join your Facebook group or email list. The next time you have a launch they’re far more likely to buy it.
If they agree to all this, then they’ve essentially completed your funnel. They’ve transitioned from someone out there in your market, into a loyal customer.
How is your funnel? Do you have an airtight series of offers? Clearly defined steps to get from one place to another? Reward and motivation for accepting the next offer? Make sure you have this part in place for up-sells to have their maximum effect.
- Develop up-sells to boost profit and inspire loyalty.
There are four primary ideas for a tasteful up-sell. Sometimes marketers can get nervous and avoid offering enough of them, due to their bad reputation. It’s true that we don’t want to spam our customers with random additional products to the point of frustration. So, here are the best types of up-sell to offer with your main product:
- The relevant up-sell. This is directly related to the product they bought, not something irrelevant. Or even more of what they just bought, for a fresh discount.
- The accelerant. This helps the customer accelerate the process you’re walking them through. For example, we like to help new entrepreneurs find their first clients. So we offer up-sells that do some of the work for them, whether it’s a whitepaper template or pre-written prospecting emails.
- The automation. Oftentimes we’ll show the manual way to perform a task in online business. However, every month adds new streamlining and automation to what we do. So, sometimes we offer up-sells that automate some of what we’ve just taught the customer. These work really well because the customer feels the time and energy they’d save if they bought it.
- If any of those three are impossible or don’t match your core offer, then offer them whatever’s next. Think through the next problem your customer needs to solve and invite them into the solution. Again, this is the last resort because it’s the least relevant to the initial product.
- Increase up-sell conversions by offering down-sells, too.
As mentioned before, a down-sell is like an up-sell in disguise. If someone gets to your up-sell page and hits the “no, thanks” button, don’t end it there. Redirect to a final offer that strips down the up-sell into the up-sell lite.
Don’t offer the same up-sell, just at a lower price. This makes your pricing feel arbitrary, and the customer will feel cheated. Instead, offer a lite version at a discounted rate. This frequently helps customers get your up-sell into their hands due to the more accessible price point.
Just don’t badger them any further if they say “no, thanks” again. Many marketers are concerned about how many offers to include as part of a launch. They don’t want to frustrate their customer base, but they do want to maximize their profit.
We recommend making 3 offers for each launch. On a typical launch for us, that looks like the product itself, one up-sell, and one down-sell. We find it strikes the correct balance. You may experiment and find that your results vary depending on the average price of your products and the demographic you’re reaching.
For more secrets the so-called “gurus” won’t tell you about making money online, check out my podcast.