Cross Selling And Upselling Strategies To Boost Your Income In 2021

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Cross-sell vs. up-sell diagram.


According to Small Business Trends, it’s 3-5 times easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to a new customer.

That’s because your existing customers have already passed through the biggest barrier of all: the trust barrier.

They trust you.

If you continue to offer them appealing products and if you continue to deliver massive value, they’re going to keep buying from you.

Easier said than done, though, right?

Well, cross selling and upselling are two strategies you can use to sell more products to your customers and boost your average order value. You’ll learn how to do that in this guide.

What’s the difference between cross selling and upselling?

Cross selling and upselling are two sides of the same coin: in both cases, you attempt to sell another product to someone who’s already made a purchase.

Cross selling is typically defined as trying to sell a product that’s complimentary to the customer’s original purchase (“Would you like fries with that?”). An ecommerce store that sells sports attire, might recommend socks to match a customer’s new shoes.

Upselling is typically defined as trying to sell some sort of add-on that increases the value and price tag of the original product. For example, a social media marketing course might have an upsell of 1-on-1 coaching for a one-time-payment of $500.

Obviously, there’s some overlap here.

What gets defined as cross selling and upselling is up to the entrepreneur’s interpretation.

But the takeaway is this: both cross selling and upselling are excellent ways to make more sales to existing customers and increase average order value for a single purchase.

Cross Sell & Upsell With ClickFunnels (For Free)!

Understanding The Buying Spree

By all accounts, cross selling and upselling strategies consistently increase sales and average order value.

But why?

Is it really so easy to get existing customers to purchase additional products and services?

Well, yes and no.

Imagine that you’ve come to a firm decision that you need to get back in shape and you’re going to purchase a company’s workout program that you’ve been hearing so much about.

You visit their website and are about to finish your purchase when you notice an upsell on the checkout page that is offering group coaching and accountability for just $50 more. You figure if you’re going to do it, you might as well go all the way, so you add it to your basket and complete the order.

You’ve just been upsold.

And it was easy because you already had a buyer’s mindset — you were ready to purchase… and so the upsell felt like an easy addition.

Now imagine that you’re taking a break from work in the middle of the day to check your email. You notice an email from a company that’s offering a workout program with coaching and accountability — but you’ve only just learned about this company and while you do need to get healthier, it’s not top-of-mind right now. So you exit.

Notice how much less appealing the offer was in this case?

That’s because, when it comes to cross selling and upselling, timing is critical.

Cross selling and upselling work well because when people buy, they often buy multiple things at once — buying requires a certain mindset, and once someone has that mindset… they’re willing to buy multiple products or services to solve multiple problems.

Cross Selling & Upselling With The Sales Funnel

When you think of cross selling or upselling, maybe you think of a salesperson making uncomfortable phone calls to customers, asking them to try out a new product or service.

But that’s not what we’re talking about.

We’re talking about making more sales and increasing average order value systematically right inside of your sales funnel.

For our purposes here, a sales funnel is a series of pages that guide visitors, step by step, toward purchasing your product(s) or service(s).

And there are different sales funnels for different things.

The Tripwire Sales Funnel, for example, is great for turning cold traffic into paying customers…

Two step tripwire funnel diagram.

And the Product Launch Funnel is great for promoting a new product…

Product launch funnel diagram.

(Sign up for a free ClickFunnels account to get access to these and 20+ more sales funnels!)

What’s awesome about our sales funnel builder at ClickFunnels, though, is you can easily add upsell or cross sells into any of these sales funnels… wherever it makes the most sense.

You can leverage the power of order bumps, one-time offers, downsells, social proof, countdown timers, and more.

By adding those elements to your sales funnels, you can make more sales and increase average order value systematically.

In fact, here are 10 cross sell and upsell strategies you can use inside your sales funnels!

1. Order Bumps

An order bump is a cross selling or upselling strategy (depending on what you’re offering) where you offer additional products or services during the checkout process — usually, right before the customer finishes their order.

Here’s an example…

Free book order bump example.

By just checking the box, customers can upgrade their order — or they can pass on the additional offer and finish their order regardless.

That’s why we think just about every checkout process should contain at least one order bump — it’s noninvasive and it doesn’t dissuade people from finishing their original purchase.

But it does give your customers a chance to spend more money with you (and receive more value) before they complete their order.

2. One-Time Offers

One-time offers are exactly what they sound like — offers that only exist inside of another checkout process or sales funnel.

This creates natural scarcity and urgency for the customer… because if they don’t buy now, the offer will be gone forever.

The one-time offer is a hallmark of many of our sales funnel templates here at ClickFunnels because it’s so darn effective for increasing average order value.

One-time offer example.

The one-time offer can be more expensive or less expensive than the original product or service that the customer is purchasing — we recommend testing various offers to see what works best for you.

However, one thing that is absolutely critical is that the one-time offer must come after the customer has already entered their shipping and payment information and clicked to submit their order — the one-time offer comes as a one-click addition to their order and should be immediately followed by the “Thank You” page.

If you put the one-time-offer before the customer has committed to purchasing the original product, you’ll likely just scare them off. So put it after they purchase and before they reach the “Thank You” page.

3. The Downsell

What if someone rejects your one-time offer?

Is there still a way to try and squeeze a little bit more revenue out of their order?

Yes there is. And it’s called the downsell — this offer only appears if the customer says “No” to your one-time offer (see tip #2). Then they’re taken to a downsell page (or popup) that offers the same product or service from the one-time offer, but with an additional discount.

Special one-time offer example.

This increases conversion rate because people feel like you’re negotiating with them to sweeten the deal.

And with ClickFunnels, you can add downsells to any sales funnel right after the one-time offer page to get more people buying your upsell or cross sell offers.

4. Recommended Products

For ecommerce, personalized recommendations are a great way to cross sell or upsell customers.

If someone buys a pair of shoes, you might recommend some matching socks. If someone purchases some shampoo, you might recommend some similarly scented soaps or lotions.

One option is to include these personal recommendations in an email…

Recommended products just for you email example.

And that’s certainly a good idea. But you’ll probably get more conversions if you include these recommendations on the product page or right inside of the checkout process.

Amazon is notorious for these kinds of recommendations.

Amazon, customers who bought this item also bought, recommendation products example.

And for good reason.

As we talked about earlier, when people go on a buying spree, they are willing and likely to buy multiple products.

They might think they are only going to buy a laptop, for instance, but because they have a buyer’s mindset, they also end up buying a laptop case, a webcam, a mouse, and a mousepad.

If you don’t make those recommendations, though… then they might just get the laptop and you will have missed out on quite a bit of additional revenue.

5. Trust Badges

What are often referred to as “trust badges” are essentially just little icons or graphics that promote your business — they could indicate a money-back guarantee, safe payment processing, or number of customers you’ve worked with, for instance.

But even though they’re little, they can have a big impact on conversions when it comes to cross selling or upselling your products or services.

In fact, to test this out for ourselves, we added trust badges to the bottom of our Traffic Secrets checkout process.

Trust badges added to a special offer.

To our surprises, those little green trust badges increased revenue by a whopping 93% and increased conversions by 9%. On desktop, we saw a 5% conversion rate increase and a 61% revenue boost.

Amazing, right?

We’re not saying that trust badges guarantee higher conversion rates… but they’re at least worth testing!

6. Price Anchoring

Most people think that a product’s price is the clear-cut result of supply and demand, and of the current state of the economy.

But while those things certainly have an impact on the price of fruit at the grocery store, the price tag you should place on your products or services is not so easily determined.

In fact, price is a rather arbitrary metric…  a perception of value that can easily be skewed.

Consider, for instance, a study by Dan Ariely where he offered the following subscription options to 100 MIT students for The Economist…

Price anchor anchoring subscriptions example.

You’ll notice that the 2nd and 3rd options are the exact same price, but the 3rd offers a web and print subscription. In other words, there’s virtually no reason to choose the 2nd option.

And no one did.

Actually, 16 people chose the 1st option and a whopping 84 people chose the 3rd option.

What’s fascinating, though, is what happened when Ariely removed the 2nd option altogether. Then 68 people chose the first option and only 32 people chose the 3rd option.

statistics on price anchoring option results.

This indicates that having the 2nd option on there mattered a lot even though no one chose it… it reframed people’s perception of how much they should pay and they didn’t want to miss out on a good deal so they often chose the 3rd option.

This is called price anchoring and it’s an effective way to increase the amount of money people are willing to spend with you.

The simplest application of price anchoring is when you mention the value of your offer vs. how much it costs…

Value of your offer vs. how much your offer costs list.

You can use price anchoring to increase the perceived value of your offer so that people are willing to spend more money before they finish checking out.

7. Urgency/Scarcity

Urgency and scarcity are hallmarks of conversion optimization.

Telling people that your offer is temporary — either because there’s a limited number of products or because the offer will go away after a certain period of time — is an extremely effective way to get slow-movers to take action.

Urgency/Scarcity countdown timer.

The fact is, a lot of people are procrastinators.

People procrastinate when they’re working, playing, and even when they’re buying products that they actually want.

Urgency and scarcity, though, push those people off the fence and encourage them to take action right now rather than waiting until later when your offer might not be available.

You can use countdown timers, show the number of products left, or put an end-date on your special discount.

8. Social Proof

Humans are social creatures.

And the primary way that we make a decision about whether to buy something or not — after our initial interest has been piqued — is by looking at the opinions of others.

That’s why, according to Optinmonster, 87% of buying decisions begin with research conducted online and it’s why the average consumer reads 10 online reviews before making a purchase decision.

By including customer testimonials, review ratings, or case studies in the sales funnel, you can add social proof and strengthen the customer’s perception of your business and its products.

Here’s a simple example from Canva…

Social proof popup option to sign into canva.com with your socail media account.

9. The Soap Opera Sequence

What do you do when someone signs up for your email list but hasn’t yet purchased?

Naturally, you have an opportunity to introduce this new subscriber to your brand and its products… and potentially even get them to purchase!

Russell Brunson — our founder — uses what he calls a Soap Opera Sequence to get people to buy from him for the first time.

Russell Brunson Soap Opera Sequence example.

The Soap Opera Sequence is a series of emails you send to a new subscriber — one email per day for 5-7 days.

It’s built to introduce people to your brand and convert them into paying customers within a week.

Here’s a video that explains how this works!

10. Follow-Up Funnels

No matter how well your sales funnel converts, you’re never going to convert 100% of people on the first go-around.

That’s why, at ClickFunnels, we also give our members the ability to build follow-up funnels. These are email sequences that are crafted to convert cart abandoners, as well as cross sell and upsell existing customers.

In fact, most of our sales funnels include a follow-up process to capture as many conversions as possible.

ClickFunnles follow-up funnel menu.

You can sign up for a free ClickFunnels trial to try out follow-up funnels for yourself!

Which cross selling or upselling strategy is right for you?

No one is as easy to sell to as existing customers.

As you’ve learned, cross selling and upselling are two effective strategies for selling more products to your most valuable customers and increasing the average value of their orders.

More specifically, you can use order bumps, one-time offers, downsells, trust badges, social proos, and recommended products right inside of your sales funnels.

And then you can A/B test to see which tactics work best.

You can sign up for a free ClickFunnels account below to get started!

Cross Sell & Upsell With ClickFunnels (For Free)!



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