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Finding customers isn’t cheap. Even when you use a cost-effective model such as affiliate marketing, you have to spend money to make money. That’s why it’s important to maximize every sale – missed opportunities are like leaving cash on the table.
What if you could turn a $10 sale into a $19 one? Or $299 into $599? This is exactly what upselling and cross-selling can accomplish. These strategies present customers with more options when they’re ready to make a purchase, capitalizing on the momentum of the sale and the readiness of the buyer.
In this article, we’ll explain what upselling and cross-selling are and explore their benefits. Then we’ll share four ways you can incorporate these profitable techniques into your sales strategy to increase revenue for both you and your affiliates. Let’s jump in!
An Introduction to Upselling and Cross-Selling
During the course of the sale, upselling invites the customer to purchase a higher ticket item – a premium version of the product they’re already buying. Similarly, cross-selling presents an opportunity for them to increase their spending by offering add-ons or additional related products to the initial sale.
Effective upselling and cross-selling aren’t high-pressure sales tactics. They're presented as helpful suggestions that increase or enhance the value of what the customer is already purchasing.
Research shows 75% of consumers want brands to make an effort at contributing to their well being. By positioning your premium item as a thoughtfully designed upgrade, you can boost brand loyalty as well as revenue.
Creating an automatic cross-selling opportunity can effortlessly add sales to your bottom line. Amazon discovered the value of related products years ago, claiming 35% of its revenue came from cross-selling in 2006. Since then, it has become masterful at recommending products its customers might like.
Upselling and cross-selling also give you an opportunity to introduce customers to products they may not be aware of. These methods can help you educate your customers on how to get the most out of their purchases.
Finally, having a deeper roster of products and packages to cross-sell and upsell makes your program more attractive to affiliates, as each of these items is another chance for them to earn commissions.
4 Ways to Boost Affiliate Sales With Upselling and Related Products
Understanding the benefits of upselling and cross-selling is fairly straightforward. Implementing them, especially as part of an affiliate marketing program, can be tricky. Here are four methods you can put into action.
1. Use a Tiered Pricing Structure
A three-tiered pricing structure such as Basic, Advanced, and Premium services is an easy way to start upselling. This is a method most customers have seen before, so they’ll be familiar with it.
By simply offering the choice on your landing page or product page, you’ll probably snag some upsells. Every transaction has a baked-in opportunity to earn more revenue.
These package levels explicitly state what’s offered and give customers options to upgrade. You can get them on board with an affordable entry package, but you may find some customers will opt for an upscaled package because of its psychological appeal. They’ll skip over the lowest package because they don't want to go with the “worst” option.
2. Incentivize Your Affiliates to Upsell
You can incentivize your affiliates to upsell by offering higher commission rates for them. Not only will your partners earn more money because it’s a higher ticket sale, but they'll also be motivated by a higher commission rate and feel rewarded for their hard work.
Make their job easier by providing them with an information packet on all your product or service tiers. You can also include some swipe copy to give them an idea of how to successfully present the offer. You might also create some banner ads and links with anchor text to help them promote your upsells.
3. Time Your Cross-Sell Efforts to Maximize Sales
Offering related products in your online shopping cart enables you to strike while the iron is hot and your customers are ready to spend. Many e-commerce plugins, such as WooCommerce, have a feature or add-on that enables you to automatically present related products to your customers during the checkout process.
To further enhance these buying opportunities, write headlines and product descriptions that clearly show value and attract customers. A few tweaks to optimize your customer experience during checkout can pay off with increased sales.
4. Drive Cross-Sells In Your Email Campaigns
Finally, use email marketing to follow up sales with related products or opportunities to upgrade. Try a limited time offer to give customers another chance to complete a set or acquire add-ons.
This doesn’t have to be an explicit ask for the sale, although those may work. You can send a short automated series of emails to educate customers on the product they've bought, showing how others have extended its usefulness with related products. Link to those items and create a special landing page for them to help drive conversions.
Incorporate images to show the value and utility of the initial product, along with its cross-sells. You might also send a follow-up email after the sale with a reduced price to “gift” the same product to a friend or family member.
With upselling and cross-selling, you can maximize your profits by increasing the average dollar value of each sale. By simply offering premium alternatives, add-ons, and related products, you can easily add revenue to your sales conversions.
In this article, we defined upselling and cross-selling, explored their benefits, and offered four ways to incorporate these techniques in your sales strategy:
- Use a tiered pricing structure.
- Incentivize your affiliates to upsell.
- Time your cross-sell offers to maximize sales.
- Drive cross-sells in your email campaigns.
Do you have any questions about upselling or related products? Let us know in the comments section below!