Getting visitors to your website is expensive. It costs you time to get natural traffic from search engines and it costs you money when you use Pay-Per-Click advertising. Once a visitor is on your site, you need to make as much profit as possible from each sale in order for the whole process to pay off for your business.
When I first started selling products online, most of my selling efforts were devoted to writing sales copy to persuade people to click the order button. I was only making one offer on the sales page and visitors either took it or left without making a purchase. I had a one-step sales process. Then I read an e-book called…
Butterfly Marketing transformed the the way I thought about selling products online. My sales process became more sophisticated and my offers were no longer take-it or leave-it!
NOTE: As part of a promotional campaign for his Butterfly Marketing 2.0 product, Mike Filsaime is giving away the original Butterfly Marketing Manuscript as a bribe to sign-up for his mailing list. I paid $97 for this amazing e-book – I highly recommend you take him up on the free download.
Upsells, Downsells, and The Power of a Multi-Step Offer
A critical change in my thinking about selling came when I learned about upsells and downsells. An upsell is a second offer for a premium version of the product that is made right after the customer accepts the initial offer. A downsell is a lower cost offer made after a prospect refuses another offer and should involve removing something from the offer so your customer does not get the impression you were simply trying to overcharge them with the initial offer.
To use the multi-part offer sequence I have created, I need to have 4 separate product offers. They are:
Bronze – The entry level product with no bonuses
Silver – The entry level product with a highly relevant bonus
Gold – The premium version of the product with no bonuses
Platinum – The premium version of the product with a highly relevant bonus
It’s important that the bonus offered is complimentary to the main product but not essential. If the customer chooses not to get the bonus, they should still get the full value from the main product. For information products, a common bonus is an audio version of an e-book or a free coaching session. Both can add value, but the information in the main product is still complete without them.
My Sales Process Step-By-Step
The specific sales sequence I use is not some magic formula – there are others out there that may work just as well or better. But, I want to walk you through what I do and why to show the logic behind it and you can adapt it to your business.
Silver: The Sales Page Offer
When a customer comes to the sales page for my product, the offer at the bottom is for the Silver product. It’s a good value at a good price. If the prospect accepts the Silver offer, they jump ahead to the Platinum offer upsell page. If they try to leave the salespage without clicking the order button, an exit pop-up appears with a downsell to the Bronze offer.
Bronze: The Sales Page Downsell
If the prospect tries to leave the sales page without ordering, I make an additional attempt make a sale be offering a lower cost alternative – the ‘no-frills’ version. For cost conscious people, this might be enough of an incentive to motivate them to order and will convert some of these exiting visitors to customers.
Platinum: The Upsell
When a customer accepts the main offer, I direct them to another page that shows them how they can get an enhanced premium version of the product for only a few dollars more than what they had already decided to spend. I may even add an additional bonus as well that relates to the enhanced features of the premium product.
If the customer refuses the upsell offer, I send them to a third offer which is a ‘downsell for the upsell.’
Gold: The Downsell for the Upsell
If the customer turns down the upsell offer I give them a second chance to get the added features of the premium product for less money (which is still more than the Silver offer.) To justify the cost reduction, I take away the bonuses from the offer.
If the customer refuses the Gold offer, I take them directly to the shopping cart to complete the order for the Silver offer they originally chose to buy.
This whole process is directly inspired by what I read in the Butterfly Marketing Manuscript. At $97 I recommended this e-book for any Internet marketer. Now that Mike Filsaime is giving it away, I think it’s a no brainer to get a free copy. Once you have yours, print it out so you can make notes (trust me, you will make lots of notes as you read.)
Notes on the Process
This process is very effective for getting customers to add a little more to their order on a consistent basis. If you have an affiliate program, this increase in the average sale will be a big incentive when you recruit affiliates and JV partners to promote your products. Plus, you’ll make more money.
Mike Filsaime’s ordering system is setup to capture and process the initial sale before the upsell process begins. This helps to minimize sales lost by people who don’t like being upsold. My shopping cart setup doesn’t allow me to add onto the first sale like that, so I don’t send a prospect to the shopping cart until they’ve reached the end of the process and settled on the most a product package to order.
I run the risk of losing some sales this way. But, my feeling is that you won’t lose many if your upsell messages aren’t filled with hyped-up language and fake scarcity tactics. Nobody walks out of a movie theater and demands a refund when the guy at the concession stand asks if you want the large soda for a quarter more.
Even if you think that what I’ve just described makes perfect sense and you are completely sold on the idea, test. Every product and market is different and yours may not respond to this specific approach. The only way you can ever know whether an idea makes sense for you is to test it and compare your results to another offer or sales sequence.
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