Upselling and Cross-Promoting On-line After the Sale


The sales process shouldn’t stop when someone buys from you. In fact, it’s just beginning.

The sales process does not end with the first sale.

Otherwise, you will miss out on a huge opportunity for additional income.

That’s because of a principle called the Pareto Principle – or the 80/20 Rule – which states that 80% of a company’s sales come from 20% of its customers.

And while your numbers may not exactly match that, there is some truth to it. Most of your sales will likely come from a small group of loyal customers.

While loyalty is an important factor that contributes to that 80% of sales, it is not the only one. Applying smart selling principles online can have a huge impact on your bottom line.

Two of these principles are called upselling and cross-selling

What is upselling?

Upselling is the process of suggesting a better version of a product or service to customers going through the buying process.

Imagine: You are buying a car. They assumed they would buy the base model to keep costs down. But the seller has an offer for power windows and heated seats at a discount. They want to get you into a better version of the car you originally came for.

You decide that getting the better car is worth the extra cost. Now you no longer have to wind down the windows by hand on a beautiful summer day. You say: “Deal”.

They have just been sold.

The benefits of incorporating smart upsell tactics extend beyond profit. Upselling is another way to show your customers that you understand their needs and can help them solve their problems.

But cross-selling is not the same.

So what is cross-selling?

Ever grabbed a pack of chewing gum while waiting at the checkout in a grocery store?

If so, you have experienced cross-selling.

While upselling is the process of offering a better version of a product or service, cross-selling refers to the process of offering relevant products or services at the time of purchase.

A company that is very good at cross-selling? Amazon.

Let’s say you want to buy a coffee maker on Amazon. If you’ve looked at a product on Amazon before, you will likely see a section that looks like this …

Amazon offers cross-selling of relevant products based on your initial search.

But you don’t have to be a large company to cross-sell or up-sell effectively. Here are some strategies you can use right now to make more money online.

6 strategies for more online up- and cross-selling

Upselling and cross-selling online follow the same sales principles as in retail. And we’ve identified 6 ways to apply these strategies to your marketing.

But most of all, you need to understand your customers

Good up- and cross-selling starts with paying attention to what your customers are buying or what they are interested in. Once you learn what they like, you can recommend other products to meet their needs.

Our tip: Pay attention to the shopping behavior of your customers. Know which pages they are visiting on your website. Tag them based on products they buy or interests they share with you when you add them to your list.

Then you have the information you need to be the most effective upselling and cross-selling.

Thank you pages

Thank you pages are one of the best places to up-sell or cross-sell.

Why? Because a subscriber will never be more concerned with you than in the moments when they decide to give you their money.

You have already done the hard part. You have convinced a complete stranger that what you are offering is valuable to them. That you can help them achieve their goals.

If you confirm your purchase decision by offering a relevant product right away, you will only strengthen confidence in you. Additionally, placing an additional or better product on your thank you page as an exclusive offer can help make them feel special.

Thanks page upselling and cross-selling strategy

Would you like to use this upsell thank you page template in your marketing? Copy this template into your account when you sign up for AWeber Free.

Automated campaigns

Valuable content is more important than a sales pitch and is much more popular with your customers. One of the best ways to provide this value is through a maintenance campaign.

A campaign – sometimes called a drip campaign – is a series of automated emails that are sent over a period of time. Campaigns are a great tool to:

  • Welcome new customers to your email list
  • Deliver a series of emails offering a discount when a subscriber signs up
  • Stay in touch with customers after the purchase

You can even direct subscribers to an ecommerce landing page where they can easily buy the products you suggest.

Let’s say you sell custom t-shirts. A customer orders 10 baseball tees. You can add them to a Nurture campaign that follows a process like the one below:

Email # 1: Thank you for your purchase.

Email # 2: How Do These Baseball T-Shirts Work?

Email # 3: Did you like your purchase? Leave us a review and get a 10% discount on your next purchase.

Email # 4: We thought you might like matching hats!

Do you see this campaign not only thanking subscribers for their purchase, but also cross-selling relevant products over time? Providing a personalized experience via email could increase the likelihood that customers will buy from you again and again.


Open up your customers’ networks by offering better versions of the product or service they already have when they refer you to their network.

When you sell a product, you send a thank you to customers who recommend a relevant product to you. Or, give them an exclusive discount on a product that you know they’ll love to try (based on their previous purchases).

Or, if you offer a service – like home organization – let your customers know that you are giving them one of your higher priced services for free for a month if they refer 5 people to your company – say, a complete kitchen reorganization.

By giving customers a taste of the better version of your product or service for free for a limited time, they will be more likely to realize the value and buy over time.

Create urgency

Let new customers know that it’s not too late to get a better version of your product. Create a sense of urgency to keep selling your product or service after you buy it.

You can include this information on your thank you page or in an email thanking you for the purchase. If your business model allows, you can let them know that they can unlock an exclusive offer to exchange the purchased purchase for the better version or for an exclusive discount within a set period of time.

If they make it easy for them to swap out the product for a discount after buying it, they’ll be more likely to try it out.

To cross-sell additional products, you can apply the same principle by offering a time-limited discount on those specific products.

Creating a sense of urgency through limited-time discounts or offers will encourage customers to act faster as they have an incentive to take advantage of a deal.

Establish a loyalty program

A loyalty program rewards customers for their continued business with you.

For example, REI – an outdoor enthusiast retail company – rewards members through their “REI Co-op” program. A lifetime membership is $ 20, but customers get 10% back on purchases every year.

Upsell strategy for loyalty programs

Not only is membership seen as an upsell at the time of purchase – as customers pay more to access the benefits of membership – but they also buy from REI more often as rewards are promised.

Implement a similar loyalty program so customers think of you first before they look elsewhere for similar products or services.

What do you need to make more money by upselling and cross-selling? We recommend starting with an ecommerce landing page and automated email campaign.

Don’t have these tools? Get them for free when you get an AWeber account today.

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