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12 ways to upsell current customers

12 ways to upsell current customers iMedia Editors

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Offer products complementary to those purchased regularly

Erik Huberman, Hawke Media

Make sure you offer something they can buy regularly as opposed to items they only purchase once. Also have products that are complementary to the things they purchased initially. Always look at what would fit alongside your main products, as this is a great way to increase customer value and get them to continue to purchase from you.

Focus on any new features that meet their needs

Drew Hendricks, Buttercup 

By continuing to add new features or capabilities to your services, you will be providing your customers with additional value. They need to know you have other solutions for them that can help address those pain points. Or, you can illustrate how you realize their needs have changed and present other services that may align with those changes.

Share interesting research in their area

Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work

I make it a point to send all my current clients' new research that sheds light on their business objectives. Whether the research was personally conducted by me or not, usually it identifies a problem that clients need help solving. Sending it subtly reminds clients of my expertise, and I'm the obvious choice to assist with the call-to-action offered at the end of most papers and articles.

Expand the product line

Fan Bi, Blank Label 

Even though the company continues to grow through new customer acquisition, our repeat customers regularly account for half of our revenue. This is because we've expanded our product line (men's clothing) almost every quarter to include jeans, polos, topcoats, quilted vests. By doing this, we've also been able to dramatically increase our lifetime value and, in turn, increase our marketing budget.

Sell your relationship

Phil Laboon, Eyeflow Internet Marketing

Your customers are still with you for a reason. A lot of times that reason is because they feel they have a special relationship with you. Ask the customers questions others may not be asking, like what their business goals are. These answers will give you insight as to how your services can be useful in reaching these goals and are a perfect place to add your recommendations.

Segment and nurture accordingly

Wesley Mathews, High Level Marketing

Use customer data to create customer segments around product/service type, price, industry (B2B), length of relationship, etc. Then, using marketing automation, you can personalize your email campaigns and website offers to intelligently upsell/cross-sell your existing customers. Targeting your offers to their specific customer profile allows you to deliver the right message every time.

Add value to their purchase, not just your bottom line

Brandon Stapper, 858 Graphics

Other than the tiny point-of-sale items like batteries and candy bars by the till, the items you upsell your clients should add real value to their purchase. Whether it be items that will improve their initial purchase or a nice discount on subsequent items, there needs to be a real reason for the customer to buy more than what they came for.

Affiliate and cross-promote

Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now 

Answer the simple question: "People who buy your product, also buy what else? Make a list of businesses who sell the other products your customers buy and begin researching them. If the correlation is strong enough, you should be able to forge several affiliate relationships with other businesses. If their customer base is larger than yours, offer to profit share instead of cross-promoting.

Upsell on the "thank you" pages and email auto-responders

Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster

The best place to upsell is on the purchase confirmation or "thank you" pages. Another great place that works well for us is in our email auto-responder sequence within the first 14 days.

Make them take action with one-time offers

Zac Johnson, How to Start a Blog

The hardest part about converting a visitor into a customer is getting them to take action. Once the conversion process takes place, it's much easier to squeeze more earnings out of each customer. A great way to do this is through the use of "one-time offers." Promise something of value to your customer, and give them this one opportunity to secure it at a discounted rate. Conversions will rocket.

Take existing clients' input

Luigi Wewege, Vivier Group 

We have achieved a remarkable level of success just by taking input from our existing clients. Often, simply reconnecting with customers to see if there is anything we can do for them will enable our relationship to strengthen. However, it is important to maintain a level of professionalism. Cold calling is frowned upon, so finesse and discretion are a key part of our customer service ethos.

Use email campaigns

Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.

It's important to keep your current customers engaged with your product and up-to-date on new features. Email is the best way to do this. By mixing interesting and useful information with marketing and new product notifications, you'll be able to keep your customers informed and engaged with your product.

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