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When to Upsell and When to Cross Sell - The Best Times for Each


Sometimes upselling will make you the most money, sometimes cross selling will. What’s the difference between these two and which technique should you be using? Read on to find out.

What’s the Difference Between Upselling and Cross Selling?

Upselling is when you’re selling a higher priced product. For example, if you sold a $20 product and you’re upselling to a $200 product, that’s now an upsell.

On the other hand, if you sell a related but similar priced product, that’s a cross sell. For example, if you purchase a business book on Amazon, they might try and sell you another book similar to yours - That’s a cross sell.

One great example is VistaPrint. All throughout the checkout process, they’re cross selling you. Would you like color? Would you like printing on the back? Perhaps a glossy coating?

At the end of the process, they’ll proceed to try and upsell you to another bunch of products. VistaPrint, Amazon and GoDaddy are all great examples of businesses that have mastered the art of cross selling and upselling.

When Should You Upsell and When Should You Cross Sell?

In general, upselling is great when you have space. For example, if you have an entire thank you page to make an offer, you should use that space to upsell.

On the other hand, cross selling is great for “impulse buy” options. For example, if you just sold a $200 DVD program, you might as well check add a checkbox that cross sells a $30 option to have a transcript as well.

Upsells will generally make you more money, since a conversion is worth so much more. Cross sells are great for utilizing extra space or places where you would otherwise not be making money from anyway.

In other words, don’t waste prime real estate on selling another $10 product - Use it to sell a $200 product. If you have extra space however, but not enough space to sell a higher ticket item, then use that space to cross sell.

Split Testing

The question of when and where to upsell and cross sell all fall under the golden rule in online marketing: Split test it.

In truth, you really don’t know what’s going to work and what’s not. It’s entirely possible that cross selling will make you more money than upselling. Or that having any cross sells at all reduces your upsell rate, meaning you make less money than if you just upsold.

There’s no way to know except to split test meticulously.

Upselling and Cross Selling

As you can tell, both upselling and cross selling can add a lot of money to your bottom line. If you’re not doing both already, get started today.


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How to Sell Backend Products Without “Selling”

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