If you are a long-time reader of ProfitBlitz you know that selling your own digital products is one of my favorite ways to monetize a website or blog. Creating and selling your own product allows you to have freedom over pricing, benefit from the reputation that you have developed, create streams of steady income, and explode your revenue through an affiliate program. And for product sellers, offering upsells or higher-priced packages is a great way to boost your revenue even further.
In the internet marketing industry one-time-offers (a special offer immediately following a purchase) are extremely common. Some products may even include 3 or 4 different one-time-offers (OTOs) in the sales funnel. While OTOs can be extremely effective, you can also offer upsells prior to the checkout, and that’s what today’s post is about.
When a visitor adds one of your products to their shopping cart they have taken a huge step to show their interest in what you have to offer. If you only have one product you might make that sale, but that is where it will end since you don’t have anything else to offer the buyer. If you have multiple products, or even multiple pricing options or packages of your product, you can increase revenue by upselling some of those customers to a higher-priced option.
In the article An eBook Pricing Model That Resulted in $100,000 in Sales Nathan Barry shares his pricing strategy that involves using packages to drastically increase revenue even if you only have a single product. Read Nathan’s post and you’ll see how having higher priced packages to offer makes perfect sense. While many of your customers may choose the base (cheapest) package, many others will be interested in paying more for a package that includes some valuable extras.
If you have multiple products or several pricing levels of the same product you may see a significant increase in revenue by simply giving your customers some prompting to upgrade to a higher-priced product. There are a few easy ways to set this up, depending on which shopping cart or e-commerce platform you are using.
Checkout Upsells with SendOwl
SendOwl is one of my favorite options for selling digital products from a website or blog (see my detailed SendOwl Review) because of its awesome combination of simplicity and powerful features. They recently added new features for checkout upsells and post checkout upsells that make it an even better system. As a SendOwl user you can set up upsells in just a few minutes, and you can set them up for any or all of your products. When a customer adds a product to their shopping cart they will see a screen like the one shown below that asks them if they would like to upgrade. You have full control over the text, images, and pricing. And if they do not want to upgrade they just click the “no thanks” button and proceed with their checkout.
The upsells can also be set up to be presented after the checkout, which may be a little bit better because it won’t disrupt the normal checkout process, so it won’t cost you any sales.
This is an incredibly powerful feature that most shopping carts and e-commerce platforms do not have, but all SendOwl users will have. I use SendOwl on one of my own sites and I will be implementing this new feature very soon. In fact, I’m thinking of changing one of my other sites that uses E-Junkie and moving to SendOwl simply because of this feature.
Let’s take a look at an example of how this feature could be put to good use. My friend Ryan Biddulph sells several different e-books related to blogging, and travel blogging specifically. On his e-books page you can see 8 different e-books that he has for sale, and below those 8 e-books there are 2 different bundle packages available. I would imagine that some visitors click on one of the 8 e-books and never notice that they could buy a package of multiple e-books at a discounted price. If Ryan were using SendOwl to process his sales he could easily set up the checkout upsell so whenever a visitor adds one of his individual e-books to the shopping cart they would be asked if they wanted to upgrade to purchase a bundle. Now, Ryan sells his e-books through Amazon, and obviously there are benefits to Amazon’s massive audience. So in this case he would need to decide if it would be more profitable for him to funnel visitors to Amazon to buy his e-books or to manages sales from his own site through SendOwl and use the checkout upsells. However, if you are already selling products directly from your own site adding an upsell is an easy decision.
Upsells with Zaxaa
Zaxaa is another platform that includes upsell functionality. Zaxaa’s pre-sale bumps work similarly to SendOwl‘s checkout upsells by offering buyers with the chance to buy a higher-priced product or package. Zaxaa also includes functionality for easily setting up one-time-offers that are presented to your customers immediately after a purchase.
Upsells with Shopify
Shopify is an incredibly popular hosted e-commerce platform that offers many different apps that you can install for added functionality. One of the apps available is called Product Upsell that allows you to create customized upsell offers that customers will see prior to a purchase.
Adding upsell functionality to your checkout process can add a great deal of revenue, but you may be wondering how much it will cost to add this functionality to your site. Well, the cost will depend on what platform you are using. Here are the pricing details of each of the 3 platforms covered in this post.
SendOwl – Pricing starts at $15 per month for selling up to 30 products, with 3 GB of storage. That price includes bandwidth for customers downloading your products, and there are no per-sale fees (you will need to use PayPal or a gateway like Stripe, so you will have small fees from whatever gateway is processing the payments). SendOwl’s pricing increases for selling more products or if you need more storage, but the prices are very reasonable.
Zaxaa – A free plan is available (free meaning no monthly or yearly fee) where Zaxaa will keep 3% of each sale, with a minimum of $0.25. You’ll still have PayPal fees in addition to the Zaxaa fees. If you make a decent number of sales you will almost certainly be better off purchasing one of their premium plans. The pricing is $67 per month or $399.95 per year, which allows you to sell unlimited products. The 3% fee per purchase may not sound like much, but it can easily add up to more than $400 in a year, especially if you have a higher-priced product. Plus, with either of the premium plans you get a lot of added features that aren’t included in the free plan.
Shopify – Pricing for Shopify users is based on factors like the number of products you sell and storage space needed. Some features are only available on higher-priced plans. The cheapest plan is $14 per month plus 2.9% and $0.30 per sale which allows you to sell up to 25 products and 1 GB of storage. With Shopify you won’t need to use another payment gateway, so you won’t have those other fees. Those fees cover the use of Shopify, but you will also need to pay for the Product Upsell app, which ranges from $9.99 – $59.99 per month.