How to sell more to your online customers with less effort - Prue Madden

It’s commonly understood that it costs a lot more to find a new customer than it does to retain existing customers. Both up-selling, cross-selling and down-selling are three ways to increase your purchases and total revenue and use your existing customer base. Up-selling means you offer a different version that has added value. This could be a deluxe version of a product that costs more. When you cross-sell, this means that you sell a product that compliments your main product. For example, if you are selling a PDF on business plans, you could cross-sell a PDF on financial document templates that are needed in a business plan. Finally, down-selling is when you are met with rejection during the first offer and then offer a lower-priced item that still converts to a sale. This is a tactic that helps you retain the customer without completely losing the sale.

The key to cross-selling
A cross-sale can be made at any time of the sales funnel, however it is usually most effective when the customer is making their initial purchase. Though it is most common to cross-sell with items lower in price than the initial purchase, this isn’t a necessity. You can also cross-sell a product of equal cost. Make sure you test different items and different price points. I’d suggest you steer clear of offering a cross sell at a much higher price point than the initial purchase though.

The key to up-selling
Up-selling is another useful tool for maximizing your sale. This is where you offer a deluxe version of the product you’re offering. It could be a “lifetime purchase” or an “extended warranty” included. It also could come in the form of a year-long monthly membership or multiple units of a product.
Later in this module we’ll talk about the sales funnel and that will give you a better understanding on how to guide the buyer of a smaller-priced item into purchasing a higher-priced item.
Your upsell prices, when the customer is being up-sold at the initial point of sale, may rise in small increments. If you customer has been with you for a longer period of time, has had time to use your products and enjoy the benefits, and has been cared for through after sale service and continual content and care, then a more pronounced increase in price can be viable.

The key to down-selling
Down-selling is when you offer a similar but more limited version of your product or service. It comes at a lower price point. It is important to understand that down-selling is not offering your product at a lower price.

If you offer the same product at a lower price when the buyer first rejects it, this can open the door to bad business. If people know they’ll get a discount after one rejection, they’ll continue to use this tactic to get a lower price—something you definitely don’t want. Not only will this buying behavior affect your current product, but it could carry through to future products also.

Using affiliate marketing
You also can look into selling other people’s products as an affiliate for them. This is where you promote their products and if a sale is made, you get compensation. If you have a list of followers or a hefty email list you can always offer them products or services that you think they may life. This not only ads more income to your business, but it also positions your brand as a helpful one that is always striving to serve the customer’s needs.

Success in various niches
If you are in the Internet Marketing niche, you may find that buyers seem to have developed an “immunity” to these techniques. They’ve been exposed to this so many times that they are wiser. This does not necessarily hold true for under serviced niche markets, as people are not as used to the techniques.

Size of your audience and the conversion rate
As you continue to market your various products, you are going to see that there is a great difference in the revenue created by each offer. Some of your promotions are going to generate $500 in sales, some $2,500 and some $0! There, unfortunately, are no guarantees in the world of marketing— for internet or brick-and-mortar businesses.

Despite this variability, the general pattern is that the more people you reach, the more money you stand to make. How suited the product is to your audience, the general inclination they have to part with their money, the price of the item, and how you pitch it, along with other factors, all play a part in influencing the success of the campaign, however the size of the list to which you are offering the items definitely has an impact on the amount of money you make.

If your website is all about promoting consumables, then you’ll likely have a higher conversion when offering consumables. Visitors to your blog, and subscribers on your list are usually there because they are educating themselves on a potential future purchase. They are often half way to the sale as there is already intent to purchase. Think of tech equipment like computer gadgetry, cameras, etc.
On top of cross-selling, down-selling and up-selling you can use affiliate marketing via product reviews as another means of generating revenue.

Using reviews
If you venture into affiliate marketing, you can always use the effective soft-pitch. This is where you write your review based on your experience with the product or service. The audience gets insight into the viability and value of the product via your experience. If they purchase as a result, you get affiliate revenue.
If you use reviews on your blog this also can move you higher on search engine lists because Google gives priority to article reviews.

Additionally, if search visitors who land on your post have buying intent (we’ve discussed using buying keywords in the landing page section – you can use these on your affiliate post pages too), then they may click affiliate links and make a purchase.

It’s important when writing reviews, to ensure that your intent to help and educate is authentic, and this shines through in your content. It can be glaringly obvious in a poorly execute post that your article is just a sales pitch.

Your review, ideally, will be crafted after you have used the product yourself, and should be genuine. The content of your article should address the pain point of the reader and should explain the extent to which the product solves the problem.

If you’ve actually purchased the item yourself in order to solve your own pain point, and the product was successful in doing this, then you are in the perfect position to craft and amazing post that speaks to your readers in an authentic manner. Your post will walk your reader through their exact problem, and give a well-researched run down on just how successfully the product does what it promises to do. This is the type of affiliate post that converts.

Repeat exposure
To be a successful internet marketer, you should repeat exposure to your product with consistent communication. Be sure that you are offering quality content, free content and periodic valuable offers. If you tend to your garden consistently, your flowers will bloom and you’ll keep the weeds at bay. You can expect your customers to buy from you if they haven’t heard boo for the last 6 months, nor can your expect a high conversation rate if you just sell, sell, sell, putting out blog post after blog post, email after email, full of affiliate promotions (unless of course your website is all about consumable products – in which case, your audience would expect the majority of posts to be reviews and promo posts). It takes hard work to foster trust with your visitors—lots of free content and lots of diligent work.

The good news though is that if you make the concerted efforts to develop trust, you will reap the valued rewards in the end. Affiliate income grows when you can effectively demonstrate to your audience readers how much they need a product to alleviate a pain or achieve a goal. You can write a number of posts, in different ways, mentioning the same product, as long as you are giving your audience different and useful information on each occasion. Many online marketers do this well. They are promoting the same items in multiple blog posts, spaced over a few months, but the affiliate mentions are combined with useful content in such a way that it’s not intrusive, but compliments the high value, actionable content that has value to the reader with or without purchase of the product. In this way it is more of a soft sell, and does not get in the way of the reader’s experience, if they are not in the market for the said affiliate product.

Recurring Income
Some affiliate products are sold on a subscription model. This means that you can earn money on a recurring basis form the one sale.

Up Sells
Many affiliate programs will pay you commission on additional products purchased, after the initial point of sale purchase. Some customers may purchase o low ticket item for $10, then return to purchase a higher ticket U Sell a couple of months later – and you will receive the commission for this too!

Campaigns
You can use a combination of blogging, email marketing and reviews to promote your affiliate products. Many marketers find their email list to be the most lucrative, but using a combination of these three methods in a well-planned campaign can prove to be a solid income stream.