Web Marketing: How to Increase New Customer Revenue

By John Arnold, Michael Becker, Marty Dickinson, Ian Lurie, Elizabeth Marsten

Doubling or tripling the initial sale amount for new customer purchases on your website is a key to successful marketing. It begins with having more products to offer. These can be your own products or affiliate items. Make a list of all the products you could possibly promote, and you’re on your way to maximizing every new customer sale.

The next step is to think about your range of products and their cost. Every business should have products for sale with multiple price levels, known as price points. A consultant, for example, could feature products ranging from free to several thousand dollars.

Product Type Price Point
Industry report Free
E-book $27
2-hour seminar $50
3-CD set with training manual $97
Silver-level coaching program $149 per month
1-day boot camp workshop $250
5-week live webinar training course $497
Gold-level coaching program $300 per month
Platinum-level coaching program $997 per month
One-on-one consulting on-site $4,500 per day

Although it’s no secret that the easiest people to sell to are your existing customers, a point often overlooked is that people always want more. They will pay for an initial problem to be fixed and then pay more for related issues to be addressed.

Your task is to simply inform them that “more” is available and give them an incentive to take advantage of it. That’s where upselling, cross-selling, and back-end selling come into play.

How to upsell items online

Upselling is nothing more than convincing someone to buy a more expensive version of what he already decided to buy. If you’ve ever ordered a gin and tonic, you were probably asked whether you preferred a name-brand gin versus the house stuff. Sure, the bartender was trying to be a good host, but he was also trying to make a better sale.

Using an example of selling an e-book, an upsell opportunity is when someone buying the e-book for $27 gets to the order page and is made a special offer to purchase a 3-CD set with training manual instead, for $97.

How to cross-sell items online

Cross-selling is most easily defined as promoting accessories during the purchase process. Say that someone buys an e-book for $27. Then, the Thank You page features a special offer that the purchaser can add the 2-hour seminar CD set to her purchase. That’s cross-selling.

Cross-selling can occur before or after the initial sale is made — and sometimes in both instances! You really have to know your audience, though, when trying to cross-sell. If you offer too many accessories before the point of purchase, the buyer may get distracted, confused, or just plain annoyed by feeling pushed to buy more. Overzealousness can kill a sale.

Always go after the initial sale, and then offer additional options immediately after that first purchase is complete. The promotion is made on a custom Thank You page.

If you’ve ever bought something on the Internet, you eventually get to a page that reads Thank you for your order. Please print this page for your records. This is the page that you want to customize to maximize your potential for increasing your initial purchases from one dollar value to the next.

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How to back-end sell items online

When people become associated with your business, whether as customers or even just as newsletter subscribers, you have the opportunity to offer solutions to them. Back-end selling is promoting products on the “back end” of an action they took with you.

Here are some simple examples of back-end selling:

  • An e-mail newsletter promoting a new product release offered only to current customers

  • A follow-up phone call or in-person meeting with a customer two weeks after the product has been received

  • A personalized letter sent by postal mail addressed specifically to the person who purchased your product