Downsells and Upsells

marketing sales Oct 26, 2020


If you’ve been following all the training from the first lesson until this one then I just want to take a moment to congratulate you for getting this far. 

You are awesome.  

>> Click here to get a FREE instant download of the PDF version of this post... I'll throw in my audio narration as a free bonus.

Most people won’t make it past the first five lessons but you’ve really stuck in there and I believe you are going to see huge results as you maximize your impact to your customers. 

Today I want to dig into an advanced topic that I didn’t learn about until much later in my business.  I really wish someone had explained the power of upsells and downsells to me earlier.

Here’s what we’re going to cover: 

  • The Subtle Power of Order Bumps 
  • Upsells  
  • Advanced Tactics: Downsells 

Remember, if you want to follow along you need to jump into your New Kajabi trial. You can probably do all this in Teachable  and ConvertKit or Ontraport, but I’m using New Kajabi because of the reasons I mentioned in the choosing your technology platform lesson. 

The Christmas House 

Every Christmas my neighbor devotes a few weeks to making his home the most decorated house on the block.  

He really goes all in guys.  

I mean, I know we’ve all seen magical Christmas scenes but this guy's house is so bright, the adjacent homes don’t need to put up decorations because his lights reflect off their windows! 

The thing that really gets me is how he puts up the decoration.  He starts one weekend at a time one part of his yard at a time.  

So one weekend he’ll bring out his ladder, lean it up against that big ol’ tree in his front yard and start dangling over-sized glowing ornaments from the branches.  He also wraps the entire tree from branch to root with sparkly glittering lights.   

Decorating his home is a process and nothing stops him.  Rain, shine, snow, wind, sleet it doesn’t matter.  Every weekend, this 60 year old man is up there on his wobbly ladder hanging ornaments.  And every weekend his home becomes more beautiful. 

This is what it is like to build online business. 

You need to treat your business like a house.  And all the stuff we’re building are the decorations.  Every week we’re doing a little bit more. 

We hung the "lights" by building your flagship product outline.  We hung the ornaments on your outdoor trees by recording your videos.  And now we're going to setup the wreaths and stockings by creating order bumps, upsells and downsells.  This is a multi-week, multi-month process!  So don’t get discouraged my friend.  You are on the right track. 

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We’re going to dig into the lovely world of order bumps, upsells and downsells. 

Everything we’re going to dig into can have a direct impact on your business.  

I’m going to show you age old tricks for maximizing the value you give your customers. 

First let’s talk about order bumps. 

The only real difference between an order bump and and upsell is where it happens in the customer’s buying flow.  An order bump is something small the customer can throw in the cart BEFORE they click purchase.  Conversely, an upsell is something a little more expensive customers can buy IMMEDIATELY AFTER they’ve already purchased the main product.  To truly capitalize on the power of upselling, you can sometimes implement a one-click upsell so people can instantly augment their original purchase by simply clicking a button (they won’t be required to re-enter their payment info again which accelerates the transaction) 

So how does this work?  Well, the real power of the order bump is when it is presented as a logical continuation of the product they already added to their cart.

Russell Brunson is a master at this.

This is what he does:

He offers his hard copy book for free + shipping.  He still has a lengthy sales letter pitching the book but the entire thing is free.  He foots the cost and only asks you to pay for shipping.  Now why would he do that?

The pure genius of this strategy is that his book is really just a front-end for his high-priced backend product called ClickFunnels.  The idea is if you get a bunch of value from his book (which he gave you for free) then you'll be tempted to take the next logical progression into his ClickFunnels product offering which is perfectly aligned to the book.

But that's not all... the other reason his strategy is so smart is because of how the order bump is presented.

On the first tab you enter your shipping info.  Then when you click submit you are taken to another tab which hides the first tab but offers a $37 order bump for unreleased books.

The best part is even if the customer doesn't take up the order bump their credit card information is still stored in his marketing system so after they consume the free book the process of upgrading consenting customers into the ClickFunnels backend product is seamless.

Order bumps work.


As we mentioned above, upsells are the value add after the purchase has been made but before the shopping cart experience has ended.  This is a great way to pick up additional sales as the customer already has buying momentum.  And if the upsell is aligned with the product they just purchased, it has the potential to exponentially increase the value you’re providing. 

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As a general rule of thumb, the following upsell strategies work best on digital products: 

  • Upsell's that Get the Customer a Faster (or Easier) Result 
  • Upsells that Future Pace a Problem They Don’t Have Yet 

Let me explain what I mean.

Let’s say your flagship digital course is a course about how to make hip hop beats using a specific drum machine model. 

An upsell might be an upgrade where you present the opportunity to add one hour of 1-on-1 training via Skype.   

Or consider this approach: a more advanced strategy is to only offer the upsell after your customers reach a specific milestone in your flagship product.  

For example, after your customer starts making beats like J Dilla using your drum machine digital course, you could use New Kajabi automations to send an email about upgrading to the premium product.  The premium product would include in-depth training on SELLING what they’ve made.   

This is a smart strategy because you are future pacing a problem they don’t yet have. The idea is when they start making beats with your flagship course, they will likely begin to have fans.  And you can offer an upsell that teaches them how to monetize their beats by selling them for a reliable stream of income. 

Another upsell idea would be offering a private community where members can pay a monthly fee to get accountability, motivation and one-on-one support from other people who have the same struggles and ideas. 

One more upsell idea is to just offer a “problem-solving-done-for-you-service'.  So if your flagship product is an online course about building your website your upsell can be a Skype remote session where you literally get on their computer and teach them what you’re doing as you’re building their website for them. 

Upsells are everywhere because they work.

For example, look at Apple products. 

When you purchase a Mac Pro they show you a screen where you can add a fancy display.  This means if you add a multi-thousand dollar Mac Pro to your cart you’ll see an upsell to purchase a $5,000 display! All you need to do is click a button to throw it in.  

This is smart because people who can afford a Mac Pro can probably afford the monitor too.  And the monitor is a logical upgrade to the Mac Pro. 


The Down And Dirty of Downsells 

Now it's time to get down with downsells.

Downsells are super interesting and I honestly never heard about these until a few years ago.   

The basic idea here is you want to pick up the sale when your customers reject your upsell by offering a lower priced, relevant, product. 

Now there's one gotcha: you never want to offer the upsell discounted as a downsell. Why?  I mean think about it: if the customer rejects the upsell you don’t want to present the upsell again at 50% off. 

This sort of thing is super dishonest and one of the things I hate about online marketing.  This is also a great way to rack up refunds.  When the people who took the downsell end up in the membership site with those who took the upsell, the people who were upselled will get pissed and rightfully refund the product. 

So the purpose of the downsell is to present an opportunity for your customer to still get value even if they can’t afford the higher priced upsell.  This is a great way to drive customer loyalty and you’ll get access to more customers with different budgets.  You’ll also still make a sale even if they never end up buying the product you thought they would buy.   

That being said, there’s one other option which I almost forgot to mention called Cross-Selling. 

This is when you tease a slightly unrelated product inside the membership area of the first product.   

>> Click here to get a FREE instant download of the PDF version of this post... I'll throw in my audio narration as a free bonus.

So if your flagship product is how to make hip hop with your beat machine, once they sign into the membership program you can include a small banner “ad” for your “how to pickup dates making awesome music” online course.   

It’s just a way to increase visibility, introduce them to complementary products and raise their awareness of what’s out there. 

Quick Action Result 

For your quick action result today I want you answer these questions: 

  • What is your Flagship Product going to be?
  • What are three order bump ideas? 
  • What would make a good upsell? 
  • What would make a smart downsell? 
  • Can you think of at least one cross-sell that would engage your audience? 

Write all these things down and get ready for a monster lesson next week where we will talk about using webinars to sky rocket your impact and profits.  Next weeks lesson is probably the longest in all your training so far so get ready to get results!

I’ll see you guys next week. 


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