Profiting After The Sale
This is the fifteenth module in the ‘Journey Into Internet Marketing’ training series in which we are going to consider various different ways of maximizing your profits after you have landed the first product sale.
In this tutorial, it is important to understand that I will be focusing on situations where you sell your own product, as you are in complete control of the whole sales process.
In the case of an affiliate sale however, you only have as much control as the product creator allows you, so this tutorial will not be applicable to affiliate marketing so much.
If you have not done so, it is recommended you read over Part 14 – Creating Your Own Products Using PLR first.
In previous tutorials, you have been introduced to a couple of different ways you can start selling your own products rather than selling products on behalf of other people.
To begin with, in tutorial 11 you were introduced to the concept of ‘Resell Rights’ products and how by selling them you can put all of the proceeds directly into your own pocket.
This was expanded upon in tutorial 14 when we considered how you can create your own unique products using ‘Private Label Rights’ materials.
Whether you are promoting a generic ‘Resell Rights’ product or your own product that you have created from PLR content, the first step is to of course publish a sales page so that a prospect can buy what you are offering.
This is a page to which you drive targeted visitors. These are people who have come to your sales page because they have an interest in the underlying subject matter of your product or service.
Some of these visitors will buy your product and some won’t. The fact that some of your visitors buy your product is obviously very good news for your business, but probably not for the reason that you imagine.
When you sell anything, it is not unnatural to assume that the most important element of every successful sale is the money it puts into your pocket.
Unfortunately however, when you first start selling your own products on the Internet, you might end up seeing far less money than you initially expect.
This could be due to one of several different reasons.
To begin with, this is your first product. You are not a well-known name in the online marketing business and you do not have a long established track record of successful products. There is therefore little that you can charge a premium price for at this time.
You might be able to sell your product for $19.95 but the chances of being able to sell it for $99.95 are almost non-existent. As you can probably imagine, you have to generate a huge number of sales at $19.95 to bump your bank balance up by a significant margin.
Secondly, as a ‘newbie’ to Internet marketing, you probably don’t know too many experienced marketers who can help you by putting your product in front of their list of subscribers and customers.
Hence, most of the promotional and advertising expenses will fall on your shoulders. This inevitably reduces your net profit on any sales that you generate through your marketing efforts.
Even if you do know other marketers who are willing to help you, they will only help you in return for a major ‘cut’ of the proceeds.
They might ask for 50% or even 75% of the sales revenue. In this case, most of your potential profit has already gone.
In short, the sales that you generate (even if it is a unique product) are unlikely to put a lot of money in your pocket. However – and here’s the reason why doing this does make sense – these sales do pull new customers into your business.
It sucks people into your sales funnel which in terms of long term business development is far more important than the revenue you lose on the initial sale.
When a new customer first buys from you, they have indicated that they are willing and able to spend money on products using the Internet as long as those products address their needs.
Furthermore, if they have paid $19.95 for your product, you know that they can afford any $20 product you pitch at them in the future.
Finally, they are now on your customer e-mail mailing list as well.
As you saw in the e-mail marketing tutorial (#10), once a customer is on your list, you send a constant stream of product recommendations and suggestions to them by e-mail. You do this confident in the knowledge that they are buyers rather than net surfers.
For all of these reasons, the income generated from the first product that you sell is almost irrelevant.
Giving away 50% or 75% to partners is always worth doing when it adds a new customer to your e-mail list. In addition, paying advertising costs to land new customers should be viewed as a necessary business expansion expense rather than as money wasted.
All of this being said however, you do of course want to make as much money as you can when inviting your new customer into your business world.
This is where it starts to get interesting…
When an individual who eventually became your customer first landed on your sales page, they did not expect to spend money.
In truth, getting their credit card out was the last thing on their mind. Indeed, it is likely that they were very resistant in doing so.
However, your sales page broke down their sales resistance as evidenced by the fact that they bought your product. What you achieved is the hardest thing of all to achieve in sales and marketing. You have overcome their initial psychological resistance and turned them into a buyer.
Now they are no longer in resistance mode. On the contrary, they are now in full-on buying mode.
So, why not keep them happy by giving them what they want? Why not strike whilst the iron is still sizzling hot?
Why not allow them to keep buying, in other words?
This is exactly what you’re about to do.
The Upsell Concept
Like many concepts that have become the accepted norm in the online business world, the idea of upselling a customer is one that has been ‘stolen’ from the ‘real’ off-line business world and subsequently modified for online business usage.
As an example, if you were to stroll down your local High Street or visit the shopping mall, you would see the upsell concept applied to every transaction you witness.
For example, the young lady who had just bought a brand-new pair of shoes has been persuaded to buy the ‘special’ polish that is ‘perfectly formulated for exactly this kind of shoe, Miss’.
Likewise, the guy who has bought his dream Coupé has also bought the extended warranty, leather seats and sports wheel trims, adding thousands of dollars to his final invoice in the process.
Both of these customers have been persuaded to take advantage of the upsell opportunity that the salesperson presented to them.
The concept of upselling to a new customer is exactly the same in online marketing. At the point when someone has finally reached a decision to make an initial purchase, you present them with an additional offer (or offers) whilst their ‘buying brain’ it still fully engaged.
If you present them with highly targeted, complementary products or services at exactly the moment when they are totally relaxed about spending money, you can be absolutely certain that a significant number of these customers will spend again.
The key here is to have an automatic system that enables you to present a suitable offer to your new customer at exactly the right second.
There are however two different opinions about exactly what constitutes ‘the right second’ to present your upsell offer to your visitor…
Before or after the first sale?
The basic concept of upselling is that when your customer finally decides to buy your initial offer, you present them with something else that you know they will be interested in. We will come back to what this ‘something else’ might be in the next section.
Before that, you need to consider exactly how to fit the upsell offer into your sales process in the most profitable way. As previously suggested, there are two possible alternatives.
Some marketers prefer to complete the initial product sale before they start presenting upsell offers to a new customer. The advantage of this is that the first sale proceeds are in the bank already, hence there is a guarantee that some money will be made from this visitor.
On the other side of the coin however, we have already seen that the amount of money you pocket from this initial sale will be pretty small, particularly when you are just launching your online career.
Consequently, the financial benefits of completing the first deal before upselling are in reality fairly minimal.
If you view this from the customers point of view however, what you have just done inconveniences them if they want to buy the upsell offer. When they do, you will ask them to pay again in a completely separate transaction which doubles your customers work.
Some of them might take advantage of your upsell but the extra effort of completing credit card details again will deter a lot of them.
This is why many experienced marketers prefer to present their upsell offer before the new customer actually spends money to complete their purchase. The customer can add the initial product to a ‘shopping cart’ before being shown an upsell offer, which the customer can also add to their shopping cart.
If there is another upsell offer (you can get away with two upsells at least), the customer can do the same thing again.
Consequently, they need to authorize only one credit card payment for everything they have in the shopping cart instead of several separate payments. This obviously makes things easier and more convenient.
In my experience, the second method of introducing upsell offers generally makes more profit than the first. The additional convenience persuades many more new customers to take the upsell offer which of course puts a lot more money in your bank account.
I know some marketers would disagree with this and I guess that there are some situations where the first strategy works better than the second. So far however, I have not seen such a situation…
The way your upsell process is structured depends on whether you complete the first sale before presenting your initial offer or not.
If the first sale is completed, you can use PayPal in almost exactly the same way as you did with Resell Rights products in tutorial 11, apart from one slight system ‘tweak’.
In tutorial 11, I recommended featuring a link to your upsell offer on the initial product download (or thank you) page:
This is one way of doing it but to land the second sale, you rely on your customer clicking a link. Some will but many will not.
The alternative is to set the PayPal ‘successful payment’ link to send the new customer directly to the upsell offer page.
This should be a full-blown sales page for your complementary product offer with several large ‘Add to cart’ links on the page.
At the very bottom of the sales page, well below the final ‘Add to cart’ button, you feature a relatively small link that says ‘No thanks, I’ll stick with my initial product’ or something along these lines:
If they click the ‘No thanks’ link, you have several options available.
The first (least profitable) option is to take them to a separate PayPal link which collects their payment before delivering them to the download page.
The second option is to send them to a PayPal link which redirects them to a different upsell offer page after they complete the initial purchase. This could be a completely different product or the same upsell offer that they just refused, but at a discounted price.
The third alternative is to direct this ‘No thanks’ link towards another upsell offer without completing the initial purchase. Again, this could be a completely different product or the same product that they have just turned down, but with a heavy discount applied.
As you can see from this range of alternatives, there are many different upsell strategies to experiment with to optimize the profitability of the ‘back door’ of your business.
If you decide to complete the initial product sale before presenting upsell offers to your customers, you should experiment with all of these variations to see what works best.
As suggested earlier however, I personally prefer to make it easy for my customer to spend as much money as possible by presenting several offers to them without completing the initial sale.
In this case, the initial product sales page carries an ‘Add to cart’ button that pops the product into their shopping cart before redirecting them to your first upsell offer.
If they decide to take advantage of the first upsell by adding it to the cart, your internal link should redirect them to your second upsell offer whereas a ‘No’ presents them with the second offer or a discount on the first upsell.
Whichever way you structure your upsell system, you can see that you must have a shopping cart system to make it work. Fortunately, this is not a major problem (or expense) because most web hosts offer free shopping carts with their hosting accounts.
For example, if your web host uses cpanel, click the ‘Fantastico’ link highlighted here:
When you do so, you are presented with a list of software programs that you can activate with just a few mouse clicks. Scroll down the list and you should see several shopping cart options available:
There are effectively two options when it comes to what you offer as an upsell.
The first option is to present a complementary product that matches the initial product purchased. It is even better if your upsell product enhances the initial product by making it more effective or profitable.
For instance, imagine that your initial offer is a ‘How to succeed at Internet marketing’ guide. A product of this nature relies on effective keyword research for its effectiveness.
Hence, an upsell offer that helps with this crucial aspect of Internet marketing would be a welcome addition to the initial offer.
Selling a professional quality keyword research tool that reduces keyword research time to almost nothing would therefore represent a very good match for the initial offer.
It is not absolutely necessary to create your own products for upsell offers. In fact, you shouldn’t use your own product because anything you create that is unique should always be retained to be used as a ‘first offer’ product at a later date. Instead, using Resell Rights products as upsells is extremely common and widely accepted.
The alternative to using complementary products is to offer an upgrade to the original product that they have already decided to buy:
In this example, the upsell is an upgrade to Platinum membership, whilst the ‘No thanks’ option is to stick with the standard Silver level of membership.
This is an extremely effective tactic because the product you present as an upsell is one that the customer has already effectively bought into. Your upsell is offering them a Deluxe version which will be more effective, easier to use and/or more profitable.
Offering upgrades also makes it appear more natural to anyone who has said ‘yes’ to the initial offer when you offer a discounted upgrade price to a higher level of membership.
Your discount offer message would be along the lines of ‘Okay, I understand that $77 might be too much right now but I don’t want you to miss out on these superb upgrade benefits. So, I’ll offer you this one opportunity to upgrade for just $47’.
The ‘One time offer’ upsell…
One very powerful tactic used by a lot of extremely successful online marketers is to present upsells as ‘one time offers’, commonly abbreviated as OTO’s.
This means that when the upsell offer is presented, it is made clear that the visitor will only get this one opportunity to purchase at this price (or maybe they will never be offered the product again):
The thinking behind an OTO is that we know the customer is already in a buying mode.
Hence, making it clear that the offer they are seeing on this page is one that disappears when they close the page introduces a sense of urgency.
It forces them to make a decision at the very moment when they are still a ‘happy shopper’ instead of allowing them to come back to the offer after the buying urge has long gone. Introducing an element of urgency to proceedings is one very effective way of maximizing your back-end revenue.
But if you use an OTO, you must ensure that when a page is presented as a one-time offer, they can only access it once. If they can come back to the offer at a later date, it blows your credibility completely out of the water.
To set up a page as a genuine one-time offer, you need a script or program to make it work.
The underlying concept of this tutorial is that because the initial product offer you make is unlikely to generate much cash for you, you must present your customers with upsell offers to make money.
This also draws your customer deeper into your sales funnel. If they buy only your initial offer, they are a customer, but if they buy again immediately afterwards, they indicate that they are even more likely to buy from you again in the future.
It is now recommended you proceed on to Part 16 – Joint Ventures.