Yesterday I ordered a “free” product from a marketer
It was a typical “free + shipping” offer which means you get the product for free – but still pay around $5 for shipping.
This is a controversial offer. Because if you’re charging shipping, is it really free? I’m still on the fence with this one. But that’s a story for another day. Let’s focus on the upsell and how this model works.
Once you enter your credit card (you need to still pay for shipping), you’ll then get an immediate “thank you” page with a chance to buy more with one click. With more upsells, the better the chance someone will buy – and make your “free” offer more profitable (or, at least, get to break-even).
And this was sequence from yesterday’s purchase…
Free + Shipping (initial offer)
-Upsell #1 for $300 product
-Downsell (if you say no to the $300 product) you get payment plan option for the $300 product
-Upsell #2 to attend their live event
Again, after the initial order, there were three more videos/up-sells to buy more. Each with the “this is a one-time offer only!” pitch.
And I’ve already received two more emails to buy other products.
BTW, this is a sequence I’ve done myself in the past. In fact, I even created a product all about up-sells a few years ago.
Oh yeah, I was deep in the “guru” world playing the guru games.
But yesterday, being on the other side of it, the entire process just felt so fake and cheesy. Right down to the”hey, I know $300 might be too much so here’s a payment plan for you”.
It was very 2007.
And because they were using my script almost word-for-word, I felt embarrassed.
I know. I know. I’m sure this brought in extra income and helped make the free+shipping offer more profitable.
What’s long-term effect this have?
Right away, you’ll annoy 10-20% of the people who just bought your product. And those 10-20% will never buy from you again – and will likely tell others not to buy from you.
You’ll see these people on social media saying, “don’t get his free product – it’s just a scam to keep selling you more stuff!”. They are the vocal ones and you just pissed them off.
But what about the other 80-90%? They still aren’t sure about you and now, they’re skeptical.
Do they now look at you as “just another marketer” whose only job is to extract as much from you as possible?
So you have to work even harder to gain their trust. To prove you really do care about their results. And people only buy from you when they trust you.
Is there a middle ground?
What is there was only ONE upsell?
What if you offered a chance to upgrade before checkout – but not aggressively.
I just bought glasses from Warby Parker and I would have been shocked if they had the awful, “hey, here’s a one-time offer to get this shiny new glasses case for just $20. If you leave now this offer goes away forever”.
They did offer some options before checkout that made sense.. including a progressive lenses. The upsell supported the sale and it felt like they were trying to help me.. NOT extract more money from my wallet (heck, they even called it “extra treatment”).
By doing business this way, it might make it harder to come up with offers and may reduce your immediate income by a few percentage points BUT it can go a long way in building relationships.
This isn’t the stuff marketers want to hear.
They like to see the sexy headlines about “how to increase sales by 75% with this one ninja hack!”.
But the truth?
The truth to creating wealth is treating your customers and members like gold.
And being patient enough to not have to push so hard for every dollar.
You got this.
P.S. On a side note.. I was so happy doing business with Warby Parker, I posted in social media about this amazing company.
This other “marketer”? I’d never recommend doing business with his company because I know he really doesn’t care about my success.
The way you run and market your business matters.
They way you treat your customers matters.