The Art of Upselling and How You Can Use It to Boost Revenues Using SendOwl

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Our previous generation didn’t have it so easy. Now almost anyone can become an entrepreneur without breaking their bank balance to generate capital.

There are a number of online platforms, such as Shopify and WooCommerce, and tools based on these platforms that can help you choose and identify products to sell. They’ll help to sell them as well!

I’ve written about SendOwl in the past.

Why I think SendOwl Makes Digital Content Marketing Easy

When it comes to digital content, SendOwl has proven to be a great platform to sell stuff. All it takes is a few steps:

  • Create your digital content upload it to SendOwl.

 upload product to sendowl

add product to sendowl

  • Then SendOwl will carry out payment gateway integration, create a checkout optimized for conversions, and ensure automated delivery of your digital content. That’s like three birds with one stone!

set payment details in sendowl

 set products in sendowl

  • Then you get ready to be paid.

But further upgrades over the base version can help you capitalize on upsells, and help you sell and earn more.

For those of you who are new to digital products, upsells are additional products or product upgrades that you sell to buyers on top of the base product.  

With an upgraded plan, SendOwl can do this for you. The greatest advantage of using upsells is that you can increase your amount of sale without spending more time or energy for it.

upselling example

Note: Cross-selling is different. Cross-sells refer to encouraging customers to buy an extra product or a set of products.

cross selling example

In this article, I’m going to show you how you can use upsells to dramatically improve order volumes per customer, and how to set it all up using SendOwl. And that too- step by step with real-life examples.

The process of upselling is now adopted as a common practice by businesses selling products or digital content online. Here are some examples:   

memory card upsell example

Look behind the main ad here and it’s the checkout process for a camera plus some other related equipment. Cameras need memory, and a memory card ad will almost certainly prompt the user to buy it since he’s already prepared to buy the camera. The customer is therefore encouraged to upgrade the product he has brought.

In fact, some of the biggest companies in the world make use of this feature too:


Apple’s store has a way of offering upsells that encourage customers to upgrade the MacBook Air they’ve already bought to a more expensive but valuable product:

 apple company upselling example

Here the customer is offered the choice of upgrading the MacBook Air to something that will ultimately end up being more expensive but also add more value to the product by including these features. And I have to admit that they’re really good at this. I’m a hapless victim 🙂


In the example below, Dell asks the customer to buy a more powerful computer that is $60 more expensive than what the customer has already selected. For $60 more, the customer gets the Windows 7 Professional edition instead of the Home edition:

dell company upselling example

Not convinced above how upsells can help increase your revenue per user or GMV? Let me show you some cool strategies that brands are using:

Offering free shipping on a minimum order value.

Didn’t think this was actually upselling, did you?

A unique kind of upselling is offering free shipping when purchasing items of a certain value. This offer would appear during the checkout process for a product.

 free shipping offer example

Here, Old Navy is encouraging the customer to check out the free shipping it offers for orders over $50. The shirt already costs $29.94, so the customer could be tempted to buy more and get rid of the huge $7 shipping charge.

In fact, many well-known ecommerce brands use this strategy to increase order values.

What Makes Upsells a Winning Strategy?

Why do you need upsells as an integral part of your strategy? As you’ve seen from the examples above, they multiply your sales potential by adding greater value to the stuff you offer.

  • With relevant products offered in the upsell, your customers have something that could possibly take care of their needs or requirements better. So you are maximizing your chances of earnings while ensuring your customers’ needs or wants are taken care of. It’s a win-win situation.
  • Your customers feel they’re winning since they’re getting value, and once that feeling takes effect in their minds, you get to win from the added purchases they make.  

Research has proved that upselling is much more effective than cross-selling, based on the following table:

upsells vs cross sells

A research by Predictive Intent reveals that displaying options that are priced higher than the ones in the immediate view of your customers helps drive more than 4% of sales on an average, which is 20 times more than what ecommerce sites offer with their usual recommended products option.

Still not convinced? Let’s keep going!

Building upon the Power of Recommendation  

Upsells provide multiple advantages to not only increase conversions but to build customer loyalty as well. ConversionXL states that product recommendations account for 10% to 30% of revenues of ecommerce sites, on average.

That’s what the upselling strategy builds on. The power of recommendation is huge, especially when the customer sees the value in what’s being offered directly after making a buying decision.

Add-on Sales

One of the types of upsells is add-on sales. These are commonly used in sales of electronic goods and include extra services such as product training, technical support subscriptions, antivirus or data protection plans, etc.

These can give customers the perception of security and greater peace of mind since they wouldn’t have to sign up for these things another time, and can do it during the purchase itself. These add-on sales have been shown to increase the customer lifetime value of the business, which is important. They’ve also been found to increase profits by up to around 40%.

Bundle Sales

Another kind of upsell is bundle sales, which refers to two or more items complementing each other being added to the cart from the checkout or the product page. Here’s an example for good old Amazon:

bundle sales

To make the strategy more efficient, product bundles get sold at discounted rates to gives customers a sense of raising the perceived value of purchasing multiple products at the same time, like the example below:

product bundle savings example

These bundle upsells can also be used for other marketing purposes such as retargeting campaigns and email marketing, and also as a traffic acquisition tactic, but that’s something I’ll detail on another day.

Place Upsells at the Point of Purchase

One of the reasons these upsells work so well at the point of purchase is because, during the checkout process, customers already have their credit cards ready and are prepared for a sale.

If they see something better or something that may complement what they’ve decided to purchase, they could pick it up. It appeals to the mind of the buyer. That’s why upsells are best placed at the point of purchase. It’s where they are most effective.

In-app Upsells

There are also in-app upsells. They infuse clarity in customers regarding the fact that the customer stands to gain by buying the recommended stuff. This helps in apps such as Dropbox where you can buy more space when you run out of it.  

in-app upsells

When the upsell is offered within an app at the appropriate place, customers get the feeling that they have a solution in place when a problem strikes.  

Upsells during Customer Support Interactions

You can also use upsells during customer support interactions. While it can help lubricate your relationship with your customers, it can also help you grow sales.

The upsell you offer would deal with a solution that solves the problem the customer is facing. It’s a compelling offer that is highly likely to deliver positive results.

You Need Multiple Products to Offer Upsells

To offer upsells, you need to have multiple products in your arsenal, be they products or digital content. Not only that, you also need to have multiple packages and pricing options for your product. Having packages that are priced higher does make sense, since some customers would want to pay more for a package which comes with a few extras. With different pricing levels for the same product, you could experience a major increase in revenue since there is a plan for just about any kind of customer. It gets easier to set up upsells.    

Can’t explain better how upsells can help you.

SendOwl offers the upsell feature with its $24 per month plan.

Now the action part:

How to Setup Upsells using SendOwl

Now let’s move on to setting up upsells for digital content. Here’s what you need to do to add upsells in SendOwl:

  • In your account, head to the marketing section before selecting the ‘upsell’ option from the menu at the top.
  • Then select ‘add upsell’. That’s when you’ll come across the screen below.

setup upsells in sendowl

Then, add details such as:

Product name – Used just for reference. The customer doesn’t see this.

Offer time – This helps you set the point at which the upsell must be shown to the customer, either before or after the payment.

  • If you select the upsell to appear before payment, the customer will see it at the point of purchase while the item is added to the cart.
  • If you select the upsell to appear after payment, the customer will see the upsell after they have entered the payer details. And if the buyer accepts the upsell, the product gets added to the initial charge. They wouldn’t have to enter their payment information again.

SendOwl offers post payment upsells only with PayPal Express and Stripe. PayPal Express also does not support subscription or tangible products.

Type of upsell – You can select the kind of upsell, whether it is encouraging your customers to get a product of higher value or adding an extra product.  

The product to be part of the upsell – Upsells need to be relevant to the initial products your customers buy. With this option, you can specify the product to be selected for a specific upsell to be offered. You can set many upsells for the particular product. You can also choose one upsell to apply for all orders.

Then, you need to select the exact product you wish to present as the upsell, from any of the products in your account. In the case of subscriptions, only another subscription can be selected as the product offered. It is the type of upsell known as ‘replace’.  

Offer text – This is the text that forms the main body of the upsell. You can create your own message, but it should be encouraging customers to check out the upsell. SendOwl recommends short and concise messages.   

Offer content – This is where you need to upload the picture of the product which you are encouraging your customers to buy. They should have a clear idea of what you’re trying to upsell.

Only then could it increase your rate of conversions. Selecting ‘product images’ will upload your existing product image. Selecting ‘upload image’ will help you upload any other image for the upsell screen.

You can select an image of any size if it’s the standard image type. However, the images will be resized to a width of 375 pixels. You can also select ‘HTML’ to code it in. This can help you add a short video to the upsell offer as well.

Offer price – With this feature, you can provide discounts to customers.

After you’ve satisfactorily set your upsell, select ‘create’.  

How to Prioritize Your Upsells

After you’re done with creating your upsell, you can see it in the main upsell page. Though you’d have created multiple upsells that could all apply to a particular order, SendOwl shows only one upsell at a time for an order. It selects the applicable upsell which you’ve ranked the highest. You can change your upsell ranking by dragging and dropping the cursor at the appropriate upsell.  

The Reporting Part

Of course, there’s no point in creating upsells unless you know how much you’re making from them. You can work out the amount of extra money you can make from the upsells. Just head to the reporting section.

From the drop-down menu, select ‘upsells’. It will give you a clear picture of how much you’ve made from each of your upsells or cross-sells, as you can see below.  

upselling reporting

What are you waiting for? Monetize your digital content and increase your chances of earnings with upsells using SendOwl.

Have any questions, concerns or opinions? Share them in the comments below!

Adi Suja

Adi is the Founder and Chief Growth Officer at Growthetics, a growth-focused content marketing agency. He helps with the growth of the Ecommerce Platforms blog.

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