Upselling and Cross Promotion Ideas

How do you convince a person to spend more than they intended?

The strategies below will help you answer just that question. The goal of these strategies isn’t to trick the consumer, but rather to educate them.

Sometimes they don’t know you offer a service. Other times they take the cheapest product or package offered, but would take the most expensive one if they understood the benefit of doing so.

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After Sale Upselling

Follow-up after the sale with each customer, and upsell additional products and services during the call. Start of the call as a satisfaction call to make sure the customer is happy with their purchase, and ask a few probing questions to determine whether they need anything else you sell.


Bounce Backs

Engage your customers with "bounce-backs", methods which convince the customer to visit again sooner than they had intended.


Bulk Discounts

Give customers bulk discounts for buying large quantities



Bundle a bunch of products or services together then show what it would cost for all these products individually. Next, discount it to the price you are selling it for. This almost always gives the appearance of a huge cost savings to the consumer.

If you are writing a 350 page book, consider instead writing four smaller books, some checklists, a couple short reports, and a short video instead so that you can use this approach to command a higher price.


Cross Promoting

Make a list of products that compliment other products you sell. Cross promote those complementary products every time a person purchases one of those products. You may even consider bringing in complimentary products from other companies, and take a commission on each sale.



Your product may not work as a regular use product, but you could always try to up your customer’s usage frequency by showing creative new ways to use your products.

Food manufacturers offer recipes that use their product. CLR did a series of ads showing how CLR can get your shower head working like new again. Shampoo bottles recommend rinsing and repeating multiple times for no reason anybody has really figured out yet. Why would you wash clean hair again?


In-Store Catalog

Create an in-store catalog that shows all of the products and services you provide that your customers can browse during their visit. Design it to ensure customers are exposed a wide-array of products and services you carry.

Even if they don’t buy every product, they’ll have more products to recommend to friends/family. People may even see something that would make a great gift for so-and-so, which they weren’t even thinking about shopping for when they entered the store.


Internal Posters

Place posters on your wall upselling premium or high mark-up items, or suggestively selling bundles and complete solution packages.


Invoice Upselling

Send a catalogue featuring your entire line of products and services with your invoice. It is a giant marketing failure if long-time customers say “Oh, I didn’t know you did that”. This indicates a lot of money is being left on the table


Loyalty Programs

Create a loyalty program where customers get stamps each visits, and receive a freebie after X purchases.


Mail Follow Up

Once you’ve made that first sale, send the odd mailer from time to time to your customer database to keep your company fresh in their mind. Announce new products and services, or send them special offers.



Send a monthly newsletter to all of your current customers. Highlight new products or services you offer, and ask for referrals, from time to time. Send a “tip of the day/week” to them to keep your business fresh in their mind. This also helps build loyalty to your business and protects yourself from having your customers stolen by competitors.


Online Catalog

Create an online catalog showcasing all of the different products and services you provide. This allows people to expose themselves to your entire inventory. Try to drive people into your catalog from your homepage, or make your homepage the catalog.


Penalize Small Orders

You may not want to reward big orders, but you could also penalize small orders by charging a premium when customers order smaller quantities. One print shop charged an administration fee for orders under $20. Retailers often charge a debit fee on orders under $X.


Point Systems

Create a point system where frequent customers earn points they can later cash-in for prizes, free merchandise, or other benefits. Create a point store on your website that lists what they can redeem their points in for.

These buy ten coffees and get the 11th free programs are missing the boat. The key is choice - giving the customer control over their freebee to ensure everybody has their own incentive for participating, and not a boiler plate freebee you tell them they want.


Provide a "Premium Package"

Some customers want the best they can buy. For these customers, money isn’t a huge issue because they understand the value of buying the best. Carrying only one option is a mistake because some are willing to pay more for the best.

Give your sales team a cut of the mark-up to encourage them to upsell customers to the premium package.


Reactivate Stale Customers

Contact your entire customer base by e-mail or phone, and offer additional products and services to your existing customers.


Go for Regular Use – Not a One Time Sale

Give your customer a goal or reward to work towards, and position regular use of your product as a means of reaching that goal.


Strategic Upselling

I was just at Quiznos, and on the cash register there is a small screen that gives you your total. But the total only pops in once they input your order, and at all other times it reads:

Thank You for Visiting Quiznos
Quiznos also Caters! Ask us for Info

That's what upselling is all about. Finding those little opportunities to build awareness of other products and services you offer.


Reward Large Orders

Reward purchases over $X. The reward can be a discount, a certificate towards their next order, a freebie, or an entry into a draw.


Super Size Me

Create a giant all-inclusive version of your product/service. Look how many people Super Size their fast food meals, and don’t finish their pop and/or fries. People would often times rather have too much and not need it than too little and not have it.


Table Tents

Table tents are the things restaurant place on your table to convince you to order desert. But they work in almost any industry.

A banker or mortgage broker could place one on their desk to upsell a new financial package they're offering.

A retail store could place one on the counter to promote a new product line they are carrying, or a limited time promotion that is running (such as a discount if the customer spends $X).


Train Staff to Upsell

Train your staff in upselling and cross-promoting techniques. Hold weekly upselling brainstorming session with your team where staff members share their sales techniques and ideas with the rest of the team.


Use a P.S. in Your E-mail Signature to Upsell

Use a P.S. at the bottom of every letter you write to inform your customer of a limited time special, or an upcoming promotion or event.

"P.S. I will be speaking at the National Widget Conference on April 21st. Come down if you are interested in learning all about Widgets!"


Upselling Marketing Materials

Create a brochure for each product or service you sell, and place them prominently in your store.

If a customer buys a product that goes well with another product or service you offer, be sure to give that customer a brochure for the other product.


Visit Challenges

Run visit challenges where you challenge a person to visit a predetermined number of times over a certain time period, and reward those that do.

Order 5 pizzas in a month and get the 6th free. Stay at our hotels 30 days in a year and get a free 3 day stay in our finest room.


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