Welcome to Issue 3 in this topic.
The whole idea behind backend offers is to increase your profits by getting people to buy more. It can mean getting them to buy additional products, but it can also mean subtly influencing their buying behavior during their checkout so that they are likely to upgrade their purchases. The upsell is a classic marketing strategy that is a backend offer due to the fact that the customer has already made a commitment to buy. What you’re doing is now offering them reasons why they should upgrade their offer at a time when they are more suggestible to the idea.
In retail, the upsell is characteristic of the cashier at a fast food restaurant who asks if you want a combo instead of a single. If you’ve ordered the combo, they will have been trained to ask if you want the large combo, and they will point out that it’s only a few cents more. People are by nature greedy and want the most for their money. If they are already committed to buying, and the upsell is placed within the right price range and in a similar line of goods, they will often take the bait and upgrade their purchase.
Online, how would you do that when there is no cashier online? People are buying things off an e-cart, more than likely, and how do you interrupt the transaction without seeming too self-serving? The key is in the order form. You can set up the order form to include an upsell offer at the bottom or top that brings to the customer’s attention that there are other types of products, very similar in nature to the one in the cart, that have a higher value, but offer more.
This is done prior to actually allowing the customer to check out, and either at the top or the bottom of the form. They haven’t quite completed their offers, and now they are made aware that there is an even better deal just around the corner. Just allow them to view the other deal and upgrade their offer and then complete the checkout after that.
SWEETEN THE DEAL
Always sweeten the deal by offering free shipping or some other incentive to purchase the upgrade. The upgrade itself will be enticing, but if you tell them that on orders of $50 or more (the price break between the regular and upgrade), they get free shipping too, it will help them to decide to upgrade. It may cost more in the short run, but they will feel better at having gotten the best deal and be happy that you bothered to show it to them. Otherwise, they might be upset to later find out that they could have gotten that deal, but didn’t, and no one mentioned it either, which will make them upset with you.
Next to the upsell, the cross-sell is the next best backend strategy. This is where you offer them a complementary product to go with whatever they’re buying to increase the amount of products you sell. If you sold shoes, for instance, the cross-sell might be socks. If you sold e-books on organic gardening, the cross-sell might be tools for the garden. Unlike the upsell, which is a similar product, these products can be vastly different. You can sell pie, for instance, and cross-sell ice cream because everyone knows people like to eat pie with ice cream. Whatever goes along is what is offered at the moment of purchase, and it can be combined with value packaging too.
CREATE SPECIAL PROMOTIONS TO CROSS-SELL
Cross-sells take a little more thought than upsells. You need to try to think about what types of products complement the products in your product lineup. If you don’t have a cross-sell product within your own products, look at affiliate offers and see if you can offer one of those as a cross-sell. The key is to make it a little different than the actual order, but something that might appeal to the purchaser of a specific product.
Cross-sells work very well with lower- and mid-level price range customers. You may not be able to immediately upsell someone on the entry-level email list, as he/she isn’t too sure of your products to commit to larger purchases yet. However, he/she may be willing to add something additional to his/her purchase if it provides him/her with an additional benefit at a cost that isn’t much higher than the original cost.
Once you’ve planned the cross-sell product, be sure to promote it, not just on the backend, but on the frontend too! This is one strategy where the more you talk about it and make people aware, the more likely that they will take you up on your offer. For instance, you might be selling women’s dresses online, and you have decided to cross-sell it with special pantyhose. The idea is that for every dress they buy, they can also purchase pantyhose in packages of three for that week only at a special price.
You promote the cross-sell on your website, but you also remind them of the cross-sell when they are checking out if they buy that complementary product, like the dress. By this time, they will know that it’s just another promotion and may or may not take you up on it, but at least they’ve seen it two or three times by the time the checkout form comes up with their total. At that point, they will be primed to include the pantyhose in their order, just by virtue of being marketed so many times as a good deal. It really does pay to repeat the promotions you set up, whether on your website, on your forms, or in your email newsletters for what’s coming up. Let people know what you’re doing to get them excited about your offers.
PARTNER FRONTEND AND HOG BACKEND
If you get enough traffic to be of interest to venture partners, it would be a good idea to share the limelight with more powerful marketers than you. The reason for this is that if you allow them to market on your website or forum, you can attract many of their customers to your site, increase your traffic, and then get them on the backend as they buy one of the venture partner’s products that you are helping to promote.
LINE UP INTERVIEWS
To locate venture partners, all you have to do is to look at some of your competitors’ sites. If that makes you uncomfortable, look for a bigger name than you where you stand to benefit from the relationship more. Send a letter of introduction and explain to him/her what a fan you are of his/her products, services, or philosophy. Propose in the letter to partner with him/her in the future for a workshop or interview forum to be able to show your customers the right way to do whatever niche he’s/she’s in and that you will sell his/her affiliate products during the event. It will be hard to say “no” to something this nice, but even so, many big names are very picky about who they partner with as they have limited time and are solicited often.
Send out multiple letters to see who you can snag for an interview panel or a workshop. Tell them how many people are on your list and how they might benefit from the arrangement. Make sure there is some benefit to them too; otherwise, they won’t bother. Once you get a number of them to agree to it, start to promote the event with your list. It should be a major draw if you target it as an informational session and not as a sales seminar.
LINE UP BACKEND OFFERS
Once you know who is showing up and what affiliate offers you will be promoting, you can start to line up backend offers too. Remember to have a capture page for new customers, as you will probably get numerous new people interested in hearing the coaching session or interview panel. Free workshops are popular too.
Set it up online and make people register for the event before it starts in order for them to get a few freebies right away. Here you can start the first backend offer. During the event, promote your products and the participant partners’ products and make sure people know that they can expect future goodies in their email later. Set up the email campaign to start to market the backend offers more for you than for the interviewing participants to get the most out of it.
SEVERAL BACKEND OFFER LEVELS
In order to get the most of a backend offer, there should be many such opportunities available. It’s not a linear process where someone buys a product or service and then shortly afterwards is given one choice of a backend offer. That would be too limited. Instead, consider how many times you can cycle through backend offers any opportunity you get. They should be stacked in ways that at some point, your customers will always be marketed offers that are new and exciting. It all starts with the registration of an email in your sales funnel, but from there, you should plan multiple levels of backend offers and multiple types of offers too.
In Issue 4 we will be looking at you can put this all together so don’t forget to check back tomorrow.