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Three Ways to Upsell Intelligently with CustomerHub

by Greg Jenkins

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In my opinion the two easiest ways to make more money are to get more customers, and to sell more to your existing customers. Yes, every business needs a regular flow of new customers coming in the door, but your most reliable source of income should be your existing customer base. You’ve already done the work by building their trust and earning their loyalty!

Depending on which study you read, you’ll probably find that it is 5-10 times more expensive to get a new customer than it is to retain and resell to an existing customer. There are a number of reasons why this is the case, but I’d like to focus on one advantage that using Infusionsoft to market to existing customers gives you:  you already know who they are and what they like!

The concept isn’t anything overly complicated. Essentially you have a database of customers who have signed up for offers, has clicked through on specific emails, and has purchased other products; each time they take one of these actions, they are telling you about themselves. They are segmenting themselves, providing you with information for you to understand their needs and interests.

Many of you have likely been collecting this information for a while. Are you putting it to good use? Are you targeting specific customers with specific products? You can leverage this information in a number of ways, but I want to show you how to use a membership platform to intentionally and intelligently market relevant products and services to your existing database. If you don’t have a membership site, that’s okay, read along, because you’ll get some good ideas anyways.

For this example I’m going to use CustomerHub as our membership platform, but the concept works for whatever membership platform you employ, so long as you have control over permission levels and a deep integration with Infusionsoft.

When a customer signs into your membership site you can control the content they see based on what tags their Contact Record has. This is often used to permit access to specific content that they have paid for, while preventing them from seeing content they haven’t yet purchased. However, we can also use this information to market related products to them based on their purchase history.

Consider this: When a prospect visits your storefront they can see all of your products, but the reality is that likely not all of these products are going to be a good fit for them. What if you had the ability to tailor which products they were presented with so as to exclude certain products, and feature others more prominently? Well, with a membership site like CustomerHub you can do exactly that.

When a customer signs into your membership site, the content they see is already specific to them. This is known as their permission level. You know who they are, and so the experience they have while signed in is tailored to the things we know about them. Using the information they have provided you over the lifetime of your relationship, gathered through purchases made and links clicked, you can show specific promotions and upsell only the products that make sense for that customer. By leveraging the information we know about them, we’re able to be more intentional about what advertisements they see, what upsells they are shown and make helpful suggestions based on their prior purchase history. Now, rather than being subjected to blanket advertising, we can target them using the information they’ve given us, help them find the most appropriate products they’d be interested in and reduce the unnecessary marketing noise that they’d otherwise be subjected to.

Imagine if grocery stores were one aisle, and were only lined with the products that made sense for you to purchase — those you had told them you were interested in, or those that made sense based on your prior purchases.

I know, the concept is simple, right? But how do we actually do it? I’ll show you how below.

In CustomerHub, you can control permissions on a page level, or on a partial level. Partial’s are essentially a section of content that you’ve prebuilt in order to embed it elsewhere within your membership site, with a different set of permissions than the page that is hosting it.

Let’s say I am selling three products. I’m selling a Retractable Dog Leash, a Self-Serve Dog Water Dispenser and a Cat Scratching Post. Well, if I create upsell partials for each of these products, then I can control when each of the partials are displayed.

If a customer has already purchased the Retractable Dog Leash, then obviously I don’t need to display the upsell for that product and it wouldn’t make sense to try and sell them a product they’ve already purchased. It also wouldn’t make sense to try and sell them a Cat Scratching post, because they’ve given me no indication that they have a Cat.

However, it would make sense to let them know that I offer Self-Serve Dog Water Dispenser, because we know they’re a dog owner, and we know they haven’t purchased this from me already.

So, here are a few different ways to configure upsells with CustomerHub.

‘If This’ Upsell

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The first is an “if this” type upsell. I would set up my Infusionsoft purchase actions so that if you purchase a retractable Dog Leash, and you haven’t already purchased the Water Dispenser, then it’ll apply the “Water Dispenser Upsell” tag. This tag gives you permission to see a partial, which otherwise you would not have been able to see, thereby presenting you with a relevant upsell the next time you log in. This upsell could be positioned in the right column of your CustomerHub site, or embedded directly into any of the pages. You need to remember to set up a purchase action for when someone buys the Water Dispenser that removes the “Water Dispenser Upsell” tag and applies the “Purchased Water Dispenser” tag. By doing this, you are effectively removing the upsell, because now that they have purchased it, it is no longer relevant.

‘Vanishing’ Upsell

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The second method is by using a “vanishing” type upsell. This is not necessarily dependent on a product that they’ve already purchased. The concept is that partials allow you to create a section of teaser content, which is displayed when they do not have permission to view the partial. Leveraging this, you can effectively set the teaser up to be an advertisement or upsell, and then when someone purchases the product, you now tag them with the “Purchased Product A” tag, which would remove the teaser and instead allow the customer permission to see the content. For this scenario, you don’t need to have any content in your partial. They see a promo in the teaser, and then once they buy, they see the partial, which is essentially an empty space, but now the teaser is gone. Alternatively, you can use the partial to house some “FAQ” or “Best Practices” tips for consuming that specific product once they’ve purchased it.

‘Interest-Based’ Upsell

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The third method involves creating an interest-based upsell. This is the most straightforward and doesn’t require any prior knowledge of your client database. Essentially, you would just send out regular communication about particular topics, and when a client clicks on an appropriate link, you should tag them with their indicated interest. These tags would correspond with upsells in your CustomerHub site. Once they have purchased the product or after a particular amount of time, you could remove the tag and thus hide the upsell partial. If my customer has been interacting with me primarily on canine products and they later clicked on a link recent email broadcast regarding information about owning a cat, then it is possible they’ve recently bought a cat and they might be primed for a Scratching Post purchase. The reason you would use a separate tag for the “Interest” and for the “Upsell” is because even after they buy the product, you know they are interested in feline products, but you want to be able to remove the Upsell tag.

There you go — you now have three separate and effective methods for how to, and when to set up upsells through your membership platform!

It is perfectly acceptable to link them from the upsell offer to your shopping cart, or to an order form, but if you’d like to pursue an advanced tactic for creating the order without requiring them to enter their billing information again, check out this article in our user guide.

If you are part of the group reading this saying “Great information, Greg, but I don’t have a membership site,” then my first response to you is, “What are you waiting for?” As we’ve talked about today, a membership site can provide tremendous benefits with regards to targeting your messaging. And my second response would be “Don’t worry,” because all of this logic and strategy can be tweaked and applied to your everyday email messaging. If you have this data, then consider leveraging it as you send out your newsletters, regular broadcasts and campaign messages.

If you could be certain that your promotions would land on the right person and that you could eliminate the irrelevant messages that you might be sending your customers, how much would that be worth to you?

Consider launching a “Freemium” model site to get customers interested, and engaged with your brand, and then before you know it you’ve got an upsell machine communicating with your members in a trusted environment, with a message tailored specifically to them. We’ve even got some great tips for making sure your site looks professional.

Report back and let us know, we’d love to hear your results!

Image credit: Calgary Reviews

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