Monthly Archives: November 2004

How to increase your profits by 40% or more with no extra work!

Before I expand on the above heading, I do have a slight confession to make – you will have to do ‘some’ work for this process to work but I promise it really isn’t much and the long-term benefits can be absolutely incredible.

The process that I want to discuss in this article is ‘upselling’.  Upselling may be a method of marketing that you already use in your own online business but if not, I am sure you are familiar with the process…

Let me give you a couple of ‘real world’ examples of the upselling technique:

1.  You visit your favourite burger joint (McD’s, Burger King, wherever, they all use upselling).  You order a burger and you are asked, ‘Do you want fries with that?’  Assuming you say ‘yes’, the next question is, ‘Large?’  A high percentage of people will go for this option because for some reason it is easier to say ‘yes’ than ‘no’.  You will probably then be asked if you want a drink and again, if you want it large.

2.  If burgers are not your thing, how about a visit to your local bookstore?  How many times do you see the piles of ‘three for two’ books?  Of course you can buy just one book but if you find another two that you like, you get one free so that’s surely a better deal right?

Both of these are examples of upselling and as you will have worked out, upselling is quite simply a marketing method used to persuade your customers to spend more money than they had originally intended.

However, there is more to it than just forcing a few extra dollars/pounds out of your customer’s pocket.  You see, for upselling to work properly, there has to be something in the deal for both parties.  This means that the customer has to benefit too.  Indeed, the upsell has to be attractive to the customer in order for them to even accept it.  To take the book example above, it is no good offering a pile of ‘three for two’ books if there is only one title that is popular or a new release – they all need to be good titles that people will want, otherwise the customers will just buy the book that they were originally interested in.

So how does upselling transfer to your Internet business?

Usually it is as easy as adding an additional ‘upsell page’ in between your normal ordering page and your payment page.  This is especially easy with eBooks and other digital products but there is no reason why it cannot be applied to any product being sold online.

I personally use upselling on most of my websites and in a number of different ways so it is probably as easy to look at how I use upselling as this will help you to begin to apply the technique to your own website business.

I use upsells on my eBook sales by directing the customer to an upsell page after they have decided to purchase one of my products.  A typical upsell will be to offer the customer the chance to purchase both the eBook that they are interested in plus one or more associated eBooks for a heavily discounted price.  I ensure that the discount is considerable as this makes the deal far more attractive for the customer but involves me in no extra work if they decide to go ahead with the upsell.

With my membership sites, the upsell is slightly different and subscribers are offered the chance to make a large saving if they opt to pay for an annual subscription rather than month by month.  Again, a great deal for the buyer but no extra work for me.

Upselling is an extremely simple concept yet incredibly effective.  On average, 40% of my customers opt for the upsell if it is offered and I have seen situations where as many as 70% of buyers upgrade to the upsell offer.

Remember, the key to successful upselling is to give the customer a superb deal – it isn’t all about forcing that extra bit of cash out of the buyer’s wallet.  If you don’t offer great value and quality products, your customer will end up requesting a refund.  But if you DO offer them a bargain then you will have a happy customer that will buy from you again and again.

To put a cash value on the power of upselling, just consider the following comparison for a moment…

You offer a product for $20 and 100 people buy it.  Your income is $2000.

You offer a product for $20 and again, 100 people buy it but this time buyers are offered an upsell which costs $40.  40% of buyers opt for the upsell offer.  Your income is now $2800 – a 40% increase!

How much extra work would be involved in handling the second scenario above?  None really.  If you are selling a digital product then there is no extra work but even if you are selling a tangible product, you are shipping to the customer anyway so how much additional effort is required to put the upsell product in the same package?

Powerful stuff and if you are not using upsells already, you really should be.

At last, the real secret of Internet marketing…

I am going to share a real secret with you this week.  A secret that can be summarized in two words.  A secret that ALL successful Internet marketers know and apply.  A secret that really is the difference between the success and failure of your online business.  Sounds pretty important huh?

Well, it is and because of the fact that this is so important, I am going to share this secret with you for nothing – that’s right – you can have this secret completely free of charge!

Ok, here goes…

The secret is:  HARD WORK.

Yup, that’s it – hard work.  Surprised?  I am sure that many of you are.  I am also sure that many of you are thinking ‘Oh yeah, heard it all before’.  Well, maybe you have heard it before but have you actually DONE IT?

You see, this is often the only difference between those that are successful and those that want to be.  More and more I see people looking for the easy option or the ‘get rich quick’ scheme.  Let me tell you now, they don’t exist and whilst the Internet can eventually provide you with a very comfortable lifestyle with very little work, it comes at a price and that price is usually two or three years of hard work.  That means working long hours for little or even no reward.

Let me give you some examples of the sort of thing I am talking about and see which category you fit into:

Several of my websites are based around helping people find wholesalers for a range of products that can be resold on the Internet or anywhere else for that matter.  Dealing with wholesalers and finding that elusive product takes a degree of skill and commitment and often time it will be necessary to phone or visit several suppliers before you find what you are looking for.  At the end of the day, you should expect to have to put some effort in – after all, if it was as easy as just clicking on a website order button then everyone would be doing it right?  Common sense you might think but I still get people emailing me after spending 15 minutes surfing through a couple of wholesale sites stating that they can’t find what they are looking for and can I do the research for them?

Talk about the lazy option.  What is wrong with these people?  They haven’t even bothered to pick up the telephone, let alone drive to a wholesalers to see what stock is available that isn’t listed online.  It is as though they expect someone else to build their entire business for them and I am sorry but this is not going to happen.

Let’s talk about eBooks.  Over the years I have promoted numerous different eBooks and other info-products and I am very careful to review every single product before making any mention of it in my newsletter or on my websites.  I want to be sure that if I put my name to a product, I know that it contains quality content that will help the reader improve their online business or generate an income. 

Because of this, it is extremely rare for me to get refund requests on products I have recommended but of course, from time to time, it does happen.  This is fair enough and there can be many reasons why someone may not be happy with their purchase but you know the reason that really irritates me?  It is when someone requests a refund a couple of hours (or even minutes) after making their purchase and states that they have read the eBook and the ideas contained within won’t work. 

In 99.9% of cases, this translates as ‘It all looks like too much hard work and I can’t be bothered…’

The fact is that the majority of methods of earning a living online will be hard work – of course they will – do people really think that they are going to buy an eBook that will provide them with the knowledge to earn $100,000 a year for doing NOTHING?  I wonder sometimes and this kind of attitude often leaves me staring at my computer screen with my jaw hanging down because I can’t believe that anyone can really believe that they are going to get the rewards without the effort.

When I started my online businesses, I would work 15 hour days, 7 days a week for several months at a time.  I was rarely away from my PC and this went on for two or three years.  Nowadays I work considerably less but if I am developing a new product or site I can easily put in a 60 – 70 hour week. Ask any successful online marketer and they will tell you the same.

So which category do you fit into?  Are you committed to working your butt off for a few years to establish your online business or do you expect to sit back and hope that it all happens around you while you get on with your real-world life?  If you are in the second category I am afraid you are going to be very disappointed.  If you are in the first category then I have every respect for you and you are exactly the type of person that can make a superb life for themselves based around an Internet business.