An upsell technique that really annoys me as a customer

44 replies
I've just purchased an information product which was originally $997 but on sale for a "crazy" $5 for today only.

It looked like a great product and at $5 it was a no-brainer, so I purchased. Clicked the buy now button and arrived at an upsell page. That's always a bit of a downer, when you are feeling excited about the product you have just bought, to be told that there's another much better product that you also really need.

Anyway, I ignored the upsell, scrolled right to the bottom and clicked the tiny (almost invisible) link that said "No thanks I'll pass on this great offer".

Lo and behold, there was a second upsell on the next page. Now I was feeling a bit frustrated and also a bit more deflated. If the original product I bought was so great,why do I need this upsell so desperately. I'm starting the feel the original product can't be so great after all.

So, I scrolled to the bottom, clicked the tiny "no thank you" link again and....

A third upsell! Another product this time. By now I'm starting to feel very agitated. My respect for the marketer has diminished and I'm in a very negative frame of mind towards his original product.

OK, you might say, "what do you expect when you only pay $5 for a product?" But surely there are better ways to do this from a customer relations viewpoint? I guess this upsell technique works, or he wouldn't be doing it.

But from the customer's viewpoint, it sucks big time.
#annoys #customer #technique #upsell
  • Profile picture of the author Olson Mino
    yep upsells are part of a sales funnel and to tell the truth they work pretty well... so basically costumers they just have to deal with this part.

    The only one thing that I'm against is that the first product that anyone purchases must work without the upsells...if it doesn't then that totally sucks.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jere Kuisma
      Originally Posted by Olson Mino View Post

      yep upsells are part of a sales funnel and to tell the truth they work pretty well... so basically costumers they just have to deal with this part.

      The only one thing that I'm against is that the first product that anyone purchases must work without the upsells...if it doesn't then that totally sucks.
      Quoted for the truth. As long as the first product is what is promised I got no problem with the upsells. Of course a marketer tries to milk customers as much as possible.
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      • Profile picture of the author DSTeam
        As long as the original product works on its own, then the upsells are OK... you're part of a marketing forum and this isn't a new technique by any means. If/when you'll have a product of your own you'll want to implement the upsell process into your sales funnel... just make sure that each upsell compliments the original purchase.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tech19
    I agree with the previous post. Upsells don't bother me at all as long as my original purchase works as described. If I want to take it to the next level that is my choice.
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  • You need up sells because 4 tires without a car will do you no good. They all do different things.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joseph G Spiteri
      Upsells, downsells, and OTOers are all part of this business and they do work.
      Personally i have no problems with the above as long as the original purchase
      is as describe. But i do understand some times it can get a little frustrating.
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    • Profile picture of the author Centurian
      Originally Posted by prostarprofitsdotcom View Post

      You need up sells because 4 tires without a car will do you no good. They all do different things.
      lol.

      Yeah. That's the worst part. Thinking you bought the car, but only get four tires (without rims). :rolleyes:
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      • Profile picture of the author ahlexis
        Originally Posted by prostarprofitsdotcom
        You need up sells because 4 tires without a car will do you no good. They all do different things.

        lol.

        Yeah. That's the worst part. Thinking you bought the car, but only get four tires (without rims).

        Don't go there!

        Four tires without a car, I mean. Because you KNOW that if a car dealership tried that it would not only fail, but it would bring the district attorney and a bunch of government agents with guns and badges (and depending on the mood of the lead investigator, SWAT team-styled raids as well) into their lives pretty quick.

        Don't believe me? Google "Gibson Guitar raid" and see what that looked like. Or maybe you should just Google "Frank Kern FTC" and find out what was in store for him. Because you are using the internet, if they consider it fraud it's considered wire fraud. That's in the same league with money laundering, and if they throw the book at you the penalties are in the same range. Some money launderers end up looking at 20 years behind bars. Not a pretty sight, no matter how much "everybody is doing it".

        The LAST thing the internet marketing industry needs right now is more government intervention. Sheesh!
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Three upsells is a bit much but still no need to be upset, IMO. Marketing is marketing. Now, if the primary product is worth more than $5, and with a $997 reg. pricetag is should be, you've done well to come away with a decent product and a bit of frustration. If it's not so good, get off this guy's list and fuggitaboutit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    If something was originally $997 but is now at a crazy price of $5 - I wouldn't expect anything but being messed around. Something that was originally priced that high but can be sold that cheaply leads me to suspect that it was never of satisfactory quality to justify the original price tag.
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    • Profile picture of the author PaulyC
      Originally Posted by Kierkegaard View Post

      If something was originally $997 but is now at a crazy price of $5 - I wouldn't expect anything but being messed around. Something that was originally priced that high but can be sold that cheaply leads me to suspect that it was never of satisfactory quality to justify the original price tag.
      I couldn't agree more... I was thinking the exact same thing.

      As for the OP, upsells are everywhere... I get uphold at the 7/11 down the street when I buy a protein shake and get offered the 2nd one for 50% off. It's just more obvious when we have to click away 3-4 times (which I do think is too many times for an upsell).

      There's so many variables, I guess just like many have said here avoid these guys in the future and shake it off.

      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author plainwords
        Thanks Pauley13 for sharing your research. Good to hear you are no longer using upsells.

        I'm a marketer myself, so I'm familiar with upsells and can see why it's done from a marketer's viewpoint. However, in this particular case I was the customer, so I saw it from a customer's viewpoint. And as customer, it sucked.

        Surely it would be better to let the customer enjoy their original purchase for a day or two, feel good about it, and then send them a follow up email with the upsell? As a customer, that's certainly what I'd prefer. And while those aggressive upsells might work the first time around, they are not going to build long term customer goodwill.
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        • Profile picture of the author pauley13
          Originally Posted by plainwords View Post

          Thanks Pauley13 for sharing your research. Good to hear you are no longer using upsells.

          I'm a marketer myself, so I'm familiar with upsells and can see why it's done from a marketer's viewpoint. However, in this particular case I was the customer, so I saw it from a customer's viewpoint. And as customer, it sucked.

          Surely it would be better to let the customer enjoy their original purchase for a day or two, feel good about it, and then send them a follow up email with the upsell? As a customer, that's certainly what I'd prefer. And while those aggressive upsells might work the first time around, they are not going to build long term customer goodwill.
          These days I just tend to do what feels "right". Life's too short. I've made enough money on marketing to be able to stop and take stock. And the funny thing is: the more I CARE about the client, the more I seem to be pulling in, lol.

          It's NOT a quick-fix for most new marketers, I know, and this kind of thinking won't be too popular with most others too. No problem. But - personally, I just like to feel good about what I do. I can't help but immediately put myself in the shoes of the buyer - and I've been a buyer MANY times, especially for IM products.

          Ultimately it's down to the values you hold dear. If you don't mind being treated like plebs, then you won't mind treating others like that. If you like being treated with respect - you'll do the same for others
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  • Profile picture of the author pauley13
    I agree with @PlainWords - upsells (if done thoughtlessly) CAN be extremely detrimental to the seller - and a source of BAD VIBES for the buyer. (Do you want your buyer to have bad vibes?)

    I'm sure most of you have been through this yourselves and most of you have been annoyed more than once by this pushiness before finally settling on "it works, I'm a marketer - it doesn't upset me. It doesn't upset me. It doesn't...."

    I've done a bit of structured research on this. But not with marketers but rather with a few test groups of "ordinary" BUYERS. Some of them were would-be-marketers (i.e. not yet hardened to "the way it's done").

    The results I got (through a few polls - and of course: through sales results) were - for me - overwhelmingly convincing. (the test group was only a few hundred people divided into two sections, one with upsells and one without upsells (but with sales on the backend))

    So, over 80% (!!!) of the people in the traditional funnel (with upsells) did NOT buy any of them and almost all - including most of those who did buy - reported a poor experience and would in almost all cases not want to go back to the seller, nor would they buy on the backend.

    TEST THIS YOURSELVES - maybe you'll get different results, but I doubt it!

    I got a 180 opposite result with the other group!

    I have since stopped doing upsells entirely. I KNOW everybody says it works, and I too have had some success with that in the past. But it was *nothing* compared to a much more straight-up method of simply being friendly and helpful to the client, selling what you're offering and then encouraging them to try something else AFTER they've had a taste of the thing they came to buy.

    If the product you're selling is GOOD and you sell it correctly, you will become something of an "authority" in the buyer's mind. Also, you'll FEEL better about yourself. And the "ordinary" client won't think of you as a profiteer.

    Someone here commented about "the masses" - somewhat disparagingly, I thought - well, the masses have brains too and, even though my tests didn't prove this for "everyone", they convinced *me* that upsells are not something I want to do. And - since I've dropped them entirely (switching to after-sale deals), my incomes increased very significantly.

    my 2 cents paul
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
    I have no doubt that upsells work and I do promote a product that has upsells and often get those upsell commissions. However, I feel that 1 upsell is enough, when you get 2 or 3 or 4 upsells that you need to get through before you can download the product you purchased, then that is just plain annoying.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    This stuff doesn't have to be so complicated.

    If you had a bad experience - you can just ignore any offers from the same seller in the future.

    Once you have your good sources and know which ones to avoid, you'll hardly ever have to repeat the experience.

    It's not personal - some marketers don't give 2 hoots about you and they'll happily jump you through as many hoops as they can and justify it all with "it makes me more money".

    Just pay attention and avoid the people that market in a way you don't enjoy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Russel Mogul
    You pretty much answered yourself. $5 is a steep discount. I can receive 10 exit pop ups and not flinch even once at that price.

    As a marketer you are probably blind to impulse buying so why would this bother you at all ?
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    So did you ever get to download the product? Or was there 53 more OTOs? Lol...
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    • Profile picture of the author plainwords
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      So did you ever get to download the product? Or was there 53 more OTOs? Lol...
      Yes, I've started reading the product and would you believe it, the first module includes a section about how to do upsells!

      Having said that, it's actually a good product with a lot of useful stuff, so I'm starting to cool off a little bit.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlphaWarrior
    Originally Posted by plainwords View Post

    I've just purchased an information product which was originally $997 but on sale for a "crazy" $5 for today only.

    It looked like a great product and at $5 it was a no-brainer, so I purchased. Clicked the buy now button and arrived at an upsell page. That's always a bit of a downer, when you are feeling excited about the product you have just bought, to be told that there's another much better product that you also really need.

    Anyway, I ignored the upsell, scrolled right to the bottom and clicked the tiny (almost invisible) link that said "No thanks I'll pass on this great offer".

    Lo and behold, there was a second upsell on the next page. Now I was feeling a bit frustrated and also a bit more deflated. If the original product I bought was so great,why do I need this upsell so desperately. I'm starting the feel the original product can't be so great after all.

    So, I scrolled to the bottom, clicked the tiny "no thank you" link again and....

    A third upsell! Another product this time. By now I'm starting to feel very agitated. My respect for the marketer has diminished and I'm in a very negative frame of mind towards his original product.

    OK, you might say, "what do you expect when you only pay $5 for a product?" But surely there are better ways to do this from a customer relations viewpoint? I guess this upsell technique works, or he wouldn't be doing it.

    But from the customer's viewpoint, it sucks big time.
    I totally agree with you.

    One thing that struck me as I read through this thread and it is the same thing when I read the "refund" threads - so many IM'ers think that it is ok to jerk around customers. After all, it is the customer's fault the he/she bit off on the advertisement.

    According to some IM'ers, in this case, you should have known that you would be jerked around since it was a $997 product for only $5. Shame on you, not shame on the IM'er.

    It is such BS.

    Folks, think about your customers. Treat them with respect. IM is about giving value and being paid for that value. Not just seeing if you can get some poor saps' money.
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  • Yes, this is annoying as hell. I'm baffled by people here saying things like, "But if the product was worth $997..." Come on guys. You know better than that. This is Internet marketing. It's a gimmick. It's BS. Chances are no one has ever paid remotely close to $997 for it. It's a "value" the marketer plucked out of his own brain based on nothing whatsoever.

    As for upsells, they're fine as long as they come AFTER I've had a look at the $5 product. If it's great, then of course I'll be open to buying something bigger. The whole "get 'em while they're hot" tactic of throwing upsell after upsell into the order process is distasteful to me, regardless of how well it works. You have to weigh what works well against the customer experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author YasirYar
    Up sell offers are a great way to market your products but the way a marketer offers is needs to be evaluated. Forcing an up sell may end up in loss of an almost ready buyer if the product that the buyer actually wanted to buy is greatly undermined. I suggest that marketers should offer an up sell but should not irritate the buyers.
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    • Profile picture of the author atvking
      The grand master of upsells is godaddy LOL Makes me want to go ballistic when ordering a domain...100 upsells that I have to read through before I can complete the transaction...

      But godaddy makes a lot of $$ so I will study this more carefully...
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      ...

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      • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
        Originally Posted by atvking View Post

        The grand master of upsells is godaddy LOL Makes me want to go ballistic.

        But godaddy makes a lot of $$ so I will study this more carefully...
        Really?

        You KNOW it annoys people (including you) and you still are thinking of doing it "because it makes money"?
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        • Profile picture of the author atvking
          Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

          Really?

          You KNOW it annoys people (including you) and you still are thinking of doing it "because it makes money"?
          To be fair I would only put in one upsell because I have 0 at the moment. I would not go the "annoy the pants" out of my customer route because godaddy really goes overboard with this stuff LOL...
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      • Profile picture of the author ahlexis
        Originally Posted by atvking View Post

        The grand master of upsells is godaddy LOL Makes me want to go ballistic when ordering a domain...100 upsells that I have to read through before I can complete the transaction...

        But godaddy makes a lot of $$ so I will study this more carefully...


        One of the reasons some people (a LOT of people, actually! They've complained) buy from NameCheap instead . . .
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        • Profile picture of the author atvking
          Originally Posted by ahlexis View Post

          One of the reasons some people (a LOT of people, actually! They've complained) buy from NameCheap instead . . .
          Godaddy is still the largest registrar in the world. It would be foolish not to at least split test what is obviously working for them. Not saying one should annoy the crap out of customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlenGeorgeson
    Upsells are part of the sales funnel. They increase the customer lifetime value. Thats just part of this business. Even though they are pretty annoying if YOU are the customer :=)

    Cheers
    Alen
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
      If you've paid for an info product, if there are upsells they should be placed in the product itself where possible so that buyers sees it afterwards, otherwise the vendor potentially degrades the initial product taking attention away from it.

      I'm sure there are exceptions, but I don't want to be shown a roast dinner after I've just bought a salad.

      Maybe an hour later....
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    Hold on a 'sec, who says multiple upsells work???

    Here's the deal ...

    If you have 100 customers and your upsell shenanigans works to generate just one extra sale, then yes, you have immediately made a little more money.

    Easy enough for newbies to go parroting that upsells work.

    But if in the process you pissed-off your other 99 customers and they do not buy from you again, then in the long run you have lost money.

    For example, some major marketers, we all know them, a few years ago did the up down up down up down bit as if a marketing "funnel" was a hyperactive yo-yo and they lost a lot of business. They don't do that anymore. One I know still has not recovered.

    You only get to abuse your customer once.

    Sometimes there are threads where someone complains about an immediate refund before the buyer has had sufficient time to go through the product. They assume it is fraud. Sometimes it is. Or maybe the buyer decided they really didn't want anything to do with the seller after being inundated with upsells.

    .
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Deegan
      Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

      Hold on a 'sec, who says multiple upsells work???

      Here's the deal ...

      If you have 100 customers and your upsell shenanigans works to generate just one extra sale, then yes, you have immediately made a little more money.

      Easy enough for newbies to go parroting that upsells work.

      But if in the process you pissed-off your other 99 customers and they do not buy from you again, then in the long run you have lost money.

      For example, some major marketers, we all know them, a few years ago did the up down up down up down bit as if a marketing "funnel" was a hyperactive yo-yo and they lost a lot of business. They don't do that anymore. One I know still has not recovered.

      You only get to abuse your customer once.

      Sometimes there are threads where someone complains about an immediate refund before the buyer has had sufficient time to go through the product. They assume it is fraud. Sometimes it is. Or maybe the buyer decided they really didn't want anything to do with the seller after being inundated with upsells.

      .
      This is the truth right here. We all need to be careful with what we assume works. Things are changing and brute force marketing is losing its effectiveness with each passing year. Having respect in how you interact with customers and potential customers at all stages of the buying cycle is becoming more important.

      People do want to buy stuff, but in many cases those people have more choices in who they can to buy from then ever before. I'm not against using upsells,OTO's,etc...But come on man why not try and implement them in way that doesn't come off like a douchebag. Get a bit creative, inject some humor in the process, but please do something beside beating me over the head with another "BUY THIZ NOW YOU'z NEEDS DIS OK?
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    • Profile picture of the author Ben Gordon
      Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

      Hold on a 'sec, who says multiple upsells work???

      Here's the deal ...

      If you have 100 customers and your upsell shenanigans works to generate just one extra sale, then yes, you have immediately made a little more money.

      Easy enough for newbies to go parroting that upsells work.

      But if in the process you pissed-off your other 99 customers and they do not buy from you again, then in the long run you have lost money.

      For example, some major marketers, we all know them, a few years ago did the up down up down up down bit as if a marketing "funnel" was a hyperactive yo-yo and they lost a lot of business. They don't do that anymore. One I know still has not recovered.

      You only get to abuse your customer once.

      Sometimes there are threads where someone complains about an immediate refund before the buyer has had sufficient time to go through the product. They assume it is fraud. Sometimes it is. Or maybe the buyer decided they really didn't want anything to do with the seller after being inundated with upsells.

      .
      Strange. If you have a 1% conversion rate for your first upsell then that completely means you suck, unless the upsell is $997 or more. Upsells generally have 30% conversions if they are created well.

      Some people prefer not to build a relationship with their clients and go through all the maintenance of marketing on them later. They'd rather just obtain a smaller amount of money quicker than obtain a larger amount of money much slower. After all, to maintain your list it does take quite a bit of effort.
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  • I love to be upsold because I learn from it
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    soon people... Relax...
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    i've split tested extensively; have found best results are a function of price, if I'm selling something at $500+ I would never try an immediate upsell, til later via email at least... sub $97 and 1-2 upsells max at point of sale
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  • Profile picture of the author paul_1
    Upsells are really part of marketing strategy. We have to accept that. But it should be used properly. Otherwise it will throw off potential customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    That is unfortunate that they present such a horrible customer experience like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
    I'm with the OP. He's not saying he doesn't understand why upsells are necessary, important or ever-present; he's saying he didn't like the way it was done in this case. There are other ways.

    Of course, he has a choice. As others have said, he can simply decide never to buy from that marketer again. But, as a marketer, I would rather lose the extra sales than the credibility.

    Will
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  • Profile picture of the author Haris Tahic
    I only add one upsell, this way: This one product COULD help you earn more..

    From marketing viewpoint of business, you have to help your customers, not sell them more.
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  • Profile picture of the author edynas
    Banned
    The only moment I hate upsells is when I think I bought a complete product and on the upsell page being told I am not.
    Like the car and wheels...if I think I bought a car I do not want to hear it has got no wheels on the next page....and if you try to trick me into thinking it does then I will not respect you, I do not care if it works it's not how it should be done.

    I had that yesterday on a WSO and thought I would get the secret sauce but on the nextpage I discover it's just the basis and for the secret sauce I had to pay an extra $47. In theend I did it but really did not like it

    But if it is made clear on what I get on the salespage then I have no problems with an upsell. But the product I get should be able to function on it's own. My own way of upsells is that in most cases I have a special offer on one of my other products. Both can work on itself and the upsell is in my mind not an upsell but a special offer because you bought my other product in the first place.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    I think some more experienced marketers will not agree with me but...

    I've begun offering the up sell version right on the main landing page and letting my users vote with their money. I just clearly explain the difference between both versions of the product and let the visitor decide.

    So I am moving away from the up sell that is the improved, or more advanced version of the initial product.

    Instead "IF" I decide to do an up sell it will be for a complimentary product, or a product in the same genre as the initial product.

    To me this seems more logical and doesn't leave the buyer wondering if the initial offer isn't segmented in some way and "less" effective.
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  • Profile picture of the author ivanadee
    To me, as long as there is a link for "No, Thanks", it's OK
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    • Profile picture of the author plainwords
      I'm not against upsells per se. In some cases it it smart to offer an upsell. e.g. McDonald's "do you want fries with that?" - the upsell complements the original purchase and adds value.

      But in the case cited in my OP, the upsell basically told me that the product I had bought was of little value unless I purchased the upsell product as well. That's what really got me.

      I was feeling excited about the product after reading the sales letter, but then when I saw I really needed this additional product to get the full value, I felt I'd been lied to in the original sales letter.
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  • Profile picture of the author WhiteDove
    Absolutely disturbing is the word I use, I have had this happen to me several times. Those marketers in my mind don't value their customers, they don't even let them leave and be happy with their purchase. The last time this happened to me, I just cancelled the order right of way.
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  • Profile picture of the author sarconi
    I guess upsells are part of the game, so is saying no thanks i'll skipp this offer !
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