LESSON #55: Upsells and One Time Offers

In the previous lessons we’ve been working our way up to the point that you should now have something that you can sell online.

But whether you’re already selling something or if you’re still getting ready to launch your first product, you really need to think about how you can increase your profits with upsells and one-time offers.

(Watch this video…)

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Main points:

  • Depending on how you look at it, an upsell or a One Time Offer is either an extension of your front end offer, or the beginning of your back end.

  • The back end is where many businesses make the majority of their profit.

  • By using upsells and one time offers, I generally increase the profit of any particular sale by anywhere from 20% to 200%.

  • Upsell: asking your customer to upgrade their purchase to a bigger purchase, or to make an additional purchase.

    (See video for examples; McDonald’s, Best Buy, furniture, car rentals, etc.)

    Upselling is everywhere. Sometimes it is done in an unethical way, but if done right there’s nothing wrong with it.

    *Upsells should be beneficial to your customer.

  • Cross-selling: You try to sell something ELSE to your customer that they might be interested in.

    (See video for several examples of ONLINE cross-selling and upselling)

  • If possible, upsell your customer into a continuity program!

  • OTO: a One Time Offer is presented only once to a customer or prospect.

    (See video for examples of several offline and online OTO’s)

    The best OTO’s are often the ones that make the customer feel like they’re missing out on something if they don’t buy it.

    You can turn any sales letter into an OTO (See video).

    Why OTO’s work so well:

    1) The customer is in a buying mood.
    2) URGENCY!

    (See video for demonstration of how to set up OTO’s)

  • Methods of protecting OTO pages so that users can only see them one time…

    1) Use a website script with this function, such as Butterfly Marketing – mentioned in lesson #32.
    2) Have it custom coded by a programmer.
    3) Create a “cookie” script if you know PHP.
    4) Use a prewritten script such as this one which tracks both cookies and IP address.

    Recommended Resources:

    Free OTO Protection Script

    Instant One Time Offers

    Instant OTOs

    Action steps:

    1) Figure out an upsell or a One Time Offer (or both) to incorporate into your sales process.

    2) Implement it.

    Believe it or not, you may want to boost your profits even more by creating a downsell… or a 2nd OTO. I’ll explain those strategies in the next lesson.

    As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below.

    Have a great day!

  • 73 comments on “LESSON #55: Upsells and One Time Offers

    1. Gary Pettit

      I’ve purchased items before where the website owner has included a ridiculous amount of upsells and downsells…I’m talking about 6 or 7, and it takes forever to even get to the download page of the product you originally purchased.

      My opinion is that upsells and downsells are diffently required for good marketing(and not leaving money on the table) But…. you also don’t want to irritate your customer or make it an unpleasent purchasing experience. I personally thing one upsell and one downsell per website is good maketing practice.

      Another great lesson with good solid content …I can’t wait to see how you decide to package your entire course for sale… a physical product would be nice! Would love to ad it to my library!


      How to get targeted leads and massive
      traffic to any website in 15 minutes
      or less:

    2. Eric Post author

      Thanks Gary:-) Yeah I’m actually going to be talking about not going overboard in the next lesson when we talk about downsells. You’re right, in most cases it’s best to limit it (particularly if you’re trying to build long term relationship).

    3. avis williams

      Happy new year!! Another great post..speaking as a consumer, I don’t particularly like OTO offers, especially if theres a downsell and there’s another upsell..it comes across as desperation to make a sell, anyway they can.

      I think upsells/upgrades are great espescially if it compliments a purchase and adds value.

      Continuity programs are great, depends on the price point and the service provided. Some people don’t like paying a monthly fee. What price point would you recommend per month? , do you think a yearly fee would work out better than a monthly fee?

    4. Eric Post author

      thanks Avis!

      If you’re in a market that is very sensitive to this, then you might have to present it in a way that lets your customer know that you’re not desperate to make another sale. On the contrary, perhaps you have an abundance of sales, and that’s why you’re limiting the “privilege” of joining your exclusive program to your valued customers during a one time offer.

      And in some cases the “typical” internet marketing OTO may not be appropriate. But there are certainly other ways of doing it. Look at how big companies like Amazon offer complementary suggestions and upsells (ie. Buy these 2 items together and save $XX).

      As far as pricing a continuity program, the principles of lesson 49 apply:
      It’s a matter of developing a pricing strategy for the objectives of your business, and then testing it. Yearly vs. Monthly is best determined by testing (and I’ll be covering testing soon).

    5. Robbo

      Hi Eric,
      Great lesson, thanks.
      I guess the essence of any up sell is customer awareness.
      When I worked in a car yard, a cash customer would leave with car finance, extended warranty and often top shelf insurance products. Each returned a commission for my family.
      If the customer wasn’t aware of those offers, then you would not sell them. Presented nicely as a matter of choice and a great deal, there is nothing wrong with it.
      What bites is buyer remorse, when, after sales servivce fails. Good follow up opens referal opportunities and post sale sales.
      However, the car yard had a system and developing one for yourself is a challenge.
      When once apon a time, I worked for W.Clement Stone selling Little Giant Life products, we actually physically knocked on your door every six months and upgraded your policy, on the spot in cash. People didn’t mind as long as you didn’t push to hard. In fact more profitable and easier commissions came from upgrades.
      W.C. Stone’s legacy was to create cost effective, marketable and repeat business products. Sounds familiar doesn’t it.
      Belief it or not, doing it on a computer can be harder.

      Following Erics Tips we have made our first Clickbank sale commission, yeah, and we have a constent flow of users registering. Getting the old brain around what comes next is exciting.
      all the best

      The Robbo’s
      Tim and Jo-Anne
      ps. Even though one sale returns only a fraction of the outlay so far, it is a sale and it’s upwards from here.

    6. Pakistani Wedding

      Up selling a product is a nice money maker. At the same time it creates a bad impression on the customers who have never come across it before. It gives them a shock. What I feel is that the upsell page must have a clear and easily visible “No Thanks”. Some marketers try to make it very difficult for new sellers who cannot find the link to close the page. Try to make money with trust. That is my motto. And thanks Eric for your tips.

    7. Best Man's Speech

      That’s great info Jo-Anne and I agree that upsells often work better in person. Many people are still scared to part with cash online and may freak if presented with an upsell that is like a gun pointed at your head. Congrats on getting some action at Clickbank.


    8. Nikeseller

      Hello Eric,

      I run a website selling cheap Nike sneakers and other sports shoes, but sales volume just stayed the same level every year, can you help me to sell more nike shoes? My web site for nike shoes is http://www.al-won.com. Thanks a lot !

    9. William Wallace-Bruce

      Hi Eric,
      I would like to wish you a happy new year to you and all your family. All the best for the new year.

      Eric since you introduced Traffic sage to us on your site, I tried to make use of their service by sending them 2 support tickets to for a problem i wanted solved. Up till now I’ve not heard from them.I sent the tickets 2 months ago. What other way can I get to them. need your help. Thanks


    10. Eric Post author

      Most of the lessons from here going forward can be applied to most types of internet businesses, including e-commerce such as yours. So yes I think you will learn some methods of selling more.

      By the way your domain doesn’t really make sense to me. It’s usually better if your domain is self-descriptive. I would never think to go to your domain to buy nike shoes. Obviously you can’t use the brand name in it, but there maybe a better option…

    11. Eric Post author

      I would suggest try getting in touch directy with Mike Ambrosio or Ron Douglas… both of them have their own websites…

    12. vid

      Hi Eric,
      Again you have provided a very nice and informative content. I have to say I hate OTO. I don’t like it because some times people misuse this weapen.


    13. Shannon

      Hi Eric, You’re one of the few internet marketers that I trust. I’ve been following you for close to a year and I’ve been impressed with what you offer and your honesty.

      I looked at Keith Wellman’s new product (that you’re an affiliate for), the Automated Sales Formula, and it looks pretty tempting, but as always, I decided to check out what other’s have said about it. I ended up on the Warrior Forum and found quite a few people who have been ripped off by Keith in the past. What’s more, some have ordered this product and have been waiting more than two days to get it…
      and Keith’s guarantee is only 3 days! This sounds suspiciously deceptive to avoid having to give refunds.

      Anyway, I just wanted to ask if you’ve met Keith, or if you’ve actually tried the product. I realize you’re not going to be too critical here (since you’re an affiliate), but I’m putting my trust in your honest opinion.

    14. Pingback: Downsells and 2nd One Time Offers | Downsell Strategy | Eric's Tips

    15. Eric Post author

      If people are waiting for support for the product, I’m guessing it’s because he has sold so much in a short period of time and his support desk is swamped. I am confident that he would extend the 3-day guarantee to the time that the product was actually received.

      Yes I have met Keith in person several times. I have not used this particular product, but I am familiar with the strategy and have used elements of it and it’s a good one.

      as I’ve said many times… there are NO magic bullets, and no methods that require zero work. So as always, be prepared to put in the work and diligence for any strategy you implement.

    16. Free Dating

      don’t think this strategy will work on my dating site, but thanks for the tips.

    17. Ajang

      Artikael is very meaningful for me because I’m learning to make the product and want to immediately launch into the market but still afraid that no one liked my products. Thanks for the info you provided

    18. zyn

      The product I plan to launch will be primarily an online video course. Plus, I want to offer a monthly service (continuity) after the customer has completed the course.

      Originally, I was thinking of charging $97 per month for 3 months to complete the course, and then offer the service after that at the same $97 per month.

      I’m hoping that the 3-month course will be packed with great information and customers will want the service, too (which makes their jobs easier to actually implement part of the tasks explained in the course).

      However, the SEO Elite guy offered his product at $197 plus 30 days’ free continuity program.

      With the 3-month course and the monthly service, all at the same monthly price, I would have to get them to agree to join the service later, which would be 2 sales I’d have to make to the customer.

      What’s your take on the best strategy?


    19. Narges

      Thank you so much for your attention

    20. Eric Post author

      I think you could probably tie the two ideas together.

      $97/mo for 3 months, and then automatically $97/mo unless they choose to cancel.

      If you could survey your market that would be a good way to find out what they might prefer.

      Beyond that, I’d say go with your gut and then test it. I talk about pricing strategies here: http://www.ericstips.com/tips/lesson49/ and I will soon be caovering split testing.

    21. Mike Wong

      Hi Eric,
      >I bought your ResellerSite recently.
      I’m trying to create a payment button and a TQ
      page (following video tutorial in lesson #54)

      >Now,my problem is I couldn’t find a TQ page in
      the ResellerSite product!
      Please advise.
      Thanks,Mike Wong

    22. Vern

      Your example of Brad Callen’s “upsell”, where he has an “already-checked” box = isn’t that against the new FTC regs? Doesn’t FTC frown on having to “opt out” of an agreement??

    23. Eric Post author

      You can use the index.html page of the member area. Thanks

    24. Eric Post author

      Good question, and I really don’t know the answer as I’m not an attorney or expert on legal matters. I would be appreciative to hear from someone who is.

      My personal opinion is that his method is OK, because it’s not truly an “opt-out”. It’s done prior to the sale, and prior to entering your credit card information. It’s more akin to an option on the order form… again IMO.

    25. Mike Wong

      Hi Eric,
      >Regarding ResellerSite,I just got this domain
      >I’m still struggling to create a TQ page &
      Paypal payment button.(#Lesson54)
      and I need your help to proceed:-)
      > I checked out the source code of the sale page:
      There are 2 “#order” links:
      1.Click Here To Order Before The Price Goes Up
      2.Click Here To Join Now
      ..and 1 payment link. “Your Payment Link Here”

      Next is the members Area.
      I renamed the index.html to ——-
      There are 2 links:
      1. Sign Up HERE
      2. Click Here For Your 30 day Trial
      and also these links in the source code:
      [deleted by eric]

      I need your help to complete these steps .

      Thanks,Mike Wong

    26. saso

      thank you for all of those knoeledge.It’s great

    27. karen


      I think of a good way to do downsell and promote a one-time membership at the same time.

      If my customer visited my webpage and bought several items (say chocolate bars) from my site, when he/she checked out a popup menu will ask him/her whether he/she would like to receive a 10% discount as soon as he/she sign-ups a one time membership and they can keep the 10% forever.

      Is there a script which can assist me to accomplish this task by letting them sign up and pay the membership? Once they pay the membership, a discount code will be generated. Once they entered the discount code at check-out, they will get 10% off.

      Can you give me specifics and guide me how to accomplish this task?

      Please point me to the right track.

      Thanks, Karen

    28. Eric Post author

      Hi Karen, Yes that’s definitely possible. I do not know of a particular script to use, but I think it could be easily done with a small amount of custom coding. You could get a coder at http://rentalcoders.com (I think you could have it done for about $50)

      Another option would be to talk to a shopping cart provider such as 1SC or Infusion and see if they can help you set it up if you use their services:


    29. Eric Post author

      Mike, I do show exactly how to insert your payment link in lesson #54. Get the payment text link (see video) and paste it in between the “” in the order link.

      As for the links in the member area… you can leave those as-is, or you can insert your own clickbank username into the link to earn commissions πŸ™‚

    30. Tom

      Hey Eric,
      Thanks for the great content and information. I have a few e-commerce stores, and I’m wondering how important list building is to that type of business model. I have heard different theories (still important, not really important, etc.) and I’d like to know your thoughts on this. I would think that a list of some sort could prove to be profitable in nearly any market, but I’m not sure of the best way to approach this within my business model. Thanks!

    31. Eric Post author

      I’ve known e-commerce marketers who make good money without focusing on list building, but in my opinion it should still be a high priority. When it comes to e-commerce, most customers shop around the internet. So it’s important to capture your prospects and keep them coming back, and if they don’t want to buy what you’ve got… you can earn affiliate commission sending them elsewhere (even to amazon or ebay).

      And your customer list is your most valuable asset. People who do buy from you will buy from you again… If you keep in touch and build the relationship.

      For prospects, you can capture them by offering a discount code or some other incentive in exchange for their contact info. for your customers, you should integrate a way of automatically capturing them to a customer list when they place an order.

    32. muhyar

      yeah I agree with your tips! newbee need your tips!

    33. Jeff

      This is a little off topic but back in some of your first lessons you were offering some web site building software is this still available.
      If it is please send me a link

    34. Alex

      I am lost or confused. In the last several days, I’ve reviewed all your lessons – I absolutely love them and plan to start buying some of your products – but I must be missing something.

      Where are the lessons on driving qualified traffic to the website? I don’t see anything on using Google’e Adwords and/or other strategies.

      Your lesson sequence jumsp from creating product and marketing funnel to copywriting, etc. But what about generating traffic? What am I missing?

      Thanks again,

    35. Eric Post author

      Keep in mind that there will be 100 lessons in the series, including approx 20 lessons on web traffic. I’m saving the best for last πŸ™‚

      Actually I’m teaching everything in what I feel is the best sequential order for newbies.

      These other things must be done before harnessing the traffic πŸ˜‰

    36. Len Hill

      I’m so impressed with what comes out of your lessons and tips it has been the single-most tool for archival research I use daily.
      Thnxs Eric


    37. muhyar

      “Upsells should be beneficial to your customer.”
      you know I did it, again, thank you erick,

    38. Tony

      can a OTO be a discounted price product instead of can’t get it back?

    39. Bret

      Hi Eric,

      Just wanted to say thank you so much for these lessons! They are awesome, and provide great information. I somehow came across the resale package several months ago and purchased it, but didn’t really know how to use them or properly set them up. I do have several questions regarding these resale products. Firstly, can we make any changes to any of the websites? For example, some of the sites include contact email addresses for help desks, should I just leave this alone? I noticed that some of the websites include legal policies like privacy policy, terms of use, etc, but some do not. Should we add these legal notices?

      I am thinking about using one of these resale products as my main offer and then sell one of the packaged products as an OTO. But I am not really sure how to present it. After they decide to purchase the initial product, then do I offer them the OTO and then if they decide to purchase the resale rights to one of the packaged products, then do I send them to the different thank you pages? There is a thank you page for the individual resale products and then there is an individual thank you page for the resale package. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

      Again, thank you so much for this great information.

    40. Eric Post author

      Firstly, can we make any changes to any of the websites? For example, some of the sites include contact email addresses for help desks, should I just leave this alone?

      It depends on the license terms of the particular resale package, but generally yes you can change the sales pages, etc. And definitely you can change the contact info to your own.

      noticed that some of the websites include legal policies like privacy policy, terms of use, etc, but some do not. Should we add these legal notices?

      Yes. You are resposnsible for making sure your site is in legal compliance, regardless of whether it was given to you that way.

      …then do I offer them the OTO and then if they decide to purchase the resale rights to one of the packaged products, then do I send them to the different thank you pages?

      Yes you can structure it that way. You can modify the thank-you pages and add new ones to meet your needs. If you have several OTO’s and/or options, it may be helpful to create a flowchart or draw a diagram to make sure you’ve got the right thank-you pages set up for the right customers.

    41. Gary

      Hi Eric:
      Thanks very much for a very great lesson. Upsells has been an issue for me in exploring and developing 3 niches I’m working on. Your words bring clarity to the issue for me. Thanks !!!

      But I do have some questions. First, why does my gravitar and auto-fill no longer work?
      Probably my computer which at 10 years old is sometimes acting “flakey”. Hopefully it’s soon to be replaced by one only 4 tears old and all my problems will be solved. It will know what I mean to do and just “happen” things automatically, yes? – – ha, ha.
      On a more serious note, re: upsells – – one niche I’m looking to develope is to transcribe and publish a srack of old letters left to me by my Grandfather. These are letters from his very best freind written over many years. I have only his freind’s letters and not my Grandfather’s replies, but these two old codgers, who, as Gringoes, fought together in the Mexican revolution corresponded regularly about Poncho Villa’s gold and its whereabouts.

      My idea is to transcribe the letters to the best of my ability and publish them in a blog but blanking out key information such as names and places. To see those key items would require a reader to subscribe to a membership site where the letters would be displayed as scanned images so the reader could do their own transcriptions complete with names and places. I would also provide a forum on this membership site. So my questions are:

      1. What is your opinion of this as a niche worth pursuing in a fashion as I’ve described?

      2. Given what I have, a stack of old one-way letters with historical significance, many of which are of only personal significance to people long dead, are there better ways to monetize this “hoard”. And by the way, if Gramps knew I was doing this, He’d “dig it”.

      3. Can WordPress be used to provide both a free blog and an associated paid membership site with a forum; or should I set up the free blog as one site with the membership and forum as a separate site?

      Thanks again for your lessons Eric. Ans thanks in advance too, for your response to my questions.


    42. Eric Post author

      I’m not sure about the gravatar thing, I haven’t changed anything recently.

      To answer your questions…

      1) it sounds like a very cool project, but it doesn’t sound profitable to me. I’m basing that totally on my instinct- I have not researched the niche at all. I think you need to start by more clearly defining your target market, and then give them what they want. Instead, you are starting with a product and trying to make it fit into a market… which I’m not sure even exists. Who is the market? Treasure hunters? People whose relatives fought in that war? History buffs? How big is the market, and are they really willing to pay for this information, etc.

      2) Yes I think there is probably a better way to monetize it. Perhaps you could use them as a “lead magnet” to build your list (see lesson #62-63). Set up various landing pages to appeal to all segments of your market. You could position it as the “secret letters” revealing the mystery of Pancho Villa’s gold, or something. Then find out what those people really want and are willing to pay for, and sell them THAT.

      3) Yes definitely. See WordPress Wishlist

    43. Gary

      Hi Eric: Well first off, I apologize for my delayed response to your reply.
      My wife just returned from a several months trip visiting parents, children and grandchildren in Russia and Ukraine; so my computer time has been replaced by dinners, beach trips, etc..

      And secondly, Thanks very much for your response. And your comment “you are starting with a product and trying to make it fit into a market…” is soooo right on. When I read that it was like “bong – – been there, done that” because that is exactly the mistake I made when I started my blog at
      http://www.russianbridefacts.com. Well at least I’m consistent. I have some ideas on how to invigorate that site and perhaps you can “sanitize” them for me in a later comment, possibly when we get into list building or creating traffic.

      But for the issue of my Grandfather’s letters – – in truth I had been thinking to target this content to treasure hunters (though history buffs would enjoy it but I don’t sense any money there). Your idea of landing pages to i.d. the market is great but I don’t know how to implement it. But – – I did find quite
      a few Clickbank items for treasure hunters and I’m thinking perhaps I may find one that my content is in sync with. Then I could use my content for affiliate sales promotion.It’d be cool if I could find one with a membership feature because I really like the recurring income thing.

      But even if I just posted the letters without an affiliate angle, I could still use it to build a list for future opportunities.

      O.K., I’m getting long winded here. But I do want to express my appreciation to you for offering your insights. You definitely got me re-focused and back to reality.

      Thanks Again Eric.


      p.s. The Gravitar thing – – it’s back. Like I wrote, my aged computer is acting “flakey”. Not a good tool to start a business with, but start it I will.

      p.p.s. For your other students re: video download problems – – I had several
      cases where vids would stop part way through. I did the things from your “tips” list – – clean re-cycle bin, delete browser history, un-install/re-install flash, switch to Firefox, turn off/restart computer even viewed vids at your site via Int. Ex. instead via my e-mail,- – all with same result – – stop part way through. But if you delete history AND click “delete cookies” TOO, it works. Apparently the cookie contains a record of how much vid has been previously bufferred and
      that’s what you get on subsequent views. Well, right or not, it worked for
      me – – hope this helps someone.

    44. thanks

      you’ve got a great blog. thank you.

    45. thanks

      This would really help


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