LESSON #56: Using Downsells to Grab More Sales

By | January 11, 2010

In the previous lesson we talked about upsells and One Time Offers. If you’re not using upsells, then you’re leaving money on the table.

Today we’re going to talk about downselling…

(Watch this video…)

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Main points:

  • Downselling is relatively unknown compared to upselling, but it’s based on timeless sales strategies.

  • Downsell = presenting your prospect with something less expensive.

    (See video for several examples of downselling)

  • The bottom line is, downselling results in more sales.

  • Downsells are implemented many different ways online, including…

    – Email marketing
    – On-site product positioning
    – Exit Pops/Chats
    – Shopping cart abandonment prevention
    – One Time Offers

  • 2nd OTO’s are a very effective method of downselling.

    -Often results in closing 15-50% of the prospects who turn down the first OTO.

    (See video for details)

  • Using multiple drop-downs IS an effective way to close more sales. However, you must gauge it in light of your long-term relationship-building strategy. Also bear in mind the law of diminishing returns as you implement additional lower-priced downsells.

    Action steps:

    1) Determine whether one or more downsells can be integrated into your business.

    2) If you decide to use a downsell, implement it.

    In the next lesson we’re going to talk about testing your sales copy.

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

    Have a great day!

  • 83 thoughts on “LESSON #56: Using Downsells to Grab More Sales

    1. Armaan Reza

      Hi Eric,

      Thanks for the post and it seems to me a wise idea to implement down sell in such global economic situation and it is worth it. I was just browsing your site and found it very helpful. I will keep in touch with you to get some ideas on making money and implement it into my site http://www.armaanrezaphotography.org/
      I have already linked your site in my “Featured Sites” and the post can be seen here:


      Armaan Reza

    2. Reed

      Hey Eric,

      Eric’s Tips’ thirst is now getting the better of me !

      Its nearly a month now that I (and maybe, we) haven’t got another of your masterly videos after Lesson 56. I was so interested to know about the Testing thing, and have waited and waited, until I feel I can wait no more. You are like an oasis in a desert, so please send us one of your life-saving lessons again. I am eagerly looking forward to them.



    3. Eric Post author

      It depends on your situation. It’s true that you don’t want to have “too many” upsells/downsells, but the question is how many is too many? For some markets ONE might be too many, but others it might be five. Look at bigger web companies like Godaddy. They attempt about 4 or 5 upsells when you register a domain. Annoying? Yes. But it’s not hurting their business, the customers keep coming back, and it’s boosting their profits.

      You do definitely need to be careful about delaying the delivery of a purchased product though. If it’s free I don’t care, if they haven’t paid yet i don’t care, but if they already paid for it, you definitely need to be sensitive to the customer and deliver the product before frustration sets in.

    4. New York Construction Management

      Eric, I’ve started using this method in my Offline SEO biz. If a client doesn’t want the higher priced pakage after my sales pitch, they almost always go for the downsell product at a lower price. The funny thing is, thats what I wanted to sell them to start out with. Had they taken the more expensive package that would have been just gravy.

      Thanks again,


    5. website flipping


      I have a strategy thats main purpose is to get the downsell sale. I promote the a product that is a bit expensive, but the downsell, which is basically the “Lite” version of the product is what I’m really looking to sell. With a deep (more than 50% discount on the Lite version I get great conversion and if anybody buys the primary offer thats just gravy.

      Thanks for the great video

    6. San Diego SEO

      At work so I can’t watch the vid…What script is being recommended to handle the downsell? I need this for a product I just launched, have never used one before…

    7. Eric Post author

      You do not necessarily need a script to create a downsell.

      If you want a membership site, with built-in OTO and downsell capability then I recommend the Butterfly script.

      If you want to offer a downsell to exiting traffic, then I recommend Exit Splash

    8. San Diego SEO Company

      Thanks for the followup. My memberships sites are/will be built with WP and WL Member. Not sure if WL has one click up/downsells and OTOs.

      I did find a WP plugin, free, by Robert Plank over at Warrior Forum. All you pay is an opt-in and the plug-in does work quite well, although I wish I knew how to adjust some of its customizations a bit tighter. Still, a great tool.


    9. Eric Post author

      That may be true, but they still work.

      Do not let a few complaints get in the way of what is potentially a huge percentage of your profits.

    10. web hosting

      I agreed with you on the OTO advice… The downselling portion gave me a few ideas… Much of it I can not use yet! I really do need my own product!

    11. Erik

      What is the biggest ticket iteam you have seen sold as an inital offer? We have a $5k course down to $299 and thought the upsale aproch might work so that they get to know like and trust us. After seeing this video I am thinking about offering the big ticket first.

    12. Eric Post author

      I’ve seen very big ticket items being sold on the front end, but honestly the best way to find your sweet spot is to split-test. Try it both ways and see what works best.

    13. Alex

      Hi Erik,

      I have been reading your tips for awhile and they are always great! Thanks for keeping this fantastic collection free!

      I encourage people to use up-sells and down-sells when I write sales copy, but get stuck with implementation.

      For a tech dummy, can you recommend a cheap and fast resources/providers who can quickly setup a funnel (using provided WP theme, text and images) consisting of a squeeze page, sales page with pop-up & exit splash, upsell/downsell, thank you/download page, affiliate resource page, and then throw it all up on ClickBank?

      There HAVE to be some providers who can push out these WP sites using pre-made templates in a matter of hours, but I don’t know where to turn!

      I tried Fiverr, and while its great for getting some tasks done, those developers don’t know/understand the sales process, let alone Clickbank, to get the job done.



    14. Eric Post author

      Good question. I’ve seen quite a few PLR products that come with sales page, squeeze page, download page, and affiliate page… but not any that were WP-theme based. Also none that included a preconfigured exit-pop. Those are good ideas.

      I would suggest outsourcing this to a pro (not on fiverr) then you’ll have your own template. You can then provide that template when you outsource to create other products.

    15. Alex

      Yup, my thinking exactly. Do you have someone you could recommend – not Fiverr, but not a whole lot more expensive either!? 🙂

    16. Eric Post author

      unfortunately I don’t have anyone specific for something like that, but I do still recommend vWorker and odesk.

      If you were looking to spend more like the $1000 range then I would recommend my friend Naveed (Ecover guru) who creates very nice mini-sites.

    17. aida c. suarez

      Eric, i remember years back buying a television set on full price. But they wanted me to buy also the garantee. For 2 o 3 years! I do not remember! I could not put more money down on the deal that day. I use that TV set for years and years and ever broke down… until i bought a new model. Lucky me!

      Options… on the 2nd OTO with the same value? Nothing hold back? For a cheaper deal?

      Won’t the first buyer who bought at the first expensive price will feel cheatead? Unless he was rich, but not desperate, or in a hurry…

      Why not put everything up front since the beginning of the sale? Like saying that there is a cheaper option? Being honest is better, not being pussy or enticing, in order to make more money.

      All sound to me like we’re playing games, when we do. I guess.

      I buy things on sale… after the holidays. I still do. This is call discounts. If there is an slight damage… the price is even lower.
      But at least we don’t buy when with prices overblown! And we call those transactions where every one wins– bargains.

      We all should buy things with our eyes open. And not to feel preassure or manipulated.
      But i see that many salesperson do this to the customers. And not only on the internet. It is everywhere! I like to have options… because that is flexibility. Not everybody is rich.

      I bought a course, with suscription, too in a hurry! After I read, “You should take Eric’s Tips before you do anything!” Good! But i felt pressure as a newbie person. I am still struggle to understand the rules to follow the instructions, in order to use it.

      The first step shoud be to have a counselor in other not to make those mistakes! Somebody said: “we all pay… for our mistakes” But in this case was just ignorance, not idiocity.” That probably is the same. End of my comments on lesson #56.

      Thank you Eric again and again! I appreciate your sincerity in everything you say. I know you do not want us “to leave money on table.” S you sure explain very clear the business of internet marketing. No stones unturn. Thanks again, and God bless!

    18. Marija

      Eric, please, for clearing up the conception
      “Front End Sale” (I am beginner in marketing)
      Thank you! Marija

    19. Micah

      Hello Marija,

      The Front End Sale, is the initial sale, before any upsells or other offers.

    20. Glenn T Russell

      When are you going to start the “affiliate” marketing model of these lessons???

    21. Micah

      Hello Glenn,

      Eric plans on doing one or two affiliate marketing lessons in the future.

      If you would like to start learning now from a site similar to Eric’s Tips, Eric recommends Affilorama:

    22. Mark

      Yea i have seen this down sell technique in some of the purchases that i made. Now i understand it better.

      Thanks again, Eric.


    23. Tim

      Finally, an honest comment on this thread. I find most of these tricks, which some call “tools” to make them sound up & up are completely annoying and detract from the credibility and value of the product.

    24. Derek

      Very interesting, but sadly our niche does not allow itself for down selling. I have been on the receiving end of this technique and must say I bought it hook line and sinker 🙂

    25. Michael D Gorman

      Upsells & downsells do not have to be ‘tricks’ or shady – you are providing options for people, some might be fine with a higher value product and willingly pay the price, whereas you can still provide value and quality for people with less to spend. It seems to me people tend to get the wrong idea about internet marketing, always looking for shortcuts, angles and tricks – if you are ethical and providing genuine help, value to people, you have nothing to be ashamed about – there is absolutely nothing wrong with profiting from your knowledge, and experience – people will thank you for it!

    26. Marc M. Demers

      Hi Eric,

      Another Amazing lesson on how to improve ethically our profits, you are one of the best Guru in Marketing.

      I love your own experience examples in Marketing Niche.

      Thanks for all you do for Us.



    27. Steve Smith

      Hi Eric! you really Know about Business & internet marketing, I know about Business Downsells, but I didn’t know how to use or apply on business, really helpful article….

    28. Mark Smith

      Hi Thank you for putting this comprehensive post. I am a newbie and find this really helpful. Can you please throw some light on Down selling. I tried my level best but unable to understand this.



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