What is Cross-Selling & 6 Strategies to Increase your Cross-Selling
You’re in business to make a profit, right? You want to share your knowledge with the world and impact other people’s lives, but you have to generate revenue if you want to keep your business afloat.
That’s why cross-selling is such a fundamental part of running a successful business.
“Whether you sell online courses or other digital products, you need your customers to fill their virtual carts with as many products as possible. When the transaction value increases, you don’t have to work as hard to generate income. #Kajabi” -- Tweet this!
Whether you sell online courses or other digital products, you need your customers to fill their virtual carts with as many products as possible. When the transaction value increases, you don’t have to work as hard to generate income.
That’s easier said than done, though, right? You can’t force customers to buy more of your digital products, but you can lead them in that direction.
How? By suggesting it. Believe it or not, that’s sometimes all it takes to convince consumers that they can benefit from more of your digital products.
Of course, it’s not always that simple, which is why we’ve prepared this in-depth guide to cross-selling. Learn cross-selling strategies, tips, best practices, and more to turn your Kajabi website into a conversion machine.
What is Cross-Selling?
Cross-selling refers to the process of convincing customers to buy more of your digital products. Instead of buying one online course, for instance, you want them to buy an online course, an e-book, and a year’s subscription to your membership site.
Of course, the various combinations of products will vary. Maybe you only build online courses. That’s fine. But you want your customers to buy more than one course during a single transaction — or, at the very least, come back soon and add more of your courses to their carts.
Many different cross-selling strategies exist. You can cross-sell on your sales pages, landing pages, and blog posts. You can also employ cross-selling through email marketing and on social media.
The important thing is to make sure that you give your customers every opportunity to buy more of your digital products. You don't want to beat them over the head with pushy sales tactics, but neither do you want to neglect the opportunity to put more of your products in front of them.
Benefits of Cross-Selling
We have already covered some of the most important benefits of cross-selling. However, we'd like to go into more detail about how each of these benefits can directly impact your business's bottom line.
Think of cross-selling as a way to improve your business's visibility and brand image. When people purchase more of your digital products, they become more loyal to your brand and, therefore, more likely to purchase your products in the future.
You can't always cross-sell to every customer. Some consumers will only want one of your digital products, in which case you can't do anything about it.
However, you want to give consumers every opportunity to put more of your products in their carts. If you're successful at this, you can enjoy some of these amazing benefits.
Increase Each Transaction’s Total Profit
Have you ever gone through the drive-through line at a fast food restaurant? The person on the other end of the speaker likely asked you whether you wanted to upgrade your meal to include more fries, a larger drink, or some other add-on.
This is a classic example of cross-selling. However, it's not limited to the fast food industry.
Next time you're shopping for clothing or other products in a physical store, take a look at the checkout area. You'll likely see lots of little products arranged on shelves near the sales counter.
Retailers do this on purpose. They want consumers to make impulse purchases just before they check out.
Some businesses also train their employees to cross-sell. If an employee is helping you pick out a pair of boots, he or she might suggest a pair of socks to go with your new purchase.
That's also an example of cross-selling.
Why do businesses do this? Because they want each transaction to be as lucrative as possible for the business. They don't know when another customer might walk in the door, so they want to make the most of every interaction with a customer.
You can do the same with customers on a virtual level. Now, you won't be face-to-face with your customers, but there are ways to cross-sell to them remotely.
Dominos does this particularly well. When you check out after placing an online order, you might see something like this on the checkout page:
The company wants you to add breadsticks to your order and makes it easy to do so.
Immerse Your Customers Further into Your Brand
Do you have a favorite brand of clothing, electronics, or furniture? Just about everyone has a go-to source for a particular family of products.
You want to be that brand for your customers.
Brand loyalty doesn't start with a single purchase. Just because you bought a pair of shoes that you enjoyed doesn't mean that you won’t consider other shoe brands in the future.
However, if you buy three pairs of shoes from the same brand and love all of them, you might seek out those shoes above all others. That's another valuable benefit of cross-selling.
The more products your customers buy, the more immersed they become in your brand culture. They feel like they're part of your family.
And that's exactly the type of relationship you want to cultivate with your customers. If consumers buy more than one of your products at the same time or within a short time period, they’ll be more likely to seek out your future products when they have a problem to solve or a goal to achieve.
Boost Customer Retention Rates
When customers spend more money with the business, they feel an attachment to that brand. After all, they parted with a bundle of their hard-earned cash and they don't want to see that money go to waste.
It's partially because of perceived value. When a consumer spends more money with your brand, they perceive your digital products have a higher value.
Additionally, you get more opportunities to impress your customers when they are exposed to more of your products. They might not like one online course as much as they like another, so when they purchase both products, you're more likely to retain them as customers.
Improve Customer Satisfaction Rates
Building on the last point, consumers often gauge satisfaction based on how much value they believe your products have provided them. Cross-selling allows you to pack in the information and value without feeling too much pressure about a single product.
High customer satisfaction can lead to future purchases from the same customer. It takes less time and money to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one.
Furthermore, highly satisfied customers are more likely to leave online reviews, interact with your brand on social media, and come to you when they need support. This is powerful leverage for building your brand and improving its reputation.
Gather More Data About Your Customers
You might already know that analytics are extremely important for growing and better understanding your business. Kajabi has built-in analytics to help you manage your various campaigns and get to know your customers.
It stands to reason that, the more data you collect on your customers, the better you will understand their needs and desires. If you only have data from 10 customers, for example, you won't have nearly as much insight as you would if you have 100 customers.
Cross-selling allows you to not necessarily grow your customer base, but to better understand your customers' patterns when it comes to buying your products. You'll see which products seem to go well together based on the frequency with which they are purchased at the same time.
Plus, since we already know that cross-selling can improve customer retention rates, you're more likely to convince your customers to buy more products from you in the future. That just brings in more data to analyze and act upon.
Incentivize Yourself to Build More Digital Products
Sometimes, Knowledge Commerce professionals have difficulty keeping up their motivation when it comes to creating new digital products and selling them to their customers. This is especially true when sales don't roll it after you launch a product like an online course.
Cross-selling allows you to build your sales faster and with fewer customers. You don't have to work quite as hard to generate revenue for your business. This can provide valuable incentive when it comes time to create your next online course or other digital product.
Don't dismiss the power of motivation when it comes to online businesses. It's easy to get in a slump when you feel like your efforts aren't yielding any results.
Cross-Selling vs. Upselling, What’s the Difference?
Now that we've talked about cross-selling, we need to make a quick distinction to make sure that we're on the same page.
Many people confuse cross-selling and upselling. While cross-selling involves convincing your customers to add more products to their virtual carts, upselling involves convincing your customers to buy the most expensive product you offer.
For example, maybe you have four versions of the same online course. One offers minimal content and a brief introduction to the topic. The subsequent three courses build on the foundation of the original and pack in and more value.
As the courses get more in-depth in terms of content, you charge more for them. You don't want your customer to buy the cheapest course because that results in lost revenue. Instead, you want them to buy the most expensive course available.
While cross-selling and upselling are two different concepts, you can use them in conjunction. In addition to inviting your customers to buy multiple products at the same time, you can also urge them to invest in your more valuable digital products based on the amount of value you have added to them.
To help you better understand cross-selling and its many benefits, let's propose a few scenarios in which you might use cross-selling for your Knowledge Commerce business.
Let's say, for example, that you create online courses for carpenters. Maybe you have created online courses dedicated to cabinetry, furniture building, ornamental work, model building, and parquetry.
Each of these courses might appeal to your target customer. Just because someone is interested in parquetry doesn't mean that he or she doesn't also want to learn about model building or cabinetry.
To cross-sell to these customers, you might include links to your other online courses on each of your sales pages. Add a heading that stands out, such as "You might also like…"
Additionally, you might focus one of your email newsletters on one of your most popular carpentry courses. At the end of the email, let your subscribers know that you have other carpentry courses available. Link to each one.
You have plenty of other opportunities for cross-selling. Continuing with the carpentry example, maybe you write a blog that shares carpentry tips with your followers.
Consider writing a blog post that compares your online courses. In other words, you're helping your customers figure out which course best suits their needs.
However, cross-selling in this blog post could result in higher transaction rates. Mention that your customers might also be interested in combining several of your online courses so they have a greater grasp of carpentry at the end.
Cross-Selling Best Practices
While cross-selling offers undeniable benefits, you also have to make sure that you're using this strategy in an effective way. You don't want to alienate your audience or miss out on sales that otherwise would have been slam dunks.
Since you're not communicating with your customers in person, you don't have to worry about some of the pitfalls that brick-and-mortar businesses often face. However, you still need to be aware of cross-selling best practices so that you keep your business strong.
Following are some of the most important rules to follow when cross-selling to your customers.
Study Your Data
We mentioned analytics before, but it's important to restate the invaluable role that data can play in cross-selling to your customers. If you know how to read your data correctly, you'll begin to see patterns and interesting shifts that will tell you how to effectively cross-sell to your most important customers.
For instance, your data might show that one of your online courses is the most popular by a wide margin. There's a reason for that.
Maybe it offers more value than your other digital products or perhaps your sales copy is more effective. Whatever the case, you'll want to push that course when you're cross-selling to potential customers.
Use Customer Testimonials
People trust other people more than they trust businesses. It's common sense when you think about it.
As a Knowledge Commerce business owner, you have a vested interest in presenting your digital products in the best possible light. Consumers, on the other hand, don't have any exterior motivation for giving your products a great review.
On your sales pages and landing pages, consider posting customer testimonials from people who have bought multiple digital products from you. This can be a powerful way to incentivize prospects to buy more than one of your products when they wouldn't have considered doing so otherwise.
Cross-Sell to Your Email List
Don't forget about email marketing when it comes to cross-selling. Email can be a powerful way to reach your customers directly and to influence their spending habits.
For instance, you might set an autoresponder to trigger when a customer abandons a digital product in his or her shopping cart. The autoresponder email might suggest buying a bundled version of two or more of your digital products.
A strategy like this serves several purposes. First, it reminds your customer that he or she abandoned items in a shopping cart. That person might now return.
Second of all, the discount might convince the customer to buy more than he or she originally intended. After all, we all like to get something for less money.
Demonstrate Actual and Perceived Value
One of the most important things you can do when cross-selling to your customers is to make sure they understand the value of your offer. If they don't know exactly what they will get in return for paying for one of your digital products, you risk losing a sale.
Real value refers to the objective value of the specific product. Perceived value, however, tells you what the customer believes a product is worth.
Which one do you think is most important? If you guessed perceived value, you're right.
You can influence perceived value by publishing customer testimonials, speaking to a product's benefits rather than features, and using high-and images, graphics, and copy.
Know When to Back Off
You don’t want to get too pushy when it comes to cross-selling. You’ll turn off potential customers and come across as spammy.
This is less of a danger in for Knowledge Commerce professionals who sell products virtually. However, you still need to be aware of it.
Avoid retargeting the same customer over and over again in Facebook ads, for example, or blasting your email list with bundled discounts and other offers too frequently.
Offer Digital Product Bundles
As mentioned above, digital product bundles can work well when you aren’t overly forceful with them in your sales tactics. A bundle is a group of digital products that you sell at a lower price than they would cost individually.
For instance, you might have three courses, each priced at $100. You could bundle them together and sell them for $250 at a $50 savings.
Consider Profit Margins
While offering discount codes and product bundles can help with your cross-selling efforts, you have to remember profit margins. These are less important when it comes to digital products because there aren’t any manufacturing or distribution costs, but you still have to keep them in mind.
Factor in the time you spend working on a digital product, and service providers you pay, and other costs related to product development. Don’t discount your products so steeply that you break even or — even worse — lose money on the transaction.
Cross-Selling Strategies to Increase Your Sales
Now that you’re familiar with best practices, how can you effectively cross-sell to your customers? Let’s look at some of the most effective cross-selling strategies.
Connect Your Digital Products With a Common Theme
Start by making sure that your products can be grouped together within a common theme. Remember our carpentry example from above? The Knowledge Commerce professional who created those courses might also have digital products on masonry, but they wouldn’t fit as well together.
The idea is to show your customer that they can get more knowledge and value if they buy multiple products. If the products aren’t related in some way, cross-selling becomes far less effective.
Show What Other Customers Also Bought
If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon, you’ve probably seen some of the best examples of cross-selling on the Internet today. For instance, let’s say that you’re shopping for a book on marketing. You click on a title that interests you.
Scroll down the page a bit and you’ll see something like this:
The title is “Customers who bought this item also bought.” In this instance, there are thirteen “pages” of suggestions for us to view.
You can do the same thing on your Kajabi sales pages. Let your customers know what other items previous customers bought so they can take advantage of multiple items of value.
Provide an Incentive
We’ve talked a lot about incentives in this article and for good reason. People love to feel like they’re getting a “steal” when they shop online. Nobody wants to pay too much.
That’s why there are so many coupon aggregate websites on the Internet today. People are looking for ways to save cash on items they already want.
You could run a promotion or continual discount for customers who buy two or more of your digital products. You’ll generate more revenue even though your customers are spending more money.
The point here is to help your customer feel like he or she is saving cash.
List Related Digital Products on Sales Pages
Your sales pages aren’t just for the featured item on that page. While you don’t want to distract your customers too much, you want to give them more options to add to their carts.
On each sales page, list related online courses, membership sites, e-books, and other digital products related to the featured item. You’re giving your customers as many choices as possible and hoping that they’ll select multiple products instead of settling on just one.
Use Expert Recommendations
Expert recommendations can come in handy during cross-selling. Consumers trust each other to give feedback and reviews, but they might trust independent experts even more.
If an industry expert has checked out or taken your course, ask for a brief review that you can put on your sales and landing pages. This is a great way to add social proof to your website and to convince customers to buy additional products. After all, if Expert Ethan recommends your products, how can they go wrong?
Use Kajabi to Turn Your Knowledge and Content Into Products You Can Sell
Why bother with several third-party services when you can get everything you need in one place? Kajabi allows you to transform your knowledge into products that people want to buy.
Cross-selling can make your Knowledge Commerce business even more successful. Use all of Kajabi’s many features to make your products as attractive as possible — especially when they’re grouped together.
Cross-selling can become a powerful tool in your toolkit if you want your Knowledge Commerce business to succeed. Kajabi offers all of the tools you need to cross-sell effectively, from product bundles to launching an email marketing campaign.
What is cross-selling? It’s an effective way to entice your customers to buy more digital products during one transaction (or during closely-spaced transactions). You drive more revenue this way, which leads to a healthier business.
There are several cross-selling best practices to keep in mind. Make sure you monitor your data, use email marketing to drive conversions, improve perceived value in the eyes of your customers, and employ customer testimonials.
You also want to make sure that you know when to back off. Getting too salesy with your marketing tactics can have the reverse effect.
Use digital product bundles to cross-sell, make sure that you consider your profit margins, and don’t forget to A/B test your offers.
When you’re ready to cross-sell, you can use several proven cross-selling tactics. Start by connecting two or more digital products based on a common theme, such advanced, medium, and expert. You can also show prospects what other customers have bought along with the product that interests them.
Provide an incentive to make cross-selling more effective. Bundles and discounts help enormously.
Finally, make sure you list related products on your sales pages and that you collect expert recommendations.
Do you use cross-selling to improve your revenue? What strategies have worked for your Knowledge Commerce business?