Holiday Upsell Promotions

You know that one of the easiest routes to growing your business financially is to sell more to your current client/customer base. With that in mind, I’d like to invite you to pay particular attention to the way the more traditional brink-and-mortar stores are upselling to you as you do your holiday shopping.

For example, one of the stores I’ve purchased some holiday gifts from this year is Land’s End. When I received my order yesterday, this is what I found:

Landsendgiftcert 1. On the outside of the box was a sticker alerting me to a special certificate inside that would save me $20 on my next order.

2. Inside the box were three more catalogs, one for adults,one for kids, and one for the home. My order was a mix of all three of these things, so it made perfect sense to send me the latest catalogs for both – especially since the stack of holiday shopping catalogs on my coffee table is about to topple over, and I’m not sure I could find the latest ones from them even if I tried. These ones will go on top of the pile. Brilliant.

3. Also inside was another catalog called "Odds and Ends" which just tickled me. I think it’s usually called "overstock items" but I loved this new language. Obviously, this is the sales catalog and even if I don’t look through the other catalogs, I’m for sure going to see if I can get a few more deals, especially because…

4. Also inside was a special gift certificate giving me $20 off my next purchase of $100 or more. So, psychologically I’m thinking that I’m already getting some good deals via the sale catalog, then adding the $20 off, I’m really making out, right? Well, yes, except that I’m spending more money in the first place! But this is how we think… and thus behave as a consumer.

5. I think this was my favorite: The inside of the box was white with large drawings of holidays scenes to color in. Giving me something so easy and unique to engage my almost 3-year-old daughter in while I tend to my newborn all for buying a couple of Christmas presents? Now, I’ve always been a pretty happy Land’s End customer – the only exception being that they don’t sell shoes or swimsuits in my size – but after this sale, I’m becoming a raving fan.

How can you take even one of these ideas and apply it to your offerings? Here are some thoughts:

1. If you sell a physical product, add a catalog of sorts to your package, with a special discount or other offering for additional purchases.

2. For digital products, follow up with an autoresponder with the same information as #1.

3. Add something complementary to your offering ‘just because’. Land’s End didn’t have to send my order in a box with coloring fun on the inside for sure – I wouldn’t have missed it – but it was something thoughtful and unique enough that it will stick in my mind when I consider making future purchases.

Ebsize Now… on the other hand, I also received my order from Eddie Bauer. How did they upsell me? They didn’t – and I spent quite a bit of money with them on that first order, so they really missed an opportunity to make additional sales from me. The only thing they included (besides a catalog that I already have two of) is a card that tells me that they have more sizes available now. Good to know, but there’s nothing that entices me to make an additional purchase.

I’ll keep you posted as more boxes show up on my doorstep – and I’d love to hear about how your merchants are upselling – or not – to you. Just click the comments button below.

Happy shopping!
~ A

How to Use Trial Offers to Increase Your Sales

Do you ever find yourself tempted to purchase something online, and even with a money-back guarantee, you’re still not quite sure about handing over your cash?

Well, some of your prospects will feel the same way as they read your sales page for your product or service. Your offer sounds great, the right guarantee eliminates their risk, but they still wonder if whatever it is they are considering purchasing is right for them.

If you want to increase the likelihood that they will take out their wallet, simply offer them a free or paid trial! Haven’t you loved it when you’ve been given the option to try something out for free or very little cost to make sure it’s what you want?

By offering a trial to your prospects, you’re doing two things of value for your business-building. One is that you are showing that you are confident in the value of your product to offer a trial, and the other is that you are essentially eliminating the last lingering question in your prospect’s mind: "What if I don’t like it?"

Allowing your prospects to decide for themselves whether or not your product or service is for them answers that question for them.

So, what kinds of products and services are best for free trials?

1. Downloadable products

If you’re offering information products, like ebooks or how-to guides, you can offer a sample chapter as a free trial. If you’re offering an e-course, you can offer one lesson as a free trial. If you’re offering an audio program, you could offer a 15-minute clip as a free trial. You could also create an introductory component to any of these that gives solid information, but that also leaves your reader or listener wanting more.

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Turn Your Competitors into Collaborators

Do you get discouraged or stuck in building your business because you think there's too many others to compete against in your niche? A lot of solo business owners feel this way, especially when they are first starting out. I don't want you to give up before you really get started, so I'd like you to consider thinking about your competition in a different way.

1. There's an abundance of clients and customers for everyone.

2. Your competitors are potential collaborators and strategic alliances for you.

3. The better you come to know your competitors, the more you will become aware of the uniqueness of your own message and your own offerings.

If you embrace this perspective, you'll find that those feelings of discouragement and "what's the point – I can't compete" will melt away.

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7 Easy Ways to Ease Ezine Writer’s Block

If you publish an ezine regularly, inevitably there are times when you get stuck and can’t quite come up with the perfect article for your issue. Sometimes just taking a break and coming back later will give you a fresh start. But other times you need more of a "writing prompt" to get you going.

The following 7 ways should help you get unstuck and get writing:

1. Write a Tip Sheet
Sometimes it’s easier to get started by creating a list of tips: How to _______; The 5 Ways to ____________; Top Ten Tips to _______________; Write a couple of sentences for each tip, and before you know it, you have a completed article full of practical information for your readers.

2. Answer Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
As your clients interact with you, you’ll likely get the same kinds of questions over and over. Take one or two of your most frequently asked questions and answer it in an article.

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Make Your Ezine Make You Money

Writing a regular ezine (online newsletter) can sometimes feel like hard work. So if you're putting in the time and effort to give your readers valuable content, consider implementing at least a few of the strategies in this article to help your efforts pay off in pro^fits.

Here are 4 ways to help your ezine make you more mo^ney:

1. Self-promote

Besides giving valuable content in each issue of your ezine, don't forget to add a little self-promotion as well. After all, it is one of your best marketing tools, and you want to make sure that you're letting your subscribers know what products and services you have available for them. It's best to do this in a separate section of your ezine, instead of in the copy of the article you write for your readers. A short blurb about you and what you offer, as well as a bit about one of your products and services with a link to more information is all you really need to do.

A tip: If space allows, consider adding one or two short testimonials from your clients/customers who are raving fans, too.

Depending on the method through which you are publishing your ezine, you can track how many times your links are clicked on, which gives you valuable market research information about what your readers are interested in finding out more about.

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