6 Upselling and Cross-selling Examples from B2B and B2C Companies

Customers can entry Spotify’s intensive music library at no cost, but their Premium subscriptions grew 15% in 2022

In the meantime, ecommerce advertising software program Privy is producing 10% higher average order value for Shopify users with their associated product suggestions add-on.

These techniques are upselling and cross-selling (respectively). Whereas each successfully drive income and improve the shopper expertise, upselling is good for corporations with a single product or freemium mannequin.

On this article, we’ll present you ways six corporations make use of the most effective upselling methods. Then we’ll let you know the best way to do it your self so that you’re not leaving cash on the desk.

1. How Calendly deploys FOMO

It’s arduous to promote prospects on one thing they don’t know they want. Typically customers have to expertise your product, get a really feel for it, get invested in it, earlier than they’re satisfied they need it.

Moreover, upselling doesn’t completely happen at checkout. It’s not about promoting extra merchandise (that is cross-selling), neither is it just for promoting costlier gadgets to completely happy current prospects. 

In Calendly’s case, the scheduling instrument’s upsell is teased for brand spanking new prospects within the free trial stage.

Screenshot of Calendly Free Trial Features

Calendly makes use of a freemium mannequin, providing a free tier and inspiring customers to improve for entry to superior options.

The corporate has cleverly powered development (to the tune of $3bn) with upsells within the earliest phases of the consumer journey.

As an alternative of ready for customers to want their superior options, Calendly offers entry to all the pieces for a restricted time.

This works like take a look at driving a automotive, enjoying on two unconscious psychological biases known as the endowment effect and loss aversion. The endowment impact causes us to worth gadgets that we have already got greater than these we don’t have. 

Loss aversion explains why we worry shedding one thing greater than we take pleasure in gaining the identical factor.

Within the case of Calendly, as soon as customers turn out to be used to having these superior options (akin to creating a number of calendars or scheduling by precedence) they’re much less prone to need to give them up. 

Likewise, customers will really feel inclined to keep away from giving up the options (extra so than they might really feel inclined to enroll to get them with out having first skilled them).

Calendly helps their customers see the worth of their superior options by giving them free, full entry right away. It then reminds them after they’ll lose these options in the event that they don’t select to improve.

Screenshot of Calendly Billing Page

If you happen to’re rising a freemium SaaS firm, take into account providing entry to your full suite of options upfront. Exhibit to customers how your product may help them remedy issues and fulfill jobs to be performed (JTBD) by permitting them to strive it themselves.

As soon as this trial is ended, remind them of the options they’ll lose as soon as the trial is over. Embrace this in your reminder e-mail advertising, providing a call-to-action to subscribe early.

2. How WeTransfer makes issues easy

Alternatively, your prospects may not be fascinated by all of the bells and whistles you supply. In truth, forcing new prospects to be taught the complete performance of your product earlier than a suggestion expires would possibly create friction and frustrate them.

If you happen to’ve discovered via buyer analysis that your consumers are busy individuals, simplifying their lives and saving them time would possibly communicate extra to their wants than lifting the hood in your instrument.

On this case, stick to at least one profitable message.

Dave Trott mirrored on his work underneath John Pearce, echoing an identical message:

“If I throw six tennis balls to you, you gained’t catch all of them. You might catch one, however the likelihood is six to at least one in opposition to you catching crucial one. In promoting we all know you possibly can solely catch one message. So, it’s our job to determine which is crucial message and solely throw that one.” – John Pearce as instructed to inventive director and creator Dave Trott [via MarketingWeek]

Like Calendly, file sharing service WeTransfer makes use of a freemium mannequin: a free plan providing restricted options with premium options unlocked in a paid plan.

WeTransfer doesn’t sleep on its free plan customers, hoping they’ll someday uncover its Plus plan. The platform encourages present prospects to improve to their paid “Professional” plan in a easy upsell e-mail.

Screenshot of WeTransfer Upsell Email

WeTransfer doesn’t go for the arduous promote. Neither does the platform checklist all of the options customers can get by upgrading. 

WeTransfer highlights one major characteristic with one smaller characteristic talked about beneath. 

This simplicity can be echoed on their pricing page:

Screenshot of WeTransfer Pricing Page

Every plan highlights a most of three options. If customers need to learn extra, they will “leap to extra options” beneath.

It is a nice technique to simplify the journey for purchasers. Not all prospects have to see all the pieces you supply at first look. This may add to their cognitive load, driving them away by overloading them with info.

As talked about above, that is value contemplating in case your viewers is busy. In WeTransfer’s case, they know individuals who need to switch giant information (and who is perhaps fascinated by branded backgrounds) are prone to be busy professionals.

As an alternative, spotlight your most essential options (backed up by your knowledge), limiting to round three.

In line with academic research by Shu and Carlson, relating to persuading individuals to simply accept claims a couple of product or product options, three is the magic quantity. After three gadgets, attitudes towards the merchandise start to drop and skepticism units in.

Screenshot of Results from Shu and Carlson’s (2014) study

This discovering explains why three tends to be such a positive quantity in advertising. Within the experiment, the researchers examined a number of variations of selling statements with a variety of numbers of claims.

Respondents felt much less favorably towards merchandise with greater than three claims, akin to this one about shampoo:

“Makes hair cleaner, stronger, more healthy, softer, shinier, and fuller.”  

The researchers decided that when attempting to be persuaded, prospects turn out to be extra skeptical the extra claims they see. Basically, prospects begin to assume the standard dips with every extra characteristic.

Follow a single message the place attainable. And keep away from overwhelming your viewers with too many claims. They’re both too busy to manage, or they gained’t consider you.

To include classes from WeTransfer in your upsells:

  • Have a look at your knowledge and decide the only, most essential message to your viewers
  • Determine the highest three options of your instrument and spotlight them
  • Don’t overwhelm a busy viewers with all-access

3. How Squarespace performs on emotion

Emotion is a robust advertising instrument. It may be used to control, however it will possibly additionally encourage audiences to succeed in their targets. 

Web site creation platform Squarespace performs on the latter. Squarespace is a free web site builder, however if you wish to join a website and launch, you’ll want a paid plan.

Because of this customers will generally enroll, begin constructing an internet site, and by no means convert.

When that occurs, Squarespace sends out a sequence of emails:

Screenshot of Squarespace Start of Trial Email

And this one:

Screenshot of Squarespace End of Trial Email

Squarespace is aware of its viewers of creators is busy, and certain distracted. As an alternative of accepting their conversion charge and reducing their losses, the platform reminds customers why they began their web site within the first place.

The platform’s emotive e-mail copywriting is intentional. Whereas individuals typically assume they’re performing on logic, feelings play a key position in decision-making.

Researchers have demonstrated repeatedly that we select manufacturers and take motion based mostly on those we like, those we trust, and people we join with (together with via storytelling). 

People particularly like it when brands empathize with their wants and issues. Squarespace demonstrates their understanding of consumer targets. As an alternative of coming from a place of “vendor with a product,” Squarespace communicates that they need to assist their customers accomplish what they got down to do. 

To attach with prospects on an emotional degree, get to know your prospects’ wants. Perceive which ache factors they’re itching to unravel.

When creating your messaging, present how your answer helps them remedy these issues. Paint an image of the way you’ll lead them from their present state to their desired state. Use message testing to get qualitative insights and make sure you’re resonating along with your viewers.

4. How Google Drive makes use of urgency

Much like following up with leads, audiences utilizing a free or lower-tier model of your product would possibly want reminding that your premium affords exist.

Loads of research present that individuals are unlikely to behave until reminded (here’s one, for instance). The stability lies in staying high of thoughts with out pushing prospects away.

Google Drive reminds free plan customers that the storage throughout their workspace is proscribed. And it does so with a relentless visible reminder in conjunction with the Drive dashboard:

Screenshot of Google Drive

A delicate visible reminder with a CTA button is all Google Drive makes use of to point out its customers how a lot storage is left. As soon as they begin getting near the tip, the message turns from blue to pink, utilizing design to create a way of urgency. 

Screenshot of Account usage numbers in Google Drive and Gmail

Customers additionally obtain high bar notifications and emails so their service isn’t disrupted in the event that they run out:

Screenshot of Google Drive Running Low on Storage Notification

Google Drive isn’t pushy. It affords alternatives to clear extra space alongside their improve CTA.

Google Drive has discovered a stability. It doesn’t lambast customers with notifications and its visible reminder reinforces the message (“you’re operating out of storage, so that you most likely need to purchase extra”).

Does your product supply a free plan? Emulate Google Drive’s strategy by reminding your product of its limitations. This may very well be resource-based (akin to storage and “credit”) or feature-based, offering a call-to-action for customers to improve their plan.

5. How Zapier places their knowledge to good use

Clients find it irresistible when you possibly can personalize their expertise. If it encourages customers to take an motion that provides to your backside line, even higher.

Method past utilizing merge tags in your emails, efficient personalization includes understanding your prospects and utilizing their knowledge to serve them higher.

Zapier makes use of personalization to watch when customers are coming to an finish of their trial. In the event that they’ve engaged with their instrument over a sure threshold, customers obtain this e-mail:

Screenshot of Zapier End of Free Trial Notification

It is a genuinely helpful e-mail for customers. They will see clearly how a lot of the instrument they’ve used, understanding that at this charge, they’ll run out of free “zaps” earlier than their renewal.

The e-mail additionally tells them which providers they’ll lose entry to that they could have used throughout their trial.

The information makes Zapier’s upsell useful and informative. It seems to return from a spot of help, somewhat than income technology.

Take your consumer’s habits and apply it to your upselling efforts. Illustrate the worth they get out of your product utilizing chilly, arduous knowledge. If a consumer has saved 10 hours per week by utilizing your instrument, quantify and talk this to them.

Personalize your messaging additional by segmenting based mostly on how invested they’re in a product. For instance, if a consumer nonetheless hasn’t reached an “aha!” second, supply a free session that walks them via how your product will remedy their particular drawback.

6. How HelloBar makes themselves indispensable

People are creatures of behavior—and habits are tough to give up. It’s why we choose up our telephones wherever between 58 times and 344 times per day.

Meditation manufacturers like Headspace and Balance have cottoned on to this with each day reminders about their apply.

Screenshot of HeadSpace Daily Reminder notification on Phone

Pop-up instrument Hello Bar encourages customers to construct a behavior round their app by changing into indispensable. 

Monitoring the progress you’re making towards your targets could be extremely motivating. Howdy Bar offers its ecommerce customers efficiency stats to extend stickiness and use the app extra typically, increase recurring use. 

Screenshot of Hello Bar Mobile App

As soon as customers are engaged, upgrading affords a friction-free technique to proceed having fun with their instrument (no advertisements, private branding, extra statistics, and many others.).

To include classes from Howdy Bar in your upsells:

  • Measure and share efficiency metrics
  • Assist customers construct your instrument into their habits via reminders and notifications
  • Provide engaged customers an upgraded expertise 
  • For bodily merchandise, spotlight how costlier variations can scale back friction of their each day lives


Upselling is a mutually useful gross sales approach. It will increase your common order worth and buyer lifetime worth, whereas additionally giving prospects a greater expertise or greater high quality of service.

As with all transfer in advertising, the way in which you strategy upsell alternatives will rely in your buyer. Buyer knowledge will uncover their ache factors, highlighting which of your premium options they need to learn about. It can additionally uncover the most effective supply format: easy and streamlined for busy customers or full entry for individuals who need to strive all of it first.

One of the simplest ways to optimize your upselling approach is to zero in on a technique and take a look at it. Then you possibly can regularly tweak to make sure you’re at all times delivering the best message on the proper time.

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