Both students and creators see the benefits of an upsell—here’s why

Caitlin Miller

| Jul 27, 2020

All Teachable creators, no matter the knowledge they have or the skills they’re sharing, want to sell their product. And, although there are any number of tactics to make a sale, one of the most tried-and-true methods is by sweetening the deal at the point of purchase by offering an upsell to customers.

In a one-liner, an upsell is an offering that entices a customer to make another, usually related, purchase in order to increase revenue per transaction. While you may be reserved to immediately prod customers for another purchase, the value of an upsell is evident for both the seller and the customer.

Adds to cart

Those three very exciting words are exactly what creators like you want to hear. But before you start asking students to fill up their carts, assess what it is that you’re bringing to the table with your upsell. Is it truly the perfect companion to the initial product your student wants to purchase? Does it make sense for the client and their journey?

Although you can frame your upsell in any manner you’d like, many Teachable creators utilizing our Professional or Business plans have found success offering upsells for:

One-on-one sessions or group consultations: Our new Coaching feature is actually one of the best and easiest ways to quickly add an upsell to your business. With online coaching via Teachable, you can schedule one-on-one or group sessions just as you would launch a course and offer supplemental learning options for students as an added bonus. We allow you to include an upsell block within your lecture as well as on a specific page, so you can target that sale just how you want

We go into all the nitty gritty of Coaching here, but here’s the bottom line: Not only is online coaching a fantastic way to further show your students the value of your product, but it’s also a great way to diversify your business and foster meaningful customer relationships that can lead to repeat sales and future testimonials. And it all starts with that point of purchase upsell, which we walk you through right here.

Mini courses, partner courses, or advanced courses: It should come as no surprise that another easy sell for someone looking to enroll in a course isanother course. Depending on your student’s journey, skill, and desired outcome, they may be primed for any number of course options. Target newer students to purchase an additional mini course or companion course to take their learning a little further. Or, if you’re already targeting an advanced student or one who is poised for a longer education path, prompting them to invest in an advanced course may be the best route.

Webinars, exclusive communities, learning assets: With Teachable, because you’re not restricted to one path for your product offering, we’re not about to restrict you on what upsell you can offer as well. Outside of additional courses or personalized coaching opportunities, you always have the option to offer webinars, access to exclusive communities, and additional learning assets like workbooks or eBooks to your students as an upsell. Supplemental information can be a great way to quickly make an additional sale while introducing students to additional ways to enrich their experience.

Because we believe in making things seamless every single time, we set it up so those with a Pro Plan can add an upsell block directly to the course's Thank You page so students get prompted immediately to act upon the offer.

What’s good for students...

Good and sustained business can be thought of as an ecosystem. One part of any business can’t function without the other. Upsells can help sustain your business ecosystem in many ways, starting with your students.

The more you know: We like to think of courses on Teachable as an exchange of knowledge. So offering up more opportunities for students to transform and learn provides more valuable exchanges of knowledge. Students who are truly excited about your product will be looking for opportunities to further their growth and learn from you, so why not give them more of what they want?

Incite and excite: There’s nothing like that first-day-of-school excitement. Creators know that in order to retain students’ interests throughout the course and beyond, there needs to be incentive. When you've acquired the right student, the promise of a transformation is usually excitement enough to keep students motivated. So, when a student makes the commitment to invest even more time and more money into your course via your upsell—be it one-on-one coaching or an advanced course—they’re more likely to feel that added sense of motivation and see the course through to completion.

Part of the club: Exclusivity is one of our favorite sales techniques to share with creators. Your knowledge is special, unique, exclusive to you, and available exclusively to your students. One way to appeal to this natural desire to be “part of the club” is to offer your upsell as an exclusive to customers who buy now. Perhaps you package your course and upsell together for a special price. Perhaps you only offer a limited quantity of slots in an upcoming coaching session. Perhaps you provide locked content. Whatever your method of appeal, you’re providing your students a sense of exclusivity they only get with their purchase.

It's really that simple

Coaching can be one of the easiest and impactful upsells—and it's waiting for you. Create your Teachable account now or upgrade to unlock the powers of Coaching and Courses.

...is also good for you

But as with any relationship, providing mutual benefits is key. As you provide more value and benefit for your students, you as the creator also can see a reward from an upsell.

Money—and more of it: It’s pretty clear what the immediate return for a seller is with an upsell: money. Because you’ve enticed a customer to make an additional purchase and spend more with you, you get more profit from a single source. Which brings us to...

Save that effort: Securing an upsell decreases your effort to make a sale later on with the same customer, meaning you can focus on acquiring new customers. What's more, because you’re locking in students who clearly have a demonstrated interest in your product and are willing to put dollars behind it, your chances of making another sale with them also increases down the line thus helping with higher conversion rates.

In with the crowd: Strong relationships with your customers is what leads to loyalty, which is what builds a strong customer lifetime value (CLV) for your business. Upsells have the ability to help you hone in on that desired customer and truly refine your target audience, so you get the most desirable and valuable customer for you. 

In addition to a strong CLV (a.k.a. how valuable a customer is to your business over the long haul), a meaningful customer relationship can give you opportunities for feedback, testimonials, referrals, and more. Trust us when we say, selling a potential student on your product value from the  start is the very first step of building that relationship.

No matter which way you slice it, a sale is a sale. But, a strategic sale? Now, that holds more value for both parties. Upsells allow you to be strategic and nurture that business ecosystem the right way.

Caitlin Miller is the Editorial Strategist at Teachable. In her spare time, she's often found listening to vinyl records, buying too many house plants, and enjoying a run on the streets of Brooklyn.