Are Internet Marketers are doing upsells all wrong?

Upsells and OTO's in the world of Internet Marketing products have gone bat sh*t crazy. These days it's like walking into an electrical store to pick up a new HDMI cable and being upsold a 60" Plasma TV to go with it.

We are seeing an increasing number of stupid funnels that are clearly only designed to get JV partners interested.  Many of them offering something mission critical to getting the best results from the front end product you purchased and others just offering pile after pile of weak and lame-ass chod.  Usually turds with glitter sprinkled on top.

I've taken a couple of different approaches lately and it seems customers and subscribers love it.  And since the customer is always right (another rule that most IM'rs have stopped following) I am quite happy to listen to them!

In any email that promotes a product or service I now disclose the sales funnel up-front.

In many cases I've flat out told people "don't pick up the oto's, you don't need them".  It's got me a stroppy email or two from vendors but where should my loyalty lie?

This is important because although as marketers we need to generate an income, it is more important to treat your subscribers and buyers with respect and be honest with them.  I'd rather keep them as customers and play the long game.

For me an oto or an upsell should meet at least one of the following criteria;

  • Be something that speeds up progress or adds something to the front end concept but that is not necessary to help get the results demonstrated in the sales copy for the front end product... Unless it is made clear (not in the small print) that the results were achieved using the product and an add-on.

    When the guy in the burger bar offers you the chance to "go large" or add fries to your order they are adding value.  They don't take an  order for a burger and then offer the cooking of the product as the upsell.

  • Be something in the same niche but not directly related to the front end offer.  If a vendor wants to reward a new customer by giving them the opportunity to pick up a special deal on a bundle of past product releases then I think that is a good thing.

I don't even mind upsells to different license levels although it makes more sense to me to be upfront and offer all the licenses on the front page.  If someone wants developer rights to your plugin they should be able to pick it up and know the price.  They should not have to buy the single user version first and not even be allowed to know the price of the developer option until they've bought that.

The bottom line is: I don't like the way a lot of marketers are playing the game these days.  So I am not gonna play with them.

If you have cooked up a funnel just to extract cash and line the pockets of yourself and JV partners without any real care for the consumer then you are everything that is wrong with IM today.