Using Your Website to Upsell Your Way to ROI Success
By Pete Winter

Using Your Website to Upsell Your Way to ROI Success

Marketing automation and website personalisation can increase your upsell opportunities. Read on to find out more.

When we talk about marketing automation, most people think of lead nurturing and conversion of new customers. In fact, marketing automation is proving to be just as an effective tool for retaining existing customers. In Rethinking the Role of Marketing (2015) by ACT-ON and Gleanster Research, they found that although 69% of the top performers in B2B use marketing automation for customer acquisition, 50% are also using it for customer retention.

The same principles of providing timely, relevant and personalised information apply just as much to customers as to prospects. Customers need nurturing too and through their behaviours and interactions you can identify leads for additional sales. In Adestra’s Marketer vs Machine 2015 survey, 58% of marketers said that one of the biggest benefits of marketing automation is the upselling opportunities that it offers.

Upselling is the art of selling a superior, more expensive product to the one that the customer has already bought or is in the process of buying. The product itself might be a better, higher specification model, or include extra features that increase its overall value. It means that you can increase the order value or the lifetime value of your customer through retention.

Of course, upselling comes with a health warning: it needs to be done carefully to make sure you don’t end up annoying your customers by bombarding them with hard-sell messages. You worked hard to win their trust so don’t risk losing it. Maintain and develop your relationship with them by continuing to understand their needs and offering the right solution to meet them at the right time.

Your website is a vital channel for upselling; it can help you deliver even more value to your customer with useful advice on how to get the most of your products, real life examples of best practice and a personalised customer experience.

5 ways to upsell your way to ROI success:

1. Personalise the user journey

Create an individual customer experience by recognising your customers as soon as they visit your site. Show them contextual content related to their industry, business size and product purchase. By grabbing their attention straight way with content that is related to their particular situation, you are in a better position to introduce them to other complementary products or upgrades.

2. Develop relevant content that nurtures

Keep customers coming back to your website with useful content like blog posts, videos and case studies. Include hints and tips on how to use your product to its full potential, show how to overcome common issues or tell them about industry trends they should be aware of. By tracking which content they are looking at, you can assess if they are interested in doing more with your product or in the other services you offer.

3. Position product choices carefully

How you present product options on a web page can influence which one your buyer chooses at the point of purchase. It’s the same psychology that comes into play when we are choosing from a wine list. No one wants to go for the cheapest house option and, unless it’s a special occasion, you are not going to splash out on the most expensive bottle on the menu. So most people goes for something in the middle. The same tactic is employed in e-commerce sites, you position the preferred purchasing option in between two or three other ones and signpost it as the best option by:

  • Making its list of features and benefits longer than the cheaper option but not as long as the most expensive, therefore positioning it as the best value.

  • Using other people’s endorsement by highlighting it as ‘best-selling’ or ‘most popular’.

  • Pointing out that it is financially advantageous in some way i.e. 3 extra features for only £X.

4. Use events as triggers

Key moments in your customer lifecycle are great opportunities to upsell. Consider how you can use renewal dates or other milestones, like being a customer for 3 months, to highlight web content and case studies that explain advanced features of your product or bolt on services to achieve more.

5. Create exclusive customer offers

Combine email and personalised landing pages to create offers for loyal customers to purchase upgrades or additional products. You could select relevant products based on their previous interactions with your website or analysis of similar customers’ buying behaviours.

All your upselling efforts have to be genuine and helpful. Product suggestions should be obviously relevant to your customer. Otherwise, you risk undoing all your good work in positioning yourself as the supplier who is best placed to meet their unique needs. Upselling at the point of purchase should be done in a way that helps your customer make a decision quickly and easily, and it should never get in the way of the purchasing process or detract from the overall customer experience. Post-sale upselling should help your customers get value for money and show that you are the right long-term partner for them as they evolve and grow.

With the right combination of personalisation, automation and marketing expertise, you’ll be able to provide a consistently individual experience, that improves retention and maximises the revenue opportunity from every customer.


  • Use the same principles of lead nurturing with your customers as you do with your prospects.
  • Focus on delivering a personalised user journey that provides useful content and identifies opportunities to upsell.
  • Give customers a reason to use your website as an information resources to keep them coming back regularly.
  • Lead score customers in the same way you would prospects to move them through the sales funnel.
  • Don’t bombard customers with sales messages, be selective and patient to demonstrate that you are the right long-term partner to help them achieve their business goals.

Find out how to use your website to increase ROI from existing customers. Download The CMO’s Guide to Lead Generation Websites

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