A online course creator working on upselling course.

As an online course creator, you know how difficult it can be to attract new customers and keep them engaged with your content. But what if you could generate more revenue with your existing customers? What if you could create a more valuable learning experience for them, while also boosting your profits?

Upselling and cross-selling help you do just that. By offering additional courses or package deals that align with your customer's interests, you can not only increase your revenue but also provide a more valuable and engaging learning experience.

In this guide, we'll explore why is upselling important and share essential strategies and tips to help you maximize your online course sales using the upselling and cross-selling techniques.

What is upselling and cross-selling?

Upselling and cross-selling are both closely related sales techniques that you can use to drive up the average order value (the value of a product purchased by one customer).

Using these techniques, you can encourage a customer to purchase a higher-priced product or service than what they initially intended to buy.

So what is the key difference between cross-selling and upselling?

While both techniques are quite similar, the difference lies in how you execute them. Upselling is when you increase the total cart value by offering something extra above the initial product. This enhances the perceived value of the product.

Cross-selling is when you suggest a complimentary product to the initial purchase making it a better deal together.

Let’s understand this with an example.

Say you go to the movie theatre and purchase a movie ticket. If you are offered an ‘upgrade’ to a recliner chair to enhance your movie experience, that would be upselling. Watching a movie on a cozy comfortable chair certainly makes the whole experience better.

However, If you are offered coke and popcorn along with your movie ticket, that would be cross-selling. You are watching the same movie, but are sold two additional products along with it.

Infographic explaining the difference between upselling and cross-selling

Strategies for upselling and cross-selling

Infographic of the strategies for upselling and cross selling

#1. Bundle your similar courses

Bundle your similar courses: Instead of selling just one course, if you have courses that complement each other, bundle them together. By offering a package deal, you can encourage customers to purchase multiple courses at once, often at a discounted rate.

When you offer a bundle of your courses, you're providing your students with a value proposition that's hard to refuse, when compared to a single course.

For instance, if you're selling a beginner and an intermediate-level course on graphic design, you can bundle them together and offer them at a lower price than if customers were to purchase them separately.

#2. Suggest a course at the end of the first course

Think YouTube. At the end of a video, you receive video suggestions from the same creator, and you are more likely to show interest in them since you’ve liked the previous one.

Similarly, suggesting a new product at the end of the first course brings in a high chance of a new purchase.

If your student has come near to completion, it is a sign that they have already found value in your first course and have stuck around for completion. This is the perfect time to offer a related course to help them progress in their learning journey.

#3. Offer upsells at the time of checkout

Ever shopped on Amazon? Remember ‘Frequently bought together’ when you add products to the cart? It suggests products that go well with your initial purchase and have been bought together as a result.

You can do the same in your courses. Depending on the platform you host your online courses on, you can suggest similar courses at the checkout, nudging a potential customer to increase their cart value with the additional purchases.

#4. Provide incentives

Providing incentives can be highly effective to encourage customers to make additional purchases. By offering a discount on a second course, a free bonus, or extra learning material, you can make it more enticing for customers to buy more from you.

For example, offering a discount on a second course can be a powerful incentive for customers to purchase more from you.

This can be especially effective if the discount is substantial and makes it more affordable for customers who are looking to enhance their learning.

#5. Leverage your newsletter

Leverage your email list by suggesting similar courses to the subscribers of your newsletter. Build a strong relationship by helping them with additional materials that can help them achieve what they have set out to learn.

On the basis of this trust, people are likely to buy additional courses or products that you suggest in your newsletter. Remember, to make an effective sale, you need to give them valuable resources throughout. This can include tips and tricks related to your courses, industry news and updates, and other valuable information that your subscribers will find useful.

Essentials to upsell and cross-sell:

Know your customer’s needs

To upsell and cross-sell effectively, you must first understand your customer's needs. This means identifying their goals, challenges, and motivations to determine which courses will provide the most value to them.

You must suggest products that complement each other and will add value to your student. An example of such would be your LinkedIn audience builder course along with your Twitter audience builder course. A person looking to build an audience will find both courses valuable.

Use social proof

Social proof like testimonials and positive reviews help build trust and brings the customer a step closer to making a purchase.

Social proof can also be the total number of purchases. By highlighting the number of people who’ve benefited from your course, you can demonstrate the value of your courses and inspire confidence in your brand.

If you are just beginning to grow an online brand, incentivize your customers to leave feedback and reviews by offering discounts or exclusive content.

Highlight the value

Not all products are intuitively valuable. You have to take extra effort to showcase the benefit your suggest course or product will provide to the customers.

This means communicating the benefits and learning outcomes of you your course, such as improved skills, career advancement, or personal growth.

To highlight the value effectively, use the language that resonates with your customer's aspirations and goals. Bundle this up with discounts or incentives to sweeten the deal and make the purchase more appealing.

Upsell your online course with Miho

If you are ready to maximize your profits, try Miho. Using our modular website builder and advanced templates, you can create powerful sales pages that convert.

Miho is a platform designed exclusively for online course creators. Miho allows you to create and sell online courses all in one place, setting you up for the win. You can get a 14-day free trial when you signup today.