Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jun 21, 2010
Last Monday I went online and ordered a product my wife and I saw on TV. We’d waited a couple of months to make sure we wanted it, then decided it was time to pull the trigger on the purchase.
A couple of days later, we started getting this phone call from a company we didn’t recognize. We had decided we weren’t going to pick it up, but after call number five I decided to go ahead and get it out of the way.
It was the company we’d bought the product from. We were being thanked for our purchase and were told that we were being sent some other nonsense that included $40 in gas coupons, and would be charged $1 for a month, which we could cancel if we didn’t want it. I decided to go ahead and let it go, even though I knew I’d be canceling the day it showed up.
The guy then sent me to someone else to confirm the order. The next guy gets on the phone, confirms what was said, then starts saying how they’re going to send me all this other stuff for a very low price, since I was a preferred customer. At that point I told the guy to not send me anything else, I wasn’t interested and would possibly forget to cancel all those things, and to only stick with the original offer. He said he understood, put me down as “no”, and said he hoped I would enjoy my purchase.
I’m not a big fan of the upsell. I understand it’s a nice little marketing trick that works on a lot of people, but at times I find it quite intrusive. What I described is how it works in the regular world, at least one way. After all, most of us have dealt with “would you like to super size that?”
Online, it works in the form of either visiting sites that offer one thing and having that popup or floating window come along and block whatever it is you were reading at the time and forcing you to take some kind of action before you can continue doing what you were doing. It doesn’t matter what it is; a product, a newsletter, subscribe to the feed… it’s an upsell to something you probably weren’t thinking about doing in the first place, or had no need to do.
One of the gripes I had with Clickbank is that it allows its users to promote upsells to the max. One product I was thinking about marketing early on, since the only association I have with Clickbank now is that book to the right side on $100 a day (I had said I was totally dropping it, then realized I liked that book and it’s through Clickbank), had it where a person might decide they wanted to look at one thing, were taken to a page showing something else, and even if you declined you were taken to a third page that had about 20 different items listed. That’s overwhelming for anyone, and I wondered if anyone would even bother with buying the first item at that point; I wouldn’t have.
GoDaddy, from whom I buy my domains from, is a master of this upsell thing. You purchase a domain name and it’ll ask if you want to buy all the other deviations of it that are available. You move on and it tries to sell you hosting, security packages, email packages, etc. Even when you get through all of that you’re offered the ability to hide your info from the masses (that shouldn’t be an option, it should happen automatically if you ask me) and many other things I can’t think of right now. I guess I need to be lucky it’s not like some other sites where stuff is pre-checked, which means if you’re not paying attention you’re going to have subscribed to something you really didn’t want.
What is your thought on the upsell? Does it make you more likely to buy or sign up for something, more likely to turn you away, or do you expect it and move on most of the time?