Retailers derive significant value from upselling and cross-selling customers but mobile and social game companies are yet to master this opportunity. The cost of acquiring customers, particularly paying customers, is high so it is vital to get as much value as possible from these customers. It is also more cost effective, as Marketing Metrics stated it is 50 percent easier to sell to existing customers than new ones.
First, it is important to understand the difference between upselling and cross selling. Upselling is getting a customer to purchase more of an item they are already buying while cross selling is convincing them to purchase complimentary items.
Starbucks presents examples of both upselling and cross selling. If you are about to buy a Grande Latte and the cashier suggests a Venti Latte, they are upselling. If they then ask you if you want a Cake Pop with your Latte, they are cross selling.
In the social gaming space, both are possible. If a player is about to buy 5,000 chips for $10, you can upsell by offering them another 1,000 chips for $1. You can cross sell by also suggesting they pay to unlock five exclusive slot machines to use their new chips in for another $10. You can also cross sell them into another game.
A recent post, 3 Slick Upsell & Cross-Sell Methods to Boost Revenue + Profit by Sam Hurley, , does a great job of explaining the three areas you can deploy upselling and cross-selling.
When a customer is playing your game or wandering in a casino it is a perfect time to cross sell them with potential purchases. Their game or browsing activity is an opportunity to show them how they can have a better experience by monetizing. At this critical stage in their journey, they may not be aware of your other offerings, or plan to make a purchase. As Hurley writes, “while customers browse your digital properties, product or service bundles should be presented as super helpful add-ons.”
In social casino, one of the most impactful developments was integrating progressive jackpots with an upsell mechanic. Players can enjoy a slot (browse) and then be presented with an offer to bet higher and have a chance to win a huge progressive jackpot. Only with the higher bet, which requires monetization, can players enjoy the progressive jackpot. In real money casino, this is an even clearer upsell, as players need to play at a higher stake (spend more) to have the chance to win more.
One critical element to keep in mind when players are browsing/playing, is that the offer needs to be relevant. If somebody is playing slots, a promotion to sports bet is unlikely to be successful. Instead, try to get them to spend more on the slots and give them a sports betting offer during the purchase (see below).
The second great opportunity to upsell and cross sell a player is when they are in the process of purchasing. First, you can upsell by offering them an add-on. This add-on can be additional chips or currency at a discounted price or a different virtual item in the game (the upsell).
This is also a great opportunity to cross sell. When someone is making a purchase, you can give them something of value in another one of your products (the cross sell). This can be free chips or tournament tickets in the other product, access to a special VIP area, sneak peak or exclusive content (which they would not want to lose).
For the purchase event upsell/cross-sell to be most effective, you should imbue a sense of urgency and scarcity. If it is an offer to purchase more, make it a limited time offer only available to X players. With cross sell, it is even more powerful. If you have a poker game and give someone a key that expires in 24 hours for an exclusive slot in your casino product, that is a powerful incentive for them to try your other game.
To optimize the efficiency of these purchase events activities, Hurley recommends several key elements:
- Keep it tidy. Don’t clutter the deposit page and overwhelm customers (this could actually lose business, instead of gaining it).
- Keep it simple. Tell customers exactly what they will get via upsells and cross-sells, concisely and considerately.
- Keep it welcoming. You don’t want your customer to feel they are buying a used car. Hurley recommends “Customers also bought…” instead of “Add these to your cart, now!”
- Keep it relevant. The better the alignment, the greater your conversion rate and order value.
Once you have gotten a player to monetize, it is the optimal time to turn them into a repeat customer. According to Hurley, post-purchase upsell and cross sell has the highest conversion rate of any type of upsell. Look at the purchase as the beginning of a never ending funnel, the beginning of the Paying Customer Journey.
Once a customer has made a purchase, you can both present upsell and cross sell offers. Allow them to make an additional purchase for a limited time or give them loyalty points, where they earn even more by making another purchase. It is also a great time to present your other products, by buying chips in our slots product, why don’t you try our video poker experience.
There are four primary ways to present the post purchase cross or upsell opportunity:
- Once someone has made a purchase, set up a drip email marketing campaign tailored to that player. Make follow on offers based on how they used their initial purchase and the size of the purchase.
- Customer support (across all channels) is another chance to upsell and cross-sell your customers, but ensure your CS reps have access to the purchase information and do not turn into cheap salespeople (their primary objective is to keep your customers happy).
- Push notifications, simple mobile message saying your recent purchase entitles you to a 25 percent discount right now.
- Receipts. Include an offer when you send a receipt to a player for a purchase (even if made through the app store use it as an opportunity to send a receipt). Receipts have a much higher open rate than other emails (71 percent versus about 17 percent) and are more likely to be retained by your customer. Include in the receipt a discount off the customer’s next purchase.
Keep upsell and cross sell top of mind
Given the high ROI of upsell and cross sell promotions, you need to integrate it into all elements of product development and CRM. Think of the various customer touchpoints and how you can integrate upsell and cross sell.
- It is 50 percent easier to sell to existing customers than new ones, so you should focus efforts on increasing the size of purchases by your current customers (upsell) and getting them to purchase more of your products (cross-sell).
- There are three elements of the customer journey where you can cross-sell and upsell, when they are playing your game (browsing), during the purchase and after the purchase.
- Post purchase is the most effective time to upsell and cross-sell, you can offer your customers a discount on their next purchase or an incentive to try one of your other games. This can be done via email, push notifications, your CS team or by sending a purchase receipt that incorporates an offer.