Upsell Series: 3 Tips for Inbound Call Center Upsell Results


LiveOps’ customers often ask me: how can I increase revenue from my inbound call centers? Or, more specifically, from my inbound phone campaigns? What they’re really asking is: Now that I’ve successfully marketed my primary product, generated good consumer response and am closing sales – what else can I do to increase my total revenue? The answer: upsells.

It goes without saying that an inbound call center program with upsells will likely do better than one without. In fact, more than 20 percent of direct response customers generated more revenue from upsells than from the core product sale. In this blog series, I’ll provide visibility into what success looks like and how to get there. The key is knowing what to look for and what to do with it once you have found it.

Analyzing data from hundreds of successful marketing campaigns reveals that phone upsells typically increase revenue per order by 48 percent, compared to other methods, such as a live chat customer service:


Typical Base Product Revenue: $68

Typical Upsell Revenue:             $33


Average Order Value:                 $101 (a 48 percent increase over the base product revenue)


Moreover, since upsells usually have higher profit margins, the effect on the profit and loss is even more significant.

Upsells in certain product categories often deliver more revenue than others:

Graph 1-Alan

LiveOps 2013

Digging into specific categories, we find upsell revenue varies significantly as some marketers have uncovered how to find relevant, high-value upsells that consumers love.

Graph 2-Alan

LiveOps 2013

 In the household product category, several customers’ upsell revenue boosts the average order value by well over $100.

Graph 3-Alan

LiveOps 2013

 For those in marketing, this is fascinating information. But how do you, as a marketer, increase your own inbound call center’s revenue through upsells? Follow these three tips to maximize upsell performance:

1)      Ask Questions First: If you are not upselling (or have low upsell performance), time to focus on improving results. Start asking questions. Do you allow your call center outsourcing service to upsell? How many upsells (and downsells) do you have? Why? What are your conversion rates? Do your initial upsells impact the performance of other subsequent upsells? What upsells are your competitors offering? Do your upsell products fit with your brand? Why are consumers declining your upsells?

2)      Source High Margin Upsell Products: We frequently help customers source high margin, high quality, and high performing upsells. Higher margin upsells often include expedited shipping and processing, deluxe upgrades, warranty, newsletters, subscription products and many others. Look into upsells with your call center outsourcing partner that have low or no COGS and high profitability.

3)      Test, Test, Test: How many tests do you run each month to increase your upsell performance? Have you tested your upsell price sensitivity, rebuttal verbiage, the order of upsells? One customer found that moving a $20 cookbook offer from the fourth upsell position to the first doubled their conversion rates. How frequently do you test new upsell products? In the last three years we have tripled our customers’ upsell performance as a result of testing and encourage you to do so, as well.

What advice do you have for improving upsell results? Want to see more data and analysis? Connect with me, and let’s continue the discussion. If you’re attending the 2013 ERA D2C convention in Las Vegas next week, make sure to stop by Chambertin1. I’ll be there with the LiveOps team, ready to answer any upsell questions you might have!

–          Alan Roth, Senior Director of Marketing, LiveOps

 Image courtesy of Ambro at


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