How To Create One-Click Upsells & Downsells In WordPress

David Frosdick

Last Updated: January 16, 2023

The power of upsells and downsells is one of the most popular marketing strategies for increasing sales revenue in your business.

The simple truth is that if you're not using this strategy, you're leaving money on the table.

Before we dive into how you are going to deploy this revenue-boosting strategy in your business, let's start by clarifying what upsells and downsells are.

What Is An Upsell?

A product upsell typically comes in two preferred formats.

The first format is offering an upgraded version of the original product that your customer has purchased. This upgrade product is usually at a higher price and provides the customer with more value. The second upsell format is to offer the customer an additional product that is aligned closely with the primary product they have purchased.

Typically you offer your upsell product straight after the customer has completed the primary product purchase. However, you should test this format to see what works best for your business type.

The most common upsell that we all know of is the McDonald's "supersize". The simple phrase "would you like to supersize" would have generated McDonald's billions in revenue.

66% increase in order value

Another upsell might be merely taking someone from the basic version to the higher version of the same product like; small fries to medium fries, medium fries to large fries.

It can be as simple as selling a service with your product, for example, a maintenance plan, support plan, or recurring membership plan.

An upsell takes the primary product to a premium product and increases the revenue for that business. It is much easier and cheaper to sell to an existing customer than finding new customers. What makes upsells so effective is that they are presented after you have already gained the trust of the customer.

Upsell offer is shown after the buyer submits thier order

Upsell offer is shown after buyer submits initial checkout form.  It can be added to the order - usually with one-click of an additional order button

This technique allows you to generate as much revenue as possible from your customers while also presenting them with more of the products and services your business sells.

Upsells and downsells turn single-product buyers into multiple product buyers and allow you, as a marketer, to present different offers to your customers and provide value from products that align with their primary product purchase.

complete offer funnel showing how upsells and downsells can be offered

A complete offer funnel showing how upsells and downsells can be offered.

Some customers may not be aware of all of your products and services. By offering upsells and downsells, you have a way of increasing your revenue and offering additional products of which your customers are not aware.

This article will give you the best practices for using upsells and downsells on your WordPress website. We are also going to show you how you can achieve this in only a few clicks using Optimizepress.

You can call that a win-win! 🙌 🙌 🙌

What Is A Downsell?

A downsell is the reverse of what is happening in an upsell, rather than selling a higher-priced product, you offer a similar lower-priced product. These lower-priced products also help to increase the average order of the customer and bring more profit into the business.

The point at which you usually present your downsell offer is when the customer chooses not to accept your upsell offer.

As an example, if you are selling a printed book online, an upsell could be a video course on the same topic. If the customer doesn't take the upsell, a downsell could be the audio version of that same product.

A simple downsell is usually a stripped back version of the premium upsell. A downsell can be very effective when a customer feels the upsell is too expensive or when it doesn't appeal to them. 

Downsell after the buy clicks no thanks

A downsell offer is shown after the buyer clicks the "no thanks" link (or any text you wish) to reject the upsell offer. The downsell will usually be lower priced.

Understanding The Terminology

To best understand some of the terminology used in this article, an upsell, downsell or one-time offer are all very much the same.  They attempt to get the customer to spend more money during the checkout process, but they are different in the way the offers are presented.

An upsell can still be a one-time offer, so don’t be too confused about the terminology.

Upsell = Upgrade of the original product purchase, usually higher priced.
Downsell = A lower priced product offered when a customer refuses the upsell.
One-Time Offer = Usually a sale's offer that is limited either by time or quantity.
One-Click / 1-Click Offer = This is the process during checkout that requires the user to click once to buy without needing to enter their details again.

Pre-Purchase & Post-Purchase Behaviour

There are two ways you can increase your average order value.

Pre-purchase / Add-on - before the customer clicks to buy
Post-purchase - after the customer has committed to buying.

Pre-purchase is offering a product as an add-on purchase on the checkout page. We call this an order bump, a new feature we added to OptimizePress that allows you to create order bumps on your WordPress site.

Post-purchase is when you offer a product after the customer clicks to buy. We call this an upsell, downsell or even a one-time offer.

Again, using a new feature in OptimizePress called one-time offers that allow you to sell products with one-click.

Order Bump Example

Order Bump Example:  The order bump box is designed to be high impact and attract buyer attention to a "no-brainer" add-on offer (usually low priced).

The Power Of One-Time or One-Click Offers

You will often see upsell and downsell offers marketed as "one time offers". A one-time offer should be precisely what its title suggests. An offer that you present to the customer, one time! The one-time element of the upsell/downsell offer means that if the customer does not take the product offering at that moment in time, it will not be available again at a later date. This increases the customer's motivation to act on the sales offer presented to them.

To ensure every customer knows it's limited, you must make it stand out, and this should be clear and easy to understand in your messaging.

Using sales copy and conversion optimised checkout designs, you must make your offers as easy as possible to accept.

This is where having a one-click upsell makes it easy for the customer to buy your offer. No need to enter credit card info again, use the one-click button to persuade the user to take your next offer.

Creating one-time or one-click offers in WordPress is now even easier using OptimizeCheckouts. These additional features make OptimzePress one of the most powerful shopping cart solutions for WordPress.

To offer a one-click upsell on your WordPress site opens many opportunities for bloggers and product creators just like you. We'll show you how easy it is to create these offers later in this article.

Remember, upsell offers don't require the user to enter their details again. The payment data is stored and triggered again if they take the upsell. This presents the customer with a lower barrier to entry and improves conversion rates.

The ease of buying in this manner increases your customer spend without you having to put in more time and effort to promote your products.

What Type Of Upsells/Downsells Should You Offer?

By now, you should have a better understanding of why you should use upsells and downsells in your business.

Now let’s look at the types of offers you can make for your products.

An important factor to consider is that the better you understand the buying behaviour of your niche market, the better you can target your offers to them.

Do your products have repeat buyers?
Are your products offered in different formats?
Can they be bundled with complementary products?
Can you offer an additional product as a subscription?
Can you offer a bulk discount? (great for E-commerce)

Answering the questions above can help you create and plan your offers.

Offer A Different Format

If you sell a digital product of any kind, there’s a chance you might already have the same product in a different format such as video or audio.


If the primary product is an eBook > Upsell the video course.
If the primary product is an eBook > Upsell the video course > Downsell the audio version.
If the primary product is an audiobook > Upsell the full video course > Downsell the video at an even further reduced price with some extras taken away
If the primary product is video course > Upsell one-on-one coaching > Downsell group coaching

Upsell Support & Maintenance

Customer support and maintenance plans are also brilliant upsells. They provide value to the customer by offering a sense of security and guarantee in the product they are buying.

If the primary product is a course > Upsell support or done-for-you.
If the primary product is software > Upsell set up plans.
If the primary product is SaaS > Upsell premium support and setup service.
If the primary product is a WordPress Theme > Upsell support package > Downsell setup service.

Highlight the value and cost of these support plans and why they help the customer in the future. To further highlight the value showing the regular price in comparison to the upsell offer price.

Done for you upsell example

Done for you upsell example - in this case offering to help you prepare your social media content. Ideal for a social media training digital product upsell.

Upsell Extra Options

If you are running an in-person event or workshop, there are many opportunities to generate lots of extra revenue. Just look at some of the biggest marketing events. You can usually buy the content in some form or another, such as workbook notes or video recordings.

If the primary product is a workshop > Upsell the video recording.
If the primary product is a conference ticket > Upsell Bring A Friend.
If the primary product is a conference ticket > Upsell Bring A Friend > Downsell virtual ticket for a friend.
If the primary product is an event > Upsell recordings > Downsell speaker notes and workbook.
If the primary product is a conference > Upsell VIP seating.
If the primary product is a conference > Upsell VIP one-day workshop > Downsell after-event business support service.
If the primary product is a conference ticket > Downsell the virtual tickets.

These are easy ways to get customers to increase their average order value. Never assume that you have exhausted all options.

Upsell Subscriptions

If the product you sell offers training or mentoring services, you can most likely offer an upsell of a subscription for continued education. This might be in the format of a membership site, additional coaching or mastermind groups.

Here are some examples:

If the primary product is a video course > Upsell a membership site.
If the primary product is a website service > Upsell monthly WordPress maintenance.
If the primary product is a marketing service > Upsell ongoing marketing and social media services.
If the primary product is coffee beans > Upsell bi-monthly coffee deliveries.
If the primary product is a workout plan > Upsell meal plans and workout trackers.
subscription upsell example from Lewis Howes

Subscription upsell example from Lewis Howes shows how you can add a subscription (Inner Circle coaching in this case) to your offer.

Examples Of Upsells & Downsells

Let’s take a look at examples of one-click upsells to give you some inspiration. Please note some of these examples may or may not be live at the time you’re reading this article.

Strategy Tip - Read the power words!

Rather than just skimming the examples in this article, read the examples. Take note of the wording and keywords the marketers are using to make their offers sound amazing.

Look for power words, highlighted words, underlined words and use those as inspiration for your copy.

Bulk Savings Upsell