The Truth Behind Upselling

By Hannah McClune
SIM Brand Ambassador and Owner of Hannah McClune Photography


That word alone may lead you to imagine yucky sales. A crass connotation of trying to force people to buy things they don’t want. When people hear the word ‘upsell’ it can suggest you are pressurising your clients to spend more money than they wish to. Horrible.

Yet, this could not be further from the truth.

But absolutely not, that is never a sensible approach to business. Yes, we have profit goals, but the heart of our business should always be to give an excellent customer service.

As a wedding photographer it can be challenging to find the perfect photography collection that suits everyone. Personally I have opted to have three options that include the most popular products:

Collection 1
Album, thank you cards, USB

Collection 2
Album and USB

Collection 3
USB only

One of the things I love the most about weddings is how different each wedding is, the couples bring their own loves and interest into the day. So it is only natural that they too will have individual wants for their wedding photography products. Although my main collections are popular there are still many ways they can choose to customise them and make it bespoke to them.

As a business the ability to upsell obviously has financial benefits, but from a customer service perspective it is also hugely beneficial to be flexible. Giving couples the opportunity to choose add-ons is giving them the control they deserve with such an important day.

However, most people are not going to know what it is they want to add on. That is where are role of clearly being able to guide clients through upsetting options is so important. Great visual guides, videos and clear steps will help them to know what it is they want.

Do you give your customers regular, simple, reminders on how they can add to their wedding photography?

I truly believe in everything I offer adds value to their wedding photography. Nothing is suggested that I don’t love. As always, each touch point with my clients needs to be a positive experience. For example, I could offer photo booths in the evening, I’ve been asked about it lots – but for me this isn’t something that I feel passionate about. It doesn’t suit my style of photography and doesn’t get me excited. So for those two reasons I don’t offer it. The list below is what I do offer, have a read through and see if there is anything you don’t offer and may wish to start doing:

  • Albums
  • Prints
  • Parent Albums
  • Extra Pages in Abums
  • Larger Albums
  • Parent USB Sticks
  • Upgrade Choices from Linen to Leather Album Covers
  • Thank You Cards
  • Engagement Sessions
  • Engagement Signing Frames
  • Engagement Signing Books
  • Second Photographer
  • Anniversary Sessions
  • Linen Print Box with Large Mounted Photos
  • Gift Vouchers
  • Wall Art from the Engagement Session
  • Additional Coverage on Wedding Day
  • Wall Art from the Wedding Day

Once you’ve created your own list for what you’d love to offer your couples do go through your entire customer journey. From when they first enquire, to consider what opportunities you have to sell from your list of extras.

An action you can do today it to create an email list of your client base from the last three years in business and email information about album or product sales.

To encourage a faster response it helps to include a limited time offer to motivate clients to act quickly! I wouldn’t announce a sale anywhere on social media as it could reduce the brand value. Also an email only promotion adds value for them choosing to open your email amongst the many messages that fill their inbox. In the email to clients, include beautiful photos of your sample albums or even better, a video of the product. Outline the process for ordering so clients know exactly what’s coming and sets expectations.

Every sales message we put out there is genuine and that is why it is so easy to honestly sing the praises of what we choose to upsell.

For example, we have a LOT of love for albums. And so do our couples. And so should your couples. Having their wedding photos in a luxury album, a super professionally printed and gorgeously designed album- the photos their day deserves! It can’t be replicated at home, it is such a unique extra gift they can treat themselves to.

There will be various different touch points to upsell what the client wants, consider how at those times you can showcase your products to clients in a new way to encourage sales.

By Hannah McClune
SIM Brand Ambassador and Owner of Hannah McClune Photography