3 simple ways to create urgency with upsells


Black Friday season is coming up fast. Don't worry, with the right approach you can ensure it's your biggest sale of the year. Especially if you can create a little thing called urgency.

We've all seen countdown timers, flash sales, limited time offers and every other trick in the book to get the customer to click "add to cart" in a hurry. But there's another way to generate buzz around your sale, one that involves upselling. 

We know you're busy, so let's look quickly at some strategic ways you can use upsells to increase urgency this Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM). Ready? 

Offer free shipping

Online shoppers generally expect free shipping, so use it to your advantage to get them to go for an upsell.

Instead of offering free shipping no matter what, only give it to them if they spend a minimum amount. Use this as an incentive for your shopper to spend more — and actually accept an upsell that will help them qualify for your offer.

For example, you could offer free shipping, but only on orders over $40. Now when you offer them an upsell, they'll have more of an incentive to accept it!

Try triggering an upsell when they reach a certain cart value. For example, if they're at $35 and they need to get to $40 to qualify for free delivery, use a $10 upsell item, that way they'll get to the minimum, plus a little bit more! This can compel them to add the upsell to their order right away


Use strategic language

“Last chance!”, “Hurry, this offer ends soon!”, “This weekend only!”

We’ve all seen these messages on both websites and brick and mortar stores around the holiday season. They catch your attention and pique your interest as a customer. So, why do they work so well? Language has an interesting effect on our psyche as consumers.

When we see that a deal or promotion is for a limited time, we immediately want to be involved. Loss aversion, or the pain of losing something, is similar to the psychological phenomenon FOMO, or fear of missing out. Both play into the notion that customers need to buy now in order to avoid missing out on great sales.

Since upsells have limited real estate on your customer’s sites, it’s important to be strategic with the language you chose. Include an attention-grabbing header that displays either how long the sale will last for, or language that explains that the sale is for a limited time.



Some common phrases that provoke urgency include:

  • One day only
  • Only until Monday
  • This weekend only
  • For a limited time
  • Grab em before they’re gone
  • While supplies last
  • Hurry — this offer ends soon
  • Low in stock
  • Last chance

No matter which header you chose to provoke urgency on your client’s upsells, make sure the language is still on-brand for your merchants.

The trick is to be strategic with the terms you use; choose one urgency-inducing phrase per upsell to avoid seeming too pushy.

You can customize the messaging of your upsell in Bold Upsell admin, by selecting Upsell Settings under the Settings in the Navigation Bar. With CSS you can customize the look and feel of the Upsell for a seamless brand experience.

Access our free guide: 5 ways to boost your bottom line with Bold Upsell.

Customize colors

You can easily customize upsells to match the look and feel of your merchant’s site, but choosing certain colours can also help drive the need to buy now!

Color psychology has been studied by both psychologists and behavioural economists for decades, and they’ve found certain colors provoke different emotions in consumers and led to certain desired outcomes. It’s a powerful marketing technique used by popular brands all over the world.


The color red for example increases heart rate and denotes a sense of urgency. Red has been historically associated with danger, so it taps into our primal nature and speeds up our reactions. It grabs our attention immediately, so consumers who view a buy button or sales announcement in red are likely to purchase much quicker. This is why you often see red sale signs across the retail market.


Blue, on the other hand, is associated with security, trust and comfort and is used by top banks, security brands and technology companies across the world. Since blue is so reassuring, it comes as no surprise that this study has shown blue links are clicked more often.

Using this data, we can create highly converting upsells utilizing these colors. Red can be incorporated in upsells as a background, CTA or accents to grab attention, and blue can be used for product names, descriptions and links to instil trust and confidence. Use CSS to customize colors in Bold Upsell by selecting the Settings option in the admin.

Looking to add Upsells to your store to increase your average order value this Black Friday? Try our popular app Bold Upsell for FREE now. 

Try Upsell Free

To wrap it up...

With a few small tweaks, you can create highly effective upsell offers for your merchants that will have their customers acting fast. When pairing a sense of urgency with strategic upsells, your merchants can exceed their goals this holiday season.

Looking to adjust the style of your upsell offer? Check out our Bold Upsell CSS Styling Guide that provides examples and steps on how to apply custom templates into Bold Upsell. 

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Amy Polowy

Written by Amy Polowy

Amy is a Partner Marketing Manager at Bold and is a self-proclaimed peanut butter connoisseur.

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