Growth Hacking, Retention, Acquisition, Conversion: Growthmint

Day 18: Upgrading Customers

When you acquire a customer, it’s really only the beginning of your relationship. Having happy customers isn’t just about retention, but also in getting them to spend more money with you.

Selling to an existing customer is more cost efficient than bringing on a new customer. This makes sense - with current customers, you’ve already done the hard work of convincing them to buy.

The longer your customers stick around, the more options down the road you'll to have to upsell them a new product or a more expensive plan.

Your best customers

While you can’t make everyone look like your best customers, knowing what they look like will help you optimize your product and funnels to encourage their actions and behavior.

By looking at the actions of and talking to the top 10% of your customers, you’ll be able to develop a more realistic plan for getting the 10-20% below to take the same actions.

Pro Tip

Once someone has a solution, they’re less likely to want to deal with the work of finding, setting up and learning a new one. A new customer starts at the same point with every product.

Pro Tip

Start with your top 10% of customers and study them. This doesn’t just mean looking at your analytics, but also reaching out to them and trying to figure out what about their situations drives them to spend so much more.

Pro Tip

It’s much more difficult to get your bottom 10% of customers to look like your top 10%. Instead, try to get them behaving like the next 10% of customers.


Upselling is the practice of selling your current customers on a more expensive plan. You’ve done all the work of getting them to trust you enough to buy and their business has now grown enough to need the next plan up.

The key here is providing enough value and designing your plans so that, as your customers become more successful with your product, you can charge more.

Some customers will upgrade naturally, but don't wait for them to come to you.

Pro Tip

Upselling at the right moment can have a nice effect on your revenue. If you see a customer approaching their plan usage limits, give them a friendly warning and a discounted upgrade offer before they hit those limits.

Customers will love you for the warning (as opposed to getting a notice that they’re already over their account limits) and the discount.


Cancellations are a fact of life for SaaS companies. It’s part of the reason people are drawn to SaaS companies - you can cancel at any time.

Yet too many SaaS businesses see a customer wanting to cancel and give up trying to keep the customer. Even the ones that do work on keeping the customer typically stop their efforts at asking if there’s anything they can do to keep the person.

This is where downgrading comes in. When a customer wants to cancel their plan, offer to downgrade them to the next plan instead.

While there are many reasons a customer may cancel, sometimes they just don’t need the extended abilities of the plan they’re still on.

It’s rare that a customer will consider this themselves as so few SaaS companies offer this option.

Pro Tip

A customer downgrading is always better than a customer canceling.