Affiliate Marketing Disclosure: One of the ways I make money in my business is through affiliate marketing. If you click a link marked with * I may get a thank you payment for any action you take on that site (like subscribing, taking a free trial, or buying a product). You can read more about this in my Affiliate Marketing Beginner’s Guide.

What should I sell as an order bump vs include as a bonus in the main product?

Order bumps and bonuses explained and a little bit about upsells too

First, let’s be sure we’re talking about the same thing…. by imagining we’re placing an order in a coffee shop ☕

Bonus = Everyone’s getting access to it whether they want it or not.

An add-on that you get at no additional cost when you buy the main product.

It can be anything from a simple PDF checklist through to a completely separate course that you unlock access to.

It could even include 1-1 attention.

☕ Coffee Shop:  The sachets of sugar or sweetener. The cardboard cup holders to help you carry your takeaway drinks. You don’t HAVE to use/consume them, but they’re available if you want them, and you don’t need to pay extra.


Order bump = People choose to buy it if they want it enough to pay for it, and it is a very simple yes/no decision that needs little explanation

Just like the bonus, it can be any kind of format. You are asking the customer to pay to have access to this additional thing, and you are asking them for that decision at the point they are checking out with the main product.

You typically do not have a lot of room to explain what it is or why they’d want it.

You may offer it at a discount or at full price.

☕ Coffee Shop:   Shots of syrup. Do I want cinnamon syrup in my latte? Yes. Every time.


Upsell = People choose if they want to buy this or not, but it gets a whole separate sales page they see after they’ve filled out the original checkout, and before they’ve clicked the final button to complete the transaction

These are usually (not exclusively) limited-time offers for things that are discounted or are not usually available.

Because you’ve got a whole sales page to sell the thing, you can include videos, images, and testimonials, so it can be something higher priced, or needing more explaining than you’d typically sell as an order bump.

☕ Coffee Shop:   Do I want to take advantage of today’s hot drink + bacon donut combo deal?  And because the details of the drinks order are sorted by this point, I can switch my attention to understanding what the hell a bacon donut is….and then when I do understand, I buy it…and I’m so glad I did because it’s so wrong and so right all at the same time.

4 questions to help you decide if something is an Order Bump or a Bonus:

1. Does it work better for me if everyone has access to this thing - then it’s a bonus

This is especially true of group programmes where you’ll be answering questions, or helping people get unstuck. If you find yourself constantly referring to material that isn’t included as standard, it might be time to add it as a bonus.

2. Does it make the sales page easier to understand if you move this item out of the main product and present it as a bonus?

Sometimes there’s a thing that you really, really want people to have access to, but explaining how it fits into the bigger thing and the role it plays is tricky.

My course Irresistible Offers is about creating individual offers that also worked within the context of all the other things you sell.

But that section about all the other things you sell, it just felt a bit shoe-horned into the sales page and made it harder to communicate the core focus of the course.

So I moved it to be a bonus.

It wouldn’t work as a standalone course.

It made no sense to charge extra for it because I don’t think it’s an outcome people will pay for - it’s just something I really want them to have.

3. Is it going to give them a taster of the next steps and lead to sales of a new thing? Great bonus idea

In my how-to-write-a-sales-page course, Smooth Sale-ing,  I include a bonus module (Why Buy Now) that is taken from the Persuasion Power-Ups course….. because yes it’s helpful material, but I also want as many people as possible to know the Persuasion Power-Ups course exists. And now you know it exists too 😉

4. Is it something that almost (but not quite) everyone will need or benefit from and you feel mean charging for it? Then make it a bonus.

This is like the little sachets of sugar for your tea or salt for your chips/fries. The food vendor doesn’t want to add salt/sugar to every customer’s order because not every customer wants it, but plenty do, and it feels kinda mean to charge a few pennies to get it. The option to have sugar/salt at no extra charge helps make the experience better for the customer, and enhances the relationship they have with the seller.

Last quick word about Order Bumps

You typically don’t have a lot of time or space to pitch your Order Bump.

It may be a tiny checkbox on your checkout page, or it might be a whole separate page but with limited information space that someone sees between entering their contact and payment details, and completing the checkout.

Either way, you don’t want to present too much information because you don’t want to lose the sale of the original offer the customer intended to buy before you distracted them with this Order Bump Opportunity.

So it needs to be something that they’re already familiar with, or is quick and easy to understand, and doesn’t require ongoing commitment.

It’s easy to say ‘yes’ to a 90-minute training video because we know what that looks like and what the commitment is you’re asking for.

The price point does make a difference, but it’s not the only factor.

If something is going to require more explanation, testimonials or visuals to encourage someone to buy, it may work better as an upsell from the thank you page, and/or thank you email, and/or once they’re inside your course platform, or consuming the original offer they just bought.

Where would you like to go next?



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 × 3 =