Most digital marketing ads—Instagram ads for H&M clothing or display ads pushing a Disney+ subscription, for example—are for low-ticket items. For consumers, making the decision to spend $10-$20 only requires a short buying cycle. Many low-ticket items are impulse buys, particularly if they’re listed on Amazon, where conversion rates are considerably higher than other platforms.
But high ticket digital marketing requires a different approach.
For pricey items like enterprise software, jewelry, and cars, the customer journey is slower and requires significantly more education and customer touchpoints. Naturally, when making a high-end purchase, customers will want to take time to research, comparison shop, and talk to sales representatives to educate themselves on the pros and cons of each product.
Salesforce, a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform, has mastered the art of high ticket digital marketing. The company’s “Sales Cloud Unlimited” plan is $300/month per user, which for many sales teams means an investment of tens of thousands of dollars per year.
By offering webinars, whitepapers, and personalized consultations, Salesforce has created a logical path for prospects to follow along the customer journey, with high-quality content at each touchpoint. While this requires a significant time investment, the payoff is that a single enterprise software sale can equal thousands of low ticket items.
To replicate Salesforce’s success, keep in mind that high ticket digital marketing starts to blend together with sales. Capturing your audience’s attention is step one, but once you’ve done that, you’ll want to accompany them down a carefully-defined, five-step sales funnel to maximize your chances of success.
What Is High Ticket Digital Marketing?
When you’re marketing high ticket products, two things are true:
- You’re selling premium items.
- You’ve built your marketing strategy around a more complex buying process.
Buying a high ticket item takes time, and high-value items tend to convert at a lower rate. The average B2B ecommerce conversion rate is 1.8%, while the conversion rate for professional services hovers around 4.6%. As a result, high ticket digital marketing strategies focus on nurturing leads over time, providing in-depth customer education, and building relationships with customers.
High ticket digital marketing campaigns tend to focus on areas like:
- Brand perception: The right marketing messages can create a luxury association with your brand and make customers willing to pay higher prices.
- Customer education: Customers who are familiar with your brand still need education before reaching a buying decision. That’s where your content marketing efforts will come in. Customer education happens on your website, social media, and any other marketing channel your customers frequent.
- Lead nurturing: Customers need time to get familiar with your brand and product, and to build trust. Carefully nurturing leads ensures that your brand is top of mind when customers are ready to buy.
- Personalized attention: Buyers of high ticket items often need more hand-holding during the customer journey, especially for complicated products like enterprise software. Live demos and 1:1 product walkthroughs are common in the world of high ticket sales.
What Are High Ticket Items?
Just like any other consumer item, you can open up your laptop and buy Tesla’s electric vehicles online. But unlike most consumer items, this one costs upwards of $50,000-$100,000.
(Now that’s a high ticket item!)
Tesla has done an incredible amount to position itself as a luxury, in-demand brand. This grabs consumers’ attention and makes the rest of the sale easier.
That brand perception takes Tesla a long way. But there’s still a nurturing and sales process to go through, much of which happens on Tesla’s email list, which is hyper-segmented based on the type of vehicles users are interested in.
Tesla’s website itself is visual, educational, and interactive, taking users through every aspect of the products and providing live chat agents to answer questions. Users can design their own custom Tesla online, choosing everything from the paint color to the number of seats.
Once customers are ready to take action, they can easily schedule a test drive in one of Tesla’s showrooms—or buy directly online, as 82% of Tesla customers do.
Buying high ticket items isn’t always as conspicuous as buying a Tesla. In the business world, enterprise software is a common high ticket item. HubSpot's enterprise marketing software costs a jaw-dropping $43,200 per year.
To nudge users down the customer journey, HubSpot has developed a massive content marketing library: tens of thousands of blog posts, along with ebooks, guides, and courses.
Other examples of high-ticket items include:
- Real estate
- Online courses
- High-end clothing
- Boats and recreational equipment
Steps To High Ticket Digital Marketing Success
High ticket items require a well-thought-out strategy that takes into account every stage of the buyer's journey. Following a five-step sales funnel allows you to methodically consider your customer’s experience—from the moment they first encounter your brand until they purchase your product and become a brand advocate.
Customers can’t buy from you if they’ve never heard of you.
Awareness happens on digital marketing channels like Facebook Ads, LinkedIn, SEO, remarketing ads, and pay-per-click advertising. By building a presence across these channels—focusing especially on those where your target audience spends time—you’ll start to fill the top of your funnel with potential customers.
Like Tesla, you’ll want to make a concerted effort to promote the premium aspects of your product.
Once customers know about you, you’ll need to create interest.
To do this, your product needs to resonate with the specific problems or needs your customers have. But they aren’t ready for a sales conversation yet—and they might not even know they want what you’re offering.
At this stage in the funnel, focus on customer education to deepen customers’ understanding of your product. Create engaging content across a variety of formats like blog posts, ebooks, videos, webinars, and social media. And don’t forget to capture email addresses so you have a chance to nurture customers over time.
At the evaluation stage, potential customers are comparing your offering with others on the market.
Right now, they’re still skeptical.
They want reassurance that your product is the best choice for them and that it will solve their problems. This is where case studies, testimonials, and in-depth product reviews come in handy.
You’ll want to consider offering a free trial or live demo to give customers a firsthand experience of what they can expect.
Finally! The big moment has arrived.
Your potential customer is now ready to make a purchase. But don’t make the mistake of assuming this part is easy—things can still go sideways.
70% of online shoppers abandon their carts without purchasing. While some level of cart abandonment is natural, it’s a problem when customers leave due to a poor experience during the checkout process.
Common reasons for abandoning a purchase include:
- The site required users to create an account
- Complicated checkout process
- The credit card was declined
- Delivery was too slow
- Website had errors
Make sure your purchase process is as seamless and straightforward as possible to avoid any last-minute hesitation. Give customers multiple payment options and be transparent about costs, including shipping and additional fees.
Even after the purchase, the customer journey is far from over.
Arguably one of the most crucial stages begins at this point:
Cultivating customer loyalty.
High-ticket items often provide opportunities for repeat purchases, upsells, or cross-sales of complementary products or services. And satisfied customers can become your most powerful brand ambassadors, creating awareness and driving referrals your way. However, this all depends on how you nurture your relationship with them post-purchase.
Stay connected with your customers through email marketing, personalized offers, and social media engagement. Consider implementing a customer loyalty program to reward repeat business. And make sure your post-purchase support leaves customers raving about how great it is to work with you.
Get Started With High Ticket Digital Marketing
The average customer gets more than 70% of the way through the decision-making process before ever reaching out to sales representatives.
Just like low-ticket consumers, high-ticket consumers do serious research on their own before ever making brands aware of their interest. That means high ticket digital marketing is more important than ever. The goal is simple: create awareness, then give prospective customers the resources to educate themselves as they go along the path to purchase.
To get started with high ticket digital marketing, make sure you’re set up on a solid digital sales platform like Kinsta or Shopify. Then, work to understand your target audience and create a five-step sales funnel. Focus on guiding your audience through the customer journey, toward a buying decision, and onward toward a meaningful ongoing relationship with your brand.
For more online marketing tactics and tips, be sure to check out my other article on high ticket affiliate marketing, or this in-depth guide to high-ticket affiliate marketing programs. While you're here, be sure to subscribe to The CMO newsletter for all of the latest marketing trends, technology, and tools.