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What is a Value Ladder & How to Build One for Your Digital Business

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Acquiring a new customer costs five times more than retaining an existing one. Likewise, studies have also shown it’s easier to make customers who have already bought from you, buy again than to obtain new customers for your digital biz.

But why is it so? It’s 2022, and thousands, if not millions, of products, are on the internet. With so many options to choose from and people getting scammed regularly, few are ready to splurge their money on something or someone they barely know. Hesitation and fear set in, which is why selling a digital product can be hard these days.

However, if you have products that you truly believe will provide value to customers who have bought them, they will most likely love using them and may want to try other offerings that you have. This trust that you’ve established will likely lead to a long-term relationship in the future.

Here’s where today’s topic, ‘the value ladder’ comes in….

You might have come across this concept before. But any idea what it entails and how you can leverage it in your digital business to boost sales?

Keep reading to find out!

Related Reads:

The Value Ladder: Building An Effective Strategy To Boost Sales

What is a Value Ladder & How to Build One For Your Digital Business

What Is A Value Ladder?

A value ladder is basically a range of products that go increasingly up in price point and value. If you do want to use this strategy, you must spend some extra time getting to know your audience.

It can be a recipe for disaster if not diving in without a solid strategy. Creating a product that is of significant value takes a lot of time and effort. So you have to ensure that the premium or upgraded products cater well and have a high demand in your specific niche.

So, when a potential client enters your sales funnel, they will be first exposed to a low ticket offer with a very low price point, so it’s a no-brainer. It’s not a big commitment to buy the product, even if they don’t know you.

After that person buys the product, the next step is informing the client about an upgrade by upselling them to a slightly more expensive product that gives more value. You could also offer an additional product that can go with their purchase, like a discount for add-ons or an all-in-one package at a slightly lower price than if bought separately.

And like this, the price point goes up and up until the highest ticket offer, which can be a few hundred or even a thousand dollars. This upselling technique is a great way to increase the average order values (AOVs) and customer loyalty.

You’re taking your audience by their hand, and you’re guiding them through all these different ways you can help and provide value to them.

Upselling is about offering something with a lot more value and that’s still relevant to them. Pushing a product that does not benefit a customer may end up them walking away and you losing a loyal customer.

Why You Need A Value Ladder In Your Digital Business

  • It helps to connect all your offers (so it allows you to cross-sell), which boosts your sales!

  • It helps your target audience understand exactly your expertise and niche. When product offerings are about different topics that aren’t connected in any way, potential clients might get confused and choose someone else who is an expert with a specific topic they need help with.

  • A value ladder helps build trust (little by little). Every time they buy a product from you with a slightly higher price point and like it, they will be ready to pay you a bit more.

  • Unlike physical products, digital products have a much higher sales margin with a net profit of nearly 100%! Think about it. A digital product can be sold an infinite number of times, and you can market it on social media at almost zero cost.

  • Value ladder increases your customer lifetime value (CLV) as well. You will be able to have a couple of customers who contribute a majority of your business’s revenue without having to invest extra in marketing. Loyal customers who enjoy your products will keep coming back for more.

  • It also provides flexibility and convenience to customers because they don’t want to be searching the internet and risk trying someone else’s product. And offering them more choices makes them more likely to stay trying out other services.

How To Create A Value Ladder

As I mentioned above, creating a value ladder can take up much of your time. So, let’s look at a way where you easily make one.

Take a look at your current digital product portfolio (It’s, of course, also ok if you haven’t created digital products yet).

Rank your products from cheapest to most expensive.

Here are a few questions that you could answer to create your value ladder:

  • Are all your digital products connected to each other? And do they help your target audience solve the same problem?

  • Do you have a product with a very low price point, say less than $20, that’s so irresistible that it hooks new customers in?

  • Is that low-price product also the first step in solving the problem your target audience has?

  • What about your second digital product on the value ladder? Does it go slightly up in price point and value? Is it the next step in solving the target audience’s problem? (ideally, around $50)

  • What is your highest ticket digital offer? What’s the price of that one? Make sure it’s more than $100. Is that product the one that provides the most value? Is it the last step in solving the problem of your target audience?

Now using the points above, how about we implement them with an example to create a value ladder:

Say your target audience’s biggest struggle is creating passive income from their digital business.

  • FIRST STEP: A guide that sums up four ways to create an online income with courses (affiliate marketing, the course sales, upsell to 1-1 coaching, etc.). This guide wouldn’t go into specifics on how to create a course, but rather, only describes why creating courses is profitable in many different ways. (Price: $0 – this would be a freebie)

  • SECOND STEP: A mini-course on how to find the ideal course topic that your target audience will love (surveying your target audience, market research, etc.). (Price: $17)

  • THIRD STEP: A masterclass of 2 hours diving deep into how to create a digital course with an accompanying guide (Price: $49)

  • FOURTH STEP: 3-module course: How to create a converting sales page (Price: $97)

  • FIFTH STEP: 7-module in-depth course: How to sell your digital course on autopilot (with done-for-you templates, email sequence swipe files, Trello board, etc.): (Price: $297)

  • SIXTH STEP: 1-1 consulting sessions – for 5 sessions (price $997).

Do you notice how the product increasingly solves the next problem the target audience has?

The first product will convince the client that creating courses is profitable and why they should start ASAP with creating one. This creates a sense of urgency by using a proper ‘hook’ to make customers interested in your higher-tiered products.

The second one is the first quick win they need to get started. They get the tools to jumpstart their business because you have already done all the groundwork for them.

With step number 3, they get all the know-how on how to create digital products efficiently. You can introduce your customers to tips and tricks that are not available in lower-tiered products. You can also provide access to exclusive content, members-only Facebook group, etc., where they can discuss with other members who have bought your products.

At step 4, they get to enter the big leagues. Your customers have probably managed to sign a client or two and are looking to increase their income. They are taught how to create a compelling sales page to drive more customers. In addition, you could provide them with a coupon code or affiliate link to get a discount for hosting their sales page.

With step 5, they are taught how to automate most of their business processes. You provide them with an in-depth guide on why automation is necessary for growth using the right tools.

With the highest tier package at step 6, this is great for those who need a personal one-on-one experience to learn from the best (You!). You can provide members of this package to get in touch with you if they need guidance or need to solve a major issue in their business.

The price and value increase incrementally. Also, the more you go up the ladder, the more “done-for-you” it is, so the less you need to do.

How To Take A Potential Client Through Your Value Ladder?

Before bringing this strategy into the business, make sure you have built trust by getting to know your target audience’s wants and needs. Communicate and engage with your audience to understand what they struggle with specifically.

In addition to building trust, it is important to stay relevant and recommend products/services that provide value in every step of the value ladder.

There are different ways you can expose your client to the next step in the value ladder, such as automated email sequences or retargeting campaigns (Facebooks Ads) for instance. You can provide a side-by-side comparison of lower-tiered and premium services and how the latter will benefit them.

Also, you can upsell to someone directly after they have purchased a product by using order bumps when potential clients check out or creating an upsell sales page as the thank you page of the first purchase. Another way would be to offer customers one-time/early bird discounts or a free one-on-one call if they purchase before a certain date.

Make sure you follow up consistently, especially if they purchased a lower-tiered product from you. You can send freebies through email and include offers on the much premium product and encourage them why they need to get that upgrade. Share examples of customers using your premium services and how they resolved their issues just like theirs.

And if a scenario occurs where a customer rejects your premium offer, you can down-sell a more affordable version than the initial offering. You can give them access to some premium perks, and if they find it useful, they are more likely to upgrade to the full premium version of your product.


The goal of value ladder is not to try to ‘trick’ people into spending a premium but to be transparent and deliver value that benefits the customers. Your aim as a business owner is to let your customer make informed decisions about whether or not the products will be in their best interest.

Be honest on the pricing breakdown while overdelivering on your part. Soon enough, you’ll have a pool of clients willing to try out your products.

Related Reads:

What value ladder strategies have you put in place for your business? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Anike says:

    Hey Tascha! Great post, thanks for sharing =) I’m still working on offering different price points

  2. Charlie-Elizabeth Nadeau says:

    Really well written and such an interesting read! Thank you for sharing this knowledge and business strategy! It is challenging getting clients to want and try a new product and grow your audience, especially when you’re a small business starting off. This is an interesting strategy to consider.

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