3 Steps to Promoting Product Upgrades with Paid Search

PPC is often approached as a top-of-the-funnel activity, grabbing searchers (prospective customers) as they look around for product or services. A less popular strategy that’s ripe with opportunity is advertising to current customers through PPC and other paid search methods.

Why would you do that, you ask? Think product upgrades.


Product upgrades can be major or minor, depending on the type of product (like software), and depending on the magnitude of the upgrade, they may need extra care to distribute the message to current customers.

In addition to exploring paid search as a medium to reach current customers, pairing PPC with one or two other channels in the digital marketing realm to promote an upgrade can give it the extra lift it deserves.

In this post, we’ll talk about a few ways paid search can work to launch a product upgrade, and how to tie it in with email marketing.

1. Create a Special Product Upgrade Landing Page

First things first, make sure the site has a dedicated page for the new product upgrade. This page will serve as the recipient of all the marketing efforts for the upgrade.

You’re going to want to ensure that Google Analytics is set up properly, so you can track which campaigns and channels are driving performance to the page (assuming you’ll do a multichannel approach).

Ensure the messaging is targeted to the intended audience (will it be current customers only or a mix of current customer and prospects? How will the language vary?).

Mind the optimization of your landing page to ensure it’s relevant to the campaigns you’ll be using to drive people back to the page via paid search. And a strong, clear call-to-action is very important to getting people to act once they land there.

If you’re looking for examples on how to make landing pages relevant to paid search campaigns, check out our 2-minute PPC landing page audit.

2. Pay per Click to Promote Product Upgrades

If you have a product upgrade that affects thousands of your customers, advertising on the search network may not be your immediate first thought, but there’s a savvy way to leverage it.

The chances of someone searching for “product X upgrade” can be slim to none (unless you’re a company that puts out updates continuously that your audience expects); however, you can target the product name with a special campaign for the upgrade that serves ads with relevant messaging and sitelinks specific to the upgrade (the landing page and/or other supportive informational pages).

This has the opportunity to capture brand traffic – those people who are already aware of the product. What comes next is a little more targeted …

3. Remarketing to Promote Product Upgrades

To target people who have already visited the site but left again, tag the product pages on the site that would be available to integrate with the update or add-on with your remarketing code.

People who have previously come to the site have already expressed interest in the product or brand. Remarketing allows you to send a reminder to potential current customers that the upgrade is available through display ads that are served as they browse other sites on the Web.

These people could even be prospective customers who want to sign on with the latest upgraded version of the product. And remember that these pages with the remarketing code are also the same pages that you’d send search traffic to with your PPC campaign, so if they came and left from search, they would continue to be targeted.

Don’t Forget Marketing Integrations

Promoting your product upgrade with a one-two punch like PPC and email marketing together creates a knockout campaign. In the scenario we’ve laid out in this post, you’ve already created your main landing page, and this is the page you can drive all your marketing channel efforts to.

So, for example, send an email campaign to your existing customer base alerting them of the product upgrade. Drive them to the landing page you set up in the beginning, and again, be sure you’re tagging specific campaigns (like email) so you can better track them in analytics.

And you don’t necessarily have to stop there with marketing integrations. You can employ basic SEO for on-page optimization of the landing page, ensuring the keywords are aligned with those in the PPC campaign, and that the Meta information is up to par so that the search engines know what the page is about.

With this simple three-step plan to promoting your product upgrade with paid search, you can amplify the message to current and prospective customers that you have a new and better product.

And, with the right tracking, you can review the ROI using Google Analytics so that you’re more informed going into the next upgrade.