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A detailed guide to Cross-Selling and Upselling in post-purchase Emails

That’s the most epic example of increasing sales through cross-selling.  We have encountered this question so many times at McDonald’s or Bur...

cross-selling and upselling in post-purchase emails

That’s the most epic example of increasing sales through cross-selling. 

We have encountered this question so many times at McDonald’s or Burger King, right?

Subway uses the same strategy to upsell and get us to pick some add-ons like egg and cheese with the sub. 

That’s enormous business opportunities. 

Your sales executives are responsible for quite a lot of conversions. There’s no doubt in that. However, marketing professionals and customer success managers also contribute to making sales. Moreover, once a lead gets converted and purchases from you, marketers can encourage them to make another purchase and retain them. 

It is possible through cross-selling and upselling. 

cross-selling and upselling

Let’s understand these two terms in detail. 

Suppose you have purchased a mobile phone from an eCommerce website. 

Within 24 hours, you will receive an email thanking you for the purchase and promoting mobile accessories. 

This is cross-selling. In other words, it refers to encouraging the purchase of products that are relevant to the previous purchase. 

Upselling, on the other hand, is when you get the customer to purchase something that will add to the expense of the primary product. For instance: If a customer has purchased a basic subscription to your service, you can upsell and prompt them to buy an additional integration that would take their experience to the next level. 

Now, what do you think is the best way to reach out to your customer to cross-sell or upsell?

Well, if you ask me, my answer would be “EMAILS” out of all the options like product page, checkout page, or the thank you page.

You know why? —  

Because they can be personalized, automated, and deployed at the right time. You can also send out triggered emails based on the customer’s activity. 

Other digital marketing channels do not have the power of reaching the right person at the right time. Therefore, the safest bet continues to be email marketing. 

Cross-selling and upselling bear maximum results when you propose your recommendations to existing customers. When they have already purchased something from your website, they are in that frame of mind where they are more open to ‘listen’ to you and consider your recommendations seriously. 

According to reports, post-purchase engagement is the best way to increase overall satisfaction. 

Conversio carried out a study wherein they assessed 12.1 million follow-up emails and 24.5 million digital receipts that eCommerce stores had sent back in 2016. 

They concluded that the average open rate of all follow-up emails was 40.5 % with a 6.4% click rate and 0.7% conversion rate. 

Digital receipts had an open rate of 65%, click rate of 10.4%, and 1.4% conversion rate. 

Companies yield an average of $0.25 additional revenue for every digital receipt sent with upsell or cross-sell suggestions. It is interesting to learn that 96% of the feedback received from receipt and confirmation emails is positive. 

It is clear from these figures that follow-up emails are more likely to get results for your business. 

What if you combine the power of post-purchase follow-up emails and relevant recommendations for upselling and cross-selling?

It would not only impart a pleasant experience to the subscribers but also increase your conversion rate and ROI. 

Furthermore, Adobe has revealed that the average probability of conversion for a new prospect is around 1%. The same figure increases to 9% in the case of an existing customer. What’s more exciting is that they spend five times as much. 

Cross-selling and upselling can increase the value of your company by 30% and customer retention by 10%. 

Advantages of Upsell and Cross-sell marketing tactics 

  1. It increases the average order value and yields better profits 
  2. It boosts customer loyalty
  3. It increases customer awareness about the kind of products or services you deal with 
  4. It leads to a lower customer acquisition cost 

With these facts and figures in front of us, let’s jump to how you can use post-purchase emails to reinforce your cross-selling and upselling strategy. (We shall discuss the upselling strategy in the later section.)

Tips to Cross-sell and Upsell Through Post-purchase Emails

1. Always choose the right products or services

Relevance is the key to cross-selling and upselling. If a customer has purchased a home decor item from your store, you must consider cross-selling something related to that product. It should complement the previous purchase. 

Take a look at this example:

Amazon has tactfully chosen the book recommendations for John that go very well with the Kindle content he has purchased previously. You can use predictive analytics and Artificial Intelligence to execute this strategy. 

right products or services

Alternatively, you can upsell by suggesting a better version of the same product. However, the former option sounds more impactful in this case. 

On the other hand, if the customer has purchased a mobile device, you can try suggesting device protection or warranty extension in an attempt to upselling. This applies to SaaS products as well. 

A fortnight ago, I signed up for Calendly trial version in order to manage my time better and streamline the scheduling of meetings.

After the 14-day trial period ended, they sent me an email reminding me to “UPGRADE” and continue using their service. 

Take a look at their email template

Calendly template

As soon as I clicked on the CTA, they redirected me to a screen explaining the two pricing models. 

template to offer plan

Obviously, I am a Calendly Pro customer now!

That’s the power of post-purchase emails that upsell in the right way. 

2. Personalize the recommendations

According to Accenture, 75% of customers are more likely to purchase if the retailer is aware of their purchase history, recommends purchases according to that history, and uses first name personalization to address them. 

interaction of the customer graph

Always, personalize the cross-sell and upsell suggestions based on the past interaction of the customer. 

Suppose If you are a marketing agency offering digital marketing services to a customer. Y, you can either promote more advanced services to upsell or cross-sell your content marketing or guest blogging services. 

Let’s understand it better with another example.

Namecheap allows you to purchase domains, website hosting, security certificate, etc.

When I purchased a domain name from their website, they immediately sent me an email that promoted their hosting services, security certificates, and other apps to integrate with the website. It is a great example of the cross-selling email. 

Also, they have highlighted their domain name services to upsell. 

namecheap template

3. Use the right tone

The words you choose play a huge role in getting conversions for your business. When you are sending out an upsell or cross-sell email, you must add some power words and persuasive language. 

You must let the subscriber know what he or she is missing out by not making the purchase according to your recommendations. Also, add visuals that support your message and inspire the imagination of the customer. Consequently, it would increase the likelihood of winning the customer.

4. Incentivize the customer

In your post-purchase email, you can share a coupon code or discount offers along with the products to upsell and cross-sell. 

As an example, you can give $5 off on mobile accessories to a customer who has just purchased a mobile phone from your portal. 

You can even offer free shipping or same-day delivery to convince the customer to purchase. 

The same applies to SaaS businesses too. They can share a discount coupon code and encourage the customers to make the purchase.

Moreover, you can promote referral marketing in your post-purchase emails or allow the customers to redeem points for every purchase. 

(Even I have purchased things I do not really need just to increase the points and get premium benefits for being a VIP customer.)

5. Create a sense of urgency

Try to create a sense of urgency by using words like “Hurry”, “Limited-time offer”, or “Sale ends today”. As already discussed, recent customers might be vibing on the shopping spree which makes it easier to convince them to purchase. If you tap on the “Fear of Missing Out” instinct of the customer, you can get them to make an impulsive purchase that will add to your ROI. 

6. Never forget social proof

Always include social proof by featuring testimonials or customer reviews about the product. Include phrases like “Customers who bought this also purchased….”.

It will create a kind of peer pressure on the customer while building trust and confidence in the brand. 

If you are a SaaS business, you can share case studies about how a brand used your service and boosted their business growth. It will inspire the customers to make the purchase and pursue success. 

7. Harness the power of THREE

While cross-selling and upselling, you must remember that customers are more receptive to patterns. Did you ever wonder why brands always share three products as recommendations? Well, the reason is that “THREE” is considered to be the most attractive number. The same principle applies to the pricing structure set by brands. 

Take a look at this example by Amazon. 

harness the power of three template

8. Time the email right

Yesterday, I ordered groceries from a local eCommerce store and immediately after making the payment, I received an email, thanking me for the order. They informed me that I could edit my order and add more items to the previous order. 

Now, that’s what I call a winning upsell and cross-sell strategy. They have set the automation in such a way that the customer is likely to ponder over the products he might need and add some more things to the order. 

9. Experiment with down-selling

In case your upselling tactics do not work, worry not! 

There is a backup plan too. 

Instead of offering a premium product or something that is more expensive, opt for down-selling and promoting a product at a discounted price. 

You will be able to set algorithms in CRM tools like Salesforce that will allow you to evaluate the customer behavior. If the customer is a discount shopper or someone who always sorts the products as “Price: low to high”, you can promote lower-priced cheaper items in the post-purchase emails. 

It will make the customer believe in you that you care about their economical preferences. After all, many of your customers are looking for cost-effective products that are not too heavy on the pocket. 

Wrapping Up

Once you have figured out the kind of audience you cater to and your marketing goals, you must formulate your cross-sell and upsell strategy to get maximum returns. 

In case you want to design a winning post-purchase email with an attractive upsell/cross-sell section, just get in touch with experts at Email Uplers.

We would love to help you out and get more conversions through your emails. 

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Disha Bhatt (Dave)

Disha Bhatt (Dave) works as a Content Strategist at Email Uplers. She is a dentist, who has found her calling in words & technical subjects. She loves to pen down travelogues and romantic short stories in her free time.

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