No Bullsh*t Advice From Email Experts
Increasing the value of a customer through upselling is essential to maintaining a healthy bottom line. In today’s digital world, email is a must-have channel to help you boost revenue by convincing your customers to take advantage of your other offerings. After all, we all know that selling to an existing customer is much less costly than acquiring a new one.
So how do you create a compelling upsell opportunity without overwhelming your customers? Or worse, putting off customers.
This month we’ll be discussing clever upselling tactics with email experts from Benchmark Email, Alchemy Worx, emailmonday, Email on Acid, iContact, Email Uplers, Customers Who Click and BEE to help you boost sales by thinking outside of the box when it comes to your upsell emails.
Here’s what they had to say…
Let Your CRM Empower Your Cross-Selling Strategy
You won’t be able to sell anything successfully if what you’re selling doesn’t tap into customers’ pain points and feeds specific interests, which is why I recommend an all-in-one CRM.
A CRM helps you gather insights regarding your customers’ previous purchase patterns, site activity, and email engagement so you can determine exactly what sort of content they crave and where they are in the buying process. You can then use this information to understand what products they may be inclined to purchase or what service line would best suit them.
Let’s say that you’re in the retail business, and your CRM tracks that a customer has recently purchased a pair of women’s shorts and sandals. A creative cross-sell approach would be to send them an email “completing the look” with some shirt options, hats, or bags that would pair nicely with their previous purchase.
Or, if you’re an agency, you can tap into your CRM to gauge how satisfied your customers are with your service offering. Let’s say your client’s aren’t seeing a return on their campaigns based on the data in your CRM. This could be a chance for you to deploy a nurture campaign for them, introducing them to another service line that is more suited to their needs. Your series of emails can give them all the details they need and include customer testimonials from your other clients using those services to show them the value.
For subscription or software companies, avoiding customer churn is extremely important. If a customer is leaving, a cross-sell campaign that offers to keep data intact for a small fee, could turn a complete cancellation into a pause of services and open the door for them to come back. Likewise, an offer to move to a less expensive subscription or offering a deep discount retains some revenue instead of a total loss of the account.
Set Up a Browse Abandonment Trigger – Yesterday
I am going to start my response by invoking The Count from Sesame Street in me. I would urge you to imagine he is reading this to you.
If you look at your list in terms of buyers, there are (and always will be) many more non-buyers than 1x buyers, more 1x buyers than 2x buyers, more 2x buyers than 3x buyers, and so on. The numbers are so bottom-heavy that there are probably more (yet to be) 4x buyers in your non-buyer file than there are in your 4x buyer file.
Then there is the fact it is easier to upsell/cross-sell a 3x buyer than a 2x buyer, a 2x buyer than a 1x buyer, and a 1x buyer than a non-buyer. There are a whole host of reasons for this, but the most important is we have more behavioral data on them, what they bought when they bought, and the purchase journey to name a few.
I tell you this for one simple reason. The less purchases a subscriber has made the more impactful your efforts will be in terms of their lifetime value and the easier it will be to cross-sell and upsell to them. In short, don’t start by focussing on your VIPs – sure you don’t want to lose them #DBS, but getting more fifth purchases won’t move the needle as much as improving the number of second or even first purchases!
Some of you may be thinking that I didn’t really answer the question so here is Team Alchemy Worx top tip for increasing sales by Cross-Selling, Up-Selling or First Purchase.
Set up a browse abandonment trigger – yesterday.
No matter how much emphasis we place on opens and clicks as indicators of engagement, email drives a lot of purchase behavior in other channels. Browse abandonment triggers are a very powerful way to ensure browsers are identified and converted.
Consider the Full Width of Your Tools & Tactics
This is an interesting question. Because a big part of upselling is often only about increase AOV (Average Order Value) on that one purchase.
Or in other words, now that they are buying, sell more. My favorite for upselling is transforming a purchase into a membership, loyalty program, or subscription model with recurring revenue. So for the duration of the customer lifetime, the value goes up (a lot!).
But my absolute-absolute favorite is downselling (so for a lower price), if you make it cheaper than the original, you’ll attract a gigantic additional audience that will take a “you’d be crazy not to” offer.
Image source: fashion email marketing
Amazon, for instance, will give you Amazon Prime for free for a month. They promote it with every purchase during checkout. It includes free shipping and Prime Video – then it continues for a symbolical fee of, I think, 2.95/month if you don’t cancel. Who doesn’t want free shipping + those great movies on Prime for a month?
The smart part of it is that they now unlock extra sales and contact channels with the Prime Video app, which are on your device / TV and Prime Video newsletters.
You can do the same. Use the purchase to give them a reason to sign up for your newsletter and activate additional channels (like email, app, push messaging). Your current and new customers are the most valuable part of your database and in many countries, you can’t just add them to your email list without an opt-in.
Now that you have the channel unlocked, you can do a full up- and cross-sell funnel. And even re-purchase program after. Now you are thinking – I don’t own a Netflix-like catalog of Blockbuster movies like Amazon though…
So here are some thought provokers:
- Which one-time purchases can you transform into a subscription?
- Which recurring services can you add to your product that make sense?
- What are the perks for your loyalty program – to apply directly on a first purchase?
- How can we transform a brick-and-mortar store purchase into an online contact as well?
- What can I offer as additional in a first purchaser welcome program?
So there you have it, smart marketers don’t only go for the one-time upsell and cross-sell, but keep considering the full width of their tools and tactics and customer value in mind.
Go For The Head & The Heart
When it’s time to upsell, go for both the head and the heart by appealing to a contact’s emotions and logic.
For example, a common goal of many SaaS companies, and almost any brand that offers subscriptions, is convincing monthly subscribers to upgrade to an annual plan. Doing so usually means savings for the subscriber and consistent revenue for the brand.
Combine the “fear of missing out” (FOMO) with a breakdown of potential yearly savings and you may have yourself a winner! Putting those savings into a relatable perspective is also smart. Is it a certain number of months they get for free when switching to an annual plan? What could they do with the savings?
This same strategy works for upselling subscribers to a higher-tiered plan. Pick a powerful benefit of upgrading (not just a feature) and show them what they’re missing. Then use tangible terms to explain the savings. If they aren’t saving money, an upgrade could save time, reduce stress, or lead to opportunities that your customer hasn’t considered.
Turn this strategy into a B2B email automation with a series of related upsell messages.
Subject line: Our finance guy doesn’t know we’re sending this
4 Creative Ways to Sell More in Your Emails
Congratulations on your sale, and if you have not already done so, congratulate your customer!
Once you have done that, you can upsell or cross-sell other products and services to increase your profits. But wait! It is not as simple as adding additional items to the order confirmation or future emails. Here are four ways to get creative with your upselling.
Give them some feels! 🤗
Make your customer feel good about their purchase by personalizing the email with their first name and listing the product or service they purchased. This is also a great opportunity to ask for a review, testimonial or social share of what was purchased.
Onward and Upward
Strike while the iron is hot and show your customers complimentary accessories, products and services that will help you convert more. Start upselling in the order and shipping confirmation email.
Appeal to the Heart and Mind
A DNA survey at Stanford involving 1,056 people from 52 populations revealed that people are 99.9 percent the same. In every human brain, you find the same makeup that gives rise to our thoughts and emotions. We are universally the same. People buy on emotion and rationalize with logic.
First, think about all the emotional and logical reasons a customer should choose your product or service. Then create content and visuals that meet the emotional needs and logical minds of your audience.
Did not get a chance to upsell a customer because they did not purchase? By making use of shopping cart abandonment emails, you can get a second chance to convert or offer complementary products or services to what was abandoned.
Have I sold you on “upselling” more in your emails?
Would You Like Fries With That?
Let your upsell and cross-sell offers complement the user’s previous purchases…
Remember that guy at McDonald’s who never fails to ask – “Would you like Fries or Coke with that?”
That’s one of the most classic examples of cross-selling to customers.
So, how will you replicate the same trick in your email marketing strategy?
In my opinion, the most practical and creative way to do so is by utilizing your triggered email workflows like welcome emails, post-purchase emails, or cart abandonment emails.
Here are some actionable tips to help you out.
Send out product recommendations in your post-purchase follow-up emails. Once a customer has placed an order, you can cross-sell the most popular products based on the purchase.
See how Huckberry has featured six products in the order confirmation email in an attempt to cross-sell.
- Suggest some other complementary products in the cart abandonment emails.
Birchbox sets the perfect example of cross-selling through the cart abandonment email by featuring some other relevant products in line with the one abandoned.
Make the offer look personalized. I recently purchased a domain name from Namecheap, and here’s how their welcome email looks.
They have tried to cross-sell all those services to help me take my business to the next level. Isn’t that a great idea?
- In case your upselling or cross-selling efforts don’t work, you can even try out downselling. While upselling and cross-selling, do not overlook the economic preferences of the users. There is a possibility that the users are looking for something more affordable and cost-effective. Try promoting your products at a discounted price to these customers.
Source: Really Good Emails
To conclude, I would say, determine the preferences of your target audience and then formulate your cross-sell and upsell email strategy.
Be Slick & Non-Spammy About It
It’s important to be careful not to overdo this, as if you come across too pushy you’ll create a negative experience for your customers, however, there are some great opportunities to increase the value of your customers almost immediately after they purchase.
Complementary products are, of course, a huge opportunity. If someone buys a printer, but they haven’t added paper or ink to the basket, maybe they need a little nudge towards those essential products.
Other opportunities could include little upgrades. Maybe adding an additional warranty or reminding customers of product options that they did not select when they actually made the purchase. As long as these are displayed in a way which clearly shows the value to the customer, you should see a decent conversion rate.
A final tactic that I see more and more is through loyalty programs. Giving someone enough points to claim a reward after their first purchase is a great way to get them really engaged and excited about your brand. You can give them a discount, free shipping, or an extra gift with their next purchase, or let them donate their reward to a cause if it fits with your brand.
There are loads of opportunities to really add value to the customer and get some back in return without just spamming them with sales emails straight away.
Amplify Urgency With an Exclusive, Timed Approach
Timers embedded in emails are unquestionably cheesy, but have you tried them on your most valuable content? Foundr Magazine has, and it works wonders.
The concept is simple. They create expert how-to videos that can only be accessed every half hour. That means that if you open their link at 5:28, you’ll have to wait 2 minutes to access the video. If you open it at 5:45, they’ll make you wait 15 minutes.
When you click on their link, you see a little timer that tells you when the video will start. What this does is make the content feel exclusive and immediate. This isn’t a YouTube video that you put on your watch list, it’s something you sit and watch now.
Each video is packed with value – and a killer upsell.
If you’re not seeing the magic, think about it this way: how many times have you opened a link on an email, thought, “hm, that’s interesting,” and then mentally filed it away for a later date?
Now, how many times did you actually come back to that content? Yep, that’s what I thought.
In a world with more content than attention, bringing value isn’t enough. You have to get your customers to actually experience it.
More No Bullsh*t Advice From Email Experts Coming Soon
Stay tuned. We’ll be posting more No Bullshit Advice soon. Read our last expert round-up about Mastering Lifecycle Marketing Using Email. or catch up on the entire series here: No Bullsh*t Advice From Email Experts.
And as always, feel free to share your thoughts with us on Twitter.
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