Rethink Commerce Blog

Top Tips To Upsell Your Customers Using Email Marketing

Posted on June 9th, 2015 by

The term upselling often conjures up negative thoughts of over-zealous salespeople or fast food. How many times have we heard, “Would you like to make that a combo?”.

The fact is, the tactic works when done right. According to the book Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to a new prospect is five to 20%, while the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70%. However, it’s important to shift away from thinking of upselling as a sales tactic.

Instead, think of it as a customer happiness tactic. It’s a chance to deliver more value and build a deeper relationship with your customer. How do you achieve that? Email is the perfect, personalized platform for upselling.

Here are five tips to help you draft an effective email:

  1. Be personal

Always address the recipient by name, and not as “dear customer.” A generic greeting or subject line will immediately identify your email as a sales pitch. By using a personal greeting, the customer will know you are providing information that has been specially prepared with their needs in mind.

In addition to identifying the customer, clearly identify yourself. A photo in the signature line is a great way to add a personal feel. Also include several methods of contact.

  1. Tell them how they win

How will the upsell add value? Figure out that short answer and make it the center of your message. Customers need to understand that they will be happier with the upsell. They are winning.

Getting back to the fast food illustration, customers often make it a combo because they are getting more for their dollar. Try saying something like this: “Because you purchased product x, you are eligible to receive this add-on for 25% off the a-la-carte price.” The message should be that you understand their needs and that you are providing solutions to any problems that they may be facing.

  1. Integrate social media and other content marketing channels

Don’t let your email be a lone piece of your marketing strategy. Include social media buttons in your email for happy customers to share with their followers. Or, link to your own social media accounts with a message like “Follow us on Twitter for the latest industry news.” Include links to other content marketing channels. For example, “Read what other customers said about this product in our latest survey.”

  1. Have a clear call to action

You don’t want to beat the customer over the head with your sales pitch. But you also do not want to be so obscure that they are not sure what to do to take advantage of the upsell offer. Saying something like, “Click here to add this product,” or another very direct message will tell your customer exactly what they need to do.

  1. Be strategic about your timing

Trying to upsell a customer who has not even used a product since the original purchase is probably a fruitless effort. Instead, send your upsell email after a customer milestone. For example, after 30 days, say, “Congratulations on your first 30 days of using product x. Here’s how other customers are benefiting from adding product y to their software suite.”

The perfect time can also be ascertained by monitoring how customers use the product. For example, when Dropbox customers are nearing their storage limit, they are prompted within the app, and in an email, to upgrade to receive more space. Customers are happy because they have an easy way to get what they need and Dropbox is happy because they’ve made an easy sale.

Use email to deepen the relationship and the trust that you’ve worked hard to establish already. Help customers understand how they will benefit. It may not be as easy as adding fries and a coke, but the feeling of satisfaction should be the same.

Avangate powers modern Digital Commerce, solving the complexity of online commerce, subscription billing, and global payments for Software, SaaS and Online Services companies. Backed by a proven cloud platform, unmatched expertise and a depth of digital commerce services, Avangate helps digital business leaders drive the fastest path to revenue, maximize the value of every customer, and expand global reach. Contact us for more information about how our digital commerce services can help you grow your business.

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Raj Badarinath

VP, WW Product Marketing and Alliances

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