You can’t think about upselling without thinking of fast food joints. These food businesses perfected this art with statements like “would you like to add fries with your order?”
Asking your customers to spend more can be intimidating. However, as McDonald’s has shown repeatedly, the upsell works. Sometimes just asking for it is all it takes.
A great way to ask for upsells online is through upsell emails. And while you can write dedicated upsell emails, it’s also common practice for some brands to use their “Thank You” and even confirmation emails to upsell. Other brands would wait a few days before sending an upsell email. Either way, upsell emails are an excellent way to increase order value and revenue. When done right, it can also strengthen your relationship with customers.
If you want to kick-start this conversation, you’ll need winning upsell emails. This guide will show you what you need to know to create one. But first, let’s look more closely at the value of upsell emails.
What are upsell emails, and why are they important?
Upsell emails are emails sent to existing customers to sell them a product or service with high-level or extra features, benefits, or options. Upsell emails encourage your purchasers to spend more by buying something of greater value, usually newer or upgraded models of products they were already considering.
Many brands in various industries use upsell emails. Consider the email below from Atheltic Greens, a B2C brand.
The upsell email lists all the benefits of upgrading to the more premium package. This is critical for the success of upselling campaigns. The customer has to know what they stand to benefit from spending more.
Types of Upsell Emails
There are various types of upsell emails. The difference is usually a result of when you decide to pitch the upsell. Here are some examples:
- Product recommendation upselling emails: These emails are used when you’re recommending a particular after a customer has bought another. Let’s say a customer has just signed up for a “starter package” of a SaaS product. You could send an upselling email asking them to upgrade to a higher-tier plan. This is a common practice among digital marketing experts.
- Trial expiry upselling emails: Most SaaS companies use a free trial to generate leads. The trial expiry email is used to remind users of when the trial is nearing its end. But that’s not all. Smart brands would use the same email to upsell the leads to the paid plans.
- Product launch upselling emails: Most brands would use product launch emails to generate traction for new items entering their inventory. These emails can also be used for upselling. The idea here would be to target previous customers who bought similar products. Let them know that a better, more premium version of the product is now available.
You can create your upsell emails in so many other different ways. As mentioned earlier, you could also use your thank you emails, order confirmation emails, milestone emails, etc., to upsell customers.
Email marketing is a potent tool for top-of-funnel marketing. Most of it can be automated and has a considerable ROI. Using upselling emails is a great way to ensure you’re taking full advantage of this marketing technique. It’s important because it allows you to get more revenue from your customers and reduce your spending.
Automating your email marketing efforts makes things a lot easier. For instance, using cold email software will allow your business to send upsell emails right after a purchase is made. This helps you “strike while the iron is hot,” so to speak.
Here’s what you need to know to create great upsell emails.
5 elements of a winning upsell email
There’s an art to creating winning upsell emails. Writing a random email asking a customer to spend more on your products is not going to get you the results you want. So, here are five tips to create effective upsell emails:
1. Offer personalized recommendations
The more personalized an upsell offer is, the less it feels like an upsell. That’s why you must start by understanding your customer. How are they using your product? What are their goals or challenges?
Once you get the answers to those questions, ask yourself this, can your premium product or service help the customer achieve their goals? If so, then how? Use that information to craft a personalized pitch that speaks directly to the customer’s pain point.
That may sound complicated, but it’s actually doable with the right systems in place. For example, if you track your customers’ purchase history, you can use the data to predict the upsell they’re likely to respond well to. This works really well for both SaaS and eCommerce businesses.
Take the freelance marketplace Freelancer, for example. The company takes time to understand the customers’ interaction with its platform. It then curates an upsell email based on what the customer has done or failed to do.
Reading through the upsell email, you can tell that the platform knows more about the customer than just their first name. For example, they know the recipient hasn’t yet completed a particular action and are offering a solution (an upsell) based on that. The bold stat, “exciting offer,” and strong CTA are just the icing on the cake.
You have to personalize your upsell emails for higher conversion rates. That means analyzing your customers and tapping into their unique needs/goals. Don’t just send one upsell email blast to your entire email list.
2. Make it easy to upgrade
Once you get the customer interested in your upsell offer, ensure they complete the purchase as quickly as possible. So, make sure that the procedure to upgrade to a higher tier plan or premium product is as swift as possible.
The best way to achieve that is to include irresistible CTAs within the upsell emails. The CTAs should take the customer directly to the intended sales page.
Looking back at the upsell email from Freelancer, you can see the “Get a Recruiter Now” button stands out boldly. It also goes directly to the landing page, where the customer can hire the recruiter in just a few clicks.
The same thing can be done with upsell emails from eCommerce stores. Have a look at this email.
Instead of sending buyers back to the home page or even the product category pages, Dollar Shave Club provides a “Buy Now” button for each item. That eliminates the hassle of having the buyer search for each product.
Essentially, make your customer’s life easy, and they’ll reward you with more purchases.
3. Don’t be pushy
Imagine walking into a store or shopping online, and the vendor is constantly trying to upsell you to their more expensive product. That would be annoying, right?
Most customers are open to the idea of spending more if it means more value to them. However, if you get too pushy with your upsell offer, they’re likely to get annoyed, reducing your chances of converting them.
Therefore, as much as you want the customer to spend more on your product, don’t annoy them with too many upsell emails. After sending the initial upsell email, you can remind the customer about your offer once or twice with follow-up emails.
You may also want to use email tracking tools to determine whether the customers are even opening your upsell emails. If they are and still not taking you up on your offer, it’s safe to assume it didn’t resonate with them.
So, go back to the drawing board and try to understand the customer better. Is it the offer that was not convincing enough? Or perhaps they didn’t need the upgrade in the first place? It’s best to find the answers to those questions before ever recommending another upsell again.
Upsell emails provide you with a great opportunity to build brand awareness. Encourage your existing customers to share the brand message and your high-quality content with their family and friends by including social share buttons.
One of the best ways to increase social sharing is by developing an effective content strategy offering deals, discounts, and other freebies. Such offers will help incentivize more customers to share your upsell emails.
Create unique invite codes and links for existing clientele and tell them they will get discounts if they use the link or code, and when they invite their friends to use them.
The upsell email above encourages Athletic Brewing Co. subscribers to share a referral link through email and social media. Once the subscriber makes a successful referral, they get free items.
You can make these deals even better by offering additional discounts for people purchasing via your existing customer invite links or codes.
5. Ask for feedback
Even if you’re using the best and most sophisticated email marketing automation system, you are still not going to get things right all the time. So, allow your clients to customize their customer profiles and decide their recommendations.
Include links that lead to your website. Then, you can allow them to either ask for more information or let them down-vote the products and services that least interest them to predict their needs and interests better. Of course, more customer information is never a bad thing.
In the above email, GoDaddy asks for feedback and in return for that feedback, it tries to upsell another product with a 25% off incentive.
Also, don’t forget to include your contact information in your upsell emails. This allows your customers to get in touch when they have any queries or complaints about a product or service. Be sure to include more than just your web address or an email address. Most customers like to know they can communicate with someone real whenever necessary.
Upsell emails made simple
Creating upselling email marketing campaigns doesn’t have to be so complicated. In this article, you learned five key elements you need to add to these campaigns for higher conversions.
First, analyze your target customers, understand them, then craft personalized recommendations. Next, make it easy for the customers to upgrade. That means adding CTAs within the emails that lead the customers to the exact landing page where they can complete the purchase.
Don’t be pushy with your upsells. If the customer doesn’t respond after the first or second follow-up, go back to the drawing board. Finally, encourage social sharing and collect feedback from the customers.
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