Most marketers know that acquiring a new customer is only the first step in a long-term relationship. However, cross-sell and upsell activities are often left to sales teams whereas marketing focuses on acquisition. Did you know that having an online presence means you already have an opportunity to upsell using digital marketing? The good news is you won’t need to add anything to your portfolio to take advantage of these advanced sale opportunities, and you can start today.
Emails, social media and your website represent the best opportunities for you to capitalize on online marketing cross-sells and upsells. Keep reading to learn more about how to improve your returns on digital cross-selling.
Digital Cross-Selling: Email
Email is one of the first avenues most brands try for online marketing upsells and cross-sells. With leads and contact lists, as well as customer profiles, email already gives you the right foundation. With email, digital cross-selling and upselling will be a subtle message you either use in existing transaction emails or in standalone emails, such as follow-ups.
In general, upsells perform better within existing transaction emails — standalone emails see better performance from cross-sells. There’s no guarantee about which will work best for you, so consider A/B testing to see if one avenue is more effective.
If you want to start with email, follow these steps:
- Define when you will use existing transactional and/or follow-up emails.
- Build cross- and upsell emails in your email management system and automate their delivery. Insert transactional emails into existing campaigns, and replace existing follow-up emails with your new cross-sell CTA.
- Vary deliveries as you begin. Testing is essential, so make sure you send follow-ups to different groups at different times — such as 5, 10, and 14 days after a purchase.
- Link final efforts to events. This varies by industry, but the easiest example would be a vacation reservation service sending a check-in email a week before one of their customer’s trip. This check-in email could also promote auxiliary services such as car rentals, theme park tickets and tourist attraction packages.
Because email is well-understood, it’s a great stepping stone for online marketing upsell and cross-sells.
Digital Cross Selling: Social Media
Marketers often turn to their social media accounts to start cross-sell and upsell pitches because it covers a large area and you’re already working to establish a connection. Studies have also found that people are more likely to make a purchase after brands engage with the customer on Facebook and Twitter.
The main concern with social media is being too pushy. View your interactions on social media as an offer that’s always open, not something you need an immediate answer to move forward. Social media is where you want to share your best deals, but you’ll need to make it clear when and where this applies. It’s also ideal for promoting opportunities for upsells and cross-sells on your platform, especially if you have coupons or specific landing pages that offer your deals.
Use Good Design for Upsells
Digital cross-selling and upselling can take place on your website quickly. The main way this happens is by optimizing each sales page by de-cluttering your site design and using proximity to link products together. If you’re selling shoes, put socks and proper cleaning products directly next to the information about the shoes themselves.
You should also:
- Clearly list the products you’re trying to cross-sell and use visual cues to tell customers the items are related.
- Limit your cross-sell and upsell pitches to 2 to 3 items per page.
- Make digital cross-selling feel like a suggestion, not a demand.
- Provide upsell opportunities on your cart and checkout pages, or in pop-ups when an option is selected.
- Don’t make customers click “no” on an offer in order to proceed. This turns offers into annoyances and may lead to abandoned carts.
When you want to achieve upsells using digital marketing, limit your options and provide clear value to your customers. Make sure you de-clutter and provide a distinct advantage, or your attempts will simply seem like noise. Learn more about MarketBridge’s customer retention solution which combines predictive pathways and personalized offer programs that are proven to increase your customer renewals and cross-sell opportunities.