Once you’ve acquired a customer and built up the relationship,
you open up the opportunity to sell them related items or
Today we’re exploring cross-sell emails so that you’ll be
ready to forge a new (and profitable) path in your email marketing
and automation efforts.
What is a cross-sell email
A cross-sell email is a message that encourages customers to buy
complementary products to what they already have, or are about to
buy. The most common analogy you’ll come across for cross-selling
is: “Would you like fries with that?”
Sometimes, cross-selling gets lumped together with upselling,
but they’re actually two distinct strategies.
Here’s how they play out within email.
A cross-sell email, like the one below from
Dollar Shave Club, presents inexpensive items that customers
can use alongside their main purchase. For a razor, a cross-sell is
a shave butter. Cross-sells are portrayed as a smaller commitment,
as signaled by the headline “toss more in?”�
A cross-sell for a SaaS company could be adding a standalone
feature to complement your current suite, or integrating with a
Upsell emails, on the other hand, present an item thatâ€™s
more expensive than the main purchase. Dollar Shave Club
upsell a customer with a $25 â€œfirst-class travel bag,â€
instead of the $6 shave butter. An upsell for a SaaS company would
be upgrading your plan to a higher tier with more features.
Why you should add cross-selling emails to your
Any scalable marketing tactic that leads to higher sales is an
obvious win, so here are three cross-selling email benefits we
think youâ€™ll be happy with.
Increase average order value
Adding a single $6 shave butter to a Dollar Shave Club order
isnâ€™t going to change the price that a customer pays drastically.
However, you need to think about cross-selling at scale. Even a
small lift in average order value multiplied by your customer base
could represent serious cash flow.
Forrester Research found a
10% higher AOV on purchases where a recommendation was clicked
on. While these cross-sell tactics sometimes play out on a
companyâ€™s website, the potential for a higher AOV is reason to
explore it in email, too.
Boost customer lifetime value
A cross-sell isnâ€™t just good for the average order value, but
it also increases customer lifetime
value over the long run.
49% of customers say they have purchased an item they didnâ€™t
intend to initially, because of a personalized recommendation.
If that happens a few times over the customer lifetime, youâ€™re
bound to see the boost in revenue and engagement. A higher CLTV
also gives you more wiggle room to experiment with your acquisition
Improve retention with data-driven
The more value you can add to a customerâ€™s life, the higher
rate. By learning which cross-sells perform with each customer
segment, you can improve marketing for future customers.
4 cross-sell email examples to learn from
Rather than reinventing the wheel, you can look to what others
have done for inspiration. These are four cross-sell email
templates to use as guiding lights.
Software companies, like Shopify, can cross-sell opportunities
that mirror a customerâ€™s growth. For example, a Shopify customer
may start selling their goods online, and then grow to fulfill
their dream of having a storefront. As the customer progresses on
their journey, Shopify helps with their point of sale hardware and
cross-sell email is short and to the point. They catch the
target audienceâ€™s attention with the subject line â€œEverything
you need to sell in-person.â€ The body copy then explores why they
should care (accept payments on any device) and what to do next
(download the app).
As weâ€™ve mentioned already and will explore below, cross-sells
should be less expensive than what a customer has already
Casperâ€™s case, the perfect cross-sell to their mattress is
their â€œfluffiest pillow yet.â€
The email begins with a simple description of the pillow, and
then explores details further down, such as sourcing and
Since Casper already positions itself on comfort and high
environmental standards, the three key points listed for the pillow
will resonate with customers.
Mailchimpâ€™s cross-selling is technically free, itâ€™s still a
great way to make users more â€œsticky.â€ As customers use more
and more of your services and build a deeper involvement with your
company, they are more likely to stick around.
Therefore, this cross-sell promotion may still boost retention
in the long run. In the future, they may run this campaign as a
standard cross-sell and offer the custom domain at a price.
This Mailchimp email is also a bit of a two-for-one, since they
ask readers to tell their friends â€œhow they can get online
quickly and easily with a free custom domain.â€ By giving existing
customers something for free, they entice them to refer their
friends to Mailchimp.
P.S. Want to learn more about referral emails? Weâ€™ve got a
complete guide here.
If you have past orders and behavioral data from customers, you
can send personalized emails like Chewy. Based
on previous order frequency, Chewy can predict when a customer
might be ready for another purchase.
The email acts as a useful reminder, but also as a cross-sell
for related products.
Using data about user preferences or past purchases lets you
suggest products theyâ€™re more likely to be interested in. A
suggestion for a product that the customer will actually use, is
more likely to convert than a random selection from your
How to create a cross-sell email strategy
Youâ€™ve seen the best cross-sell email examples and templates
to spark ideas, and now itâ€™s time to create a strategy of your
own. There are four steps to planning your cross-sell
Identify cross-sell opportunities
First, you need to map all of your products and features to find
opportunities. To be a strong candidate for cross-selling, an item
- Less expensive than the original item
- Be in a similar category or use case
- Well-reviewed and useful (after all, you want someone to be
happy with the purchase)
The add-on is less expensive but adds value to the customerâ€™s
Choose target personas
After youâ€™ve established some product links that are
cross-sell opportunities, you need to decide which customers to
target. To do this, familiarize yourself with your buyer personas
psychographic segmentation data you have. Are there any
segments that will benefit the most from a cross-sell?
You should also look at which items are typically purchased
together, and by whom. Selling a complimentary product will be
easier when you have data to show that segments are already making
Establish the customer journey
In the first two steps, you determined the â€œwhatâ€ and the
â€œwho.â€ Now, letâ€™s decide when to introduce a cross-sell.
Using the analytics on purchase behavior you referenced in the
previous step, is there a particular time that your two items are
often purchased together?
Some points in the customer journey that could be ideal for
cross-selling include after a customer has:
- Made a purchase and left a positive review
- Purchased something in a new category, indicating a shift in
- Passed their typical buying frequency period
The customer journey map below shows how cross-selling and
upselling are ongoing
efforts that you use to expand your customer relationship.
Determine your messaging and positioning
The final piece of the puzzle focuses on how youâ€™ll present
the cross-sell. Ask yourself what the benefit of the add-on product
is on its own, and also in combination with the main item. Why are
these a good match?
Are there use cases or benefits of the products that are
particularly intriguing to specific customer personas?
Another way to boost the positioning of your cross-sell is with
social proof. For example,
Brandless includes a customer quote about a cross-sell
How to set up a cross-sell email automation in
After creating your strategy, itâ€™s time to get to work setting
up your cross-sell marketing automation and you can do it easily in
With Vero, youâ€™ll be able to:
Design your cross-sell email with the Drag and Drop
While your email will fall flat without the right copy, your
offer may never get the attention it deserves without an
eye-catching design. If you already have templates and code
snippets to work from, you can upload them to Vero to mix, match,
and reuse whenever you need them with the drag and drop
Set up event triggers for your cross-sell emails
Veroâ€™s â€œWorkflowsâ€ are like a visual canvas that gives you
the tools to craft effective customer messaging experiences, which
in this case are cross-sell emails.
With added visibility of all the logic, action steps, and email
content, email marketers can choose from various logic and actions
to build cross-sell email sequences â€“ while selecting email
messages and mobile push notifications.
All in one workflow. Read
more about it here!
Create dynamic content with Liquid
Personalization is essential to cross-sell email creation, and
Liquid offers a huge amount of flexibility when customizing
messages. Liquid is an open-source language, made by Shopify, that
allows dynamic content to be displayed on websites, emails, and
mobile push notifications.
With Liquid, users wonâ€™t have to sync additional data to their
email platforms, which helps them create engaging and relevant
content much faster.
Source: FS – Email Marketing Blogs!
What you need to know about cross-sell emails