Email marketing, assuming you’re doing it right, is by nature a form of retargeting to existing customers. Therefore, email messages are a great opportunity to upsell existing customers on items complementary to, or better than, those they’ve already purchased. Upsell emails often take the form of purchase follow-up series, and in this post we’ll run through some quick tips on how to send effective purchase follow-up emails that upsell your customers.

Promote relevant products

You probably don’t want to promote men’s belts to a customer who just purchased pink women’s running shoes. Unless you’re using an email service that offers dynamic product recommendations, it’s going to be impossible to offer one-to-one product upsells. However, you can do some simple segmentation and split your subscribers into lists grouped by products or categories, and send upsell emails that promote related or often-purchased-together products.

Capitalize on the mob mentality

Consumer confidence can be a strong force for driving conversions. If sending segmented emails sounds too complex, stick to something simple and effective: promote your most popular products, and be sure to label them as such – customers want to buy what’s popular. A review, testimonial, media hit, or other user-generated content is always a good idea in these emails.

Let images do the talking

A picture is worth a thousand words…
…everyone rolls their eyes at the cliche, but it is true in this case. The purpose of an upsell email is to nudge customers to buy something additional following an initial purchase. Using pictures instead of text helps you better explain the association between the complementary items.

Don’t forget your calls-to-action

Purchase follow-up emails usually include product images and copy like, “You might also be interested in…” But calls-to-action are often left out, and that is a major no-no when you’re trying to incite a purchase. Don’t forget to tell the customer what you want him or her to do!

Use the real estate in transactional emails

Did you know that transactional emails, such as order and shipping confirmations, usually garner the highest open rates? Typically, these emails have a short snippet of pertinent order information with lots of white space left over that is prime real estate. Use this extra space to include upsell offerings.

Want more help creating effective upsell emails? Give us a shout and we can lend a hand.