“No thanks, we don’t want to make more money,” said no business owner ever. Everyone wants to see the dollar signs climb. There are many ways you can boost your revenue, one of which is upselling — a common sales and marketing technique. In this blog, we’ll help you better understand how to upsell so you can increase your revenue and turn casual customers into loyal fans.

What is Upselling?

First thing’s first. What do we mean when we say upselling?

This term isn’t new in the world of business. You’ve probably experienced it every time you buy a meal from your favorite fast food chain — plus countless other places.

Upselling is a sales technique that the seller uses to encourage the buyer to spend more money by purchasing more, whether that be additional items or upgraded versions of what they were already looking at. An example would be when a mobile phone sales agent tries to convince you to buy the phone with the 128 GB memory instead of the one with the 64 GB memory, which you had originally picked out.

Just to be clear: Upselling is different from cross-selling.

When you’re cross-selling, you’re enticing the customer to buy additional, related (read: complementary) products on top of their original purchase — just like when an employee at your favorite fast food restaurant asks you if you want to add fries and a drink to your burger.

Why Should Brands Be Upselling Using Email Marketing?

checking email on computerWhen you do anything via email, you’re tapping into a very powerful tool. Email marketing can be largely automated and has the highest ROI in all of marketing — period.

While some of the rules for traditional upselling apply when you’re upselling through email, there are still a few important things you have to keep in mind when you’re utilizing the digital platform.

How to Upsell Via Email Marketing: 6 Things To Remember

1. *Always* Offer an Upsell

It sounds simple, yet so many brands bypass it completely, thinking customers will just figure it out on their own. If you want your shoppers to go for the higher package, you have to offer the higher package. Here’s the rule of thumb when it comes to sales: Always offer the upsell.

The customer, most of the time, will initially go for the basic, cheaper option. They don’t yet see the value in the more expensive version. All they see is the price tag. More often than not, customers have no idea that there are other options they can get or subscribe to, so it’s up to you to inform them about it. Not only that, but show them a side-by-side comparison.

If your offer is convincing and provides enough value, your customer will be incentivized to spend more for the better product.

2. Be Strategic in Your Offer

Customers won’t bite if your offer isn’t enticing enough for them. Thus, you have to make studying your customers’ behaviors mandatory in your overall sales process. Here are a few details to think about.

The Type of Upsell to Offer

There are a number of ways you can upsell, depending on your product or service.

Version Upgrade

This is a popular upsell offer for software companies. This type of upselling encourages buyers to upgrade their current version for a better one — like more storage space, a faster bandwidth, and access to more features.

Extended Service Period

The upsell doesn’t have to be limited to product features or functionalities. You can offer upsells in the form of an extended service period duration.

You can, for instance, offer lower fees if they go for a one-year subscription instead of a monthly subscription. Another example is offering a discount if they agree to a lock-in period of two years instead of just one.

This offer ensures that your customers stay with you for a long time.

Product Protection

Another good upsell is providing product protection. An example would be adding better cellphone insurance for a higher fee.

Be Clear About the Benefits

When you’re offering an upsell, you have to make it relevant to the customer. Let them know about the benefits they receive when they agree to the upsell. Remember, all they’re thinking is, “What do I get out of this?”

Showcase the features, the savings, and other benefits they can get once they pay for the better version. Aim to educate instead of simply hard-selling or promoting.

Cater to Their Personal Preferences

Before you try to upsell, always check the customers’ history — include their previous purchases and their buying activity. This way, you can understand them better and provide offers that are applicable to them.

The good thing about today’s technology is that you don’t have to do this manually. There are applications that can help you monitor your customers’ buying preferences with ease.

3. Be Convincing Without Being Pushy

Here’s the thing: Hard-selling doesn’t work well, especially when it comes to online marketing. Like with social media, plain old promotions don’t generate a lot of engagement.

You have to be creative in presenting the upsell offer to your customers. You have to be informative and (mildly) entertaining to keep your clients interested.

One thing you should avoid is being too pushy in your emails. Email marketing is all about nurturing these relationships. Spend time “dating” before you propose marriage.

4. Make Your Offer Easy to Understand

typing on computerDon’t be too technical when you’re upselling using email marketing. Not many people understand the terms that programmers or salespeople use.

The best way to make people understand is to sound human in your email.

Another way to make your offer easier to understand is to opt for infographics that allow them to compare the basic plan (or the current plan they have at present) with the higher plan that you’re trying to get them to buy or subscribe to.

5. Create Urgency

Does your offer have a deadline? Until when is it available? Is there a limited amount in supply? Creating urgency can help your client make their decision faster. Human beings have a serious issue with FOMO — the fear of missing out. Don’t give them too much time to contemplate the upsell, because they’ll probably just move on.

6. Automate

Sending emails one by one manually is tiring, inefficient, and unnecessary. Fortunately, you can utilize easy-to-use tools to help you do this, like Engagebay. Create sequences, automations, and funnels ahead of time, and let us do the rest.

11 Tips for Successful Upselling

Not all of your upselling efforts will be rewarded. This is a fact. However, you can increase the likelihood of your customers taking the upsell by doing these things.

1. Upsell After the Purchase

This is a strategy you can use to increase your sales.

The average customer’s initial mindset when purchasing is often to get the best deal. Before you offer the upsell, secure the sale first. This way, their decision to buy won’t be delayed because they have to compare prices, features, and other offers. Warm them up with the initial purchase, and then offer a more enticing deal.

2. Use the Rule of Three

The rule of three stems from the idea that people tend to remember three things better. In advertising, things that come in three seem to be more satisfying and complete. As a result, it’s more effective in sending any message across.

Designing your newsletter or email marketing message is no exception. Creating a layout that emphasizes (or compares) three things can make it easier for your customers to understand the differences and the benefits better.

3. Offer Free Shipping

woman texting on phoneDid you know that nine out of ten customers consider free shipping as the top incentive for shopping online more frequently? This means that it’s an effective upselling method. Slash that shipping fee from their total bill and they might go for the upsell.

4. Showcase Testimonies

Customer reviews can convince potential clients better than any paid advertising material. If you want to convince your clients to go for the upsell offer, then one way to do it (or to increase the chances of them going for it) is to showcase the testimonies from people who already tried the upgraded product before.

5. Offer Substitutes

This is especially helpful for companies selling physical products. If, for example, the client wishes to purchase a higher version of a particular product and you’re out of stock, you can offer a product with similar specs.

6. Word Your Emails Like You’re Talking to a Friend

You’re not a machine — you’re a human being. Sound like one!

It can be as simple as including a personalized greeting. Don’t let your email seem like an ad, even though it technically is. Make it sound like you’re talking to them personally. Make them feel special.

7. Include a Call-to-Action

Adding a call-to-action to the upsell email can increase your engagement rate and push customers to make a move on the upsell. Don’t underestimate the effect that a simple “Click here” or “Upgrade today” can have.

8. Show Their Recently Purchased Items and Offer Suggestions Based on It

If you don’t want to seem too pushy, you can start your email by offering your customer a short “congratulations” for their purchase.

Then, make suggestions for additional products that they might like, based on their previous purchase. It’s a much softer approach to upselling.

9. Encourage Your Customers to Share Your Upsell Offers on Social Media

You can offer this as a promo. For example, you can give them an invite code and then provide discount coupons or points for every successful invite or upgrade.

Social media is another powerful marketing tool, so when you’re sending out emails to your clients, don’t forget to include links to your social media accounts, and an easy-to-use share button.

10. Send Your Emails at the Right Time

To increase your upselling effort’s success, you have to be smart when sending out your emails. Find out when the best time is to send them.

This might vary depending on the product you’re offering and your target market, which means you’ll want to split test it to determine the best results. For many brands, early morning works best  —  but not on Mondays, when everyone’s inbox is already flooded.

11. Split Test Your Subject Lines to Improve Your Open Rate

One thing you have to keep in mind when you’re creating an email marketing message is to avoid words that might sound spammy. Why? Because many of the email providers nowadays, like Gmail, are exceptionally competent in throwing emails that suggest spam content into the dreaded spam folder. Certain words could trigger this.

Even if it doesn’t go to their spam folder, if a recipient sees a subject line that does anything but entice them to click, you’re in trouble.

Your best bet is to experiment with different subject lines and see what delivers the best results. Test things like:

  • Including the recipient’s first name.
  • Using emojis.
  • Asking a question.
  • Cliffhangers.

What works for one brand might not work for another, so you have to try different things and see what works best for you.

If you want to increase your business revenue, you have to be strategic about it. Aim to close more sales and increase how much individual shoppers spend, but don’t forget to build a good relationship with your customers. Generally, people know when they’re being sold to, and they don’t typically like it. Nurture these relationships and provide recipients with value. Send them free information and other kinds of “gifts,” and do things just to improve the relationship — not necessarily to sell.

The money will follow.

And with the power of email marketing automation, you can craft these emails upfront and have them go out whenever someone shops or opts in — no additional work needed. Aim to form a real connection with people, and the upsells will start flowing in.

Ready to take action? Try Engagebay today.