How to Write a Great Upsell Email

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Morgan Jacobson
Morgan Jacobson



When you think of upselling, think of fast food restaurants. They pretty much perfected the art of upselling with "would you like fries with that?" and "would you like to make that combo a large?"


Asking for a bigger sale might seem tough, especially since the customer just willingly opened their wallet, but as McDonald's has proven time and time again, upselling works. Sometimes all you have to do is ask.

An email is the perfect opportunity to ask for the upsell offline. You probably don't want to mention additional products in your thank you and confirmation emails, or over the course of your initial sale, but you can touch base between purchases to prompt upsells. And to start that conversation, you need an awesome email. The very best emails can convince the customer that you're just trying to help -- and that you're just not pushing to make more money.

What does an awesome upsell email look like? Let's dive in.

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7 Components of a Great Upsell Email

1. Personalized Greeting

Let your buyers know right away that you recognize them. An upsell email with a generic greeting will make it look like you're just out to make another quick buck. By using their names, you instead let them know you're providing information that has been prepared with only that one person in mind.


2. Show the Recently Purchased Items

Anyone who opens the email will immediately see the item they purchased and congratulate themselves for their cleverness. You foster good feelings right away, which keeps them reading. The next thing you'll do with the reminder is let them know your forthcoming recommendation has something to do with the item mentioned. Since the first purchase was such a success, they'll probably stick around to see what else you can do.

More importantly, you anchor what you're suggesting to what they've done before. By explaining to customers that this isn't a random recommendation, but rather a recommendation personalized to them based on your expertise, you're establishing your expertise and value to them as a trusted advisor.

3. Provide Suggestions

You'll experience the greatest success if your suggested items are closely related to a previous purchase. Maybe additional accessories for a tech purchase, or a bag that matches the shoes they recently bought. This shows them you're really paying attention and not just holding your hand out for more money.

If there are no associated items, show products that may relate in other ways. If the buyer often purchases contemporary romance books with alpha heroes, show other books that fit those criteria. If someone recently ordered chrome wheels from your auto supply, suggest a custom gearshift. In the case below, you could offer insurance or a warranty for their product purchase.

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4. Ask for Help

No matter how sophisticated your marketing automation program is, you still won't get it right every time. That's why you should offer your customers the chance to tweak the recommendations and their customer profile.

Include a link that leads to your site. You can either let them down-vote products that don't interest them or simply ask for more information to better predict their interests. More customer data is always a good thing, no matter how you get it.

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5. Contact Information

Always include your contact information with every email to your customers. This allows them to reach you with any questions (or complaints) they may have. Be sure you have more than just an email address or your website address, too. Customers want to know they can talk to a real person whenever necessary.

6. Social Sharing Buttons

Don't you want those customers telling others about your products? Let them share your suggestions with the world.

You might be surprised at how often they tell their Twitter followers about the items you offered. If nothing else, it'll give them a direct link to your social media accounts which they can follow whenever they choose.


7. Opt-Out Option

You never want to say goodbye to your customers, but that doesn't mean you can keep them against their will. No matter how long you've been sending your suggestions, they might decide one day they no longer want to receive them. Make sure your emails are compliant with your national regulations by providing an option for the customer to unsubscribe.

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