Cross-Selling via Email

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A PDF guide to cross-selling via email including what "cross-selling" actually means, who does it well on the web, what the advantages are and some key takeaways.

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Cross-Selling via Email

  1. 1. themarketingnut.wordpress.com Cross-Selling via Emailthe marketing nutCrazy about marketing 1
  2. 2. themarketingnut.wordpress.comWhat is “cross-selling”?The most common way for people to explain up-selling and cross-selling is through a scenario set in afast food restaurant – something that it’s fair to say most people will have experienced. The customerorders a Big Mac, to which the man or woman behind the counter asks, “Would you like fries with that?”– cross-selling. This question is commonly followed by something along the lines of, “Would you like tomake it large?” – up-selling. This scenario is probably the easiest way to explain the concept, howeverhere’s a slightly more relevant example to today’s marketers:When you purchase an iPad online (or of course, any other kind of tablet for that matter), the websitewill commonly suggest that you could purchase the same iPad but which can store a larger amount ofdata – up-selling. Once you’ve added it to your shopping cart, many websites will automatically showyou complementary products such as a cover or bag for the device – cross-selling.What effect can cross-selling have on an internet business?Amazon is truly the king of up-selling and cross-selling in the online world. I’m sure that most of youreading this have bought something on Amazon at one time or another and will no doubt have seen thatcross-selling in particular, is prominent both on their website and within their emails. Ever seen thosefamous words, “Customers who bought this item also bought…” or “You may also like…”? It has beenreported that approximately 35% of Amazon’s revenue comes from cross-selling – that’s 35% of one bigpie!Apart from increased revenue, what other advantages are there for cross-selling?Arguably the biggest advantage of cross-selling is that you typically spend much less in retaining existingcustomers who you can cross-sell to, as opposed to the acquisition of new customers. The conversionrates for existing customers is generally much higher than with completely new customers… if yourcustomers are happy with the products and services provided.With email marketing, you will have already established a buyer/seller relationship with the customerwhich can be invaluable. In order to send emails to existing customers, they will have had to “opt-in” toreceiving marketing emails from you which means they know your business is credible and trustworthyand will be more likely to open and read your emails. Additionally, email open rates are very high fortransactional emails as people will want to double-check that the order has been received and is correct. 2
  3. 3. themarketingnut.wordpress.comHow to begin cross-selling via email marketing?Needless to say, the majority of e-commerce websites won’t have technology as advanced as Amazon’sto enable cross-selling, however the opportunity to take advantage of cross-selling opportunities is stillthere.One of the most cost-effective ways for smaller e-commerce websites to take advantage of cross-sellingis via email marketing campaigns. To do this it’s essential that your marketing campaigns are linked withyour customer data/intelligence which can be done with platforms such as Emailvision’s CampaignCommander platform (http://www.emailvision.hk).Things to bear in mindPersonalization is integral to the success of cross-selling email campaigns. You shouldn’t just be sayingto your customers, “you bought that, now buy this”; you should use the data you have to ensure thatthe other products or services that you recommend to them are appropriate and relevant and backedup by which products they already bought, similar products etc. If you’re a smaller player, it’s stillpossible to ensure high success rates by segmenting your customers, and identifying suitable productsfor each market segment.Target the right customers by looking at RFM:Recency – when did they last make a purchase?Frequency – how often do they come back to the site to buy?Monetary Value – how much revenue is created by products sold to these customer segments?Offer “bundles” of multiple products to existing customers. This is a very popular tactic around theholiday period as one of the most common examples of bundling products is giving away “gift packs” fortoiletries, stationery etc.Try to cross-sell complementary products. If someone buys a hat online, they may also be hunting for ascarf and pair of gloves to go with it. This also helps position your brand as “helpful”; it’s always best tosay “you may also like” rather than – “you’ve bought this, now buy this”.Using transactional emails to cross-sell is also a very successful tactic. The open rates for transactionalemails are generally very high as customers will want to check their order details. Whilst they’re still in“buying mode”, there will be more receptive when learning about other products which may fulfill aneed or want. 3

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