Business

This Playbook Of Techniques Will Help You Sell More In Email Marketing

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In the e-commerce world, selling isn’t always a linear process. It’s very common to find that your customers won’t be immediately receptive to seeing a product placed in front of them. 

So the question is, how can you increase the probability that your customers buy your products?

There are various techniques in a marketers playbook which will increase the likelihood of persuading the customer to make a purchase.

The Upsell

This sales technique is used to encourage the customer to spend more.

This could be by introducing them to various upgrades or additional items which would serve their interests. 

An example of this is when a mobile phone company presents you with different data options.
They first show you the option with 7GB and then the 10GB option…which is only a little more expensive than the first option. This makes the customer feel like they are getting more for their money, when in actual fact, the company’s goal is to increase the spend per customer.
If the mobile phone company successfully convinced 1000 customers to choose the upsell option, you can imagine how much more revenue they would be bringing in than if they didn’t utilise this technique at all.

Why upselling is beneficial in your email marketing strategy:

  • It encourages customers to spend more than they planned.
  • It exposes the customer to your higher ticket items.
  • It increases revenue and helps maximise cash flow.
  • It could increase that customer’s lifetime value.

Want to know the best times to use the upsell technique in your emails?

  1. When a free trial comes to an end.
  2. After they have made a purchase from your website.
  3. When the customer hits a milestone.
  4. During a new product launch. 

How you use the upsell technique effectively
There are various methods of executing your upsells effectively. You can do this by:

  • Explaining the benefits and savings the customer would gain from a bigger purchase
  • Offering free delivery as an incentive to get a higher spend from the customer
    E.g. spend £100 for free delivery. 
  • By using purchase momentum. You should be taking full advantage once you have captured your customers’ full attention. Once a customer has purchased from your site, send them an order confirmation email. Within that email you can upsell other products and add ons. 

Here are some examples of companies who have used upselling in their sales strategy:

The Downsell 

Let’s say your potential customer loves your brand and the products you offer, but perhaps they don’t have the purchase power needed to buy.
The downsell offers a budget-friendly alternative to the product that the customer initially took interest in. The power of the downsell is that it provides a solution which helps address major objections to the initial product. The most common objection issue being price. 

Why downselling is beneficial in your email marketing strategy:

  • Offering a budget option can increase brand loyalty. Customers will perceive you in a positive light because you showed that you care, by trying to meet their needs.
  • Downselling opens up selling opportunities to a wider range of customers with varying budgets.
  • Downselling means that your company will still bring in revenue, rather than losing that sale completely. Be aware though, don’t cut the price of your existing product because this could result in losses, instead opt to release a lower priced item. 

Want to know the best times to use the downsell technique in your emails?

  1. When the customer is about to walk away. 
  2. If the customer tells you directly that the project isn’t within their budget. Be careful with this one. If you are a high end brand like Hermes, you won’t necessarily want to downsell due to your businesses positioning in the market. 
  3. If you have a more basic version of your product or service available that makes sense to your business. 

How you can use the downsell technique effectively:

  • Introduce the downsell when it is clear that the customer will not purchase the original product. 
  • Don’t introduce the downsell prematurely. This will confuse the prospect and could cause them to decline both products. 
  • Introduce the downsell instead of reducing the prices of your higher tiered products. Remember, if they buy the downsell and like the product, you can always upsell them in the future!
  • Use it in moderation! If you overuse downselling, it could undervalue your brand and look bad from a reputation perspective. 
  • Don’t underestimate savvy customers! Your customers are becoming more and more aware of marketing and sales tactics. If your customers see discount pop ups every time they try to leave your site, they might take advantage and play you at your own game. 
  • Make sure you are only targeting certain customers who are truly interested in buying your products. If you give out discounts to customers who are happy paying the full price you will be losing out on extra revenue. 

Take a look at these examples of subtle down selling:

The Cross sell 

Trust me, this one works, I used to use it all the time when I ran my award-winning cafe.  Cross selling is the art of encouraging additional and related purchases, which compliments the customers original purchase.


Have you heard the phrase:
“Would you like fries with this?”


It’s a classic cross-selling technique that food businesses use. 

Why cross selling is beneficial in your email marketing strategy:

  • It increases the average customer spend per transaction.
  • It deepens customer loyalty because you are benefiting the customers in multiple ways.
  • It bolsters your position in the market if you can offer complimentary products.

Want to know the best times to use the cross sell technique in your emails?

  1. Use cross selling to capitalise on key events like holidays, Black Friday, Valentines day etc by sending out specific email campaigns showcasing your products. 
  2. Use cross selling when you release a new collection. This is really beneficial for fashion brands as they can budle different outfits and sets together. You could even go as far as suggesting accessories to go with the outfit your customer is interested in purchasing. 

How can you use cross selling:

  • Creating bundle packs of products can increase the value of your sale. These could be a clothing coordinated set, a hamper that capitalises on the customers needs or holiday event. You could even bundle products that are serving a specific need like a “beginners tool kit.”
  • You can recommend other purchases which were made by those who bought a similar product. 

Take a look at these e-commerce emails which use the cross selling technique for reference:

Extra insights to help you sell more

Here are some suggestions which will help you get the best out of the above techniques:

  1. Segment your audience.

You can really hone in on your customers if you segment them properly. By getting access and recording more customer information you will be able to target them appropriately with more personalised content. 

For example: If you are a food retail company who records your customer location throughout the world, you could target BBQ season bundles to those customers who are currently experiencing summer.

This also means that customers in a colder climate won’t be receiving this promotion. Therefore it becomes less spammy. If you think about it, customers in a colder climate probably won’t be out in the sun having a BBQ anyway, so the likelihood of that promotion being effective in that area is small. 

2. Utilize your testimonials 

Testimonials can be the difference between a potential customer choosing you, or another business to purchase from. Customers want to feel like your company is reputable and provides great quality products. Showing testimonials is a great way to make your customers feel safe, and provides another layer of encouragement to insight a purchase. 

3. Create lists of past buyers 

If you gain access to a customer’s purchase history it may help you predict when and what they are likely to buy next.
For example: Let’s say your customer has bought a new bed frame. They will not want to be targeted with more bed frames. On top of that, it is extremely unlikely they will buy a second bed frame. However, someone who has just purchased a new bed frame may also be interested in purchasing extras, such as duvets and pillows. This is exactly how you can use someone’s purchase history to sell complimentary items. 

Final Word

Using selling techniques correctly increases the probability of selling more in email marketing. The trick is to be aware of when and how to use them appropriately. 

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