upsellIn the world of ecommerce, the majority of marketing emails have one purpose: to sell something. In most cases, the combination of an interesting product range, enticing images and compelling copy in your emails is enough to persuade a proportion of your customers to consider purchasing from you. But, even if you run successful email marketing campaigns, it may still be possible to generate more revenue from them. Email marketing is the ideal medium for upselling, providing something useful for your customers while generating more sales for you. Here are some of the ways you can use upselling techniques in your emails:

Offer Recommendations

One of the simplest ways to upsell in your emails is to offer your customers recommendations based on their purchase or browsing history. By simply showing them something they didn’t realise they needed, your customers could be persuaded to spend a little more money with you. Recommendations could be included in an order confirmation email, or you could send another email a few days or weeks after your customer has made a purchase in order to re-engage with them. Just make sure you include the original item that prompted the recommendations to jog your customer’s memory.

Amazon do this very well on their website, but the same principles could be applied to email. They show items that are frequently bought together, along with a button to add all three to the shopping cart:

Frequently Bought Togther

And they also show a selection of items that other customers also bought:

Customers Bought

Think carefully about your recommendations; they do not all have to be from the same product category. The previous examples were taken from a page for a recipe book. As well showing other similar recipe books, Amazon have also recommended specialist ingredients and cooking utensils that can be used in conjunction with the recipe book in question.

Offer a Free Gift

Offering a free gift can be a great way to encourage your customers to make a purchase, particularly if you add urgency by making the offer time-limited. As counter-intuitive as it may sound, free gifts can also be used to upsell. Many companies offer free gifts to customers who spend a certain amount on their site. The customers may then decide to make additional purchases (more than they originally intended) in order to take them over the ‘free gift’ threshold. Free gifts can also give the customer a chance to sample products that they may then go on to purchase in the future.

Lancôme ran a promotion like this recently:


Here, the free gift was offered to customers who spent £30 or more on their website. The offer was also only available for a few days, encouraging their customers to act quickly.

L’Occitane took this concept one step further with their recent promotion:


In this promotion, they are offering their customers different free gifts depending on how much they spend on the website. A promotion like this is effective because it is likely to encourage customers to spend more but, if any of their customers are limited by a budget, they won’t feel like they are missing out. It also helps customers to feel like they are getting extra value with their purchases.

Upselling in your marketing emails can be an incredibly useful strategy. Not only does it generate more custom for you, it can also introduce customers to items they may not otherwise have discovered. Just make sure you’re keeping it relevant to your customers and testing regularly.