What do you do after making one sale? You make a second and a third and a fourth, on and on, until you retire or die.

A customer who has already bought something from you is more likely to buy again when compared to a complete stranger. It also costs less to sell to the same customer than it does to acquire a completely new one. This is where the post-purchase upsell email comes in.

A good post-purchase upsell email isn’t just about increasing your own sales, it’s about offering the customer added value. If a customer buys shoes from you, for example, you can send an email suggesting he buy shoe polish. And if he buys shoe polish, you can suggest a refill after the appropriate amount of time.

How to write a killer post-purchase upsell email

  1. Thank the customer for buying first. This is the critical first step. An opener like: “I hope you’re loving your new pair of Oxfords” can go a long way in endearing you to your customer.
  2. Personalize the recommendation so it complements a previous purchase. If you sold John a mobile phone, for example, you have better chances of making another sale if you try to upsell him on a warranty or accessories than you would trying to sell him a laptop or another phone.
  3. Integrate the upsell into another email such as an order confirmation email or a delivery notification. These emails have the highest open rates and virtually guarantee that the customer will see your offer.
  4. If you integrate your upsell into an order confirmation email, for example, don’t overshadow the primary purpose of the email with the upsell. Have the order confirmation at the top and the upsell at the bottom so the customer doesn’t feel like upselling them is all you care about.
  5. Keep it subdued. The best upsells are innocuous. Think of a line like: “Do you want fries with that?” It doesn’t sound like an upsell. It’s a helpful suggestion that just happens to be an upsell. “Yes, McDonald’s man. I want fries with my burger. And a soda.” Even when a customer doesn’t want fries or a soda with his order at McDonald’s, his no is usually a polite one. It’s not the same kind of aggressive no you would give Jehovah’s Witnesses knocking on your door. That’s the vibe you should aim for.