Up-selling and cross-selling is a natural fit for manufacturers.  With multiple product and service offerings, growing revenue within an existing customer, or channel partner, is often an effective way to ultimately grow the business. But research indicates that the ability to cross-sell or up-sell products or services declines sharply 90 days after the initial purchase.


To effectively leverage up-sell and cross opportunities, companies must build on existing relationships with customers, channel partners, and known contacts.  But to build those relationships and communicate the right offer at the right time you must understand your customers' purchasing behavior. You must also pay attention to those who did not purchase.


In order to optimize this 90 day period, manufacturers must build a relationship with their customers, incent their channel partners to provide customer registration information, and respond to known contacts that abandon the eCommerce process.


Manufacturers successful at these tactics are leveraging post-acquisition Customer Lifecycle Management tools and processes to nurture customers towards cross-sells and up-sells, education and service offerings, and maintenance contracts. 


By implementing an automated up-sell or cross-sell campaign, you can better communicate value to your customer, as well as deliver 1:1 personalized communications and offers based on digital body language and previous purchase history.  Below are best practices to implement in your up-sell and cross-sell campaigns.


  1. Don't product push.  Campaign communications should follow the 1:3 rule.  There should only be one sales focused communication for every 3 communications delivered.  The other 2 communications should contain thought leadership content relevant to the contact's digital body language and purchase history.
  2. Improve form data usage. Use opt-in data, or already existing registration form submissions, to capture nominal, product, reseller, and purchase information as well as intended usage.
  3. Provide educational content.  Deliver educational content relative to topics of interest based on the contact's digital body language and purchase history.  As an example, one customer journey may focus on maintenance and upkeep of Product A.  One journey may focus on getting more out of Product A by using the product in various ways. One journey may focus on Tips and Tricks for using Product A. 
  4. Optimize the graphic design of communications.  In the sidebar of the email, include catalyst options that are dependent upon digital body language and purchase history, promoting consulting & education services, maintenance contracts & services, or new/used parts/attachments/equipment complimentary to Product A. 
  5. Become a thought leader.  Deliver thought leadership content relative to topics of interest based on the contact's digital body language and purchase history.  As an example, one journey may focus on industry trends for Sub-Vertical A. One journey may focus on safety and efficiency processes.  One journey may focus on sustainability and innovation within manufacturing.
  6. Consider advanced segmentation.  Segmentation of customers should be based on product ownership, purchase information, and intended use.  If contacts were captured during product registration then segmentation should also include requests for (opt-in) information about a particular product (not directly sales related) and/or notifications of offers and promotions (sales related).   
  7. Recognize the opportunity in digital advertising.  With advancements in display advertising you can now target up-sell and cross-sell ads based on the predefined segments outlined above, as well as target based on eCommerce abandonment.  And you can display these ads wherever they travel online.  This offers a great opportunity to re-engage with your customers outside of traditional email.


By automating your communications you can better leverage all digital marketing channels, offer relevant content and promotions, and harness the opportunity found in the first 90-day window of the customer lifecycle.