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11 compelling upsell email examples (+ best practices)

By Stacy Kimbell

December 22, 2023

Are you interested in learning how to use upselling to boost your bottom line? 

In this article, we’ll share captivating upsell email examples. These examples might serve as inspiration for designing your next upsell email strategy, and the most compelling campaigns for 2024.

Let’s get started. 

What is an upsell email?

Upselling is a sales tactic in which brands promote a better or more expensive product to a customer who already uses or plans to buy one. For example, you may be willing to buy an entry-level mobile phone to cover your basic communication needs, but the salesperson persuades you to purchase the newest model of the phone. This is known as an upsell.

Another example is when you need a new pair of socks, but the brand offers you the option to buy seven pairs instead and save. In this case, it is also considered upselling.

An upsell email is an email a brand sends to upsell a product that a customer might be interested in. The upsell email pitches a premium, high-value version of the same product to the customer.

Usually, brands send upsell emails after a customer buys a product or subscribes to a service. This encourages them to get an upgraded version of the product they’re interested in. 

The benefits of upselling apply to both brands and customers. They include:

  • Increase revenue: With the right strategies, you can convince customers to upgrade to a higher-priced version of a product. 
  • Provide more value to customers: Upsell tactics encourage customers to upgrade to a product with more features, thereby providing more value to users. 
  • Increase loyalty: Upselling allows you to meet most of your customers’ needs, thereby making them loyal to your brand. 

Upsell and cross-sell emails: What’s the difference?

Upsell and cross-sell techniques are distinctly different from each other.  Upsell emails recommend a premium, more expensive version of a product to customers. Meanwhile, cross-sell emails sell products that complement the one a customer has already bought.

Here’s a breakdown of the functional differences between upsell and cross-sell emails:

Intent: Brands send upsell emails to convince customers to purchase a premium version of a product. Similarly, cross-sell emails promote relevant products that complement a customer’s purchase. 

Benefit for customers: Upsell emails allow customers to upgrade to a full-featured premium version. Customers benefit from cross-sell emails when they recommend complementary products that enhance the value of their original purchase. 

Earnings for brands: With upselling emails, brands increase their earnings because customers spend more on premium, higher-priced products. Similarly, you increase your earnings with cross-sell emails because customers purchase more products. 

Timing: Customer’s usage and behavior often trigger upsell emails. For example, if a customer has been using your software’s free trial, you can trigger the upsell email at the end of the trial period. 

Cross-sell emails often recommend complementary products after a customer has made a purchase. 

11 compelling upsell email examples

Let’s explore some upsell email examples that showcase effective upselling techniques to drive conversions.

1. Target

In the email upsell example below, Target reaches out to a customer who left without completing the purchase. While the customer can checkout the products in their cart in a single click, Target also recommends more expensive versions of those products in the email.

This upsell strategy is effective because it’s based on the customer’s browsing history. Since the customer still hasn’t completed the purchase, they may consider paying a little more to get a premium version of a product they’re interested in. 

 

Image via Really Good Emails

2. RayBan

Ray-Ban’s email excels in personalization. It invites customers to ‘Make It Extra Special’ with an offer for engraved sunglasses. The bold call-to-action, “Start Engraving,” tempts readers to customize their sunglasses.

The email displays a sleek image of personalized sunglasses. This ignites the recipient’s imagination, making them want to customize theirs. The tactic cross-sells more services and adds a personal touch, strengthening customer loyalty.

Image via Really Good Emails

3. Wix

Wix’s free plan is popular with users who enjoy the simplicity of designing their own websites. To enjoy more features, Wix sends upsell emails to such users to motivate them to upgrade to a paid plan. 

In the example below, Wix uses a limited-time offer on select Wix plans to get users to signup for a premium plan. It also highlights the benefits users can enjoy when they upgrade.

Image via Really Good Emails

4. KiwiCo

KiwiCo sells crates for science and art projects for kids. In the upsell email example below, it pitches its Deluxe subscription to a customer. 

The brand offers customers a free book that goes with a crate. It also gives customers $10 off their first month’s Deluxe subscription. 

Image via Really Good Emails

5. Dollar Shave Club

When Dollar Shave Club introduced a new service, they used an upselling campaign to promote the new products to customers. In the example below, the brand asks customers to get the new bathroom products in between their regular razor deliveries.

This is a great upsell email example because Dollar Shave Club is trying to convince customers to increase the size of their orders. They also offer free shipping to motivate customers to upgrade.

6. Branch

Branch sells office equipment such as desks, chairs, and accessories. The brand uses upselling emails to convince shoppers to spend more on its products. 

Branch encourages customers to buy office equipment bundles instead of purchasing individual pieces. The upsell email gives customers a 5% discount and a free tote bag, which they can redeem via a code.

Image via Really Good Emails

7. Withings

Withings sells wristwatches, scales, BP monitors, and other health monitoring equipment. Shoppers can buy single or bundled products from the store, depending on their needs. 

To get shoppers to spend more, the brand ran an upselling email campaign to promote its bundles. In the example below, the brand gives shoppers a 38% discount when they buy the Big Health Bundle.

Image via Really Good Emails

8. GoPro

This email by GoPro is a great pick on the top upsell strategy examples list. The brand sells action cameras, accessories, and video editing software. It also has a comprehensive package that combines these elements.

GoPro pitches the bundle by indicating customers can save $150 when buying the package instead of the individual items.

Image via Really Good Emails

9. Elementor

Elementor is a design tool that provides users with themes to build websites. While most people use the free plan, the platform has an email upselling strategy to motivate them to upgrade to the Elementor Pro plan. 

In its upsell emails, Elementor highlights the benefits of making the upgrade. Elementor also added a button that leads users to the upgrade page so they can review the features in detail.

Image via Really Good Emails

10. Athletic Greens

Athletic Greens sells an all-in-one healthy drink to support one’s nutritional needs. The brand’s upsell strategy involves convincing customers who make single purchases to upgrade to a monthly subscription. 

By highlighting the cost savings and convenience of a subscription plan, Athletic Greens aims to enhance customer retention and increase the customer lifetime value. 

Image via Really Good Emails

11. The Dollar Shave Club

The Dollar Shave Club appears yet again in our list of the best upsell email examples. In the image below, the brand showcases the three razor blades a customer can buy. 

While there’s a cheaper razor that only costs $1, DSC smartly upsells the premium versions by comparing the features side by side. 

Image via The Dollar Shave Club

Five upsell email best practices

Consider the following best practices to craft compelling upsell emails like the ones we’ve shared above. 

Personalizing upsell emails

Personalization is the foundation of successful email marketing. Personalization also applies to upsell emails. Research a customer’s shopping/browsing behavior and use that information to tailor your upsell emails. 

For instance, if a customer shows interest in eco-friendly products, you can upsell an upgraded version of a more sustainable product. This will make your emails feel more relevant and less promotional, increasing the likelihood of a successful upsell. 

Being clear about benefits

If you want customers to buy the premium version of a product, you need to be very clear about the benefits they’ll get when they upgrade. 

In this case, you want to highlight the advantages of the higher-priced version. You should also showcase how the upgraded version will serve them better than their original purchase. 

Lastly, when upselling, emphasize how much the customer will save when they upgrade. For example, highlight the financial benefits of buying a product in bundles compared to purchasing the items separately.

Making upgrade easy

From the upsell email examples above, you’ll notice that the process to upgrade is straightforward. Customers can easily get the upgraded version of the product with a few clicks. 

You should also do the same if you want your upsell emails to be successful. Add a button that allows customers to replace their original purchase with the upgraded version and checkout in just a few steps. 

If the upgrade process is complicated, customers may lose their patience, and this could cause you to miss out on a sale. 

Creating a sense of urgency

To get customers to purchase the upgraded version of your product, your upsell message must include an offer. Rather than presenting an open offer, make it time-limited to create a sense of urgency. 

There’s often this fear of missing out (FOMO), which you could use to your advantage. 

When upselling your customers, inform them that the upgraded version of the product is in limited supply and running out fast. 

Alternatively, you can inform them that the discount on the upgraded product runs for a certain time. This creates a sense of urgency and compels shoppers to act fast. 

Using testimonials

Testimonials are powerful for driving upsells. By including testimonials, you can show the benefits of the upgraded product. 

Remember that the consumer is completely satisfied with their initial purchase or subscription. To convince them to switch to the premium version, you have to show them that the upgraded product is more valuable. 

By adding customer testimonials to the upsell email, you reassure customers that upgrading is a wise decision.

Upsell email examples: Wrap up

Upselling your customers is an effective way to grow your revenue. However, you need to design your upselling emails thoughtfully to drive conversions. 

By using tactics like FOMO and highlighting the benefits of upgrading and personalizing your emails, you create a persuasive upsell experience that gets results. 

Apply these strategies in your upsell emails to drive conversions successfully and boost revenue in 2024.

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