Cross-selling is one of the most affordable and efficient ways to increase revenue, and using direct mail is one of the best ways to get the job done
Generating new leads is great, but did you know it is five to 25 times more expensive to generate a new customer than it is to retain an existing one? To top that off, a newly retained customer is likely to spend more and purchase more often. This is exactly why companies need to implement strategies that are designed to increase their customers’ average order value. What is the best way to do that? Cross-selling.
Cross-selling means generating more business by selling associated or complementary products to people who have already bought from you. If you think about it, existing customers are actually easier to sell to because people who have already purchased from you are more likely to trust you, and they’re also more likely to be interested in related products or services in your suite.
Direct mail is a powerful medium for cross-selling, especially since the bulk of households with incomes over $65,000 end up making purchases as a result of direct mail. That, coupled with the impressive response rate associated with direct mail, makes it one of the most effective avenues for this type of sales method.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when using direct mail for cross-selling:
Understand your audience
The key to cross-selling is proposing relevant and related products to your existing customers. Therefore, it is important that you understand your customers before presenting them with new opportunities to purchase from you. You can use demographic and psychographic information, as well as customer feedback, to gain a better understanding of your audience and their goals. Armed with that information, plus knowledge of a customer’s sales history, you can more precisely identify the most appropriate products or services to present for cross-selling opportunities.
Improve the buying experience
It’s important to remember that cross-selling should always, in some way, improve your customers’ buying experience. Only suggest products or services that add value to their initial purchase, and always keep it natural and relevant. For example, if someone bought a pair of running shoes using a discount code that you provided in a direct-mail promotion, it would make sense to then cross-sell with an opportunity to buy moisture-wicking socks. Keeping offers relevant to your customers, based on their initial purchase, will keep you from coming across as disconnected and sales-y. You want to avoid overwhelming customers with irrelevant communications that risk damaging your brand’s reputation.
Add a personal touch
Adding a personal touch makes it much more likely that your recipients will be amenable to your related offers. Remember, the goal is to build rapport with your current customers. You want them to look forward to your correspondence, not just tolerate it. To avoid landing in the “read later” stack, try using variable data printing to produce customized print collateral with tailored content and offers that are specific to your target customers’ interests and purchase history.
People are much more likely to buy or spend more on a brand if they can trust that there is value in doing so. It is not enough to suggest what you believe is a complementary product or service. Instead, you can add value by including customer reviews or testimonials to your direct-mail pieces. This will help you reinforce the positivity associated with developing a long-term relationship with your company.
Although you may think your job is done when someone makes a subsequent purchase after a cross-sell effort, we’re here to tell you, it’s not. When a customer decides to spend more money with you after their initial purchase, then you should recognize that and reward their loyalty to you. You can accomplish this via mailing a thank-you note, a free gift or discount code for a future purchase, or even sending some branded swag. And, who knows, this display of appreciation may even increase your chances of up-selling or cross-selling again down the line.
Cross-selling, or more specifically, using direct mail to cross-sell, should be seen as a valuable addition to your marketing and sales strategy. By targeting existing customers and showing them that you “get them” by offering relevant products and services, you will increase not only your profits but your customer satisfaction, as well.
Need help incorporating cross-sales into your direct-mail marketing strategy? Drop us a line.