Best Upsell Emails To Boost Your Revenue

If you aren’t upselling in your email marketing, you’re missing out on a significant opportunity to increase customer retention and boost your customers’ average purchase and lifetime value. 

Upselling is the practice of recommending a premium, more expensive version of a product a customer is in the process of buying or has already purchased.

If you can get more customers to buy a superior version of a product rather than the base model, there’s a better chance of your revenue and customer relationships growing

That said, your success relies on the strength of your upselling methods. Start using these five upsell email tactics today to be most effective. 

Understand Your Target Audience 

First and foremost, you must understand who you’re talking to when upselling.

In other words, you must understand your target audience and what they want to hear in order to convince them to take you up on your upsell offer. 

Not all recommendations, messages, calls-to-action (CTA), images, and visuals are created equal. Each customer prefers and needs something different for the email to truly resonate with them.

For example, One customer may prefer you to divulge all the details about your upgrade in your email. Another may like a link to a landing page to do their own research and complete the purchase all in one. 

When taking customer needs into consideration, make sure your marketing emails are accessible.

Software like optical character recognition (OCR) can ensure your content is machine-readable and accessible for customers with visual impairments, learning differences, or language barriers.

It’s all about understanding:

  • How your customer thinks
  • Their needs 
  • What’s valuable to them
  • What makes sense for them 
  • Their communication preferences
  • How they’ve interacted with your business thus far

In addition, understanding your target audience will help you focus on personalization. 

Focus on Personalization 

We’re long past the days of sending out generic emails. If you want your upsell emails to hit, they must be personalized to each customer.

Take a look at this series of three emails. They were all sent around the same time, with the same title, but from different senders. These are all set to get deleted. There was obviously zero effort to personalize these.

Image: Series of emails sent that were not personalized

It’s deeper than using your customer’s first and last name. Base their offers and how you convey them on their demographics and how they’ve interacted with your business. And be sure to avoid spamming with the same message again and again. 

Data-driven personalization is a practical approach that makes it easier to connect with your customers and upsell to them. You should collect as much customer data as possible from your digital marketing channels and anywhere else that’s appropriate. 

However, be sure you’re doing it in a responsible way. Give your customers control over what you collect and how you use it. Always be transparent. And be especially mindful of how you keep your customers’ data safe and secure. 

In conjunction with personalization, recommending products strategically is also critical. 

Recommend Products Strategically 

Your upsells will be much more successful if there’s a strategy behind your recommendations. 

Upsells are typically a better version of a product all put together. However, an upsell can also look like offering add-on features to a base model product, which raises its perceived value in the eyes of customers. 

Think about this before making a permanent decision on what to suggest to your customer. Which would be best for them? The next best model or a value add-on feature? Approach these decisions with a human-first perspective.

It’s important not to give your customers too many choices. Instead, back your recommended product up with testimonials and keep your messaging positive about why it’s better for your customer’s unique needs. 

When you recommend products strategically, your customers are more likely to take your recommendations seriously and make a purchase. 

Emphasize What Makes the More Expensive Product Better 

It’s difficult for most people to justify spending more than initially planned. That’s why you should wrap all your upsell emails around emphasizing what makes the more expensive product better.

What makes the more expensive version better, higher quality, and different from the original? 

For example, let’s say the original product is good but isn’t as eco-friendly as the premium version.

You know your customer values sustainability and has expressed interest in what you’re doing to improve the environment. So, hyper-focusing on the sustainability benefits and differences from their original product in your email would be brilliant in this case. 

You could also emphasize the things outside the product that make it a better purchase. For example, maybe your upgraded version is available as part of a bundle for a limited time, with two related products only available in the said bundle. 

Or maybe the superior version comes with free shipping, whereas the base model doesn’t. So now, not only would the customer get a premium product, they’re getting it home without any shipping charges. 

Create a compelling offer by emphasizing what makes the product better in more ways than one. 

Pay Special Attention to Your CTA 

The goal of upselling is to get your customer to purchase the more advanced version of your product. Although the body of your email is critical to achieving this goal, your CTA might be just as, if not more, important. 

The last thing you want is for your customer to read through your entire email, be on board with buying the upgraded version, and have no idea where to go to get it done. That’s where your CTA comes in.  

In the image below, Neil Patel shows how to use a CTA button to move the email recipient to conversion.

Image: Source

Pay special attention to the CTA button you use in your upsell emails. Once your customers are done reading, they should know what to do next through a clear CTA. Stick with a minimally-designed button, in a visible location, that stands out from the rest of what’s in your email.  

A well-thought-out CTA is the best way to wrap up your already enticing upsell email. 


Successful upselling can do a lot for your business, from boosting revenue to deepening your customer relationships to keeping them with you long-term. The key is solid upsell emails. Use the tactics above to better the chances of your upsell emails inspiring a purchase.

Luke Smith
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