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Oasis Optimization

How To Add 11% To Your Bottom Line Revenue With This One Email Series – Cross Sell Flow

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It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. Companies who have mastered the art of this one email flow are able to see their bottom line revenue increase by 11% or more.

So what is this magical email flow? And how can you make sure that your business reaps the benefits?

Today we’re going to explore the best practices for this email flow and show you how to get started with cross sell email examples and templates.

Oh, and don’t worry – if you already have cross selling emails, I’ll show you how to improve them for even better results.

What is the Cross Sell flow and how does it work?

A cross-sell flow is a series of emails sent to customers after they make a purchase, but it’s different from the usual post purchase email flow. It is often also referred to as an up sell series – the exact definition doesn’t matter as much as the result. For more details on the difference, refer to this VWO blog post.

These emails can offer them related products, or discounts on those products. This email flow works by offering the customer something that will help them continue using your product and/or service and build brand loyalty.

A cross-sell flow does not always have to be limited to product offers; it could also include services like installation, financing, or warranty programs. The key is to provide additional value so the customer feels as though they are getting more than just their original purchase from you when they buy from you again.

The cross sell flow works by using the initial purchase as a “gateway” for other products and/or services; it builds trust and rapport, and helps customers see that you offer more than just their original purchase. It also offers them an incentive to make their next purchase with you by positioning your other products or services as the natural next step.

Cross sell flow after purchase

Why has this email flow been so successful?

You’ve got lead generation in place to attract new customers, right? But what about keeping your existing customers happy and offering them more of what they love – your products?

As we all know, it’s easier (not to mention cheaper) to increase the lifetime value of an existing customer and that’s what this email flow is all about – creating repeat customers with a bigger lifetime value.

One of the best ways to do this is through an email flow that offers cross-selling opportunities.

The beauty of this email flow is that it works seamlessly with your current event-based marketing and sales automation, and can be used to nurture customers during their entire lifecycle.

This email flow also comes at a great time during the lifecycle – when they’ve purchased from you and are super engaged with your brand…they have just proven that they want to spend money with you.

In order for this cross-sell opportunity to work, there are some specific things you need to remember when designing the emails themselves which we will explore below! Following these steps can lead to great results like these:

cross sell flow results 1
Cross Sell Flow Results 2

How can your company use this email flow to increase bottom line revenue by 11% or more?

It sounds too good to be true, but companies who have mastered the art of this one email flow are able to see their bottom line revenue increase by 11% or more.

The good news is that adding this to your email lineup can be made simple by adding a couple of emails that detail the benefits of other products and services that are then sent out after the customer makes the purchase.

This is different from the post purchase emails flow – another important email series – but here we’re going to wait until the post purchase flow is complete and then follow up with the cross sell flow.

A Step-by-Step Process On How To Set Up Your Own Cross Selling Emails To Existing Customers

Like any good method, planning plays a big role and the time spent on planning out your Cross Sell Flow will make the entire process run much more smoothly.

Here we’re going to look at setting up a Cross-Sell Flow based off of your top selling product.

Finding The Best Cross Sell Products

With that in mind, look at your best selling products (besides your top seller) and decide which one(s) make a good complement to the top seller.

You’ll be writing emails recommending these products, so make sure it’s a good fit.

Here’s a good example; if your top selling product is coffee beans, and your next best selling products are loose leaf teas, coffee mugs, and coffee grinders, I’d go with coffee mugs and coffee grinders as the person that buys the beans is more likely to be interested in more coffee specific products.

Use your knowledge of your industry and customers to tailor this list as you see fit.

Now that you have that figured out, let’s talk about the emails themselves.

This flow will contain at least 3 emails and you can write more if you want. I recommend starting with 3 and adding 1 or 2 if you see good results (hint: you will).

Cross Sell Email Contents

What should the actual Cross Sell emails contain?

Let’s break it down email by email.

Email 1

  • Focus on benefits of the product(s) and the value proposition
  • Remember that they have already purchased – no need to be heavy handed
  • Use great images to help

Email 2

  • If you have a 2nd product, introduce the benefits
  • Include those images
  • Test coupon use – can work well to get the 2nd sale

Email 3

  • Remind them of the great product(s) you’ve already talked about – benefits first
  • Include images of the product(s)
  • If using a coupon, let them know it’s time to use it

Email 4+

  • Use testimonial / review
  • If using limited time coupon, remind them that they need to act
  • Cover benefits
  • Add in other products as a test

As outlined in the bullet points above, these do not have to be long emails.

Oftentimes, simple emails with good visuals and a reminder of the benefits can do the heavy lifting and help customers feel that they are being looked after without being too complex.

Email Timing

Remember that we said these emails come after the purchase. Make sure that this email flow does not send out until your post purchase series is complete.

Stagger the emails in this flow by a day or two each as shown in the image below:

cross sell flow outline

For example, if your post purchase series spans 5 days, then your cross sell series should not start until at least day 6.

Triggers And Filters

Be sure to set up your Triggers and Filters correctly – what I’m going to show is based on Klaviyo, but many email marketing systems have similar setups. Adjust as necessary for your particular setup. The main goal here is to only send to the right people at the right time.

Here’s an example from Klaviyo connected to a Shopify store:

cross sell flow series triggers


You want the trigger for the overall flow to be Placed Order. This way you only get people that have placed an order added to the flow.

Do not use a “Ordered Product” type of trigger or this may result in multiple emails being sent for each product ordered.

Next up will be the Trigger Filters.

Trigger Filters

Once you have your Trigger set up, you may want to filter it based on things like discount code used, the tags they have applied, or something else.

We’re not going to go into details here as it’s not needed for the basic Cross Sell Flow setup.

Flow Filters

Now that we’ve got people that have placed an order into our flow, we may want to only send to a portion of them.


Let’s say that you sell prepared meals and you have vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. If someone buys a vegetarian meal, you probably want to offer them more veggie options, and definitely not meat based meals! With flow filters, you can specify which products you want the customers to have purchased to remain in the flow.

Additionally, you should add a filter that removes people if they have placed an order since being in the flow – mission accomplished!

Want all of this in an easy checklist? Click Here.

How To Improve Your Already Existing Cross Flow Emails

If you’ve already got a Cross Sell flow in your email marketing lineup and you’d like to take it up a notch then do one or all of the following.

The first thing you can do is add an additional email to the flow, especially if you don’t have 3 or 4 emails.

Even if you do, try adding another email with a cross sell opportunity and see how it performs.

As mentioned above, adding an email or two can be a great way to test additional products, generate more sales, and uncover cross sell and upsell opportunities.

Bottom line – add one email to your Cross Sell flow today promoting one additional product and try including a one-time use coupon. Let me know how it goes 🙂

Tips That Will Help Make Your Emails As Effective As Possible

Here are 3 ways that you can make your emails as effective as possible for the Cross Sell flow.

Part 1 – Personalization

It’s important to personalize the email. This means that you should use the customer’s name and include information that is specific to their purchase wherever possible. This will help to ensure that they feel as though you are speaking directly to them, and that you understand what they are looking for.

A few areas you can do this are:

  • Subject line
  • Images
  • Video

Part 2 – Use Multiple Emails

Using several emails in the cross sell flow is one of the best ways to ensure that customers see your products and services as the natural next step. This will help to build their desire in your offer, and make them more likely to make a purchase from you instead of firing one quick shot that might be missed.

Spread the emails out over several days or even a week or longer. If you’re not sure, start with 3 emails spaced 2 days apart from each other and test from there.

Be sure to split test the subject lines of each of these emails –

Part 3 – Use Relevant Products And Offers

Make sure that what you’re offering makes sense. For example, if you sell men and women’s clothing, you probably want to to think about 2 cross sell flows – one for women’s clothing, and one for men’s.

Another example would be a store that sells tea and coffee. Make sure that your cross sell emails put the right offer in front of the right purchasers!

Make use of those Flow Filters and send the right products to the right people.


Would you like a template to help you create your killer Cross Sell flow today? Good news, you can grab a Cross Sell flow template with checklist here that can put to use today for your store.

More Resources

Key Takeaways and Summary

If you want to see your bottom line revenue increase by 11% or more, then this email flow is for you. I’ve shown how it works and provided an easy-to-follow checklist so that you can start implementing these best practices today.

If the idea of “just” 11% seemed too good to be true before, we hope now you understand why some companies are seeing such huge increases in their bottom line with just one simple email flow. Who knows? You might even beat those numbers if you apply everything here…

This real life based guide to the Cross Sell flow will help you not only sell to your existing customer base at a great time in the customer journey but will also help you sell those complementary products in a non-intrusive manner.

Want help implementing this for your ecommerce store for the best results? Get in touch today.