It’s an e-store dream come true: you launch a new product that quickly becomes a bestseller, feeding so much voracious demand that you can’t even keep it in stock. This dream occasionally happens, maybe a bit more frequently than you would think, with a little preparation. And, with a little more planning, your revenue doesn’t have to stop there.
Let me walk you through the mechanics of creating and upselling a bestseller through one recent example. In this case, our client’s store had made a name for itself selling beautiful jewelry coupled with the spiritual energy of crystals.
We laid the foundation of our to-be bestseller by frequently emailing about the different properties of crystals. The available literature on the topic of crystal energy is varied and even contradictory. So we set out to set the record straight by composing a series of e-newsletters that categorized the different types of crystals by their main uses: healing, confidence, focus, etc.
Not only that but we described how to best wear the jewelry to derive the greatest impact. We included many testimonials from our client’s customers. We also highlighted the beauty of the jewelry in both imagery and description. Unlike with many competing products, the art of this crystal jewelry’s design was not an afterthought.
Of course, one of the most popular uses of crystals is for spiritual healing, one of the best uses of turquoise as well as rose quartz. So our client sourced a special Turquoise Protection Wrap Bracelet (coded in inventory as TWP). We focused extensively on content pieces that described its benefits, including especially its beauty and healing properties. Once released, we promoted it with newsletters, promos, flows, discounts and customer referrals.
It worked. Customer demand accelerated to off-the-charts, and our client ran out of stock. But that was no reason to stop. We set out to cultivate this demand even more while also letting our customers know to expect a shipping delay as our client went to great lengths to bolster the supply.
We created a Delivery Notification Flow with the trigger “someone placed an order, where product equals TWP.” We included in this flow one update plus one re-send for those who didn’t open the initial email. This helped ensure that customers were informed about the shipping delay.
We outlined the update as follows:
- Personal tone from our brand hero who appears prominently in most of our client’s emails
- Thankyou for purchase
- Announce shipping delay due to high demand
- Specify likely delivery date range
- Video of how the product is made
🔎 Plain Text vs HTML Template
We split tested a plain-text version versus an HTML version to see which would generate more engagement.
The winner was the plain-text version which seemed less automated and promotional and, therefore, more authentic and heartfelt. It seemed like a personal email written just for each individual recipient.
📈 Update = Conversion
While we had hoped, of course, to upsell the customers, our main goal was to inform them of the delay, showing them we really do care about them. The results, however, were very helpful for sales goals as well as customer service. (See screenshots below.) In fact, it is because these emails were strictly informational and not at all promotional that they helped build trust which, ironically, led to more sales.
Quick Update Email 1:
($64.82 on average per occurrence)
Resend to Non-Openers
($49.34 on average per occurrence)
💡How to Get More $$$
Such a healthy conversion rate led us to create a special Upsell Flow just for this product. Our client decided to offer an even more stunning bracelet. The designers based this second bracelet on a complementary healing stone, rose quartz, and priced it at double the original bracelet’s value.
We then made a second email flow with a compelling story about how the healing potency of the two bracelets combined is even greater than either individually. In the first email of this new flow, we offered the quartz bracelet at its original price, and in the second email, we provided a 20% discount (the same discount in our Post-Purchase flow). We sent this second email to everyone who received the initial email but failed to place an order within 24 hours, according to a conditional split.
($56.44 on average per occurrence)*
Resend with Discount:
($100.64 on average per occurrence; 0.4% of recipients placed order)*
* Upsell flow data is for only 10 days
Judging from the replies received, this Upsell Flow seemed to build trust with the recipients. So to get even more prospects through the flow, once the client procured new supplies, we created additional campaigns to promote the product. Some of these new campaigns included: “New Arrival,” “BOGO,” “Protection stone newsletter,” “Power of Turquoise Newsletter” and others.
While we and the client are thrilled with the success of the campaign, our strategy debrief revealed some additional ways to improve results further. These include:
- Implement special Upsell as well as a special Cart Abandonment Flow as soon as the product achieves bestseller status
- The higher priced upsell performed well, but how do we know that a product with a similar or even lower price would not have performed even better? Split test the Upsell Flow with offering product of higher and lower price points.
- Our Upsell Flow with two emails did well, but would a third email have improved performance even more? Split test the flow with a third email 3 email up-sell flow would make more conversion.
What bestseller experiences have you had? When a product begins to sell out, do you hit the breaks or the gas? Comment below with your experiences.
Marko Kojadinovic and Thomas McClintock,