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The Best Way to Retain and Grow Your Customer Base

April 20, 2015

Mailing custom postcards is an excellent way to drive traffic to your store and get people interested in your products or services. After all, direct mail has a longer shelf life than other forms of marketing and is one of the most trusted methods for acquiring new business.

New customers are great, but loyal, returning customers and their purchases are what makes up the majority of your company’s revenue. Converting your one-time customers into repeat ones is pertinent to a successful and long-lasting business, but how do you do that?

There are many ways to encourage first-time customers to return, but one of the most effective options is to utilize up-sell and cross selling techniques with direct mail. There are many benefits to cross and up-selling aside from helping to convert one-time customers into returning patrons.

Discover how you can use custom postcards to cross sell and up-sell your businesses products or services and convert first-time customers into repeat customers.


What is cross and up-selling?

Both cross and up-selling can help to convert one-time customers into repeat ones, as well as increase the amount spent by each customer. Although they help to accomplish similar goals, cross selling and up-selling are very different.

Cross selling is the process of analyzing your customers previous purchases, and using that knowledge to recommend a related product or service for their next purchase.

Up-selling is the technique of understanding the customers needs and inducing them to spend more on a product or service by including an add on, accessory, or suggesting more exclusive edition.


A genuine approach

Cross and up-selling to customers who have already visited your store can help to encourage their return and continued support. By understanding what products or services they previously purchased, you can make helpful and relevant suggestions for future visits.

This approach can be very successful for two reasons. First, the product or service you recommend to the recipient is likely to be relevant to their life because of their previous purchase. This means they will see your direct mail postcard more as helpful information and less as a sales piece.

Secondly, by doing the leg work of understanding your patron’s past purchases, you demonstrate you know him or her and therefore your suggestions are perceived as genuine and helpful rather than artificial and pushy. This can coax a quicker response from the recipient and remind them that your company is there to help them.


Crafting your offer

Before creating your cross or up-sell postcards, you must first identify which customers you will be targeting and if you’ll be using a cross or up-sell technique. For cross sell marketing, you’ll need to understand your customer’s past purchases and decide which of your products or services is relevant and helpful to that particular customer.

For example, let’s say you are the owner of a pest control company and you have a customer who is set up on quarterly pest control services. To compliment their pest control treatment, you might want to cross sell a seasonally-based outdoor mosquito service for the customer’s yard. This is a relevant suggestion that can help to keep your business at top of mind and encourage their continued business.

To take the up-selling approach, you’ll need to identify your customer’s past purchases, and offer an add on, accessory, or more luxurious version of the service or product to create the up sell. Often times people purchase the trial size, or cheaper version of something to “try it out” before investing in the more expensive version or the product or service.

Using the same example, you could up-sell a service, such as an indoor fly treatment, to add on to their existing treatments. up-selling will not only help to bring your customers back in, but it will help to create a larger and more profitable sale.

Get started on your cross or up-selling postcard campaign today!

Do you need help with your postcard design? Read 15 helpful tips on layout and design for direct mail postcards.