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Cross-Up-Selling Email Flows
(discover the importance of automatic cross-selling and up-selling email streams in your online marketing strategy)

Automatic email streams can generate up to 45% of your total billing: it is a very important and valuable part of your marketing strategy and, above all, the only one that does not require constant work.

In fact, unlike email campaigns, which you have to prepare every time and depending on the type of list you decide to deliver them to, streams are only prepared once and then work forever. Exactly! If we look at it this way, from the point of view of time invested and financial return, it is without doubt the most economically profitable medium at our disposal.

If this information alone is not enough for you (that would be rather strange), I will add one more thing: it is incredibly easy to set up and requires very little initial work. Clearly, and as we always repeat in our courses, it is important to monitor the results every month to see if improvements can be made to increase the return, but only that and nothing more.

When we talk about automatic flows, we have four different families:

  • Pre-sale

  • Abandoned checkout and navigation

  • Up-selling

  • Cross-selling

We will explain up-selling and cross-selling flows together, because they are two different techniques but have the same objective: to increase the average order value and to increase sales and turnover more generally. In the case of flows, the concept changes slightly, but the end result achieved is the same: more income and more benefits.



Automatic up-selling flows are those flows that we can set up to increase invoicing from a customer who has already purchased our product or service.

This type of flow follows the same pattern as an up-selling where, for example, a customer has added a table lamp to their shopping cart and, when they go to checkout to pay for their order, the site offers the possibility of buying a slightly better lamp at a higher price. This is a widely used and very advantageous technique, because the customer has already made up his mind to buy and is probably even willing to pay a little more to get something better that he may not have known about or that he did not find on your site, as long as it is compatible with his needs and convenient for him.

Similarly, with an automatic up-selling flow we try to achieve the same advantage, but with different timing: because in the case of up-selling on your website, the offer appears shortly before the payment is finalised, whereas with the automatic flow the offer reaches the customer after a certain time. It is a flow that can be very profitable, especially for brands offering products or services with a lot of competition or where the initial risk for the customer is higher (example: a brand selling a new type of waterproof laptop backpack for € 100: a person initially does not know the brand and is not willing to risk paying €100 because he or she is not entirely sure that the product will be delivered correctly and that it will work as promised; so the person may initially buy a €15 keyboard case of the same brand and, only once he or she has tried the first order, will feel more comfortable with the possibility of spending the €100 on the backpack).

If we look at it from the point of view of the example we have just given, we can immediately understand the potential of a flow that acts on this type of customer, because if we give them a reason to buy the backpack, and we give them this reason at the right time, we will realise a sale of €100 with a customer who, at this stage of the sales funnel, has an acquisition cost of €0 (because we paid the acquisition cost for the first order, but now he is already a customer and we are retargeting for free).

Now that we are clearer on the purpose of this automatic flow, let us go on to explain how to manage it and, subsequently, how to create it in practice (we will, as always, use the Klaviyo platform).

This up-selling flow will be very simple: we will offer our customers a 15% discount on their next order, as long as it is for an amount higher than your average ticket. This means that if, for example, your average order is normally around 50-60€, you will only have to offer the 15% discount for orders above 80-100€.



The discount must be 15% because it must be greater than the discount offered for the first order (otherwise it would be meaningless) and it must have a minimum amount condition, because the objective is not only to increase turnover and the average value generated by each customer, but also to increase profits (since that customer now has no cost for us).


The duration of the offer, like any offer, must be limited in time; here there is no need for much urgency, because the customer already knows us and already knows that what we offer is quality, so we can give them a week without any problems. REMEMBER: keep the discount code active (just like with the discount code for the first order), because we don't want someone to go on holiday, read the message late, and give up the order because the discount no longer works.



And when do we offer them this discount through the flow? It depends...

  • If your website offers a service, it is something you can offer them a little before this service ends, to renew it in advance and act on their satisfaction with the first service offered;

  • If your website sells a product, the flow date depends on your delivery system. The idea is that the customer receives this offer only after he has received the product (because otherwise he will not trust it and will not use it), but that not too much time has passed since he receives it (because otherwise he will forget the advantages of our product and will not use it). To go into more detail, if you know that, once the order has been placed, the customer will receive his order in the next 3-5 days, it would be ideal to schedule the flow so that the e-mail with the offer arrives on the 10th-15th day.


And don't be afraid, because sometimes it can happen that the customer receives the order after 1 day, and then places another order after 5 days, then receives your discount and ends up placing another one. So the important thing is not to delay 20-30 days because otherwise the risk is that he no longer remembers the excitement and satisfaction of having our product in his hands.


As far as the copy is concerned, the flow will only have one email, with the message being as simple as possible:

  • Explain that all your customers always come back to buy (remember that data shows that people, even if they don't like to admit it, tend to emulate what the majority does)

  • You offer them your offer (15% discount) and explain the conditions (minimum order and limited duration of the offer)

  • You give them the discount code

  • Put a CTA button that takes them directly to your landing page so they don't waste time or get distracted


On the next page we will see how to create the flow in Klaviyo and then also an example of an email used in our demo shop.



The flow is the simplest of all the flows we will create with Klaviyo.

Basically, all we have to do is enter as a starting condition that someone has placed an order with us; then we add the waiting time, which we said changes depending on the type of service or product offered and its delivery time; finally, we add the email with an irresistible subject line "WE DO IT ONLY WITH YOU" or "IT'S OUR GIFT FOR YOU" or "WE GIVE IT TO YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE SPECIAL"... something like that.



Finally, always remember to remove SMART SENDING (set it to OFF) and change the status to LIVE so that the stream starts working.



This type of flow follows the same pattern as a cross-selling where, following the previous example, a customer has added a table lamp to their basket and, when it is time to go to the checkout to pay for the order, the site offers the possibility of also buying a set of light bulbs. Again, this is a good technique for the same reasons as before: the customer has already decided to buy and is probably more willing to add another item to his cart, as long as it is compatible with his first choice and is convenient.

Well, with an automatic cross-selling flow we try to achieve the same advantage, but again with different timing: because in the case of cross-selling on your site, the offer always appears before finalising the payment, whereas with the automatic flow the offer reaches the customer immediately after completing the order (we recommend this mode via e-mail, because not all types of checkout can have an effective cross-sale product proposition and most of them actually end up being the cause of cart abandonment, because the customer who is about to pay may feel deceived or confused by the presence in the checkout of other products that are not the ones he wishes to buy at that moment).

However, it is a flow that points to two different objectives:

  • Generate an extra sale (increasing the average order value and your turnover)

  • Reduce shipping costs (if it is a product brand), because the customer has already placed his first order and if he places another one right away, we will be able to ship it together with the first one in a single shipment; in other words, the discount we will apply for this sale (we will see how) will be covered thanks to the shipping savings.


In this case, we are not waiting for the customer to have more confidence in us and then sell him something more expensive, but we are trying to remind him that once he has placed an order, it is better for him to add more items immediately to save time (apart from money in some cases).


Once again, we will explain how to manage this and, later, how to create it in practice (again using Klaviyo)

This cross-selling flow is simple: we will offer our customers a 10% discount for placing a second order after the first one. The discount cannot exceed 10%, because it cannot exceed the discount for the first order, and it cannot exceed the up-selling discount we will send them afterwards. Moreover, the customer does not know that another higher discount will arrive in a week or two.

It is a matter of acting on your enthusiasm for placing an order and immediately receiving another discount (we want you to feel special and to know that with us you will never regret anything). Clearly, he is more likely to use it if it is not his first order, because if it were his first order, the rational thing to do would be to use the first-order discount (pre-sale flow) to buy everything he wants at once. But you never know, and since it is an automatic e-mail, we lose nothing by sending it to him (not even time).


This discount (let's call it EXTRA10 for example) has no amount conditions or anything else; the only thing is that it should only be valid for 24 hours after the first order because what we are looking for is for the customer to do it immediately and thus save us the money of a second shipment. Also, we should send it as soon as the first payment is completed, so that it arrives almost at the same time as the order confirmation e-mail (so we have a better chance of him opening it to read it).


As for the copy, the same rule applies as before, i.e. an email with a direct and easy message, emphasising your excellent decision to trust us:

  • We thank him for his purchase and congratulate him on his choice.

  • We tell him that, however, he missed an opportunity (e.g. to accompany the product with another similar one, or to add an accessory that makes the first item more comfortable to use; you know the reasons better than anyone, because you know your product)

  • You tell him that if he orders something else before midnight, you can send it all together

  • You give him a discount code that he can use to make this choice even more convenient (if he wanted to do it before, he can't back out now)


REMEMBER: As always, this code must be kept active for the reasons already explained on other occasions: so that we do not lose any sales due to having read the e-mail late. It is true that, in this case, we may have already sent the first order and not saved on shipping costs, but even so we get an extra sale. Moreover, it is cross-selling, so recommend cheap products and where no prior choice is necessary, but rather is based on some impulse.


EXTRA TRUCK: try to give direct suggestions of products the customer might buy to accompany his order. If we follow the example, when you buy a table lamp, you can include in the cross-selling e-mail the picture of different bulbs he might buy to accompany the lamp. The more specific the suggestion we show him, the more likely it is that the customer will end up ordering something more. And if we have several products and do not know what to suggest, it is always a good decision to suggest products that are more generic or that can be paired with several things. Clearly, a customer is likely to see among the suggestions, a product they already own or just the one they just bought, but they won't take it as something negative; And anyway it will only be in some cases, because in most cases it will look like a personalised email we send them because we care. After the generic email example, we will tell you how to create a more specific flow with Klaviyo.


EXTRA TRICK**: If your brand does not have any products that can be considered as combinations, you have another option for this stream to generate sales: use people's emulation demand, using the following message (customised to your type of website)

"Congratulations on your purchase, [name],

Yours is a wonderful choice.

But I have to tell you. I was surprised and do you know why?

Well, in the last two months, 60 per cent of our customers have bought at least one of the following products, but you haven't, so I wanted to show them to you, in case you hadn't seen them. 

By the way, because I feel a bit guilty for not showing them to you sooner, I'm offering you a 10% discount code so you can forgive me...."  (and add some pictures of about 3-5 extra products and tell them the name of the code). So even if you don't have a perfect match, you still have a chance to get another order.


Again, the flow is simple, because all we have to do is put the order condition (this time without even adding the temporary condition), and tell him to send the email with a subject line that forces him to open it:





As mentioned a few lines earlier, with Klaviyo (and probably also with other e-mail platforms) we have the possibility of creating more specific automatic cross-selling flows, thanks to the possibility of creating conditions within a previous condition, so that the e-mail is only addressed to certain customers.

This can be particularly useful when:

  • We have few products in our shop and the combinations are very small, so instead of offering a few generic products that might interest the customer, we will offer him the one product he should buy to accompany his previous order.

  • When we want to suggest to the customer that, by buying an extra product, he would be entitled to a discount


The first thing we have to know is that these specific cross-selling techniques have to be handled correctly, so that there is no confusion in the delivery of the email, because otherwise, customers feel like an extra number in our brand, and we do not want that. Therefore, if we create an email for those who place orders of less than 50€ or for those who buy a product, we cannot create another email that sends a different message to the same customers as before.



To see this in more detail, Klaviyo allows you to add additional conditions to the initial PLACED ORDER condition (which is what we use for normal cross-selling or even up-selling).

Clicking on the condition box opens a menu on the left, where we can set more rules:

  • For example, that it only applies when the order placed has a value of a certain amount (as in the image below). This is very useful because if we have the ability to give a unique price to one of our products, then we can create a cross-selling email only for certain products (so that the customer who receives it finds it totally personalised and also intelligent).

  • Another example, which only applies when the order placed is below a certain amount. This is also useful because if a customer places an order of €80, and we want it to reach €100, we can create a cross-selling flow that only sends to these customers and tells them that if they buy another product to reach a total of €100, then we can give them a gift (instead of a discount).


As you can see, it is a matter of using your imagination to suggest incredible offers that induce the customer to order more and, at the same time, increase their engagement, because they believe it was sent to them by a person who has seen what they bought and really wants to give them an ad hoc suggestion.

Depending on the type of product and brand, these emails may be more or less personal, but in any case they contribute to creating a good brand image and generating results.


EXTRA TRUCK***: This cross-selling method can also be used for upselling if we have PREMIUM versions of the same product. When we talk about up-selling above in this document, we have presented it as a technique to enable a customer to make a second purchase of a larger amount after receiving the first order; whereas the cross-selling we have seen acts directly when the customer completes his purchase so that he immediately makes another one. But what we can do is a mixture of the two. Because by using the same price filters in Klaviyo, we can associate the purchase of a certain product with another PREMIUM version of it. For example, we have a beauty kit consisting of soap and cream that costs 30 euros, but we also have a premium version that also includes a special sponge and costs a total of 45 euros. In this case, if a customer buys the 30 euro version, it might only be because they have not seen the premium version. So we could configure the email so that the condition for sending the email is that someone has made a purchase of 30 euros (of course the same thing as before applies, i.e. we must have different prices for all products in that case) and the text message could look like this:

[name], see that for only 15 euro more you could have taken the same kit but with the sponge. Don't leave without it or you will definitely regret it later. Click here to get it all for only the difference of 15 euros more.


Clearly, this would have to be organised in such a way that I could buy it: for example, by creating a discount code associated only with the sponge and allowing the customer to pay only 15 euros for it, as if it were inside the kit itself. But it would be worth it, because surely someone will be convinced :)

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