Extending Upselling and Cross-Selling Efforts (2,414 words)
American Century Investments uses direct mail for its cross-selling offers, using versioned mailings based on the offer and the segment. Buyers respond via mail or toll-free phone number.
Once a customer calls, the SPSS cross-selling software kicks in again. Explains Cole, "With our modeling capability, we would know right away what segment this person belongs in based on how they relate to their finances."
Cole says that if the company's models suggest that a person is likely to defect, it steps up its sales efforts.
"We try to show that person some other funds we have that meet their characteristics," he says. "We use the association algorithms we have in Clementine to do that. That tells us that a customer is 80 percent likely to leave, and we also know that given your characteristics, we can predict how likely you are to respond to three different offers, and we will make those through our modeling."
Cole says that using cross-selling gives a response rate two to five times higher than cold sales, while boosting customer retention by keeping customers actively involved in their finances.
"It works," he says. "People appreciate the fact that you're able to respond to their financial needs in a language and message they understand and think is appropriate."
Cross-selling after the sale can be cross-channel as well. An outbound telemarketing phone call may be used to boost a direct-mail credit card offer with a balance transfer, or an e-mail offer may upsell a catalog purchase.
Anne Marie Burgoyne, director of marketing for e-mail marketer Digital Impact, suggests that e-mail can be an effective way to upsell a first-time buyer, a method used by client The Sharper Image. E-mail can be used as an ongoing communication method for continuous upsell (e.g., re-contacting buyers when their first supply of products has run out) or for cross-selling a related product. The testing facility of e-mail makes cross-selling a low-risk proposition.