The Tools You Already Have Before Cross-Selling, Get Paid Firs
What if you had excellent cross-selling tools that customers were almost certain to open? Chances are you already do. Your transaction documents, monthly statements, bills, notices and policies are ready vehicles for targeted messages that promote additional products and services. Customers read them, which can't always be said of more costly direct mail approaches. On the other hand, if you start cluttering transactional documents with too much information, you will limit the value of the cross-selling opportunity, and worse, alienate customers and reduce the effectiveness of your primary document content.
In theory, your investment in transaction document production can be leveraged to full capacity by piggybacking additional selling messages right on the document. This approach conserves costs by using existing data and technology resources, while building on established relationships. In practice, it is important to consider how much information can be added without overextending the document.
The first priority of a transaction document is to communicate the transaction information; if it's a bill, you want it paid. For an insurance notice, you want the reader to understand the conditions. Only after this purpose is achieved can you enter into cross-selling.
Creating the Value Sell
Once you establish your priorities, you have to think about what will achieve them. Helpful information that underscores relevant services or products is the best approach. To be relevant, you have to know your customers. This is just basic marketing. Build a data warehouse of historical information about buying patterns and use it to create meaningful messages.
Low-value cross-selling techniques use transaction documents for "interruption marketing" that intrudes or has no connection with the relationship—for example, frequent flyer miles and telephone service. Such efforts often fail because the cross-selling material will be ignored or resented as "commercials" with no relevance to the rest of the document.