Set up cross-sell series

Business Benefits

Improve average order value and increase revenue.


Select a cross-sell flow series from the list of pre-built flows in the Flows or Automation section of your email marketing platform.

Most email marketing platforms that offer automation have pre-built the major flows. Set the trigger to a user purchasing a product. Refer to your platform’s automation guide for specific instructions.

Insert a time delay of 3 days after the trigger.

If you want to experiment with the delay length, run the series for a week at a time with different delays. 1-3 days’ delay is usually ideal. For example, in week 1, set the delay to 2 days. In week 2, change the delay to 1 day.

Add an email block after the delay and give the email a compelling subject line, including your offer and personalizing it with a dynamic tag like [Firstname].

Examples of good cross-sell subject lines:

  • Thanks for your recent purchase! These products pair perfectly…
  • Love your new [Productname]? You’ll love these too!
  • [Firstname] - Thanks for your recent purchase! 10% off voucher inside
  • Accessorize! These products would go so well with your [Productname]
  • Don’t miss these, [FIRSTNAME].

Create a headline in the email’s body to let your user know that they have made a great choice purchasing from you and that the below products would be great additions to their original purchase.

If offering a discount, indicate this in the headline. Some good cross-sell example headlines:

  • Get more out of your recent purchase with these amazing deals
  • As a thank you for your recent purchase, get 10% off these fantastic products
  • Loving your recent purchase of [Productname]? You’ll love these too…
  • Other customers loved these products and we think you will too.
  • See what products are trending now based on your purchase!

Add a short body paragraph under your headline that explains the products have been picked especially for the reader based on their recent purchase.

If you are offering them a discount or special offer, explain it in more detail here. For example, Use code OFFER10 for 10% off these products.

Insert photos of up to 9 complimentary products you would like to cross-sell under your body copy.

Which products you choose to cross-sell will depend on what your user has purchased. It’s a good idea to cross-sell products that compliment the original purchase. For example, if the user purchased running shoes from you, you may wish to push athletic tops, runners socks, or running shorts. If you are struggling to find complimentary products, insert your bestsellers instead.

Under each product image, insert a call to action that links to the product displayed.

Insert a large call to action button under the product section that will take them to your bestsellers or trending products.

Give the button compelling text like, Nothing you like here? Check these out.

If giving a discount or a special offer, like free shipping, reiterate this in your final call to action. For example: Shop our full range and get 10% off or Shop bestsellers and get free shipping.

The purpose of this call to action is to capture anybody who is not interested in the products displayed. This is why you must give them a compelling reason to click.

If you provided a discount or special offer in the first email, insert a time delay of 3 days after it and create a second email as a final reminder to use or redeem their special offer.

Give this email a compelling subject line that lets the user know their offer is going to end in the next 24 hours. For example:

  • Last chance to use your 10% voucher on these great products
  • Tick tock! Your voucher expires at midnight
  • [Firstname] - Don’t forget you’ve got free shipping until tomorrow

Open the email’s body content and add a headline that informs the user their discount is ending and this is their last chance to redeem the offer.

Under your headline, insert the products you’re promoting. Ideally, you should try and push different products from the first email sent. Make sure any CTAs reference the discount or special offer. For example:

  • Buy now and save 10%
  • Buy now and get free shipping

Test the email series by sending yourself a preview to different inboxes.

A service like Litmus will do this automatically across multiple devices and inboxes.