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Blog/4 Cross-Sell & Upsell Opportunities to Unlock Untapped Subscription Revenue

4 Cross-Sell & Upsell Opportunities to Unlock Untapped Subscription Revenue

Increasing AOV by even small amounts can have a huge impact on your brand’s long-term revenue, as well as driving customer lifetime value and profitability. If you’re not working proactively to drive up AOV among your engaged subscribers, you could be leaving money on the table.

In this article, we’ll dive into how cross-sells and upsells fit into the subscription experience, with examples from some of our favorite brands.

Breaking the Cycle

Once customers become subscribers, most brands take one of the following approaches:

1 –  “They love us, so they must want to hear from us all the time! Let’s email them as often as possible.”

2 – “We’ve got them! Let’s stop emailing them so they don’t get overwhelmed and unsubscribe.”

The right approach is somewhere between these two gut reactions. You don’t want to flood their inbox with a never-ending barrage of messages, but you also don’t want to cut off communication completely. The trick is to look at all of your communications and focus on the ones that will create value for both you and your subscribers. Two of the best ways to do that? Cross-sells and upsells.

Benefits of Subscriber Cross-Sells and Upsells

At the risk of stating the obvious, every brand wants to increase their revenue, and cross-sells and upsells are a great way to do that. It’s simple: Adding products or upgrading to a more expensive offering is going to drive up the order value, and higher order value over time will increase the LTV of your customers.

Subscribers in particular make great opportunities for cross-sells and upsells because they’ve already proven themselves to be your most loyal customers. They like what you have to offer so much that they want it shipped to their doorstep on a regular basis, so they’ll react positively to opportunities to try something new or bump up the value of their order. 

Cross-sells and upsells are also a great way to integrate holistically with your subscriber’s lives and routines. Customers who already use your products on a regular basis may not have taken a look at your product catalog in a while. There could be products that would suit their needs perfectly, but they haven’t noticed them. Reaching out with additional product offerings will help them make the most out of your catalog and fulfill their needs on an ongoing basis. It also keeps things fresh and interesting so your subscribers will keep coming back to see what’s new.

Cross-sell and Upsell Opportunities

Here’s how to use key touchpoints, such as onboarding, renewal, or customer support interactions, to deliver cross- and upsell offers for the biggest impact.

Post-Purchase Upsells

The best time to send a post-purchase upsell is after your customer has received their first order and had some time to enjoy the product, but about a week or so before their second order ships.

Beekeeper’s Naturals has a really effective and well designed post-purchase upsell email, in which they present additional products to “upgrade your routine.” Notice how they reinforce subscription value props like 15% off and free shipping, plus the environmental benefits (which really speaks to their earth-conscious target audience).

Upcoming Order Emails

The upcoming order email that alerts customers to their upcoming shipment is one of the most important emails you’ll send to your subscribers — it’s one of the most effective touchpoints for cross-sells and upsells.

Grinds prompts customers to add on new flavors within their transactional emails (see the example below) as one tactic for increasing add-on sales. Subscribers are able to add these products to an upcoming order in just a couple of clicks.


Personalizing these emails — based on factors like current subscription products, length of time subscribed, and more — will make this tactic even more effective.

One-off Campaigns and Automations

New product launches and back-in-stock messages are two really great opportunities to send a one-off campaign to your subscribers — especially if you’re going to offer exclusive access or a special discount.


Take Aura Bora as an example: their subscribers love the flavor variety, so when a new one drops or an old favorite is back in stock, they want to be the first to know. In this example, they combine the hype of a back-in-stock message with the ease of Klaviyo quick actions to enable subscribers to add to their upcoming order in just a couple of clicks.

Dynamic Customer Portal

Offering additional products in the same place they manage and track their subscription orders will grab their attention and introduce them to products they might not have noticed otherwise.

Lifeboost uses their portal to feature a variety of one-click add-on products as well as leveraging the banner ad to introduce a new and novel product. Alongside other efforts, this scored the brand 50% month-over-month growth in add-on revenue.


Unlock Untapped Subscription Revenue with Stay Ai

Strategically placing cross-sell and upsell offers across the subscriber lifecycle can significantly impact AOV and drive revenue growth. Remember, every customer interaction is an opportunity to showcase add-on products as well as the benefits of your subscription program.


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