Add one thing to your communications to cross-sell like a boss

by Chris Hall

If you’re a financial institution marketer searching for “cross-selling best practices” on the internets, then you’ve seen the lists. There are a lot of lists out there, and the bad news is that most all of them include single paragraph puff pieces that drone on about the importance of leveraging your data when it comes to cross-selling…

Of course leveraging your data is important. But how should you leverage it?

Don’t get me wrong, I like lists just as much as the next guy. But when it comes down to it, you’ve got a job to do and you’re probably thinking that fresh ideas can help you solve your immediate marketing problems more than inspirational paragraphs that all say the same thing. With that in mind, one practical experiment you can run quickly, to “leverage your data” is to sprinkle some “social proof” into your communications.

What is social proof, you ask?

According to Wikipedia, Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation

One quick way to use social proof in your cross-sell communications is to let your audience know the segment that you’ve created for them. That’s right. You’ve run the numbers and figured out the next most likely product to offer a given account holder. Why not let them know, too? As an onboarding example, if your data tells you that 72% of your new checking account holders also use Direct Deposit, figure out a way to weave that into your communication, along with at least one benefit of the product. You can even throw in a testimonial for extra bonus points.

Here’s a quick take for starters:

We’re pumped that you’ve joined our family, [FIRST NAME], and truly want you to get the most out of our relationship together. Along those lines, we noticed that you haven’t signed up for [CROSS-SELL PRODUCT] yet, and thought that you’d be interested to know that [PERCENTAGE] of our account holders have both [CURRENT PRODUCT] and [CROSS-SELL PRODUCT] together. We think that’s because [KILLER PRODUCT BENEFIT].  And it’s feedback from people like [NAME] that make us think that: [TESTIMONIAL]

You get the idea. If you’re looking for personalization, show people what you know about them and what you know about other people like them. Then, communicate all of it.

The science behind this idea comes from experiments led by Dr. Robert Cialdini, best-selling author of two books that I highly recommend, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive. In a series of studies detailed throughout Dr. Cialdini’s books, one of a few simple concepts emerged:

“People have a tendency to do what most other people are doing” (Goldstein, Martin, & Cialdini, 2009)

So, now that you know, go on and test this idea. Test if and how it applies to your membership for a couple of products and track what you learn. Be sure to test this messaging against a control message to gauge whether or not it’s effective across those initial products. If showing account holders what segment they fall into provides a lift in your cross-sell efforts, then work to roll it out across multiple product offers and track those results.

And if you need help finding these insights in your data, setting up communications, sending them out and tracking the results, check out our all-in-one communication platform:Core iQ.

Source - Goldstein, N. J., Martin, S. J., & Cialdini, R. B. (2009). Yes!: 50 scientifically proven ways to be persuasive. United States: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group.


Back to Articles