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How to Activate Cross-Sell and Upsell Campaigns Across a Variety of Channels

Carly Miller
June 5, 2024 13 MIN Blog

While existing buyers know about your brand, they may not be aware of additional problems brewing within their routines, processes, or system infrastructures—which also means that they don’t know to seek out solutions and that you’re the best fit for them. This could be due to your solution’s capabilities or how well your solution aligns and connects with your customers’ existing tech stack. The goal is to surround existing buying committee members with content and messaging that generates demand and urges them to expand into other services or upgrade features within your platform. 

B2C companies regularly retarget previous customers with discount codes provided in display advertisements or an email newsletter. For B2B platforms, you need to continuously capture customer base interest by offering opportunities to further their education and awareness of the success they can have with your company. Offering webinars that align with a product release is one way to add more in-depth insights to your new product. And it doesn’t have to be new—having customers contribute to case studies and then discussing their results on a podcast or webinar allows existing buying groups that attend the webinar or read the case study to deeply consider their position and opportunities with the next tier or additional feature. 

As you focus on crafting and distributing content that appeals to buyers’ emotions, you must also remember that buyers are getting ads and content from competitors, too. With so many messages in the marketplace, it can be difficult to stand out. You need to ensure that all key decision-makers not only remember what they read and the brand it came from, but how they felt while they read it, since connection is key to conversion. 

Distribution can be challenging, especially as buying committees grow larger and internal changes happen with more frequency. Understanding how to leverage each media and marketing channel allows you to quickly craft personalized nurture paths that urge decision-makers toward a decision and helps ensure that the right message reaches decision-makers at the right time in the right place.

Your Marketing Mix Goal with Upsell and Cross-Sell Campaigns in ABM

Your marketing mix strategy for expansion campaigns share the same goal of bringing awareness to other products, whether new systems or advanced offerings, as well as providing education toward how customers can implement these offerings toward their growth goals. But within an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy, your expansion campaigns don’t necessarily depend on your pricing model and product verticals to classify as a cross-sell or upsell. Instead, you need to focus on the activities across the entire customer account to determine the type of expansion campaign and marketing media mix placement that will provide valuable support and information that aligns with their ongoing goals and needs. 

A chart that compares upselling and cross-selling.
A chart that compares upselling and cross-selling. Courtesy of Madison Logic.

Within an ABM marketing strategy, customer expansion campaigns focus on the entire account—meaning all the buying groups across departments and regions. Cross-sell campaigns focus on a different buying group within the same account, such as a different department or team located in a different geographic region. As you’re working to engage a new buying group within an account, cross-sell initiatives focus on engagement, such as user guides, product tutorials, and product-focused webinars to reinforce your product’s functionality.

For upsell campaigns, your focus remains on the existing buying group you’re already in contact with. You’ll look for opportunities to expand the account’s product usage through upgrades or adopting other product lanes. Upsell initiatives leverage advocacy content, such as testimonials, case studies, and webinars that showcase why you’re such a great partner, within the buying group as much as possible.  

How to Optimize Your Marketing Channels with the Right Content Marketing Mix

You’ll find that different channels may perform stronger for cross-sell and upsell campaigns. View your channels as distribution channels. When you consider exactly where each buyer in the account is on their buyer journey, you have a better sense of what the customer needs and their business goals. You can then proactively deliver the right message at the right time exactly where they are, with a channel mix fully optimized for engagement.

Here’s how you can optimize each marketing channel with ABM content and messaging that gets customers to engage with your expansion campaigns. 

Content Syndication Helps Ramp Customers Up 

Content syndication is particularly valuable in the early retention stages of customer onboarding. You want to ensure customers have what they need to onboard and ramp up their product usage successfully. Content syndication helps you do that by distributing content that resonates with specific segments of your customer base so they can seamlessly ramp up and learn more about your product, from its capabilities to how to gain more success with additional features.


Content syndication chart for cross-sell and upsell campaigns.
Content syndication chart for cross-sell and upsell campaigns. Courtesy of Madison Logic.

Content syndication extends the reach of your content across third-party sites, targeting specific accounts with precision. Use syndication to distribute white papers, case studies, and research reports that resonate with specific segments of your customer base, especially focusing on those with the potential for upsell. Work with syndication partners who can provide intent data and lead scoring, helping to identify and prioritize accounts showing interest in topics related to your advanced features or products.   

How to Use Content Syndication in Customer Expansion Campaigns 

Organizations actively researching a new category that aligns with a product line you have not yet sold them may be a fit to distribute a solution brief tied to relevant problems. For cross-sell campaigns, your goal is to get the buying group in the door with deeper education. For upsell campaigns, you want to help new contacts within the existing account ramp up in their product usage. For both types of expansion campaigns, distribute content that resonates with those specific segments of your customer base. Upsell campaigns may focus more on product user guides for these new contacts, especially if the upsell model includes selling more seats or going to the next tier to accommodate new members. Cross-sell campaigns may deliver case studies that show how similar companies in the same geographic region achieve their results—or, even better, a report on how the existing customer group is accomplishing their goals with your product.

Display Advertising Keeps Your Brand Top of Mind 

For cross-sell and upsell campaigns, display advertising provides ample opportunities to find your buyers exactly where they are so you can stay top of mind as a trusted partner they can continue to grow with.  

Display advertising chart for cross-sell and upsell campaigns.
Display advertising chart for cross-sell and upsell campaigns. Courtesy of Madison Logic.

ABM-focused display advertising allows you to serve highly targeted ads to specific accounts, leveraging various networks beyond Google. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps garner the attention from potential customers in a cross-sell campaign, as they will be in the beginning stages of their buyer’s journey. Yet these ads also work for current customers who may be researching tools and products that complement your product or that you offer—and they’re finally at the stage where they’re ready to advance to the next level of product acquirement.       

It’s important to use ads that are highly personalized to the account level, referencing specific industry challenges or even the account’s previous engagements with your products. Implement retargeting campaigns to keep your upsell propositions top of mind among key stakeholders, especially after they’ve engaged with your content or visited specific product pages on your website. 

How to Use Display Advertising in Customer Expansion Campaigns

As a marketing channel, display advertising for cross-sell and upsell campaigns share the same goal: to stay top of mind throughout the entire campaign. Target customers actively using your solution with informative display ads that showcase how subscribing to a premium service or pairing multiple products and services together can increase success rates. Upsell campaigns especially benefit from sharing educational materials that display the benefits of an advanced tier, which you can show through product tutorial videos, webinars, and training materials that quickly display product functionality and cross-product usage.  

CTV Builds a Stronger Connection with Your Brand 

While Connected TV (CTV) is primarily used to build brand awareness, in expansion campaigns it should be leveraged to build a stronger brand connection. 

CTV chart for cross-sell and upsell campaigns.
CTV chart for cross-sell and upsell campaigns. Courtesy of Madison Logic.

CTV offers a newer, but highly effective avenue for reaching specific target audiences in a more relaxed and attentive environment. Use CTV to tell compelling stories about your product’s impact, focusing on narratives that demonstrate the value of premium offerings. Leverage data to target decision-makers within your existing accounts, even when they’re off the clock, which can help humanize your brand and solidify its value proposition in a non-sales context.     

How to Use CTV in Customer Expansion Campaigns

CTV assists in reminding buyers of the goals they still need to achieve with product highlights and social proof demonstrating real-world applications that reinforce the value of your product. Both upsell and cross-sell campaigns use CTV to stay top of mind throughout the entire campaign, as well as educate buyers on the benefits of other product offerings or an advanced product tier.  By reinforcing successful partnerships with other customers and how they continue to grow with their product use, these ads increase brand connection and get your target buyers excited about the possibilities of engaging in an upsell or cross-sell to experience similar excitement and success.

LinkedIn Appeals to Product Mastery 

As a social media platform for professionals, LinkedIn is unparalleled for B2B targeting due to its rich professional data. As you’re appealing to professionals who are eager to engage in educational content, you want to show them how they can quickly gain mastery with your product, which will lead them to their goals.  

LinkedIn chart for cross-sell and upsell campaigns.
LinkedIn chart for cross-sell and upsell campaigns. Courtesy of Madison Logic.

Leverage LinkedIn’s advanced targeting options to reach decision-makers within existing client organizations. Use demographic data, like job titles, functions, seniority levels, and even LinkedIn Groups to ensure your content reaches the individuals most likely to influence or make buying decisions. Sponsored content and InMail help to create personalized messages and content that speak directly to the benefits of upgrading. Highlight new features, offer exclusive deals, and share success stories of similar clients who’ve benefitted from higher tier products. It’s also a strong branding tool, as you can establish your company’s executives and experts as industry leaders through posts and articles that address emerging trends, challenges, and solutions, indirectly showcasing the advanced capabilities of your higher-tier offerings. 

How to Use LinkedIn in Customer Expansion Campaigns

As a social media platform, LinkedIn seamlessly appeals to customers’ emotions. They are already socializing with contacts, commenting on social posts with advice and giving each other tips and recommendations for companies and tools that can help them achieve more. Demonstrate your commitment to customer success and proficiency with ads that highlight practical applications and advanced usage tips to encourage customers to leverage your product more effectively. 

For cross-sell campaigns, you want to create urgency by appealing to buyers’ fear of missing out (FOMO) and how to succeed more and faster with your solution. With upsell campaigns, since the existing buying group is already familiar with your product, you can focus on educating the buyers on the benefits of an advanced product tier or combination of products that allow them to gain more insights faster.  

Email Fosters Deeper Connections with Your Brand and Product  

Customer-focused email newsletters are crucial toward making buyers feel like they’re part of something important. 

Email marketing chart for cross-sell and upsell campaigns.
Email marketing chart for cross-sell and upsell campaigns. Courtesy of Madison Logic.

These emails should be devoid of marketing fluff, instead offering a rich blend of case studies, invitations to exclusive customer events, and opportunities to participate in feedback surveys. This content mix nurtures a sense of community and keeps your customers engaged by showcasing real-world applications and success stories, fostering a deeper connection with your brand and enhancing customer loyalty.  

How to Use Email in Customer Expansion Campaigns

As emails within customer expansion campaigns should lean away from traditional “email marketing,” with the notion to promote products and enhanced services, you need to soften your marketing efforts through more personalization. Send personalized, annual emails to customers with detailed information on how they used your product. Show them how your product has helped them achieve their goals and how an upgrade can help them achieve even more. You can then fold in personal invites to events and webinars that foster conversation with like-minded marketers who are also looking to achieve their goals—hence, building that deeper sense of connection and community with your brand. 

Deliver a Unified Content Marketing Mix Experience with Madison Logic 

From pre- to post-sales, one thing is certain: Marketers are the leaders in delivering a unified customer experience.  

When leads turn into customers, they don’t want to reintroduce themselves to their customer success manager, discussing what articles or assets drew them in to consider your company and product in the first place. Instead, they want the customer success manager to already be aware of why they signed with your company so they can quickly onboard and start using the product to reap the benefits. 

Tracking an account’s journey from buyer to customer, from initial sale to customer expansion and retention, can be difficult to manage—especially with multiple stakeholders across other departments and geographic regions. Sales, customer success, and marketing teams track the metrics that matter to them. While team alignment may be strong, when you need to track the customer journey in real time, it can be difficult to quickly find the information you need to remain proactive of what customers need before they even ask for it.  

That’s where Madison Logic comes into play. The ML Platform offers a holistic view of account data so you can quickly dive into intent signals and the actions accounts are taking in real time. ML Insights also scores accounts based on intent data from over 20 million companies worldwide, so you have a better understanding of the content that drives higher engagements with your accounts. From there, you can quickly decide what marketing media mix and marketing channels to engage as part of your multi-channel marketing strategy. 

Ready to move from a reactive, omnichannel approach with limited reach and insights to a proactive ABM strategy that optimizes your marketing channels to meet your customers where they are across the digital marketplace? Download the Customer Expansion: ABM for Cross-Selling and Upselling Blueprint to discover how you can build a strong content strategy throughout your expansion campaigns. And request a demo to see how the ML Platform can help you with your digital marketing needs.