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Navigating technology: Develop cross-sell and upsell campaigns using automation

May 17, 2023

As an independent insurance agency, developing cross-sell and upsell campaigns is a crucial part of your business. However, the process of reaching out to customers and selling additional products can be time consuming and challenging, especially if done manually. Fortunately, marketing automation can help streamline the process, making it easier for you to remain in front of your customers and increase your revenue. In this article, we will explore a repeatable strategy that you can implement today to automate cross-sells and upsells.

Step 1: Identify Your Target Audience

The first step in developing a successful cross-sell and upsell campaign is to identify your target audience. It is essential to segment by attributes that are common occurrences in the lifecycle of your customers. Below is a sample of attributes that present an opportunity to connect through communication:

  • Becoming a customer
  • Renewal date
  • Policy review
  • Claim event
  • Request for quote
  • Request for policy documentation
  • Birthdays and holidays
  • Natural disaster preparedness

Step 2: Understand Their Needs

Once you have identified your target audience, the next step is to understand their needs. Take the time to analyze their buying habits, demographics, geographic location, tenure and behavior. Use this information to develop targeted marketing messages that speak directly to their needs and desires. As a prompt, we have provided a sampling of questions to consider when gathering segmentation data:

  • How long has the person or business been a customer of the agency?
  • Which products and services does the customer utilize today and which products and services represent an opportunity for the customer to consume upon renewal?
  • Which customers live in regions affected more frequently by natural disasters and may benefit from risk mitigation communications?
  • Which customers demonstrate steady lifestyle or business growth and an incremental increase in number of policies or premiums without growth in claims?

With these starter questions, you set yourself up for messaging that is specific to individual cohort needs and enhance your efforts to impact profitability.

Step 3: Determine the First Action

After understanding your target audience and their needs, the next step is to determine the appropriate first action. The action should be transactional, supportive, advisory or educational in nature and align with their wants and product needs. For example, if you are targeting customers with home insurance, if appropriate, you may offer them a discount on auto insurance or vice versa.

Step 4: Create a Cadence of Communication

The key to developing a successful cross-sell and upsell campaign is to remain in front of your customers. Creating a cadence of communication helps ensure that your customers continue to hear from you and stay engaged with your brand. Use email marketing, texting, direct mail, social media, and other marketing channels to help communicate with your customers regularly.

Step 5: Automate the Process

The final step in developing a successful cross-sell and upsell campaign is to automate the process. Marketing automation tools can help streamline outbound communications and make them timely, and relevant for the audience. Automated campaigns prove opportunities to trigger a cadence of outreach based on specific actions, such as when a customer purchases a new policy or submits a claim.

Marketing automation solutions in this space have evolved in their sophistication, connecting with agency management systems to push and pull policyholder data or at a minimum include the ability to download policy data on demand. This real time or near real time accessibility and insight empowers agents to thoughtfully guide their customers towards resolution at the right moments instead of communicating generically.

Benefits of Marketing Automation for Cross-Sell and Upsell Campaigns

Marketing automation offers several benefits when it comes to cross-sell and upsell campaigns. These benefits include:

  • Improved Efficiency: Automating the process saves time and allows you to focus on other aspects of your business.
  • Personalization: Marketing automation allows you to personalize your messages based on each customer’s specific needs and preferences.
  • Increased Revenue: By automating the process, you may increase your revenue by selling more products to your existing customers.
  • Improved Customer Satisfaction: By understanding your customers’ needs and offering personalized solutions, you can improve their overall satisfaction with your agency.
  • Scalability: Marketing automation allows you to scale your cross-sell and upsell campaigns, reaching more customers and increasing your revenue over time.

Developing a successful cross-sell and upsell campaign is essential for independent insurance agencies looking to increase their revenue and remain in front of their customers. By considering these five steps and implementing marketing automation tools, you can streamline the process and improve your results. Remember to focus on your target audience, understand their needs, determine the right first action, create a cadence of communication, and automate the process. These strategies will help you develop successful cross-sell and upsell campaigns that drive revenue and improve customer satisfaction.


  • The information included in this article was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, including subject matter experts, to help users address their own risk management and insurance needs. It does not and is not intended to provide legal advice. Nationwide, its affiliates and employees do not guarantee improved results based upon the information contained herein and assume no liability in connection with the information or the provided suggestions. The recommendations provided are general in nature; unique circumstances may not warrant or require implementation of some or all of the suggestions. Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side, and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2023 Nationwide.