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Do Your Product Suggestions Delight or Alienate Subscribers?

December 14, 2011  

We all know purchase confirmations are a great place to suggest complementary products and generate additional sales. But how well does your system work? In a post at the Bronto blog, Fawn Young recounts the story of an online retailer that had the right idea—but the wrong content.

After purchasing a king-sized bed, Young received a confirmation email that suggested a trio of complementary products: a canopy, sheer netting and a mattress protector. "I thought the netting was a good recommendation and immediately purchased [it]," she notes. "[They] got it right. So far so good."

But then everything went a bit wobbly. The order confirmation for the sheer netting offered up three more suggestions: the bed she had just bought, a queen-sized variant of the bed, and a comforter. Young was willing to cut the retailer some slack. "Maybe their recommendation tool isn't connected to purchases in a way that updates instantly," she notes. "Still, [they] missed an opportunity to upsell me again by taking up two of the three [recommendation] spaces [with] a product I already purchased."


The next day, Young received a thank-you email that featured links to six netting options under the heading Customers Who Viewed Sheer Netting Panel Also Viewed. That made little sense to her since she had already purchased the netting she wanted.

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