Cross-sell flows are such a valuable part of retention marketing, Klaviyo has a template to get you started. While using that template is a start, leveraging Klaviyo’s cross-sell flow template alone leaves room for improving LTV.

Like any other aspect of marketing, repeating the cross-sell message increases the message’s impact. But focusing your cross-sell efforts to single flow means that impact is limited to the flow’s length and frequency.

Traditional cross-sell flows are often timed to trigger within 10 to 14 days of a fulfilled order, and usually last about three emails. They often highlight a set of recommended products, either manually built by a marketing team or leveraging a best sellers feed.

While the performance numbers often look good on these flows, they may not, in fact, be delivering incremental sales. That’s because they’re capturing new customers in their most motivated moment. (If you were to run a holdout test, you might find that these customers would still buy again quickly.)

How, then, do you know whether a cross-sell flow is impactful?

Measuring performance of a Klaviyo cross-sell flow

In order to improve LTV with cross-sell flows, you need to first zoom out as traditional Klaviyo-level reporting on flow performance doesn’t frame the flow through a lens that will help  you with answering the question. So, first, define your goal.

Are you looking to:

  • Increase cross-sell rates?
  • Increase repeat purchase rates more generally?
  • Reduce the amount of time to a 2nd purchase?

These are retention strategy questions that might seem easy (your inclination may be to respond: “all of the above!”), but harder to answer when you begin thinking about which lever is the most important.

Let’s say for the sake of illustration, however, that you’ve done some work to understand your customer. You’ve determined that customers who buy more products from your catalog have higher LTV than customers who simply repurchase from you faster. (In other words, catalog penetration is a greater indicator of LTV than time between purchases.) You might, then, answer the above question by saying: “I want to increase cross-sell rates.”

If you were to say that, you’d likely want to set up reporting outside of Klaviyo to measure the flow’s performance, since Klaviyo-level reporting is not going to provide insight into cross-rates.

You’ll also want to rethink your flow to meet that goal.

Building a cross-sell flow to meet your goals

Speaking of your flow, let’s go back to those questions about goals.

You have, roughly, three levers to pull in terms of flow design and flow structure:

  • Timing
  • Offer
  • Merchandising

You can adjust these levers to better meet your goals.

Timing, for instance, might be a stronger lever to pull as it relates to reducing time to a second purchase. Offer might be a stronger lever to pull to improve repeat purchase rates. Merchandising might be a stronger lever to pull to increase cross-sell rates.

As such, your flow’s design might weight certain levers differently to best meet your goals.

In most cross-sell flow emails, you’ll see a primary product featured above a grid of recommended products. Those primary products are sometimes rotated or abandoned quickly altogether, focusing instead on lifestyle imagery and brand reinforcement.

If the goal, though, is to improve cross-sell rates, you may find that focusing more on merchandising specific products for longer periods of time works best. This, of course, increases the complexity of a cross-sell flow—and maybe even requires carrying those efforts into campaign sends, too.

The challenge becomes managing such complexity and doing so at a per-customer level.

Using predictive analytics to power cross-sell initiatives

Instead of battling that complexity, most cross-sell flows optimize for the least common denominator and wrap after a few sends, tossing some best sellers at the customer and hoping something hits.

That limits impact.

The solution here is predictive analytics.

Tools like Repeat, which predicts which products a customer is most likely to order next by analyzing what they ordered first, come into play. Pair that with Repeat’s understanding of when a customer enters a specific Moment in the customer lifecycle, and you can begin building cross-sell flows that integrate with traditional campaign sends and create a more holistic cross-sell effort that is woven throughout the retention marketing stack.

The products put in front of the customer in your Klaviyo cross-sell flow can also be woven into personalized recommendation blocks in campaign emails and highlighted in SMS sends—whether you use Klaviyo, Postscript or Attentive.

Reinforcing those merchandising efforts—through higher frequency and additional channels—creates a different type of cross-sell flow that lives outside the norm and stands out from a customer experience perspective.

Build a better cross-sell flow

Repeat boosts repeat purchase rates by automatically delivering personalized messaging at high-leverage Moments. Learn more here.

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