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Types of User Segments You Should Be Targeting

 One of the most significant advantages of digital technology is the ability to personalize your message in ways that seemed impossible just a few years ago. The people who use your product will have a lot in common, but they will also have many differences. User segmentation is a way to acknowledge that diversity and deliver better customer experiences.

However, it’s not just marketing teams who can benefit from user segments. They’re also helpful across the entire product management lifecycle, especially for the user onboarding process. Users want greater personality, and user segmentation helps you deliver that.

But what are the different ways that you can segment your user base? Are certain methods better for particular products or services? Let’s jump in and find out.

Image by Freepik

What is customer segmentation?

Customer segmentation describes the process of splitting your customers into cohorts based on shared characteristics and behaviors. 

While the concept is typically used to provide more relevant and effective marketing, you can also apply it to user onboarding and other product management concerns.

Why is customer segmentation important?

Customer segmentation is important because it allows brands to develop a deeper understanding of their users and their target audience. 

When brands understand the different cohorts that make up their user base, they can use this information to improve their product. For example, if you truly understand your customer's needs, you can build features and functions that will further address their pain points.

Furthermore, a lot of marketing teams use segmentation to understand the profile of customers who become loyal users. Brands can go beyond using this information to influence their marketing approach by incorporating it into their onboarding messaging, too. 

Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits of user segmentation.

Benefits of user segmentation for user onboarding

Customers come to a product or service because they have a problem or pain point that they want to solve. That’s the high-level commonality they have. Beyond that, their needs or use cases can vary wildly. 

User engagement

More personalized onboarding content helps with user engagement. Offering relevant help and guidance helps users understand how and why their product helps them solve their specific problems.

Feature adoption

Too many products have great features their users barely engage with. If users don’t engage with your features, they don’t understand the full value of your product and are more likely to churn. Targeting segments with relevant onboarding material ensures they know exactly why you included a feature and boosts activation and loyalty.

User satisfaction

Positive onboarding experiences help businesses get off to a good start with their users. Again, offering a particular user segment personalized, relevant, and engaging materials helps them connect with your brand and is a step toward customer success.

Better product development

When businesses understand the different segments that make up their user base, they can make more informed decisions about new features and functions. 

More conversions

Customers want to try products before they commit to signing up. A free trial is a very delicate time because you need your users to understand the value of your product as quickly as possible so they can start benefiting from it. Segmenting users and offering them highly relevant onboarding content can help them connect with your product, which, in turn, can boost conversion rates.

Different types of user segmentation

There are lots of different ways that you can segment your users. Some types will be relevant to your specific product or service, while others won’t offer much of an advantage. Understanding the various kinds of user segmentation will get you closer to giving your users the personalized experiences they deserve.

Let’s explore some user segments and what they mean for your onboarding.

Demographic segmentation

Demographic segmentation groups users based on characteristics like age, gender, location, income level, education, and occupation. 

This information is handy because you can provide onboarding content with personalized messaging, emphasis on particular features, or even targeted support for specific user segments. 

While demographic segmentation is powerful, it can lead to assumptions. For example, some research suggests that women report more benefits of gamification, with the overall effect declining among older users. However, when done right, gamification works well for all demographics. So, be careful of being overly prescriptive.

Behavioral segmentation

Behavioral segmentation divides up your users based on their behavior or past actions. In an onboarding context, that will typically be data about how they interact with your app. For example, eCommerce apps could offer different messaging and content for users with abandoned carts vs returning shoppers, and so on.

You can also include a quick questionnaire for users to tailor onboarding based on their typical behaviors outside the app. One example could be a fitness app that onboards users based on their level of training and experience.

Psychographic segmentation

Psychographic segmentation divides buyers into groups based on their shared interests, values, and lifestyles. Understanding this information can help you build rich and relevant onboarding materials that are highly targeted toward each user segment. 

Psychographic information gives you an insight into why people make certain decisions. It can also tell you a lot about how different users use your app in unique ways or for different purposes. Awareness of these differences means you can shape onboarding in more personable and engaging ways.

Geographic segmentation

Geographic segmentation splits your audience up based on city, region, country, and so on. These distinctions are vital for companies that offer services across different countries.

Firstly, it can ensure that your onboarding content is dynamic enough to offer support for different languages. However, it’s about much more than that. It also allows businesses to tailor their onboarding content to local preferences and sensitivities. Staying aware of cultural norms and expectations helps build stronger relationships and trust.

An example of a Usetiful Page Targeting Based on Geographic Segmentation in User Language.

Technographic segmentation

Technographic segmentation divides your user base by the technology they use to access your product or service. That means accounting for specific operating systems, internet devices, browsers, and even the quality of their internet connectivity. 

Again, this is about meeting user experience needs. For example, mobile and desktop users could use your product and its features in markedly different ways. Acknowledging this during onboarding helps deliver more relevant content.

Needs-based segmentation

Needs-based segmentation explores the different pain points that drive users to purchase your product or service. When you have a breakdown of the various concerns within your customer base, you can vastly improve the user experience by serving targeted onboarding material that speaks to their problems.

For example, financial services apps can highlight budgeting features for users who need help with money management.

Firmographic segmentation

Firmographic segmentation is best for B2B products. This type of segmentation splits users up on the type of company they work for and accounts for things like business size, industry, and even business models.

Example of Usetiful in Firmographic Segmentation

The implications here are immense. With the right knowledge, you could build user onboarding flows that reflect the unique needs of, for example, startup vs enterprise clients. 

How to improve user experience with segmentation

Now that you understand the different types of user segmentation, it’s time to think about how to put it all into practice.

Here are some simple steps to help you unlock the potential of user segmentation for your product or service.

#1. Make a plan

Implementing any strategy starts with understanding and clearly defining your objects. So, think about why you want to use user segments and what you want to achieve. Establish some KPIs or metrics to measure your efforts against.

Here are some example goals you can set.

Goal 1: Gain more mobile users — use technographic segmentation

Goal 2: Engage more international users — use geographic segmentation

#2. Collect data on your customers

Gather some data on your customers. You may already have the first-party data you need from your customer registration, but if you need to dig a bit deeper, you can use forms, customer interviews, or product data.

#3. Start segmenting

Next up, you can start splitting up your customers by the different segments. For example, within Goal 1, you can divide your users by devices.

#4. Make tailored onboarding content 

Once you have split up your users into segments, you can make onboarding content that targets different cohorts. Ensure this material aligns with your stated goals from step #1.

How user segmentation works within Usetiful

Usetiful allows you to collect anonymous statistics about your customers, including things like their country, screen size, device, language, and browser. This provides a balance between staying GDPR-compliant and accessing data to improve your product and user experiences.

What's more, you can also take advantage of the User ID's cross-device functionality to ensure that tours are not repeated when one of your users accesses your product or service from multiple devices.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg for how Usetiful employs user segmentation to help our clients deliver next-level onboarding. We’ll dive into the subject with more detail in our next article.

Final thoughts

User segments are a powerful way to boost product management. They’re excellent for marketing because they allow you to tailor your message to certain cohorts. However, you can also apply that principle to onboarding.

Usetiful allows you to build step-by-step onboarding content, like interactive product tours, walkthroughs, and checklists. When you understand your users on a more granular level, your onboarding content can become more personalized and effective, leading to greater adoption and loyalty.

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