Strategies for different segments (Part 2)

Mar 26

Strategies for different segments (Part 2)

Continued from Last Time….


Last time we introduced some common segments you are likely to find inside your App audience:

Zombies, New installers, Type kickers, Grinders, Sharers, Whales and many others all represent common types of users at different stages of the user lifecycle. In this post, we suggest for strategies for different segments.

Strategising for different segments

App Audience Segmentation

Audience Segments in order of increasing value

If we revisit our segment diagram from the last post, each bubble represents these groups mapped by time and value. The higher up the Y-axis – the greater the value!

Your goal is to move these users up and to the right, to increase their value with time. This means that each segment needs special treatment to move them along to the next lifecycle stage.

However, also recognise that there are many paths and there is not only one ideal journey through the segments. For example, some users are monetarily valuable, but others are sharers or promoters that help with your customer acquisition. You may never get a sharer to make a purchase, but they may happily continue telling all their networks about how great your App is.

Step 1: Gaining clarity on your crowd – based on characteristic criteria

How do you identify and cluster all your users into the different segments you set up?

  1. You DEFINITELY don’t want to be doing it manually based on lists.

    Ugly Slow Sql Queries

    Ugly Slow Sql Queries

  2. You REALLY don’t want to use “Ugly Slow Sql Queries” that you have to bug your developers for.

You should rely on characteristic criteria that make it easy to automate the segmentation process.

For example, a sharer may be found through your social sharing tracking data. Someone who shares your App, content or brags about their in-App accomplishments several times is a great candidate. Maybe they are specifically active on a certain type of social media. It makes sense to identify these segments – it might even be useful to drill-in and segment these groups further.

A grinder may classified as someone who has opened your App a certain number of times in the past week, or spent over a certain amount of time in-App, but purchases and sharing from them is zero. A whale may be defined based on size and frequency of purchases. A zombie may be someone who has last opened the App about a month ago (some users have been gone too long – attempting to revive is likely to get low conversion).

Step 2: Ask the right questions

There are two objectives you can aim for once you have segmented your users in terms of engagement and value.

  1. Move users into a more valuable segment

  2. Maximise the value of the existing segments

Surprise and Delight


Apply a logical progression to these segments, for example, if you have a new user, the logical path to move them to is a registered user, or a power user. What are the right incentives/offers/information should you provide to facilitate that transition? Can you surprise-and-delight them as part of their on-boarding phase?

You can maximise the value of a grinder by making them into sharers. And you try to reengage zombies to bring them back to normal users.

This progression allows you to ask specific and smart questions to help move the users in the right direction.

For example, with a new user you should first think about how to engage them. How to get them to try out the basic options and enjoy the experience enough to come back. Once they are engaged, the next question to ask is how to make it a habit. With power users, the question to ask is how to encourage them to make a purchase, and then increase the value of these purchases until they become a whale. The question for grinders is to how to encourage sharing.

When you ask the right questions, you can plan great campaigns.

For the grinder, they are quite invested in the App in terms of usage and are quite likely skilled in the advanced functions of the App. Allowing them to show off their expertise with the App by highlighting their achievements may be a good incentive to share. One version of this would be encouraging the sharing of good case practices or unique ways of making the most of the App’s functionality. Attaching a prize of premium features for good shares may have the additional bonus of letting them try out the extended features of the premium offer.


Step 3: Implement campaigns and track conversions

A key benefit of segmentation is that it allows you to discover and apply insights into the behaviour of your users. These insights should always be focused on business objectives, so it makes sense to continually adapt your segments and your campaigns to better meet your objectives.

To continually adapt, you must track the effectiveness of your campaigns and test alternative ideas to find the strategy most suitable for your user base.

In previous posts we’ve spoken about how right-time notifications and App content drives this engagement and transition to a higher value segment. We’ll do  case studies in a future post to illustrate what really works and how you can apply it.


Step 4: Advanced – Improve segmentation further by using personas

Segmentation on engagement is one dimension, and this provides us with a basic overview of a customer lifecycle. However, with the proper definition of user personas, you are able to trace a more effective customer lifecycle that will allow you to shortcut the process of meeting your objectives.

For example, you may discover one particular persona of user that always responds well to discounts. You can take this insight into defining a more effective lifecycle that fits specifically for this persona. This persona may move quickly into being a grinder, who browses but never purchases, unless they are given the right offers. Their high level of response and engagement with discounts means that you might consider targeting them with a personalised offer instead of offering this discount to everyone.

By combining these elements into highly advanced and targeted segmentation, you can cater to the individual needs and patterns of each user, instead of treating them like just one of the crowd. More details on discovering and setting up user personas will come in a future post.

Key lessons

  • Defining the right segments is vital. But even more critical is the personalised engagement plan for the segment

  • The earlier you start considering your segments, the easier it is to design and guide them through the best journey

  • Combining multiple dimensions in your segments will allow you to gain enough granular detail to attend to individual needs without needing to deal with each individual.

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