6 Types of User Segmentation Explained with Examples (Everything You Need to Know)

Think of user segmentation as your lighthouse in a dark, turbid ocean–without understanding your customer base and what they want, everything you do for your product/service won’t go beyond mere guesswork.

If you clearly define your target groups, you’ll cross out the blindfolded marketing efforts and start taking strategic moves that will bring actionable results. In his book, Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey A. Moore discusses this as to successfully “cross the chasm.” 

In this context, “Crossing the Chasm” is the technology adoption lifecycle where Moore recognizes five segments: innovators, early adopters, early majority, and laggards. According to him, the marketer should focus on one group at a time and consider each as a base for marketing the next segment.

To effectively “cross the chasm” or the gap between those segments, marketers need to:

  • Choose a specific target segment
  • Get a clear understanding of the whole product concept
  • Position the product
  • Find the most appropriate marketing strategy, distribution channel, and pricing

So, how do you put this theory into action? We’ve put together a guide to explain the benefits of customer segmentation and 6 types of user segmentation with examples. Let’s roll.

user segmentation meme

What is User Segmentation?

what is user segmentation

User segmentation is the act of dividing customers into groups based on how they use your product. Based on user segmentation, companies can create products that are more suited to the customer. For example, if a company has customers that use their product differently than expected, they can create new products based on these segments and target them to the correct audience.

It’s important because it helps companies understand what type of product would be best for their customer base and reach an even wider audience. It’s an important aspect of marketing as it increases customer loyalty, boosts sales by reaching out to different target demographics, and aids in better decision-making.

Knowledge of target demographics helps identify their needs, which in turn results in effective marketing campaigns tailored to the group’s requirements.

5 Ways User Segmentation Can Help Your Business

With the help of user segmentation, marketers can create more targeted marketing campaigns. They can serve more ads to the right audience by using the information on their demographics, location, interests, and behaviors. It also helps in discovering new opportunities for revenue generation.

For example, some business owners may be looking for ways to increase revenue without increasing costs. They may find that segmenting their customers by income level could help them determine what income group is spending the most money with them.

1- Deliver a Tailored User Onboarding

Personalizing your customers’ user onboarding experience based on segmentation can help you:

  • Keep users engaged
  • Forge stronger relationships with customers
  • Increase retention and product adoption rates

Segmentation for user onboarding goes far beyond just adding the user’s first name in your emails, aka {First name}. User data analytics tools like Appcues, Hotjar, and Mixpanel make it easier to collect customer data and give insight into how users interact with your digital product, website, or app. So, there are more ways to segment your onboarding process than a first name token.

For example, you can:

  • Segment users based on their behaviors to deliver a more relevant experience
  • Offer webinars and 1-1 product demos to introduce your product or service
  • Create a welcome page that greets users by their name

2- Boost Retention Rates

Most companies focus on getting new customers, thinking that’ll raise their bottom line while the statics point otherwise. According to a study, the probability of selling to your existing customer base is between 60% to 70%

By segmenting your customers, you can pinpoint the marketing methods to keep them engaged and satisfied. Not only that, but it’s also easier to perform thorough market research for each of your segments and plan out actionable goals.

For example, you can ask questions like:

  • What is the age range of your customer base?
  • Which devices are they using? 
  • Does your website perform well on those devices?
  • Do they prefer customer support through phone calls or live chat?

Questions like these can help you segment your customers and drive up retention rates.

3- Provide Personalized Experiences

Customer segmentation facilitates identifying the trends of each group which consequently allows you to deliver more personalized messages. For example, if you identify a segment as “marketers,” you can email them your e-book or webinar about marketing. This can also fit into any context, from SaaS to e-commerce.

4- Make Your Offer at the Right Time 

Marketing 101: Discounts and special campaigns work best when you know exactly when and to whom you will target. For example, you can target users who abandon their carts before purchasing and show them your offer, whether through a popup or ads campaign on social platforms.

The same logic goes for upcoming special occasions like birthdays or particular holidays like Hanukkah, Eid, Christmas, or Diwali. You can reach out to customers with your occasional offers to make them feel appreciated and take the desired action, such as buying an item.

5- Win Back Old Customers

It’s not uncommon to see most of your first-time customers never again. They may have forgotten all about your business. It’s on you to remind yourself and win them back. How to do that? Just identify and segment your one-time customers to plan a strategic move to get them back. For example, you can offer a discount on their first purchase or give away a free item upon purchase.

6 User Segmentation Types + Examples

We’ve mentioned the ways you can benefit from user segmentation, but first, you need to have a clear idea of segmentation types and how you can target those groups. That’s why in the following section, we’ll go over customer segmentation types from the simplest to the most complex and useful type.

1- Geographic

Geographic user segmentation is the process of identifying places where users of a product live. We can identify the potential customers by analyzing their location then do marketing for them.

Geographic user segmentation helps to identify users of a product or service who are based in specific areas. Companies use this segmentation process to help target their customers with appropriate marketing activities.

For example, if you sell clothes, you might want to target people in specific countries with your marketing campaigns. This allows you to reach the widest possible audience and improve your chances of success.

McDonald’s example of geographic segmentation:

The worldwide fast-food company McDonald’s divides its customers into geographic segments to target each group, such as different countries, cities, and states. This way, McDonald’s sells customized menus to local target markets. As local cultures differentiate, customer needs differ. While it’s okay to consume a type of meat like ham or beef in one country’s religion, it might be forbidden in another. In that sense, cultural and geographic segmentations are closely tied.

2- Cultural

Cultural user segmentation is a technique of dividing users into different cultural segments. This technique is used to better understand the needs of different cultures and their particular preferences.

For example, suppose you are running a mobile application that caters to both English-speaking American and Chinese-speaking users. In that case, you will need to design two versions of the app with separate content for each culture.

3- Demographic

Demographics is an essential aspect of user segmentation because it gives a picture of the specific characteristics of a group or individual. It is also very helpful when marketers are trying to formulate new marketing campaigns. 

This form of user segmentation divides users based on factors such as age, gender, occupation, religion, or income so that you can analyze their different needs and preferences more easily. You could also divide up your customers based on income levels or educational levels to see what kind of content they respond best to!

Pepsi’s demographic example:

https://www.adsoftheworld.com/media/film/pepsi_unmute_your_voice

In this advertisement example, Pepsi targets people of a specific age range and their common problems–the youth and their desire to make their voice heard.

4- Occasional

Occasional user segmentation has a focus on specific events which are independent of the user or customer. This segmentation model groups the market into categories based on occasions when a customer plans to purchase a product, when they actually buy it, or when they use it.

Typically occasional customer segmentation falls into three main categories:

  • Regular personal occasions
  • Rare personal occasions
  • Universal occasions

5- Psychographic

Psychographic segmentation takes into account the user’s psychological characteristics, behaviors, and attitudes. These are grouped into a number of categories.

For example, suppose you want to find out how high-income people use your product differently from low-income people. In that case, you might employ psychographic segmentation to identify their differences in attitudes and behaviors.

Psychographic segmentation can be used to personalize, target ads and messages more precisely, and develop personas for products or services.

6- Behavioral

Behavioral user segmentation is a popular marketing strategy. It helps organizations target their customers by giving them relevant content and offers based on the user’s past behavior. This marketing strategy also helps identify and target potential customers by looking for people similar to those who have already bought from the company.

Behavioral user segmentation is a technique that uses customer data and behavior to determine the likelihood that someone will buy a product or service in the future.

For example, if you frequent a particular website and always purchase something when you visit, then this would be an excellent person to target. Behavioral user segmentation can also be used to identify common behaviors within certain demographics such as gender or age group.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a user status segmentation?

User segmentation is the practice of dividing users into different groups based on their status to help provide better customer service.

There are four types of user status segmentation: active, prospective, former, and lapsed. Active users are those who continue to use the product regularly. Prospective users are those who have demonstrated interest in the product but aren’t currently using it. Former users are typically people who have stopped using the product but might be interested in resuming use in the future. Lapsed users are people who once used the product but don’t anymore and would not likely resume use in the future.


What are the types of user segmentation?

All the users of a product or service can be divided into different segments such as geographic, cultural, demographic, occasional, psychographic, and behavioral user segmentation.

The two most common umbrella types of segmentation are:

– User Status Segmentation

– Product User Segmentation


What is category segmentation?

Category segmentation is the process of grouping people with similar needs, attitudes, or behavior. This can be done in many ways – by geographical location, socio-economic status, age group, gender, and so on.

For example, Amazon does this by using product user segmentation to show one set of items to people who are interested in fashion and another set to people who are interested in books.


What is a segmentation strategy?

A segmentation strategy is a type of marketing strategy that divides a population or market into groups and targets the segments with different marketing messages. This is also called customer segmentation and can be done based on gender, age, income, location, interests, and so much more.

This strategy helps companies to recognize each group’s needs and wants so they can focus on their specific needs.


6 types of user segmentation explained

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Serhat Erdem

Serhat is the Creative Content Writer of UserGuiding, a code-free product walkthrough software that 2000+ companies trust in their user onboarding.

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