Behavioral segmentation is a form of marketing segmentation which divides people into different groups having a specific behavioral pattern in common. Users may share the same lifecycle stage, have bought particular products in the past, or have similar reactions to your messages.

Companies combine various marketing channels like email, SMS, messengers, push notifications to give their customers more significant personalized experience at all touchpoints.

Watch this video where the marketer explains behavioral segmentation in simple terms and highlights its benefits.

Benefits of behavioral segmentation

  • Improves targeting accuracy. It allows companies to take advantage of behavioral differences, optimizing their marketing messages based on that data. For instance, it helps to pick up the right approach to loyal customers or newly subscribed users. It also clarifies groups of people that make up your audience: adults from 20-34, people keen on sports, or those who love traveling.
  • Helps to provide better-personalized experience. Mass emails with the same message for everyone are outdated practice today. Instead, you need to deeply analyze your audience and meet people’s demand in a personalized approach based on social groups they belong to.
  • Sifts engaged users from uninterested. Marketers filter the target audience to work with by identifying the user’s level of engagement. It increases the chances that your products will find people who need them.
  • Saves money. Behavioral segmentation helps to prioritize spendings to make your marketing more cost-effective. It allows spending less time and resources for warming up leads or trying to communicate with an uninterested audience.
  • Makes it easier to track success. You can track metrics inside each segment and improve you showings.
  • Helps to build loyalty to the brand. Behavioral segmentation helps to realize how to support users along their customer journey and keep them engaged all the time. People that are treated personally are more likely to become loyal to your brand and convert into brand advocates.

Types of behavioral segmentation with examples

You can combine various types depending on how relevant they are to your business and on specific characteristics of the products and services you promote. Let’s take email as an example for each behavioral segmentation type since it works out for any business from small to large.

Based on a purchasing behavior

This type helps to take advantage of users’ behavior when they make a purchase.

Check if they hesitate, if there are any obstacles on their way to make a decision. The answer to these and similar questions will help you simplify the buying process.

Let’s point out some common situations when clients are about to convert into customers:

  • Considering the best price. That is the important factor influencing the buyer’s decision. If you identify people who hesitate waiting for a better price, you will dramatically increase your chances to sell to them during special occasions like marketing holidays, when the prices reduce.
  • Looking for social proof. These users are interested in a product, but they wonder if others are satisfied with it. To dispel the doubts, place customer reviews on your website or right in the email campaign.
  • Having all the time in the world. These customers are interested, but they don’t hurry to buy your product. In this case, add a time-sensitive element like a countdown to an email, or come up with a time-limited discount. This way or another, create a feeling of urgency.

Below is an example of an automated email triggered by the shopping cart abandonment. It is designed to drive people back to the shop to finish the purchase.

Abandoned cart email based on purchase behavior

Based on benefits

It is a way to divide customers according to the benefits they seek for and motivate them to buy your products or services.

For instance, there are many reasons for buying a chewing gum: clean teeth, fresh breath, nice flavor, or anti-stress effect. Find out which benefits drive your customers towards the purchase and emphasize them.

Here’s an attempt to identify what stops a subscriber from using the service — technical issues, lack of features, or not enough motivation.

Grammarly email based on benefit segmentation

Based on a lifecycle stage

Behavioral segmentation based on a lifecycle stage works well for selling products and services with a long lifecycle.

It’s not easy to map user’s lifecycle stage because you can’t judge based on a single touchpoint. To cope with that, collect data on all touchpoints via every marketing channel you use — emails, social media, search engine, chatbot.

When you determine the user’s lifecycle stage, move them closer to the purchase by sending more relevant and valuable nurturing materials and, eventually, offers.

Below is the example of lead nurturing — the lifecycle stage where the company provides educational materials, showing how the product deals with the problems.

Lead nurturing email based on a lifecycle stage

Based on a level of engagement

This type is built on how often users log in your service or how many orders they make in your restaurant. Adjust your marketing messages based on this data and encourage users’ participation. This type helps to reduce the churn rate and improve sender reputation by dividing your target audience from unengaged people.

Let’s check three basic levels of user engagement:

  • Occasional. It means that users have a contact with your brand, but it’s not systematic. They may lack motivation or value from your side, so find out the reason with the help of a survey, for instance, and fix it.
  • Regular. Users regularly interact with your service, but don’t use its functions to the full extent. Share how-to videos, highlight all features that might be handy for them, and offer a loyalty program.
  • Intensive. These users integrate your service in their life, and that is the reason to treat them specially. Provide bonuses, invite to special events, congratulate on their birthdays, because these people may advertise your brand through the word-of-mouth and become loyal clients.

The example below is a reactivation email which aims to keep a user engaged.

Reactivation email based on a low level of engagement

Occasion-based

It is segmentation based on specific timing which is best for delivering your marketing message.

Utilize marketing holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or national holidays depending on the user’s location. Take advantage of special dates like birthday or anniversary. Pay attention to the days of the week and time of the day that is most convenient for communication.

To implement occasion-based segmentation, collect personal data from subscription forms, lead magnets, or surveys. These insights will help you improve the open rate of your campaigns and build a positive brand image.

The example below is a way to use occasion — the end of the year — to upsell a pricing plan.

Upselling email based on an upcoming New Year

Based on customer satisfaction

This segmentation type is based on customer feedback. It helps to fix issues when users are not happy with the product before they spread a negative word about your brand.

On the other hand, it helps to build stronger relationships with those users who already like your brand.

Email asking for feedback

Based on customer loyalty

Find out which customers you need to focus your loyalty programs on, and those who may lack value from your brand.

Loyal customers are the most beneficial clients for any businesses since they have the highest lifetime value. It is cheaper to retain existing customers than acquiring new leads. Also, loyal users are more likely to become brand advocates, promoting your brand around their social circles.

An example below is a way to celebrate cooperation and show the report on user’s interactions with the brand.

Anniversary email based on users interactions with the brand

How to use behavioral segmentation?

  • In email marketing. Send triggered emails connected with a purchase — abandoned cart emails, confirmation emails, email notifications, etc. Aside from that, try drip campaigns to welcome users, reactivate them, upsell and cross-sell goods.
  • In SMS marketing. Track how people react to your SMS advertising campaigns. Divide your audience into segments based on whether they used your promo code or not, and try searching for other ways to contact unengaged users.
  • In SMM. With Facebook advertising, for instance, you can tailor your ads to people based on how they engage with your posts. If users often respond, encourage them with a discount.
  • In chatbot marketing. While users communicate with your chatbot, you can narrow their path towards solving the exact problem. When the conversation ends, you will identify user's lifecycle stage, making it easier to find the right approach on the next touchpoints.

References

  1. The article "Defining Behavioral Segmentation with 7 Examples from Marketing Campaigns" by Instapage explains why behavioral segmentation is so important in marketing.
  2. The article "The What, Why, and How of Behavioral Marketing" by HubSpot defines the term and gives insights on how it works.
  3. The article "Behavioral Marketing: a Closer Look at What Gets Consumers Clicking" by Neil Patel unveils the very essence of behavioral marketing.
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