1. Why did we start?
It took us nearly 6 months to discover the behaviors and underserved problems of users in Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) industry, develop and launch our first product, then start to acquire a substantial user base. However, users exhibited varying levels of adoption and different behaviors with our product, which meant our journey of searching and analyzing to understand users hasn't come to an end yet.
In the dynamic world of tech startups, understanding users and their journey with your product is crucial not only for the company's day-to-day operation but also for its long-term growth. Therefore, in this artifact, I want to share how we segmented users by forming a user lifecycle in SaveDay and tracking user's status in each of our defined stage.
2. How does user segmentation matter to us?
a. Grasping the big picture:
We want to gain insight into how users are reacting to our product, evaluate its performance, and assess its potential compared to industry benchmarks and competitors. This information is essential for making strategic decisions such as cross-sales opportunities.
b. Understanding user behavior:
Understanding the personas and behaviors of users allows us to tailor our approach and engagement to different user segments. This ensures that we deliver on our promise of creating a product that closely aligns with the user experience, optimizing engagement and retention rates.
c. Identifying product lovers and potential source of growth:
Identifying product lovers who truly understand the value of our product, are highly engaged and willing to advocate for it helps us define clearlier our target users, strengthen the product's value proposition and make informed decisions regarding product innovation as well as long-term growth.
3. How did we implement it?
There are 2 main steps to segment users based on their behaviors with the product:
Step 1: Forming a user lifecycle in your product
The user lifecycle refers to the stages that a user typically goes through from the moment they first encounter the product to their ongoing engagement and, potentially, their departure (retained). It is typically represented as a linear model with key moments (e.g. set up moment, aha moment, habit moment) while experiencing a product or cyclical model with defined stages (e.g. awareness, acquisition, activation, retention, expansion, advocacy).
Without a clear user lifecycle, it would be hard to know how your product is adopted by users. Have they understood how the product worked? Do they find the product helpful and are likely to stick with it? What could be the sign when a user about to churn?
Therefore, before jumping into a large pool of information about user behaviors, it’s necessary to put yourself in users’ shoes to have a view of what actions users may take and define the meaning of those actions to your product.
Here's our definition of each user's stages:
In this step, we also highlighted which is our desired stage that most users should ideally reach. This acts as a North Start for our following actions to engage or retain users. In the case of SaveDay, it's the stage where users have experienced the product for a certain period, understand the values it offers to users, find them match with user’s demand and use our core features (capture/ retrieve/ generated content) repeatedly.
Step 2: Define criteria to track user status in each stage of the lifecycle
In order to know whether users have met defined stages, definitions should be specialized into criteria (action items) to measure, control and take in time next steps. When choosing behavioral segmentation to categorize users, criteria can be set based on users':
- Recency of use: this is the amount of time since a user last engaged with your product or service. For example, a committed user is someone who has logged at least one session or completed at least one core action in the last set number of days (e.g. 7, 14, or 28). Only recently active users should qualify as committed.
- Frequency of use: this is the number of times a user interacts with your product within a period of time. For example, SaveDay's retained user is someone who has used at least 1 successful action with core feature (save/search/key) weekly after activated.
- Tenure: this answers the question have a user experienced the product long enough to understand how it works and its value offered to users. For example, a committed user cannot be a new user. This is because new users typically have erratic engagement patterns, so including them may alter your analysis of committed user trends.
In fact, defining criteria is the process of determining the optimal threshold for each user stage, which is the result of several times making and testing hypotheses. Therefore, instead of keeping the criteria fixed in the first time definition, necessary adjustment to criteria is acceptable.
Here's our criteria for each user's stages:
Step 3: Create a tracking system/dashboard for easy and actionable measurement
Last but not least, a dashboard or tracking system to manage user behavior within your product is vital for gaining insights, monitoring performance, optimizing features, personalizing experiences, making data-driven decisions, and providing effective user support. It enables you to build a better product that meets user needs, boosts engagement, and drives business success.
To measure user reactions and track progress, we developed a user status dashboard. This tool allowed us to monitor whether users reached the ideal status and helped us identify actionable next steps for improvement.
SaveDay's journey to create a user status document was a pivotal step in our growth, enabling us to make data-driven decisions, enhance user experiences, and ensure the long-term success of our product. By defining, refining, and adapting our user criteria, we've embarked on a journey toward sustained growth and innovation.