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7 user segmentation types to connect with your customers and drive better customer experiences

It may be impossible to tailor your product, website, or customer experience to every single individual—but luckily, there’s another way to make each user feel like one in a million. Segmenting your customer base reveals user-centric insights that help your product team and stakeholders prioritize improvements, create laser-focused messaging, and improve the customer experience—all based on your target audiences’ specific needs. This guide looks at the different types of user segmentation and how to use them to get closer to your ideal customers.

Summary

User segmentation is the process of splitting users into groups based on shared behaviors, traits, or characteristics. Some common ways of doing this include

  1. 👩‍💻 Behavioral segmentation, which groups users based on actions they take on your site or product

  2. 👥 Demographic segmentation, which groups users based on shared characteristics, like age or gender

  3. 🧠 Psychographic segmentation, which groups users based on their personality, lifestyle, or values

  4. 🌍 Geographic segmentation, which groups users based on their physical location, such as continent, country, or city

  5. 📊 Firmographic segmentation, which groups companies (not individuals) based on shared traits like industry or size

  6. 📱 Technographic segmentation, which groups users based on the technology they use to access your site or product

  7. 💰 Value-based segmentation, which groups users based on the revenue they bring to your business

Compelling reasons to use segmentation include getting a more granular understanding of your customers, improving the efficacy of your marketing efforts, and using the customer insights it provides to increase customer happiness and revenue.

A field spotter's guide to user segmentation types

Different user segmentation types enable you to understand, empathize with, and cater to various cohorts of users who all share common traits. Here are seven ways to segment your customer base and uncover new opportunities—plus tips on using qualitative and quantitative behavior analytics tools to improve user segmentation every step of the way.

Get in-depth insights into what different user segments want (and need) with Hotjar’s suite of tools.

1. Behavioral segmentation

Behavioral segmentation groups users together based on actions they take (or don’t take) on your site or in your product. Examples include

  • Logging in

  • Feature usage

  • Clicking a particular button

  • Viewing a product

  • Saving an item to wishlist

  • Starting the checkout process

  • Clicking unsubscribe

  • Scrolling to the end of a page

  • Starting a chat

  • Total purchase value (i.e. how much someone has spent with you to date)

  • When a user became a paid customer

Most analytics tools—like Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and Hotjar (that’s us! 👋)—use functionalities like events, properties, and user attributes to capture these behaviors. (If you want to get into the nitty gritty, you can learn the difference between Events and User Attributes in Hotjar, as well as when to use each one, here.) 

Use behavioral segmentation to get customer insights that let you replicate what works and reduce what doesn’t. For example:

  • Spot the actions that lead to conversion so you can encourage prospective and new customers to take them, too. Does your segmentation analysis reveal that repeat customers save items to their wishlist before making a purchase? Prompt users to set up a wishlist as part of their onboarding.

  • Identify behaviors linked with churn and put flows in place to avoid them. If you notice that dips in product metrics like login frequency commonly precede canceled accounts, proactively target these users with re-engagement campaigns to bring them back to your product.

🔥 If you’re using Hotjar: filter data from Heatmaps (color-coded visualizations of user behavior at scale) and Recordings (replays of individual users’ behaviors) by specific events or user attributes to uncover even more context.

2. Demographic segmentation

Demographic segmentation groups users together based on characteristic traits about who they are. Examples of these traits include

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Education level

  • Marital status

  • Income

Tools like Google Analytics, Segment, and Pendo provide this customer data, and can be integrated with other platforms—like your user behavior insights suite and your customer relationship management (CRM) tool—to offer more granular analysis and targeting options.

Use demographic segmentation to understand exactly what your target audience is looking for and provide customized, personalized experiences for them. For example, launch an email marketing campaign aimed at women aged 25–34 featuring a roundup of the most popular products bought by people in this bracket.

🔥 If you’re using Hotjar: supplement your demographic data with first-hand responses straight from your users with Surveys.

Trigger targeted surveys aimed at specific demographics to build out your customer profile for these groups. Start with the user persona survey template, or use Hotjar AI to generate a custom survey based on your goals and what you want to learn.

3. Psychographic segmentation

Psychographics is the study of consumers based on psychological traits such as lifestyle and values. Whereas demographic segmentation is based on objective factors like age, psychographic segmentation focuses on more subjective factors like

  • Personality traits

  • Lifestyle

  • Attitude

  • Values

  • Interests

  • Opinions

Values-based segmentation is another user segmentation type that falls under this category. For example, using values-based segmentation, an ecommerce business might target eco-conscious shoppers and let them know that its packaging is now fully biodegradable, or a B2B SaaS company might share their latest net zero initiative.

To develop a psychographic understanding of your customers and learn more about what’s important to them, conduct user interviews. A virtual user interview tool like Hotjar Engage enables you to source interviewees who match your criteria, fast.

When building your profiles, Adele Revella, CEO of the Buyer Persona Institute and author of Buyer Personas, recommends starting with the question:

“What happened on the day you first decided you needed to solve this kind of problem or achieve this goal?”

Then, whatever their response is, dig deeper. Asking probing, open-ended questions unlocks psychographic insights that help you connect deeply with your customers and boost brand loyalty.

#Conduct user interviews to build in-depth psychographic profiles
Conduct user interviews to build in-depth psychographic profiles

4. Geographic segmentation

Geographic segmentation groups users together based on their physical location in the world.

You can zoom out for market-wide research (like EMEA or NAMER) or zoom in to get local insights, using categories like

  • Region

  • Continent

  • Country

  • City

To understand how location affects behavior, filter data by country in a session recordings tool like Hotjar Recordings. This lets you watch how users from specific places engage with your site, so you can see exactly what they do and why. If you have localized pages, be sure to review your data for any bugs or usability issues that may have slipped in during the translation process.

Use geographic segmentation to ensure you’re compliant with local laws and regulations, and localize your site and content to provide more relevant, tailored experiences.

💡 Pro tip: place an always-on Feedback widget on localized pages so users can report errors you might otherwise miss. This allows people to leave comments and highlight which parts of the page they’re referring to, giving you (and your developers) visual context that transcends any language barriers.

Feedback from one of Hotjar.com’s localized page (that came with an accompanying screenshot) sharing a poor user experience in the Heatmaps tool

5. Firmographic segmentation

Instead of focusing on individuals like the other customer segmentation models we’ve seen so far, firmographics is used to segment organizations based on their attributes. These include

  • Industry

  • Company size

  • Number of offices

  • Growth stage

Use firmographic segmentation as part of your B2B marketing efforts to create marketing campaigns, messaging, and sales outreach that speak to your target market’s business needs and pain points. For example, this segmentation type could help you foreground the most suitable pricing plans based on company size, share content related to trends and challenges in their industry, or create onboarding flows related to their role’s most common jobs-to-be-done.

But remember: even when you’re segmenting based on organization, you still need to connect with the humans making the buying decisions—so keep empathy at the center of everything you do.

🔥 Enrich your CRM with behavior insights to deliver a more personal experience: use the Hotjar + HubSpot integration to bring behavior insights from Hotjar right into your contact timeline in HubSpot. Leverage this data to prepare for sales calls and trigger marketing flows based on firmographic data and user behavior, for more effective B2B marketing and sales outreach.

Use Hotjar data to create lists and automations in HubSpot

6. Technographic segmentation

Technographic segmentation groups users based on the technology they’re using to access your site or product. This includes

  • Device

  • Browser 

  • Operating system

This type of segmentation gives you a closer look at how your audience accesses and engages with your site and helps ensure you’re providing high-quality and consistent user experiences regardless of platform or device.

Technographic segmentation allows you to tailor your UX and outreach to each user’s preferred medium and helps you spot pesky device- or platform-specific errors and usability issues that negatively impact specific groups of users.

If you’re using Hotjar, for example, you might filter user behavior data from heatmaps and session recordings by device to discover issues affecting these specific segments then share your findings with developers or stakeholders to give them all the context they need to make the fix or take action. (You can even create a Jira ticket, Asana task, or Trello card straight from a recording, console error, or survey response to make things easier.)

🏆 How s360 used technographic insights to boost conversions by 10%

When a homepage experiment unexpectedly resulted in a 13% decrease in conversions for a client, performance marketing agency s360 used Hotjar to troubleshoot.

The client, Call me, is a Danish mobile phone operator. After digging into the data and filtering by operating system, s360 found that conversions for Android users, specifically, were most impacted. The team deduced that while Call me had fantastic offers for Android phones, the experiment setup inadvertently hid these offers from Android users.

Based on these learnings, the team made some tweaks—including prioritizing the Android product offers—that ultimately resulted in a 10% increase in mobile conversions.

📖 Read the full case study here.

7. Value-based segmentation

Not to be confused with values-based segmentation above, value-based segmentation groups customers based on how much revenue they bring to the business. For example, you could split customers into groups based on their customer lifetime value (CLV) or their average monthly spend.

This user segmentation type helps you understand how high-value customers act, so you can encourage those behaviors in other users. For example, if you identify that adopting certain features correlates to long-term retention (and therefore a greater CLV), you can create online courses or in-product prompts that teach new users how to get the most from them.

You can also use this type of segmentation to improve customer experience with segmentation by

  • Building loyalty programs to reward high-value customers by sharing a discount code or special offers

  • Giving VIPs special treatment by inviting them to events or offering beta trials of new features

  • Targeting high-value, satisfied customers for paid referral opportunities

On the other hand, examining your low-value segments lets you discover missed opportunities. For example, by surveying or interviewing this cohort, you might discover that they’re not getting the results they wanted from your product because they’re not using it efficiently. In this case, you could create guides covering the best way to set up your product for specific use cases, helping these users to get a greater return on their investment—and potentially expand their usage.

3 reasons to use a customer segmentation strategy

Some common benefits of segmentation include:

Use segmentation to create meaningful customer experiences 

When you’re building, marketing, selling, and supporting a product, there’s no ‘one size fits all’. These user segmentation types allow you to get detailed insights into the pain points and preferences of different groups, so you can understand what they’re looking for, meet their needs, and deliver personalized customer experiences that drive growth.

Understand how different segments behave with Hotjar

Get in-depth insights into what your target users want (and need) with Hotjar’s suite of tools.

FAQs about user segmentation types