Behavioral Segments – The Secret Sauce of Analytics

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” said William Faulkner back in 1951. What Faulkner may have meant is that the present is built from moments in the past and it’s our past experiences that influence our present-day actions.

That’s even truer when applied to our digital behavior. When analyzing user behavior, time is of the essence.  We need to look at behavior as a series of user actions over time, starting from their very first online action to the present. Past user behavior reveals patterns that can provide great insights on the present (and even shed light on future predictions, but that’s a post for another time).

In traditional analytics, user statuses are static, single states or events frozen in time. For instance, a user’s demographics, referring campaign, device they use, or even just the initial session duration are all points in the user’s history that don’t give you much of an understanding of the present.
Yet in analytics,  these are how we normally define user segments, profiles and personas to differentiate between users.

We’re thrilled to announce our new advanced behavioral segments, with a segment builder that can transform a group of users that demonstrated a particular behavior into a behavioral segment that can be used in further analysis. For instance, you can now query segments, compare them using either cohort or funnel analysis, or simply filter the entire dashboard according to a single segment.

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Here are just a few examples to captivate your analytical imagination:

Building Segments From Any Identified Behavior

Our segment builder allows you to create segments by combining different user states and their associated behaviors over time. A segment could include active/inactive users during a specific period as well as those who completed a series of specific events in a defined time period. Behavior also includes users whose action had a particular value during a specific time period (e.g their purchase was over a given amount).

Here we’ve taken users who visited an eCommerce site in the last 7 days who also searched and bought an item over $10 in the last 30 days. We’ve then filtered the report to include only users from the United States.

Behavioral analytics segments builder
From here, you can drill down further to analyze the behavior of this segment. You might find, for example, that these users prefer brand-name or luxury items, and you’ll begin to understand why they responded to different marketing campaigns as they did. You’ll also gain insight into their general engagement with the site.

Watch our 3 minutes video on how to build behavioral segments

Create a Segment From a Cohort Report

You can also create a segment directly from a cohort report. Take the retention analysis report below of players from different marketing campaigns of a gaming operator.

create-segment

In the first group of players, “bonus campaign #1”, players engaged with that campaign during the particular week it was offered. Suddenly, four days later, approximately a quarter of them churned. Why?
We need to analyze past user behavior to understand their present behavior more deeply. Did they only engage when they were offered a bonus in the past? Maybe the bonus campaign gave players a reduced incentive to continue to deposit money, and when these players realized they wouldn’t be receiving any more bonus coins, they left the site. Instead of offering many bonus campaigns to this segment of players to re-engage them, gaming operators might want to try creating bonus campaigns that expire after a certain period and offer them directly to this player segment.

A Tale of Two Funnels: Analyzing Different Segments

You can also compare two segments using cohort or funnel analysis to highlight the differences in their behavior.


For example, you might want to compare the behavior of different segments as they move through the conversion funnel throughout their entire life cycle. When comparing the actions of one-time customers, whales and “others,” we discover that whales have a much lower drop-off rate after both searching and viewing an item, as well as a higher global conversion rate.

To discover even deeper insights, we can drill down further into the behavior of each user segment, for example, by analyzing the exact terms they searched for or limiting the analysis to a more specific time period.

The Past Can Reveal Future User Patterns

The segmentation examples I provided are powerful in that they allow businesses to drill down more deeply to analyze the behavior of that particular segment. Static segmentation doesn’t necessarily provide these insights into future user behavior.

If you want a better understanding of the present, you need to measure user behavior over time. These behavioral segments can be created, saved, and compared to empower you to reveal patterns in past behavior. These patterns can give you insights that drive actions to guide user behavior in the future.

Going above and beyond traditional analytics, behavioral segmentation will allow you to segment behaviors of groups of users who have taken specific actions over time. THIS is the secret sauce that will empower you to gain insight for optimizing your product for future user engagement.

Behavioral segments are available in our starter plan
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