How do most successful products make themselves addictive?

We have asked this to tons of Product Managers, marketers, designers and data scientists.

We were not looking for general theory. Instead we wanted to know what they did, how they did it, and as a small startup, what all cold we execute.

We implemented it all with a client.

For one client I worked with, the results were nothing short of astonishing.

In this case, in 4 short weeks after implementation, we were able to decrease the churn by 63%. Additionally, trial conversions went up by 122%.

Here is a step by step guide on how we did it, and how you can do it too. This is most suitable for startups with a launched product and some customers or users.


If you are still building out your business, here is another guide on how to acquire the right kind of customers BEFORE you start building.

Phase 1: Behaviour based Segmentation (and how to)

First we need to find segments of customers on the basis of their behaviours. This is a complete science in itself. You can get started with the two most important segmenting attributes.

1.1 Find your happiest customers

Happiness is internal. The happiest customers are the ones who 'feel' happy while using your product.

Interestingly, while speaking to or own customers, in my last startup, we found something interesting. Most happy customers were those who had spent decent time 'playing around' with the product. They wanted to learn it better. Unhappy ones never did.

When we changed our on-boarding process from "I will show you how" (it was an enterprise tool) to "I will guide you. But do it yourself" - the NPS nearly doubled.

How to do it: Here are multiple ways to find your happy customers (coming soon, subscribe here to get notified)

1.2 Find your most active customers

In this segment, we just want to identify the most active customers. se your tracking tool of choice to find this out. Make sure that you are able to connect the datasets and identify the most active AND the happiest customers. You need to get a 360 degree view.

And it's pretty hard because your data could be split into multiple tools which might not integrate very well. If you followed the previous steps well, and chose the right tools, it might turn out to be the easiest step of all.

How to do it: Here's how you can do it (coming soon, subscribe here to get notified)

Phase 2: Discovery

First we need to find segments of customers on the basis of their behaviours. This is a complete science in itself. You can get started with the two most important segmenting attributes.

Discover the 'benefits' - "Why" they use your product.

There could be many reasons why people are using, or want to use your product.  It could be because they want to impress someone, or because they want to be better at what they do, or something else. Knowing the motivations of 'most' of your active customers will help you build very sticky features AND highly converting landing pages.

Also, product owners always have a hypothesis around this. It's important to know that what you think you know is actually just that - a hypothesis.

How to do it : Here's how to achieve this (coming soon, subscribe here to get notified)

Discover the triggers - "When" do they use your product

There are many triggers that get people to access your product - the crucial moment when they decide "let me open app X".

Multiple triggers apply to the same person at different times. And there is a finite number of triggers for any product.

For example, using an online tax filing system relies on the fear of missing a deadline. A wealth management app relies on the aspiration of building wealth, or meeting certain financial goals.

How to do it : Here's how to achieve this (coming soon, subscribe here to get notified)

Identify the Value Perception - How "important" the problem is

Different people value things differently. Whatever it is that you help your customers achieve, its value is determined by each individual.

This is not about your product AT ALL. This is about how important it is for the customer to meet the goal itself, that you're helping them with.

For example, LightCat helps startups understand their customers better. And originally we thought it is the very early startups that will be interested. But, somehow (to our surprise), people with live products value "understanding customers" way more than people who are in the defining their products.

How to do it : Here's how to achieve this (coming soon, subscribe here to get notified)

Phase 3: Execution

Now that you have (or will) collect all the data, it's time to get into action. In this phase, we find the attributes of the happiest customers and use that to refine our marketing copy as well as the product.

Identify which segments the happiest customers belong to

This one's easy. Once you have all the data about customers and know who are the happy ones, you just need to analyse some data. There are still some decisions you need to take.

Should you pick the cross section of the segments - by appending AND to each segment. Example: seeking benefit X AND uses when Y happens. Or should yo append OR to each segment. Like: seeking benefit X OR uses when Y happens.

We would suggest you go with the former for Growth related actions to broaden your funnel. For product, pick the more restrictive cross-segment. The features these people use are the hottest ones. Make them prominent.

How to do it : Here's how to achieve this (coming soon, subscribe here to get notified)

Growth - focus on the customers with the same attributes

Your landing pages should reflect the benefits and the triggers of the happiest and the most active customers. Here's why - these customers need your product AND have the behaviour attributes that help them get the maximum out of you. It's very likely that the way your solution works, it works best for people seeking the same goals and having the same triggers.

There's more of them out there.

As with everything we do, make sure you are tracking and optimising your landing page, both in terms of copy and design.

How to do it : Here's how to achieve this (coming soon, subscribe here to get notified)

Product - make everyone else follow a similar path

Track exactly what the happiest customers do in your product. Almost always, there will be common behaviour patterns. These patterns lead to better fulfilment of their goals.

As an example, Facebook famously discovered that their most sticky users were those with 150 friends or more. Bingo. Soon they started to encourage all their users to add more friends.

It's not a coincidence that they ended up with a billion users.

How to do it : Here's how to achieve this (coming soon, subscribe here to get notified)

Closure

Building a sticky product is a subset of product-market fit. It takes years to achieve and requires tonnes of experiments.

With lots of false positives.

Congratulations on getting this far. We hope that you get there in time.


Note: You could start practising some of these by using LightCat.io