Many products fall short in effectively communicating what users should aim to achieve, leaving it up to the user to self navigate and to try and define their own objectives. In a product with a lot of optionality, this can be especially paralyzing for a user, leading to inaction and a feeling of confusion. Fortunately, users are inclined to follow a recommended objective when they are presented with one.

Companies should take charge of a user’s journey by offering a continuous stream of explicit and attainable objectives aligned with the primary Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the company. Whether encouraging more purchases, referrals, completing a series of onboarding tasks, or other specific actions that contribute to the company’s overarching goals, these clear objectives empower users with a sense of purpose and direction. This not only eases decision-making but also ensures that user engagement is strategically aligned with the company’s key objectives.

The Pitfall of Leaving Users in the Dark

Products that fail to articulate clear objectives for users risk losing their audience to confusion or disinterest. Without a sense of direction, users may struggle to understand the full potential of the product or how to derive maximum value from it.

Combine Short-Term and Long-Term Objectives

This approach to objective setting draws inspiration directly from the video game industry, proving highly effective at prompting users to take immediate actions while cultivating a lasting personal attachment to the product. A notable example is the incorporation of levels or tiers, each requiring specific actions for advancement. For instance, completing a purchase and referring a friend could elevate a user to Level 2. This strategy offers a clear roadmap, creating a captivating narrative that keeps users engaged and focused on the next objective.

Creating Incentives

While loyalty programs commonly tie objectives to monetary rewards, such as an increased point balance, cash back, or product discounts, incentives don’t have to be solely monetary. Non-monetary rewards like level ups and badges can serve as effective motivators, especially when the user’s profile advancement is clearly communicated. Gamification taps into users’ intrinsic motivation for continuous improvement and progression.

Evolving Objectives

Tailoring objectives based on the user’s stage is a crucial aspect of optimizing the user journey. For new users, the primary focus should revolve around product education and familiarization. Clear, achievable objectives during this stage might include navigating essential features, completing onboarding tasks, or engaging in introductory tutorials. These objectives not only facilitate a smooth onboarding process but also help users understand the product’s value proposition.

For later-stage users, who are likely the key revenue drivers, objectives can shift towards activities that contribute directly to the company’s financial goals. These users may be encouraged to make purchases and engage in premium features that enhance the company’s bottom line.

In essence, adapting objectives to each user’s stage ensures a personalized and relevant experience. By aligning goals with the user’s level of familiarity and commitment, companies can optimize engagement, foster loyalty, and strategically drive revenue from users at different stages of their journey.

When users are presented with clear objectives, they are inclined to take purposeful actions, creating a dynamic and engaging experience. This intentional approach ensures that every interaction with the product results in the best action, fostering a sense of accomplishment and continual progression.

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