Revealing Hidden Aspects Of Your Customer’s Journey

I’m the founder of a tool called Hotjar. We’ve been rated as one of the fastest growing analytics startups in the world and we’re used on over 300,000 sites.

I like to describe Hotjar as a tool that allows you to see what visitors are doing on your site. It reveals how they are experiencing your business and from there you can see what actions they take. This gives you the story of their customer journey, or not.

Hotjar is great for dissecting problem areas where you’re losing conversions so you can tighten up those gaps. I want all my customers to be winners in their niche, but without good data they’re lost in the dark.

When I started Hotjar our challenge was about how we would get our product into the market as quickly as possible and how to gain momentum.

Part of this task was testing if there was a real need for it, and if so how we could position ourselves as the hands-down best people to provide that solution.

In order to do this, we designed a small internal platform and want to market with it immediately. We sold it while we built it and constantly improved the product based on customer feedback.

We knew there was an active community of early adopters who could be swayed into joining our live beta. Our landing page presented our offering as such. It wasn’t polished, it wasn’t perfect, and the paint wasn’t dry.

We also supplied a positioning statement where we said how our product could replace the work of six other competing tools. Essentially a more efficient stack for cheaper.


Create buzz by using incentives

We then solicited emails and incentivized people who opted-in by moving them higher on the waiting list if they shared our page with their own networks. The more people they signed up the more cool rewards we offered them. This improved loyalty and engagement by a significant metric.

Some people want to compete and win a big prize so we offered a lifetime subscription for the top sharers. Other’s don’t want to compete and prefer a fixed prize for their efforts.  
At this level we rewarded them with t-shirts and other brand gifts.

Using this system we were able to collect 60,000 emails in the span of 3 to 4 months.

Around 20,000 went on to use our tool. After the beta version, we had 1000s of people following us who were interested in joining post-beta.

This approach is not only great for determining the need for your product in the market but also for generating buzz among the early adopter crowd.

No one wants to be on a waiting list

By leveraging our internal database we could automate our product launch marketing by energizing our crowd. As soon as someone signed up we sent them an email welcoming them to the waiting list.

Let me tell you, no one wants to be on a waiting list.

Especially not after we got them interested in our product. We’d then present them with how we need their help bootstrapping. This message was resonating with them, and all they needed to do was give us some simple help with amplifying our message.

Once they signed someone up we’d send them out a follow-up email with their new place in line and how many more signups we’d need from them before they got entrance to the beta.

This process was so successful because we were careful to match our incentives with audience motivation and created systems around it.


Action Steps

  1. Build your landing page and collect emails.
  2. Email your opt-ins a message that they are on the waiting list for your product.
  3. Give them tiered incentives and move them up on the list based on how quickly and how many new sign-ups they bring in.
  4. Provide each member of the list an individualized link to share.
  5. Make sure you provide incentives that speak to different types of motivation styles.


Result You Will Achieve

Early adopters spreading the word about your company giving your product launch and email list a boost.

Mentor: David Darmanin

CEO of Hotjar. Over the 12 years before founding Hotjar he generated hundreds of millions of dollars in growth consulting fast growing startups and fortune 500 firms. He has built multiple teams, developed brands and run hundreds of tests for his clients.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.