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Hotjar like a pro


This post was originally sent out as an email to my now-defunct mailing list. You can read all such posts here, if you like.

This week I want to challenge you to step up your Hotjar game.

(If you’re not using Hotjar, or something similar, just go create a free account and add it to your site this week. Then reply to let me know you did so. I’ll send you a sticker :)

If you’ve used Hotjar, you know it’s a nice counterpoint to looking at tables of numbers in Google Analytics. You also know that it can generate a ton of data, and that it’s not always clear how to take action on it.

Solve that this week by being strategic about what data you collect, and from whom.

Who are your most valuable visitors?

You’re a special snowflake and the answer may be specific to your product, but I’ll humbly suggest you start with visitors on a Free Trial, if you have one.

These folks are on the verge of giving you money, or not. Ignore anonymous, probably-gonna-bounce-anyway visitors and really zoom in on free trial customers. Less noise, more insight. Where to begin, though?

Start by watching just 5 session recordings of free trial visitors. This week.

To make that happen, go log in to Hotjar right now, click ‘Recordings’ and then ‘Record Visitors’

Then, between now and Friday, figure out how you’ll filter those recordings down to only free trial users.

It could be as simple as looking at sessions that accessed the app itself (not just the homepage):

… and then manually inspecting the recordings to identify users with free trial language in the UI.

Or you can get fancy, and use JavaScript to tag free trial users.

The fancy approach will save you time in the long run. It does require the $29/month Hotjar Plus plan. It’s worth it. (If you want to read more about fancy Hotjar tricks like this, I wrote a whole post about it here.)

If you manage to watch a few sessions this week, hit Reply and let me know what you learned. And if you need a hand, just reach out.


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© 2022 Brian David Hall