How Hotjar Grew Their Audience to 60,000 in 6 Months.

The story of how Hotjar (a visual analytics SaaS) got started is really fascinating. There are a ton of priceless nuggets of info that can each make a post of their own, but I let’s focus on how they launched.

When you have time, be sure to read the entire post on Hotjar itself.


Before the product was fully released the team of 5 founders had only built an MVP. They gauged the demand by scratching their own itch AND getting a feel for what marketers needed to make their job more effective.

Long story short, they created an MVP by outlining the bare minimum functions that someone needed to accomplish. This all happened before they ever purchased a domain or chose a business name (as those things were a distraction).

Landing Page

To get going, the team did the following:

  1. Set up a landing page for closed beta
  2. Added an email opt in
  3. Added screenshots of features
  4. Made people join a queue
  5. Allowed people to jump queue by inviting 5 people into the beta list. GENIUS!
Project is still being built, beta is underway (invitation only)

When users access early beta wait list they are presented with this beauty:

Want to move up in queue? Invite some friends.

I gotta say, this is brilliant and a great way to put the power of networking to building a SaaS audience!

It’s probably worth noting they also sweetened up the deal a bit to make sharing more palatable:

  • 6 months of Hotjar free when referring 5 friends
  • A Hotjar t-shirt to the top 200 positions
  • A free lifetime Hotjar account to the top 20 positions

Traffic Sources

Surprisingly most of the traffic was generated via referral and demand marketing. There were some paid sources but a tiny fraction of the whole.

For more amazing insights, I highly recommend reading the full story (here is Part 1 and Part 2) and listening to the LeadQuizzes podcast episode with David Darmanin.


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