HotJar’s Viral Marketing Campaign Is Brilliant

As a designer, sometimes I see a product and a ray of light shines down on it from heaven. I just had one of those moments this morning when Tom Kerwin (@uxdesigntom) introduced me to the epic-ness that is HotJar. Curious? You can check it out and sign up here:

After I got insanely excited about it, I went to their website and signed up to join the waiting list.

They immediately displayed the following message:


I was pumped! I was only 482nd in line. Then I read the rest of the message and realized that if I could get 5 friends to sign up, I’d get INSTANT ACCESS! I immediately posted the link to Twitter. (The level of excitement I experienced reminded me of how I felt when Mailbox first launched.)

Then this happened:

check your spot

So guess what I did I did immediately? I clicked the red button, obviously. I couldn’t wait to see if I had any registrants to bump up my spot in line.

Then I saw this:

Campaign lower number

Now I’m only 44th in line! Extreme joy followed. My phone beeped and I found 2 really nice emails from the company. The first one explained that they’re a start up and they can’t afford a major marketing campaign, and expressed how thankful they are for our support. The second one was a congratulatory email telling me that I had my first signup using my personal link. The anticipation of not knowing when the next referral would occur was exciting. I kept refreshing the screen over and over throughout the day. Want to know why?

I took a step back and realized that this system was ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! Kudos to the HotJar Team for completely hacking my brain! They had activated the daylights out of my nucleus accumbens. (It’s the part of your brain that gives you motivation and mega pleasure from anticipating an awesome reward happening. It also plays into addiction, which contributes to folks clicking the refresh button 98345 times to see if they’ve moved up in line yet. Psychology background FTW.)

I was already excited about the product, as most people who sign up to be on a waiting list are, so giving the option to move up in line simply by posting a referral link was genius.

You know how sometimes you sign up for services, and at the end they say, “Do you have any friends who may want to use this service?” Every single time I ignore those, because I think they’re cheesy. I’m obviously not going to give my friends’ email addresses away, it’s a rude thing to do. But this? Giving the ultimate reward (early access) for sharing info about a tool that I already think is amazing?

Epic, epic marketing. HotJar, give your marketing team a raise.

8 thoughts on “HotJar’s Viral Marketing Campaign Is Brilliant

Add yours

  1. Hi Jennifer, great marketing indeed! I also did the exact same πŸ™‚ Now I am looking for ways to use the same tactics. That’s why I ended up at your blog. I am looking for tools or programs that can design this flow. Do you have an idea where to start? Thanks!

    1. Hi Sangho, you can surely check some referral programs for that. Or hire a developer and he can build this for you.

      Hotjar definitely made it’s way faster. I can recommend another product that also includes User Experience optimization, check UsabilityTools.

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