How Hotjar Grew to $16.4M in ARR in Just 4 Years

David Darmanin, founder and CEO of Hotjar, talks about how they successfully got people to use their product in its beta phase and eventually monetized it. Find out how they have grown to $16.5M ARR and 21K paying customers in just 4 years.

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Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • [01:30] The origin stories of how they got started with Hotjar
  • [03:50] What Hotjar does and how they marketed it
  • [05:11] What they did to drive customers’ interest in their product
  • [07:00] Hotjar’s many different features and how they were developed and launched
  • [08:58] How they started monetizing their product by creating a public roadmap
  • [11:51] The types of incentives they put in place to get referrals
  • [15:17] How they got traffic and got people to find out about their product outside of the referral program
  • [18:40] How they covered the costs during the beta period stage of their product
  • [21:58] How they figured out how much they were willing to pay for a beta user
  • [26:45] What their timeline looked like until they got to $1M million annual recurring revenue
  • [27:33] The key two things that they did to get people to start using their product in the beta phase and get their feedback
  • [31:02] What it was like for them to transition from free to paid
  • [35:23] Having a remote workforce and how they are able to make that work
  • [48:08] How they communicate with their workforce

Key Takeaways:

  • If you want to displace existing players and existing solutions, there is a certain threshold of improvement you need to reach in order to get attention.
  • If you communicate very openly with your users and your customers, it’s incredibly effective because you’re bringing them on board with you on the journey.
  • If you’re thinking of doing a referral program, it’s really important that it’s simple.
  • When it comes to incentivizing, there are two types of people –those who are competitive and those prefer just kind of a fixed reward.
  • Email is incredibly effective to drive traffic, especially if you are launching something new.

Action Steps:

  • Before building your product, ask yourself: Do people actually need this? Is there real value being delivered here?
  • Build trust with your users/customers with transparency.
  • Do a referral program.

David said:

“We pretty much allow teams to understand how their site is being used. And that knowledge empowers them to make the right changes, to grow, to improve the experience.”

“We need to keep one thing in mind, which is we have a limited amount of time… If you really believe in an idea and if you feel like there is an opportunity, because timing is important, it’s really important that you drop everything to do that.”

More from David Darmanin:

David’s Twitter (@daviddarmanin)

David’s LinkedIn

Hotjar’s Website

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