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How Hotjar a/b tested subtle in-app callouts to drive greater feature adoption

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use case
Mark Jack
Senior Product Marketer

About Hotjar

Hotjar equips product teams with Product Experience Insights, showing them how users behave and what they feel strongly about, so those teams can deliver real value.

🎯 The challenge

Ever been torn between two choices, and unsure which would hit the bullseye? Our friends at Hotjar faced a similar dilemma when trying to decide on the best way to drive adoption for a new feature: Tooltip or Hotspot? 

🏆 The solution

No fancy footwork here, just a good ol’ fashioned, straightforward A/B test. They pitted the Tooltip against the Hotspot, testing the same content and copy in both corners. It was a battle to see which one would emerge as the champion in driving feature adoption.

👀 How they did it

1. The same content in two pattern types

Tooltips and Hotspots are both quick and easy to whip up⎯in just a few minutes, the team was able to create both versions of the copy.

2. Running the experiment

Appcues makes it easy to run Control and A/B experiments by showing the different pattern types to a random 50% of the audience. 

✅ Results

In the end, it was a clear victory for the Hotspot. The tooltip drove 6.5% conversion to use of the “relevance selector” feature and the hotspot achieved 8.16% conversion, a whopping +26% uplift.

In addition, Hotjar had an important secondary metric: how likely are users to “highlight”/save the recordings that they watched in either variant? If users see more relevant recordings of people on their site, they should want to save them for later.

The team found that the hotspot also won here, driving a +99% uplift to users highlighting a part of a recording. 🎉


Our hot take

As software users, we've witnessed the pitfalls of the all-or-nothing approach when it comes to announcements. Many organizations fall into the trap of trying to grab attention with every update. But here's the kicker: on-demand, in-the-moment education, guidance, and support take the cake. Hotjar's test is a shining example, proving that subtle announcements can be just as effective. It's not always about the drumroll; sometimes, it's the quiet nods that make the loudest impact.

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