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How s360 uses Hotjar to help clients upskill, experiment, and increase conversions

s360 is a performance marketing agency founded in Denmark with over 300 employees in the Nordics, UK, and the Netherlands. Currently in the process of expansion, s360 has been on an upward trajectory since its founding in 2011. 

Hotjar has remained a persistent part of the company’s journey from scrappy startup to a global agency helping businesses of all sizes and industries optimize their digital channels with a reliable formula of marketing, data, and technology.

AgencyHow to improve customer experienceHow to spot bugsHow to improve conversionDigital marketerUX designer

Last updated

9 Jan 2024

Reading time

5 min

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s360 🤝 Hotjar: a summary

The requirement

  • s360 needed a quick and cost-efficient way to help clients improve user experience and increase conversions with user-led insights 

The solution

The result

Giving clients the insights they need to make the best decisions is s360’s primary goal, and it’s what the team does best. Key to the agency’s digital marketing offering is its user experience (UX) and conversion rate optimization (CRO) services. 

Klaus Wrensted Jensen, s360’s Head of UX and CRO, oversees this critical department at the strategic level, and as a conversion expert, his relationship with Hotjar goes way back. 

“The first time I used Hotjar was around 2016—it was in beta or just coming out of beta,” he says. “I’ve been using other tools throughout those years, but we always circle back to Hotjar.”

For Klaus, Hotjar has consistently proven an approachable, powerful, and convenient behavior analytics solution that clients come to rely on for needle-moving insights into their customers. 

Hotjar is part of s360’s UX and CRO workflow in three areas:

  1. 🛠 Workshopping: upskilling clients to help them become adept at optimizing their own websites and products. Hotjar provides easy entry into conversion rate optimization.

  2. 📋 CRO audits: ongoing projects to uncover conversion blockers and make the appropriate fixes

  3. 🧪 Experimentation: A/B testing variants and gathering customer-centric insights from each one

We always try to bundle in some sort of Hotjar methodology to give our clients the spectrum of quantitative and qualitative data. Hotjar—and behavior analytics in general—is nicely placed in the middle to get the best of both worlds.

Klaus Wrensted Jensen
Head of UX and CRO at s360

1. Workshopping

The s360 team runs UX and CRO workshops to upskill clients interested in learning more about optimization. During this process, Hotjar is introduced as a simple, convenient way to get started with the basics. 

Klaus says that clients can have their first Hotjar survey up and running in a matter of hours, and with additional insights from recordings and heatmaps, the possibilities only expand from there. Almost instantly, clients have initial insights to analyze, helping them get the buy-in they need to accelerate optimizations. 

Once they get their first taste of Hotjar’s capabilities during these workshop sessions, the benefits are evident.

When you know the usability issues you have, it seems like very obvious, logical insights—you can’t disagree when you know something is a point of friction that’s costing money. Hotjar’s tools provide that kind of insight. If you have recordings where you can see rage clicks, or users struggling to close a chat because they can’t see where the button is, that speaks volumes in the same way a user test can.

🎯 Customized insights for every client

Different audience segments have different conversion blockers for each client on s360’s roster. Hotjar helps the team find them all. 

User attributes in Hotjar enable them to deploy surveys or segment heatmaps and recordings to highly specific groups—for example, end-users on a specific subscription tier. This way, clients gather laser-focused insights into various audiences at every stage of the customer journey, and can optimize accordingly.

2. CRO audits

Full audits are larger-scope projects that involve multiple Hotjar tools: 

  • Surveys, to gather targeted feedback from users and understand their thoughts, feelings, and motivations

  • Recordings, to view video-like renderings of actual users navigating a website or product

  • Heatmaps, to get a visual representation of aggregated user behavior on important pages

Early stages of the audit usually involve an exit-intent survey on conversion-oriented pages or a market research survey that triggers a few moments after an end-user lands on a client's product or landing page. 

After reviewing the responses, s360 encourages clients to watch session recordings of users who left particularly interesting responses.

In Klaus’s experience, a survey asking a prospect what’s stopping them from making a purchase certainly yields some valuable insight—but viewing the session recording attached to a specific survey response provides additional context that’s "hugely beneficial."

If you just read through surveys and categorize those responses to uncover issues, you’ll get a pretty skewed image compared to if you look at the recordings attached. Sometimes, people don’t accurately communicate what the issue is, so you might end up looking at the wrong area of a page based on a response alone. But by looking at the recording, you might see they're dropping way down below the fold and encountering the problem there.

In a single click, Hotjar lets you view the recordings of users who responded to your survey, so you can see exactly what they experienced before sharing their feedback

🏆 Turning a client’s loss into a 10% increase in conversions with Hotjar

s360 client Call me is a Danish mobile phone operator owned by Telia, a European multinational telecommunications company and mobile network operator.

When Call me partnered with s360, its website had a navigation bar at the very bottom of the homepage, which users had trouble finding. This challenge prevented them from navigating deeper into the site. At the same time, while the homepage displayed various products, it didn’t have any category-specific navigation buttons.

So, s360 and Call me ran a simple experiment: adding links to the top categories on the homepage. To their surprise, this had an overwhelmingly negative impact, leading to a 13% decrease in conversions.

#A slide from s360’s experiment deck: before Hotjar
A slide from s360’s experiment deck: before Hotjar

When they turned to Hotjar to figure out why, they made two important discoveries:

  • Firstly, heatmaps revealed that the navigational icons introduced in the variant actually stopped people from scrolling further. Most site visitors were interested in the ‘mobile’ category, so they immediately clicked into it. But that meant 40% fewer users saw the promoted offers for specific mobile phones, which were further down on the homepage.

  • Secondly, filtering by operating system showed that Android users were hit the hardest. It became evident that Call me had very competitive offers for Android phones on display during the test period that inadvertently lost visibility from the changed behavior due to a lack of prioritization on the category page.

With these insights, the team roadmapped a new experiment, prioritizing the product offers and moving the navigational buttons further down as a secondary function of the homepage. This tweak resulted in a 10% increase in conversions for mobile.

#A slide from s360’s experiment deck: after Hotjar
A slide from s360’s experiment deck: after Hotjar

3. Experimentation

Not all marketing experiments yield statistically significant results, but every experiment has valuable learnings—especially when Hotjar comes into play. “In terms of providing quality in the experiments, Hotjar’s imperative to be able to derive all the learnings possible per variant of a test,” says Klaus.

By integrating Hotjar with A/B testing tools like Optimizely and Omniconvert, Klaus’s team uses behavior analytics as ‘an always-on research layer’, providing additional learnings from insignificant or negative experiments where the hypothesis or implementation needs revision. 

Seeing users interact with an experiment’s control and variant via heatmaps and recordings gives clients more insight into why the results look the way they do—which means no experiment is a wasted effort.

When we run experiments, we use heatmaps to see if there's any behavioral change across the control and variant. We specifically look at the way users coordinate their mouse movement to understand if they read differently. And if there are any notable shifts in attention, like readers clicking on a specific element, it's pretty easy to segment those recordings and see if there's any obvious friction or segments to look for in other analytics tools.

🐞 Finding (and fixing) bugs, fast

s360 performs weekly or bi-weekly health checks for some of its clients, using Hotjar to find areas of friction and uncover issues impacting conversions. Usually conducted after a site launch or redesign, these health checks reveal issues like spikes in rage clicks (users repeatedly clicking or tapping out of frustration) where certain elements may not be configured correctly.

“Hotjar provides a really nice trend over time as well,” says Klaus. “If you do these checks regularly, you’ll start to find ongoing issues and prioritize things that need fixing.”

Once a recurring issue is spotted in a client’s session recordings or heatmaps, the team uses Highlights in Hotjar—a collaborative feature that lets users save and tag short highlights of relevant user behaviors—to create collections of instances of users running into the same problem. 

Klaus explains how this looks in action: “We’re able to, for example, share a collection of a bunch of users struggling to close the chat on a laptop because the button is off-screen.”

s360’s UX and CRO specialists revisit the collection and add to the list each week, giving clients an accurate picture of a problem’s scope and helping them get buy-in for fixes.

Adding highlights to a collection in Hotjar is an easy, team-friendly way to share the insights that matter most

Quantitative and qualitative data in one suite of complementary tools

In Klaus’s experience, Hotjar provides the nuances that other quantitative tools miss. Klaus explains, “If, for example, you’re analyzing funnel abandonment in Google Analytics, you can quickly leverage Hotjar to see why the abandonment occurs through surveys and targeted recordings. Often the root causes aren’t on the actual step being abandoned, which is hard to figure out through analytics alone.” 

Sometimes, he doesn’t even need Google Analytics at all.

You might have 20 or 25 recordings showing a specific issue, and often, that data is enough without having to quantify further. By only using Hotjar where possible, we’ve probably saved a lot of time building segments in Google Analytics.

Empowering clients with the tools and knowledge they need to bridge the gap between numbers and the behaviors behind them has enabled s360 to set hundreds of businesses up for consistent, customer-centric growth. And when their clients succeed, so do they. It wouldn’t be nearly as straightforward without Hotjar.

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