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9 tools to drive sustainable product growth

The right mix of tools will make a difference in your growth product management. 

But it can be hard to know how to build a product growth tech stack—one that provides deep, actionable insights—and how to use the tools to drive sustainable growth.

Product growth tools help teams and PMs keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in a product. They make it easy to collect quantitative and qualitative data, so you and your teams always know what, why, and where the best growth opportunities are.

Last updated

31 Aug 2022

We've made a list of nine of the top product growth tools teams (including us at Hotjar) use to drive sustainable product growth. But first:

H2: What are product growth tools?

Product growth tools are software that generate insights and establish processes to help you:

  • Collect and manage qualitative and quantitative user insights

  • Shortlist and plan feature updates and initiatives that enhance growth

  • Display and share data with the product team and stakeholders

  • Stay on top of product roadmap tasks and deadlines in the short and long term

Product and growth teams that don’t have access to the right tools, with the right data, are like artists without paint brushes—unable to do what they do best.

There are no one-size-fits-all product growth tools, nor is there just one tool that will do everything you need. Today, growth PMs need a range of tools to effectively perform their three core responsibilities:

Understand user behavior

Optimize the product for customer and business needs

Collaborate across teams to prioritize the product roadmap

Each of the tools we suggest below help product teams place users at the heart of their decision-making and take charge of product growth in a way that drives sustainable growth in customers and revenue.

As we dive into the key product growth tools you might want to add to your tech stack, think about your unique organizational KPIs, product type, and user needs. This will help you determine which tools are best for your specific needs

There’s no need to use every tool we cover. It’s more important to invest in a few purpose-built tools that are implemented properly and integrated tightly. Pick a few from each section, and you’ll have a well-rounded tech stack to support your product growth strategy.

Tools to power product growth

Hotjar's product experience insights tools help you fuel product growth by putting users first.

Product growth tools to understand user behavior

Growth product management revolves around understanding users and customers. To do this, growth teams use tools that gather data on product analytics, product experience, and user research. 

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics (GA) is a free website analytics tool offered by Google that helps you collect, analyze, and report on website traffic data.

#Google Analytics dashboard
Google Analytics dashboard

How Google Analytics helps support growth

GA captures and helps you analyze quantitative data about what your customers actually do while on a certain page or website. This can uncover important realities about what resonates with your users—and what doesn’t.

Growth teams can use GA to:

  • Gather valuable information about website traffic, top acquisition channels, and conversion paths

  • Track progress towards conversion goals and observe where potential customers drop off

  • Highlight paths and elements in the customer journey that can be conducive to growth

  • Track important growth metrics like conversion rate, churn, and retention rate

  • Use this data to calculate Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

For example, if you’re a SaaS business that wants to increase product adoption, you can use GA to generate product analytics data and understand how users interact with your product by visualizing their actions as funnel reports.

This will allow you to understand how different cohorts of users interact with your product, and identify the most engaged users—those who use the maximum number of product features.

Product teams can use these insights to prioritize features, while growth teams can identify friction points in the customer journey and improve product adoption and activation.

Pro tip: integrate Hotjar with Google Analytics to complement GA’s traditional data with product experience insights.

Hotjar is built to give added depth to the insights you get from GA: using them together, you can go deeper into where users click, how far they scroll, and where they’re engaging the most—to get a fuller picture of whether your site’s engaging users, and how they engage.   

Use Google Analytics and Hotjar together:

  • When you want to improve conversion rate

  • Before and after a website redesign

  • When you want to improve the customer experience

  • When you need buy-in from new management/clients/colleagues

  • When your business embraces digital transformation

2. ChartMogul

ChartMogul is a freemium subscription and revenue analytics platform designed for SaaS companies. It’s designed to be free and simple to use, though there is a fee after your company hits $10K MRR.

#ChartMogul overview dashboard
ChartMogul overview dashboard

How ChartMogul helps support growth

ChartMogul offers a wide variety of features to drive customer retention, identify cohorts for further investigation, and ensure sustainable product growth.

Growth teams use ChartMogul to:

  • Automatically monitor growth metrics like product churn and expansion revenue

  • Track metrics that are most relevant to SaaS companies, like Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), Average Revenue per Account (ARPA), CAC, LTV, and trial-to-paid conversion rate

  • Segment data to find likely-to-convert user profiles and profitable pricing plans

  • Forecast cash flow and customer numbers based on current subscription data

3. Hotjar

Hotjar (that’s us, hi there! 👋) is a product experience (PX) insights, behavior analytics, and user feedback platform that helps you observe how users behave on your website, ask them how they feel about your product, and access actionable insights into user sentiments and needs.

#The main Hotjar customer dashboard
The main Hotjar customer dashboard

How Hotjar helps support growth

As a growth product manager, you spend a lot of time trying to read your customers’ minds and unearth what the experience of using your product is like for them. With PX tools like Hotjar, you can get insight into user behavior like never before.

Hotjar is an indispensable product growth tool for teams that want to gain access to (and make sense of) both qualitative and quantitative data. In practical terms, it means you can look at a number or metric in a tool like Google Analytics to see the ‘what’, and turn to Hotjar to understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’. 

Say GA shows a high drop-off rate on your product pages, and management is convinced that people are leaving because the content is too long. Using Hotjar, you can use data to prove or disprove this assumption, demonstrate the way forward, and bring everybody on board with the decision.

For example, a well-placed survey or feedback widget could let your users tell you they want more information, rather than less. You can then make a business case to revise the content and provide fuller descriptions; you’ll also likely get the green light to test the new descriptions and see what effect they have on the drop-off rate.

By combining user behavior and voice-of-the-customer (VoC) feedback tools, Hotjar is designed to help you spot common areas of friction in the user experience, get ideas for improvements, and measure if your fixes are working (and why).

Growth teams use Hotjar to:

  • Identify user behavior that correlates with desired product outcomes, like free trial-to-paid conversion

  • Spot problems, bugs, and user pain points with Heatmaps, and experiment with fixes that address them

  • Optimize products to increase growth metrics like customer retention and revenue

  • Measure the adoption of new features by analyzing Session Recordings

  • Target users with Surveys to get product feedback from a specific cohort

  • Dig deeper into the product experience and collect real-time user feedback with a Feedback widget

  • Collect data points and feedback about how people really use the product, and add it to the reports they share with stakeholders, colleagues, and clients

  • Combine Hotjar insights with other product growth tools to see what’s behind the numbers

  • Make informed product decisions for sustainable growth

The changes made from the Hotjar survey gave us enough confidence to begin designing the new page template, which we then A/B tested to get to the final version.

Eric Peters
Growth Product Manager, Hubspot

Product growth tools to improve the product experience

After combining user research with business insights, you can move on to the next step for sustainable product growth: identifying growth opportunities and creating hypotheses for optimization experiments.

Growth PMs use product experimentation tools to A/B test changes and incrementally roll out product updates, in their continued search for optimization and customer delight.

4. Appcues

Appcues is a user onboarding and product adoption tool designed for building in-app product tours and onboarding flows. From user onboarding to adoption and retention, Appcues helps product teams build personalized customer experiences.

#Appcues dashboard
Appcues dashboard

How Appcues helps support growth

On your journey to sustainable product growth, you can use Appcues to improve user retention, feature adoption, and drive customer engagement with zero coding skills. This includes:

  • Creating interactive in-app walkthroughs for new users without writing a single line of code

  • Designing customer onboarding flows to reduce Time-To-Value (TTV) for new users

  • Monitoring the effectiveness of your onboarding efforts and measure product adoption

  • Sending users notifications with new or relevant features to increase adoption

  • Collecting user feedback and a Net Promoter Score® (NPS) to monitor user sentiment

  • Running hyper-targeted in-app surveys for analyzing and collecting customer feedback on the fly

  • Sharing your workflows with the rest of your product team to get their feedback, and quickly implement any changes

At Hotjar, Appcues helps us move faster as we guide users through new or updated features in the platform—so they can find value quickly.

5. Optimizely

Optimizely is an experimentation platform that provides easy A/B testing on websites. The tool allows for experimenting with various web features and achieving validation for CRO efforts, providing minimized risk and a better understanding of customer behavior.

#Optimizely experiments dashboard
Optimizely experiments dashboard

How Optimizely helps support growth

As a digital experience platform, Optimizely includes multiple tools for web, server-side, email, and B2B commerce experimentation. 

Their Web Experimentation tool (previously known as ‘Optimizely X’) lets growth teams run A/B and multivariate tests and personalization campaigns to improve conversion rates and the user experience

For example, you can test your hypotheses about various web design aspects—like navigation bars, color schemes, CTA placement, or search bars—to build better websites and products that resonate with and engage your audience. 

Optimizely lets you: 

  • Conduct website experiments and gather data about your audience to leverage for key product optimizations

  • Test UI changes to see their impact on user behavior, and correlate results with desired product outcomes like revenue and retention

  • Use its visual editor for an easily customizable product experience with no-code edits

  • Add custom CSS and Javascript to your site to improve the customers’ experience when and where they need it

Need ideas for tests? Get inspired by:

User feedback, which gives users and customers the chance to tell you what they love (and hate)

Heatmaps, which show if key CTAs are getting clicked

Session recordings, which reveal the bugs and issues holding users back

If you’re using Hotjar, the one-click integration with Optimizely lets you view recordings and trigger surveys in test variations. You can filter Session Recordings and trigger Surveys by page variant, giving you more data to understand why some pages outperform others.

H3: 6. Google Optimize

Google Optimize is a freemium experimentation platform that offers A/B, multivariate, and redirect testing and optimization tools for website usability testing and optimization.

#Google Optimize dashboard
Google Optimize dashboard

How Google Optimize helps support growth

Growth teams can run tests on different product or feature variants to compare performance and improve goal conversion.

Here’s how you can take advantage of Google Optimize’s features and integrations to achieve growth:

  • A/B test variations of your online assets to learn what works best for your audience, and optimize product adoption and upsell

  • Creating test variations and previewing experiments without coding knowledge using the Google Optimize Chrome extension

  • Run funnel analysis and find points in the user journey with steep drop-offs to address with personalized content 

  • Connect Google Optimize to Google Analytics, Google Ads, or Firebase to optimize experiences across multiple channels—i.e. your website, paid advertising campaigns, and mobile app

Pro tip: set up and combine metrics from Hotjar and Google Optimize to add qualitative user data to your experiments.

Get more from your Google Optimize tests by using Hotjar to collect qualitative session recording and survey data during experiments. You can filter Hotjar Session Recordings by Optimize experiment ID and see exactly how visitors browse, click, and scroll on each test page. 

This gives you clearer insight into why a winning variant is successful, and how you can replicate it in the future, at scale.

#The Hotjar Recordings dashboard in action

Product growth tools to prioritize the product roadmap

Product prioritization and management tools help growth PMs plan, manage, and prioritize the product roadmap, and communicate strategy and outcomes across the organization.

7. Tableau

Tableau is Salesforce’s enterprise business intelligence and analytics platform for visualizing and analyzing data.

#Tableau dashboard
Tableau dashboard

How Tableau helps support growth

Tableau lets you visualize data from tens of different sources like product analytics software, CRM, user surveys, sales and customer success reports, and more. 

Building a product roadmap involves input and feedback from many sources and stakeholders. A task with this amplitude requires a product growth tool that can collect and combine data into a single, easy-to-use dashboard.

Using Tableau, growth PMs can create dashboards to monitor and bring together a range of data—from customer support, product, marketing, and sales teams—all in the same place. They can:

  • Import and connect product data from multiple teams and departments

  • Track the performance of ongoing digital marketing campaigns

  • Build and share interactive charts and graphs to spot trends in the customer experience

  • Analyze the impact of changes introduced in pricing plans 

  • Generate statistical analyses and forecast summaries with the Einstein AI predictive analytics and recommendations module

  • Visualize and share key product insights company-wide

Tableau is far from being just a visualization tool. This product growth software actually sees and analyzes the data it handles, helping growth PMs place users at the heart of their decision-making. Think: PMs can use Tableau to learn how likely the introduction of a new product feature would impact retention rates, or how the Customer Effort Score will improve year-over-year due to a freshly-redesigned interface. 

Tableau ultimately empowers growth PMs—even those with no tech background—to engage in their own predictive analysis using scenario planning, simulations, or other data science techniques.

8. Productboard

Productboard is a product management platform that consolidates customer feedback from different sources in one place, to make it easier to filter and understand. This can include customer service tools, internal chat apps, sales conversations, and customer-facing chat apps.

#Productboard dashboard
Productboard dashboard

How Productboard helps support growth

Productboard helps growth teams manage product insights, prioritize features, and build roadmaps—all in one place. 

This product growth tool has its own prioritization system, which lets you quantify the value and effort of each feature and create an overall prioritization score. Productboard also generates a prioritization matrix so you can visualize the trade-off between a feature’s value and effort against each of your business objectives. 

Here’s how growth PMs can use Productboard features to enhance growth:

  • Prioritization: prioritize feature requests based on the number and type of customers (free, paid, premium) who request it. This helps you align your product roadmap with customer expectations.

  • Tags: add relevant tags to customer feedback for easy access. Customer feedback is most useful when your team can find, analyze, and integrate it into their workflow with ease.

  • Roadmaps: use customer feedback to create detailed product roadmaps. This will give your team a big-picture overview of how a product will get from its current state to its future destination.

If you’re using Hotjar to collect product insights, you can connect with Productboard using Zapier and use this automation to create new notes and features from Recordings, Feedback, and Survey responses.

9. Trello

Trello is a project management tool used to organize ideas, to-do items, and tasks in a simple format. The software was designed by Atlassian, the same team behind Jira.

#Hotjar’s public product roadmap, built in Trello
Hotjar’s public product roadmap, built in Trello

How Trello helps support growth

Using a web app like Trello allows growth teams to track and share various items on the product roadmap with relevant team members. From startup to enterprise level companies, this setup is especially useful for agile teams that need to keep everyone up-to-date within a given sprint.

Growth PMs can group relevant product optimization items into easy-to-view Boards—like ‘Features in Progress’—and then attach individual Cards, such as ‘Product Data Sheet’ or ‘Case Studies'. These cards can easily be dragged and dropped under different Boards—say, from ‘In Progress’ to ‘Under Review'. 

At Hotjar, we use Trello to keep current and potential customers informed about our past product updates and future direction. Our public product roadmap is in line with our core value of “building trust with transparency,” allowing everyone to see what features we’ve shipped and what’s coming next. 

We use columns in our Trello board to group new feature releases and improvements by Hotjar’s different tools (Heatmaps, Recordings, Feedback, and Surveys) so anyone can jump straight to the updates they care about. Launched features are added only when shipped, with a link to the relevant product updates post for more details.

Without analytics, data is just noise. Analyzing data helps you make decisions which are informed and free from bias. Being user centric is at the core of our product development strategy. Our users’ experience with the app drives not only improvements but also lays the foundation for our product roadmap.

Shiv Sharma
Head of Content, Taskworld

Put product growth tools into action

The best product growth tools align your company around shared product goals, help growth PMs manage and prioritize the product roadmap, and get customers excited about a product’s direction.

No matter which of these tools you choose to add to your product growth tech stack, Hotjar provides customer-centric insights that help you and your teams balance impact, user needs, and profitability.

Tools to power product growth

Hotjar's product experience insights tools help you fuel product growth by putting users first.

FAQs about product growth tools