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Targeting the right User Attributes in Hotjar: complete guide

Learn how to segment your Hotjar data by choosing the right User Attributes. Get fast, relevant insights about your most important user groups.

Last updated

26 Jul 2022

Reading time

7 min


Benefits Of Market Segmentation With Hotjar’s User Attributes

User Attributes let you segment users in Hotjar to get faster, more relevant insights. By importing user information—like gender, location, or spend amount—from your system, you can learn more about distinct user groups.

But with virtually unlimited ways to segment users in Hotjar, how do you choose the right User Attributes to target? Read on to find out!

Get to know your visitors

Hotjar shows you exactly what users are doing on your website, giving you deep insights into the audiences that matter most.

Why is it important to choose the right User Attributes?

User Attributes let you segment your audiences in two key ways:

  • Filter Hotjar Recordings and Heatmaps, so you only see data from the users you’re most interested in

  • Target Hotjar Surveys and Feedback widgets at users you want to hear from most

With this personalized approach to user analytics, you can get answers to specific questions about your audience segments. For example, you might want to learn why your app’s trial users are dropping off at the payment page or why your newest users are getting stuck on your checkout page.

user attributes

Leveraging User Attributes can shortcut the process of answering these questions by focusing on the right data from the right people. But if you’re not choosing the correct User Attributes, you could end up looking at—and basing decisions on—data that isn’t relevant.

User Attributes teach you more about your most valuable cohorts of users

With User Attributes, you can learn from any audience segment you’re gathering data about—yay! But a lot of the time, you’ll be interested in optimizing the journeys of users with the highest lifetime value.

By choosing User Attributes that focus on high-value customer segments, you can learn how to improve the experience of those users who spend more with you. For example, you could:

  • Filter heatmaps to discover which parts of your product pages cause high-value customers the most frustration

  • Target high-value customers with surveys asking them what products they’d like to see in your next promotional campaign

Avoid common pitfalls by leveraging User Attributes to segment your audience

If you’re trying to understand a segment of your audience better, focusing on the wrong data can slow you down. In a worst-case scenario, it could even mean missing important insights altogether.

Let’s look at an example scenario:

Imagine you’re working for an ecommerce store that sells shoes worldwide. You know that your greatest demand for designer shoes comes from high-value customers in Germany. So, in your next European campaign, you send those customers a coupon (or shoe-pon, if you like) for 10% off selected designer shoes.

One week later, you notice that customers are not buying the shoes promoted in your campaign. So you look to Hotjar’s behavior analytics software for the answers, leveraging User Attributes to filter your recordings.

UA search filters

With the correct User Attributes selected:

  • You filter your recordings for users who previously spent over $600 and are located in Germany

  • While watching recordings, you learn that users are trying to buy the products you’re promoting—but when they go to the checkout, the coupon code you sent them isn’t working

  • You realize the code was not set to work on products costing over $300. Fortunately, you discovered this quickly and can correct it while the campaign is ongoing.

With the wrong User Attributes selected:

  • You filter session recordings to show users who visited their member dashboard in the last year. These users are on your mailing list, so the segment seems relevant.

  • You view recordings of users on the product pages you selected for the campaign. However, because you’re not filtering for high-value customers in Germany, you don’t see users trying to use the coupon code.

  • You eventually realize that the coupon code was faulty, but by this time, the campaign period is over

This is just one example of how selecting the right User Attributes can help you save time—and money—by finding the right insights faster.

How to find the right User Attributes in 4 steps

Naturally, different businesses will benefit most from different User Attributes. To decide which ones will have the most impact for you, follow these steps.

Step 1: decide on the question you want to answer

Ideally, start with a question about your users that you’re looking to answer with Hotjar data. 

For example:

  • Why are high-value customers clicking through from our campaign emails but not making purchases?

  • Which new products are our highest-value customers most interested in?

💡Pro tip: the more specific you can be here, the better. “How do we make more money from our customers?” is very general and difficult to put into action. On the other hand, “How can we improve our onboarding experience for trial users?” is specific and actionable.

Step 2: determine what information would help you reach that goal

When you’re looking to gain insights from Hotjar, it usually refers to:

  • Information about how users experience your website or app

  • Information users can tell you themselves

For example, let’s say you want to understand which new products your high-value customers are most interested in. In this situation, it would be helpful to know which product pages on your site they are visiting the most.

Step 3: choose the User Attributes that would help you get that information

To find out which product pages high-value customers are viewing most, you could filter session recordings by two User Attributes:

  • total_spend would allow you to segment users who had previously spent over $600

  • last_visited would allow you to segment users who had visited in the last month and so could have seen newer products

By using these two User Attributes as a filter, you can watch recordings from users who spent over $600 and may have seen your newest products.

UA recordings

You could also directly ask high-value customers which products they are most interested in by targeting a Hotjar Survey at that audience segment.

Step 4: get the personalized insights you need

With the right User Attributes set up, you can now segment your audience effectively—and target them exclusively with surveys and feedback.

Enjoy getting faster insights tailored to your unique goals.


What User Attributes can you choose from in Hotjar?

Below are some of the most popular User Attributes, although Hotjar works with many more.

User Attribute

What it does

Why it’s helpful


Identify where your visitors came from (e.g., a Facebook ad).

Target users from specific traffic sources with surveys or feedback.


Identify what gender your users are.

Identify what gender your users are. Segment by gender to understand what preferences they have in what pages they visit or where they click.


Identify whether a user made a purchase during their last visit.

Get a better understanding of the journeys of visitors who don’t buy anything.


Determine whether a user is on a trial version of your product.

Understand where trial users are getting lost or seeking more information, so you can improve customer acquisition.


Find out which campaign a user was targeted by.

Learn about the journeys of users who were targeted by specific ad campaigns.


Show the date when the user's account was first created.

Track the behavior of users over time, or see how long-standing, loyal customers behave differently from newer ones.


Show the total value of all purchases made by a user.

Identify low-LTV or high-LTV customers.


Show the country associated with a user.

Target surveys and feedback to users from specific areas.


Show the date when a user signed up for a service or mailing list.

Filter newer or older customers by the date they signed up.

Hotjar also gives you access to some lesser-chosen User Attributes:

User Attribute

What it does

Why it’s uncommon


Show the user's role within an organization.

This User Attribute can only be applied if you’re capturing information about user job roles in your systems. However, it could be extremely useful if different job roles have significantly different needs on your site.


Show what product a customer previously purchased.

This User Attribute can be helpful if you want to get insights about users who bought specific products. However, because of Hotjar’s 100 User Attribute limit, it’s not recommended for companies with large product lines.

Integrate Hotjar with Segment to easily analyze and share data about distinct user groups

Segment is a customer data platform letting you unite information from different systems that don’t normally “talk” to one another.

Hotjar integrates with Segment, so you can connect your user data to it without any custom coding. You can then easily cross-reference data to get fresh insights about your user personas and share them across your departments.

How could Hotjar’s Segment integration help you learn more about audience segments?

Imagine you want to investigate why customers with a low lifetime value (LTV) aren’t making more purchases on a particular product page.

You decide the best way to gather insights around this is to use a Hotjar Feedback widget to learn how visitors feel about the page. However, if you were to show all your visitors the feedback widget, you’d also receive answers from users you aren’t necessarily as interested in.


Instead, you leverage User Attributes stored by Segment to ensure that Hotjar only shows the feedback widget to low-LTV users. The data reveals that low-LTV users find the product to be too similar to another, lower-priced product they’ve seen.

What difference does the Segment integration make here?

Segment allows you to pass on your findings to other teams, so they can act on the insights too. Because Segment integrates all your apps, the User Attributes stay consistent, allowing other teams to analyze and target the same audience segments.

In our example situation, your marketing department could show an ad campaign to lower-LTV users, highlighting the unique aspects of the product. And thanks to Hotjar’s Segment integration, they could do this without any extra APIs or coding.

Improve your product experience with User Attributes

No matter your role, industry, or business size, getting relevant insights from your data is vital for making decisions with confidence. And with the process described here, you can choose User Attributes that help you uncover those breakthrough market research insights in no time.

What’s more, you can now use Hotjar’s User Attributes capability to plan ahead in deciding which user data to capture. The more information you have in your own systems, the more flexibility you’ll have when it comes to targeting your audience. Happy segmenting!

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