Just like others, our business was hit hard by COVID-19.
As a result, we lost 40% in GMV since March 2020, which translates into $85,000 in monthly payments.
Luckily, we recovered pretty quickly and started to get significant spikes in traffic and sales. This happened largely thanks to our launches on Product Hunt, a community to share and discover the next “big things” in tech. The platform curates a list of the best products and startups that people haven’t heard of yet. If you successfully launch on Product Hunt, you can get new subscribers, partners, and customers.
We’ll teach you how to get featured on Product Hunt and how you can benefit from it, too.
What gains we earned from launching on Product Hunt
Before you post your product on the platform, let’s explore what we earned after two launches. Get inspired. In spring of 2020, we launched our first initiative on Product Hunt. We offered a big discount for the first 60 days of work with our developers for startups that had been affected by the pandemic.
This resulted in:
- 683 new website visitors
- 22 demos
- 4 new clients
- Greater than $17K monthly GMV
In summer of 2020, we launched our new brand and got:
- 1,286 new users
- 31 demos
- 6 new clients
- Greater than $21k monthly GMV
On top of that, we started getting more proposals about partnerships and possible acquisitions.
How to launch on Product Hunt
To help you make the most out of your first Product Hunt launch, we’re going to walk you through the process step by step.
Step 1: Create your Product Hunt account
This is the essential thing you need to do to be able to launch on Product Hunt.
The platform suggests setting up a personal account – meaning no companies, logos, or branding. This helps Product Hunt build a high-quality community free of bots. But you can create personal accounts for every team member as well and make sure everyone is marked as a maker of the product. This will get them commenting rights, which is vital for engaging in conversation with the Product Hunt community.
Step 2: Prepare basic materials
- Tagline. Write a short description of your product in 60 characters or less.
- Description. This is a more detailed explanation of your product and the unique value it provides.
- Thumbnail. Make it attention-grabbing and engaging.
- Images. Include at least three to start. The recommended size is 1270 x 760 px.
- First comment from the maker. Tell people why you created this product, who it’s for, and more. Make it personal.
- Video. Upload a simple promo on YouTube.
Step 3: Create an offer for the Product Hunt community
The Product Hunt community loves special deals on the launch day.
During our first campaign, we offered a big discount on our services. But the second time, we decided to make donations to a charity of their choice on behalf of our clients instead of giving them a physical discount.
Step 4: Find a hunter
To appear on the first page, you have to get your product submitted by a trusted hunter or get promoted by Product Hunt moderators.
The major benefit of having an influential community member post your product is that the platform will notify all of the hunter’s followers of the launch. Furthermore, it’s always good for the audience to know that the product is coming from a credible and trustworthy source.
To find out whether the community trusts a hunter, check their last 10 submissions. If all of them were featured, go for it!
Reach out to top hunters and ask them to help you launch your product. Offer early or free access to the product so the hunter can get a feel for it. Consider giving a little reward for their effort.
Don’t be upset if you can’t find the hunter. The first time we asked a friend to hunt us. And the second time, we posted the product ourselves. Both times, our product wasn’t featured on the first page from the start. But during both launches, we made it to the top eight of the featured list.
Step 5: Launch
After you launch your product, do the following:
- Immediately ask your friends and acquaintances to support
- Announce the launch on your social pages
- Send a note to your clients and past leads
- Join communities where makers support each other and post there
- Answer every comment
You can also get mentioned in the Product Hunt newsletter, which will give you an additional spike. But it’s not clear how exactly they choose which products to feature. So create a great product, post it, and keep your fingers crossed.
Step 6: Analyze your stats after launch
Product Hunt isn’t just about introducing your product to the audience. It can have several goals. For example, you can get comments on your prototype from community members and make your product better.
So measure referral traffic received from Product Hunt, newly acquired clients, number of comments, and more. Below are the metrics to consider:
- Web traffic. How many visits did the Product Hunt campaign bring you? Most likely, your activities on the launch day will result in a traffic spike. But don’t stop here. It’s important to keep tracking to see if there will be an increase in the days and weeks afterward. This will help you understand whether your Product Hunt campaign was a one-time splash or if it’s generating real traction.
- Mentions on social platforms. Know the number of new followers you gained. Also, check out if they are engaging with your posts after the launch. In case of a large following and good activity, you can use these stats to build a better demographic profile of your potential customers.
- Feedback received on Product Hunt. Use reviews and comments on your product to improve your marketing strategy and the product in general.
- New users and conversions. Remember that you need to prioritize conversions, not upvotes. Conversions are an extremely important metric, especially if you launch a minimum viable product with the goal to see if the audience has demand for it.
Step 7: Concentrate on communication
Real-time communication is crucial. If you don’t respond to comments and requests immediately, you can’t expect much success with your launch. Allocate a few days to be active on Product Hunt speaking with the community. Involve your team.
Even when we left the office after the hard day, we still were constantly on our phones to reply to every single person that showed interest in our product. This is how we set 30+ demos and made over $38K in sales during our two launches.
What should you pay attention to when launching on Product Hunt?
Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning to launch on Product Hunt.
The right time to launch depends on your target audience. For example, if you target US users, make sure you post your product before the time when people wake up. The earlier you hunt your product in the Pacific Time Zone, the more “initial upvotes” you’ll have. It’s also better not to launch on holidays, as this can lessen the traction.
Don’t hesitate to ask
You can post on Product Hunt only once every six months. If you want to launch more frequently, reach out to Product Hunt support. Chances are they will allow you to start the second campaign earlier.
Competition and fake reviews
Don’t forget about the competition and stand up for yourself. Both times our campaigns have been flooded with fake reviews and comments. And we knew that was because of the competition as the same accounts were upvoting a similar product a week ago.
Of course, you should respect the rules of the community, but you lose in the end. So keep in mind that there is an option to buy positive fake reviews. Just in case.
Ensure employee evangelism
Ask every team member to promote the launch. They can share the launch links with friends, past colleagues and encourage them to spread the word asking for shares. This can dramatically increase your organic reach.
Networking is king
This advice is a no-brainer. Networking is the key to success if you are going to launch on Product Hunt. So start building a strong network on the platform in advance. Check out the new products every day and upvote the ones you like. Ask questions on the Product Hunt forum, make friends in comments. In short, build real relationships.
Take it easy
If the campaign goes bad, don’t take it personally; upvotes don’t pay your bills. Neither getting the most upvotes guarantees you extra sales nor getting bad comments and reviews makes your business uncompetitive and uninteresting to investors, partners, and customers.
Product Hunt launch checklist
Now you’re familiar with all the activities and pitfalls you have to keep in mind when launching your product on Product Hunt. Let’s get all this into a list of things you should do when launching your next campaign:
- Create a personal account
- Get your team to create individual accounts
- Prepare all the basic materials: tagline, description, thumbnail, imagery, video, etc.
- Create an offer or discount for the community
- Find a hunter if you can
- Post your product
- Promote your launch on social media
- Ask your customers, colleagues, partners, and friends to support your post
- Answer every comment on Product Hunt