Product Hunt is a platform with a huge audience that can get a lot of eyes on your newly launched business or app.
It can be a huge PR win to get you lots of early buzz, users, media coverage, and potential investors.
I know because all of that happened to us after we launched Postaga on Product Hunt, and ended up #1 for the day and #2 for the week.
But the truth is that just releasing your product on Product Hunt doesn’t guarantee you any success.
One thing I liken a Product Hunt launch to is posting on social media.
When you upload something on your social accounts, you can’t just post something and then hope for hundreds of likes and shares. You also have to think of a strategy.
Maybe a nice theme that goes well with your business personality?
Engaging with new possible customers?
The time when your audience is most active?
Basically, you reflect on everything that seems useful, and only after that do you post it online.
After all, preparation and strategy always matter and this is true for Product Hunt too.
With the right amount of planning and a good launch strategy, you can easily build awareness and drive new customers to your product.
But how many relevant customers can a successful Product Hunt launch attract?
The Numbers Chico, They Never Lie
We know you don’t want to hear another well-written story because the Internet is full of them.
That’s why we’d like to focus on the numbers and tell you exactly what an impact our Product Hunt launch had on our business.
The day we decided to launch on Product Hunt, we got #1 for the day and #2 for the week.
In other words, we received over 300 new sign-ups to our platform only 24 hours from the launch.
Besides, more than 1,000 new users registered during the following week as well.
And the good news didn’t stop there!
Several investors pitched to us and we also got good media coverage from all this story.
By sticking to a well-planned strategy, we’ve managed to get a lot of traffic and interested customers.
So here’s a list of the most important tips and tricks that helped us – and hopefully will help you too – achieve great results.
The 5 P’s Of a Successful Launch on Product Hunt
Proper. Preparation. Prevents. Poor. Presentation.
If you are looking for some inspiration, I like to think of Astronaut Chris Hadfeld. In astronaut training, they sweat the small stuff. They over-prepare and are ready for every worst-case scenario, so that in the event a worst-case scenario happens, their training kicks in and they can handle it.
Now, Product Hunt launch is not like launching a rocket, but let’s use this for inspiration for your Product Hunt launch.
Preparation is mandatory.
You will likely be stressed out on launch day.
If you do it right, you will have a huge influx of traffic and visitors to your site, checking out your business, asking you support questions, and strength-testing the resources of your website.
Do yourself a favor and organize everything you’ll have to do for this event, what things you should avoid, and what things you should pay attention to.
This way, you’re setting realistic results that will help you stay focused the whole time.
Hit the Books
And by that I mean study, research, learn, and cover anything that seems useful for your product launch.
First things first, try and accommodate yourself with Product Hunt.
See how the platform works, and check out what a successful launch on Product Hunt means for a business like yours.
Check out competitors and similar products.
Importantly, check out other successful product launches.
See if you can reverse-engineer what they did right or did better than others.
And learn from their successes.
You’ll soon realize that people have a lot of misconceptions about this too, and there’s a lot of bad info out there.
For example, some believe that linking directly to your product page might be seen as spammy or might get you a penalty.
But even Product Hunt debunked this myth.
In fact, there is nothing more helpful for your audience than linking directly to your product page, instead of guiding them to other irrelevant pages.
Secondly, research thoroughly how other relevant and successful Product Hunt launches looked like.
Take notes on everything:
- Did they have a video, and what did it cover?
- What kind of images did they include?
- What was their initial comment like?
- How did they respond to their messages?
- How quickly did they answer?
- What influencers or media did they contact and get to endorse them?
- How they managed their social media during the launch day?
Keep your eyes peeled for anything that might be helpful to you and your team.
The more information you have, the less you’ll be taken by surprise when the big day comes.
Prepare High-Quality Content and Assets
Good quality assets help tell your story and quickly connect with your audience.
You have a very finite window of time to get across what your product does and why people should check it out.
For Product Hunt, you will need:
- A gif logo (make sure it stands out!)
- Images (but not simple screenshots – annotate them so people understand what they are seeing)
- A brief 1-minute well-produced explainer video
- An intro comment that explains what you do and why
Quality is important.
If you cannot produce this in-house, I’d recommend outsourcing to a designer or Upwork to get this right.
You only get one chance to make a first impression. If your images and video are poor quality, it will reflect badly on your product.
But that’s not all.
Prepare detailed, informative, and clear FAQ content that will explain everything that your customers want to know.
Also, a short video (1 min max) and some informational screenshots will be great additions too.
The truth is that people won’t buy what they don’t understand.
But as soon as they get a proper grasp of how your product works, they will see that your services are valuable and they will want them.
Your comments and descriptions should be carefully crafted too.
Don’t write spammy messages, or passive-aggressive remarks if you happen to get negative comments.
But there are also other ways to make your product shine among the Product Hunt competitors for the day’s top spots:
- A nice homepage GIF will definitely make your product stand out.
- A catchy tagline will engage more potential customers than a plain, boring one.
- Submitter’s comment is the place where you can tell your audience everything they need to know about your product.
Overall, your content shows your competence and knowledge in your field.
Focus as much as possible on offering a positive and pleasant experience for anyone that interacts with your product!
If your messaging is excited and upbeat, you can foster more excitement from your audience.
Build Your Audience Ahead of Time
You cannot simply show a product to an audience you’ve never interacted with and hope it’ll be a hit.
If you made a Twitter account right now and posted something, how many likes and shares would you get?
Don’t get too caught up in the process and forget that Product Hunt is a community too.
Remember when I said that you should know how to use Product Hunt first?
Once you get used to it, don’t stop there. Create some good karma too!
Actively search tools and services that you personally find useful and upvote them.
Show support by commenting and reviewing their products.
Another practical tactic is to do some cold outreach with potential customers and share your product in its beta phase. Be mindful of their opinion and how you can improve your services.
Plus, you can reach new people by creating online courses on different learning platforms.
For example, we created several online courses on Udemy which helped us find relevant audience.
We also did cold outreach to get beta users, and created lead magnet content on our website to build up our email list.
This ensured that on launch day, we had a community of people we could rally to upvote our Product Hunt launch and help us get better visibility.
Dot the I’s And Cross the T’s
Make a to-do list with all the things you need to keep an eye on.
Maybe you can even add a to-do list with all the to-do lists you’ll want to make.
Ok,joking about that part.
But not really…
Draft messages, emails, and social posts that you’re going to send to your communities.
A nice and useful plan is to give your friends a list of comments and questions to ask you on your launch day. So, you can cover even more information about your product that you weren’t able to discuss in your initial comment.
Building a list of press people when you launch on Product Hunt is a big advantage.
If you can, try and reach out to media outlets and influencers that genuinely like your product.
Search through YouTube channels, industry blogs, or social influencers that might be fitting for your niche.
Don’t go just to anyone for a little bit of support. Instead, connect only with those that are relevant to your industry.
You can use tools like Hunter.io or Phantombuster (or also Postaga!) to get their contact info and get in touch with them.
To win over influencers, you should be prepared to have an affiliate program and set the influencer up with a free product / account.
Technical Aspects Of The Launch
Just like your content, the technical details will speak volumes to your potential customers about your product.
Making sure that everything works is crucial for your image.
Confirm with your entire team that:
- Your social media accounts are up and running.
- Your website doesn’t crash when there is a spike in traffic.
- The hour and date of your launch work perfectly for everyone involved. Studies show that the best time for your launch is 12:01am PT.
- Your content is ready and flawless.
Besides, block off your launch day and focus only on Product Hunt. Anything else can distract you and cause delays when responding to other people’s comments.
The Big Day Is Finally Here! What Should I Do?
We know it’s stressful, so take a big breath and remember: you’ve got this!
After all, this is why we insisted on making an in-depth preparation.
What other things should you consider on the day you launch on Product Hunt?
When you respond to your audience, give quick, detailed, and simple answers.
As soon as you launch, tell everyone about it!
Share with your email list.
Facebook or Slack groups, subreddits, anything that can get you a better visibility.
The first hours are especially critical because if you show up in the top 5 in Product Hunt early on, it gets you more visibility during the day and that can help you stay towards the top.
If you are buried, then it can be hard to build momentum.
Some people might not be customers, but they still want to help you! Tell them how they can support your business during this huge event.
After the Launch
Congratulations! The most stressful time has passed and now you can relax a bit.
However, the work isn’t done yet!
Don’t forget to thank your community for the help you received the whole time.
The best part is that, if your Product Hunt launch is done right, you’ll get even more perks.
For instance, if you get in Top 5 for the day, you’ll end up in their newsletter, which means more visibility for your business.
Also, if you get in Top 5 for the week, you’ll be featured in another Product Hunt newsletter, and that again means more exposure.
So, wrapping it all up…
Product Hunt can be a great way to announce your new app or product to the world, get some traction, and get your earliest users. But, only if you do the work and plan accordingly.
Andy Cabasso is a digital marketing professional, speaker, and lawyer. He is the co-founder of Postaga, an all-in-one platform for link building and email outreach. Prior to Postaga, he started, grew, and then successfully sold a digital marketing agency.
Also published on Medium.