A simple Google search would reveal that launching a product on Product Hunt is an extremely popular topic. That’s how important it is for businesses that are launching products. Product Hunt (PH) is the Bible for marketers and creators who launch tech products.
If your product is one of the top products for the day on PH, the returns are unimaginable. Your subscriber base will hit the roof. You will have umpteen number of paying customers. There will be a huge spike in the number of followers in your social media handles. The media will be all over you trying to feature you and your product.
While we believe we have painted a pretty picture, would you not like to know what PH is?
What is Product Hunt?
It is a community website where creators and marketers launch their product to get their initial users. A platform like this is necessary for marketers as getting the first few users and spreading the word about the product can be a huge task. Since it is organic and based on what users actually think about the product, the reviews here hold a lot of weight. The product that has the most votes rise to the top of the day’s list.
Founded by Ryan Hoover in 2013, the products here are categorized into four: Technology products, Games, Books and Podcasts.
If you want to submit your product, it requires a title, URL, and a tagline. For an entrepreneur, Product Hunt is the ultimate place to go if they are looking to launch their product.
To put it in simple words, the first position on Product Hunt could mean the difference between hundreds of downloads or swatting flies in the hope someone visits your website. But you cannot take the product launch without seriousness. You need to spend quality time and effort on it if you are looking for the coveted first position or at least among the top products for the day.
Launch your Product: 25 Tips for Launching on Product Hunt
In this article, we will tell you how to launch your product on Product Hunt and the best practices associated in doing so. We are not promising you anything, it all boils down to what you do, and maybe, a little bit of luck too.
There is only one chance to launch your product on Product Hunt. Please remember that.
Here are 25 things that you should do while launching your product on PH:
1. Be clear about how you want to position yourself
Before you plan to launch your product on Product Hunt, you need to be insanely clear about how you want to position your product. For your customers, your product is whatever you say it is. Write down the benefits associated with your product and identify what you think your product should be. List out various iterations of your positioning before you finalize on one.
2. What’s your story?
Every product has a story. Remember this, your launch is not necessarily about your product alone, it is the story that is going to sell. Your pitch will be more refined when your story is clear. Here is the link to a story that you can take inspiration from. In short, your story should be about your journey. Why did you create this product? What inspired you? Going through the answers for these questions will help you arrive at a story that will work.
3. Getting your tagline ready
It is one of the criteria to submit your product on PH, so you have to come up with a tagline that describes your product in a few words. Choose a tagline that communicates what your product does and its offering to the user. Do not write a tagline just to attract upvotes on PH. Unless you get upvotes from people who are interested users, you will never be able to turn it into a success. Mere upvotes don’t matter.
4. Do you have an existing user base?
When you are launching your product, make sure that there are users of your product. These should be people who already love it and are familiar with the product. You need them both for feedback and support.
If the number of people who are going to support your launch is only a handful, then it will be difficult for your launch to be successful. If you want the right reach, then you need people who believe in your product.
5. Find hunters
A hunter is someone who will submit your product on PH and is an active member of the PH community with a good following. If you have a good hunter to support you, then half the battle is won. Hunters have a bunch of followers on PH who respect his/her suggestions on the platform. When your hunter submits a product on PH, their followers get notifications, either via email or through PH’s internal system. Maker Network is a great place to find PH hunters.
6. The Hunter Kit
If you want your hunter to help you, then create a Hunter Kit which contains the following:
- Product name
- Platforms that your product runs on
- Images and Videos
- Goodies that you are offering for the PH community, if any
While this might be enough, do not forget to explicitly ask them if they need any other resource to make the product launch as smooth and effective as possible.
7. Getting more support
On the launch day, you will need more support than you think. Create a sheet and add everyone who you think might be able to help. The more the people, the higher are the chances of a great launch. Write down the names, twitter account, mode to reach, and status.
Reach out to the people in the list either through personal messages, Facebook or Twitter. Segment these people based on your relationship with them. Write different types of messages for each of them.
8. Find PHers who like similar products
Create an excel sheet of all the people who have upvoted a similar product like yours. Write a tweet or offer something that these people would love to be a part of. The tweet or the message should not come across as spammy. Once the product is launched, mention them on Twitter and tell them that you have launched a similar product.
9. The email newsletter arsenal
It would be a pity if you do not have a growing list of email subscribers if you have already been in the business for many years. Use tools to find out your email subscribers who are Twitter users. (Note: To upvote on PH, you need to have a Twitter account).
Let your email subscribers know about the PH launch. Tell them how grateful you would be if they could help with an upvote on PH. Also, it might be great if you could offer them an incentive when asking for the PH upvote.
If you think you have the time for it, start the PH messaging at least a month before the launch. Tell your users that you are planning on launching a product on PH. With email drips, make them understand the benefits behind it and how they can be a part of the launch too.
10. Prepare all the collaterals in advance
You should not be scrambling on the launch date for materials that are required on the D-day. Make sure that you have written all the tweets in advance. Prepare a series of blog posts too that should help in pushing your agenda. Get all the images clicked in advance. Ensure that the product video is ready at least a week before the launch.
It is easy to be counted as a spammer on any of the social media sites, so be careful about that too before you go all guns blazing.
11. Offers for PHers
No one says no to a good deal, especially not a community like PH. Include special promotions and offers only for PHers. Also, deals like these on the launch day can help your case incredibly well. It will help capture the attention of people and it will be sustained as long as the promotions are running. Once the initial traction is over, you will get word of mouth recommendations from the customers who were a part of your first day offer.
Encourage people to use your product by offering the product free for a few days or a giant discount that will not be available anywhere else. People will be happy with your generosity and you can expect them to take action.
12. Make your team create PH accounts
The people who support your launch on PH should have active accounts. If a product gets too many upvotes from newly created user accounts, they are not considered, and sometimes, even the product might be penalized for it. If you plan to add people who you know for the push on the launch day, then create them in advance, at least a few months prior so that they have a decent traction to show.
13. Respond to everyone
As simple as this might seem, a lot of product marketers who launch on PH do not respond to all the comments. You will find a lot more users engaging in your product when there are conversations that are already happening on the launch day. It is also an opportunity for you to get genuine feedback from interested folks. You might end up pivoting your product to make something even more beneficial. It may even end up creating a product roadmap for you.
14. Post updates on social media
You could start with talking about the traction that you are getting for your product on PH. Share screenshots of the PH page of your product on various social media handles. Here is something that we have heard from a lot of people, if someone explores PH and then upvotes your product, then it has a lot of weightage. We recommend not to share the product link on different social media handles as you do not want upvotes from newly created accounts.
15. Choosing topics
You need to find the right category that your product falls under. Pick 3-5 topics which gives the reader an idea of which category your product belongs to. We advise you to try broad topics as well as specific topics so that you will be able to attract a niche audience who are looking for something like your product. Did you know that you can even suggest a topic that is not available on PH?
16. Get the PH badge for your website
Add the PH badge on your website to let your visitors know that you are available there. As a maker of the product, you can easily embed the code on your website so that you will also be able to show real-time stats from PH on your website.
17. Add makers to your product
If there is a team of people who are involved in this, then it makes sense to give them their due credit by adding them as makers. Their followers will also get a notification when the product is about to be launched. Here’s what you should do once the product is launched. One of the makers should be the first one to comment with a brief take on what the product is about and how it benefits its users. This is a great way to introduce the product. It humanizes the entire process.
18. Get those early upvotes
By now, we all know that almost all of the social media websites give a lot of weightage to early engagement such as likes and comments as soon as something is posted. If you are in a position to influence hundreds of people to engage with your PH page as soon as it is launched, then you are a hero. Otherwise, build strong relationships to get the ball rolling.
19. Include keywords
In the life of a marketer, keywords never lose their value. Even in the PH product launch, you need to ensure that you are using the right keywords while describing your product. Let it be the tagline that you write or the comments that you (and your teammates) post, ensure that they include your brand keywords. The product page of PH is indexed by Google and also ranks pretty well.
20. Get your communication channels right
Ensure that your message is the same on all channels. Do not use your social media handles to get them to upvote your product on the PH page. It is too late for that because new user account upvotes do not carry any weightage and if there are a lot of them, then your product might even be penalized. You do not want something like that happening on the launch date, isn’t it? Ensure that all your communication channels feature the release of your product as an achievement and not that of the PH launch.
21. Media Kit
The kind of response from the media depends on how well your product performs on PH. Make sure that you have the media kit ready with all the details that they might be asking for. You will be saving a lot of time for you and folks from the media when you have the kit ready in advance. PH is also an amazing place to hunt for investors. You never know, you may get lucky.
22. Be active on the PH ecosystem
Before you try to leverage the PH community, you will be in a better position if you contribute to the community. You will be able to help other entrepreneurs like yourself as well as get to know more about the community. Check out how the pages look like, read the conversations that happen there, how the makers respond to the comments, and so on. Leave comments on tools that you like. Upvote interesting products. Connect with active PHers who might even end up as one of your hunters.
23. Reflect on the launch
After the product launch is over, now is the time to reflect back on what were the things that you did right. Find out from other PHers if you had missed out on doing something elementary that was expected during a product launch. Mistakes are bound to happen, but you should not be repeating them again. How did you respond to the comments? What did the PHers feel about your product? How did your email newsletter subscribers welcome your product?
24. Analyze the launch
This is the time where you measure the stats. How many new customers did you acquire? How many new website visitors? Number of comments received. What was the tone of most of the comments? How many website referrals from PH? How many of the signups ended up paying for the product? How many social media followers did you get in a single day?
25. Prepare for another day
With the launch day being over, most of your battle is done. You have given your best and that is all that matters. Once you have taken considerable rest, the next thing that you need to do is to create a system where there is more universal adoption of your products. Don’t forget to keep the interest in your product alive. Be active on PH so that you can attract more visitors.
Thank everyone who helped you with the launch. Remember that each of them spent considerable time in ensuring that your product could get as much leverage as possible. All the people who you tried to reach out to, try to convert them, at least into an email subscriber.
PH is great to add momentum to your product. It is a great place to showcase your product to a community of users who are highly knowledgeable. You will also be putting yourself in front of interested customers when you are on PH. It will help you get great feedback that can even change the course of your company.
Here are some of the things that we want you to remember:
- Prepare in advance: Your preparation for PH launch should start at least three months before the date. The need to find hunters is a factor that should stoke your creativity.
- Networking: PH is a product in itself that showcases the power of communities. If you have a community built around your product, getting featured as one of the top products of the day is pretty easy. If not, it can be a nightmare because you need genuine people backing you.
- Serve your audience: No matter how good your marketing is, if your product doesn’t live up to the mark, then you will be in for a rude surprise. Perfect your product first.
Good luck with your product launch!