A few weeks ago, my app for Slack was published in their directory. I wrote an article detailing the creation process and the initial results. The app? A simple to-do list for your team that you control with the command /todo inside Slack.
Since then, the number of installs per day has increased and the active users continue to grow. But last week there was spike, a spike that big that put all the rest of my site traffic to shame. Some people call it “The Product Hunt Effect”.
It was Thursday (4th of Feb 2016) around 9pm (Sydney time) and I got an email from my friend Ryan (@ryangum)
Your job for the next 24 hours is to get as many votes on it as possible — i suggest: don’t get people to signup today and vote for it (that’s a big nono)
I’ll try to get a few votes for you on my end too. Good luck!
It was showtime!
First thing I did was go to the PH post and introduce my self and thank the OP (@gregoiregilbert) for sharing /todo. PH is not just a directory, it’s a community, so it’s very important to not only make it about the product but also about the story behind it, and the people.
I didn’t know what to expect really, so at the beginning I tried not to look too much into it. But after an hour or so I checked again and BOOM 50 or something votes! 10+ twitter notifications, I was blown away!
At that moment is when I told my wife “I’m going to bed late tonight, like really late” The downside of living in Australia is that you go to bed when the “rest of the world” wakes up. I set up my my monitor with Google Analytics, Twitter, PH and my application dashboard. I was going to enjoy this moment as much as I could and try to engage with as many people as possible.
I shared the PH link on my social media accounts as well as in a few forums and Slack channels. Comments were flowing and twitter mentions were coming. One of the nicest one was from one of the PH staff (@Corleyh) sharing a screenshot of her and her and her colleague testing /todo https://twitter.com/Corleyh/status/695273332925595649
It was like a rollercoaster, someone will tweet the link and if they have a lot of followers that would turn into a spike in traffic and mentions for a few minutes.. then everything will calm down and when I was ready to shut down and go to bed another wave of activity would come. This went on for about 3 – 4 hours.
At about 3am Sydney time, the number of votes stopped increasing and the traffic slowed down. I thought it was time to go to bed. I was in the top 5 and I knew that if I stayed there I could be featured in the daily email. With a 150 votes I had a chance but only if nobody else was posted on the front page. Still the East Coast on the US was waking up so there was a lot morr to go. I had about 4hrs sleep and I woke up to check what happened in the morning, unfortunately my votes didn’t increase that much and I went down to position 8 – 9 which is still really good but there were some really cool products that got over 500+ votes and they took the lead. Eventually I dropped to the 10th position in Tech for that day and I’m still there.
All data is from the 4th of February to the 14th of February 2016. The peaks are in the 5th of February because my Google Analytics is set to my timezone (Sydney, Australia), so for the rest of the world this was still Thursday. The graph and numbrs are only for the traffic from Product Hunt
Top 10 countries
Mobile vs. Desktop
I really wonder if this represents also the traffic that Product Hunts gets. They are basically opposite to the mobile trend and this probably means that most of us check out PH at work :)
Browser and OS
PH brings a lot of traffic and that is great to get your name and product out there, but not everyone is shopping. People are checking you out, playing your demo video or reading about your team. Once the front-page madness is over you can see how people coming from PH are more willing to install/buy and the conversion rates gets closer to the “normal”
Overall the experience was fantastic and for a few hours I felt “internet famous” :p Being in PH is not just a short term result, beside the “one day spike” you get feedback, validation, you get the word out there and those things last for a very long time. I would recommend anyone planning to promote their product on PH to make sure your product works great, that you are ready to handle a big spike on traffic smoothly, engage with people as much as you can and don’t expect anything :)
If you would like to see more metrics let me know and I would add them :)