Sublime Tutor was featured on Product Hunt

How I reached Product Hunt top slot

A PH launch 🚀 without trying to gamify the system

As you can already get a feeling from my post, this doesn’t contain any new found knowledge that hasn’t already been shared on the internet. What I can tell you though, are the things I did and what they resulted in at the end of the day.

The product — I created Sublime Tutor, which is a free plugin for Sublime Text. The tutor interactively teaches you shortcuts and advanced features inside the editor itself.

The tutorial in action inside Sublime Text

Before the launch, I focused on a couple of things that I already knew.

  1. To get maximum eyes on PH, it is best to get featured around 00:00 hours GMT -7 time. Also, weekdays are better than weekends.
  2. PH specifically discourages asking people to vote in any way.

Since I live in India, the time to post was ideal for me. Once I posted the product on PH, I informed about the launch on maker hunt slack channel. But didn’t give them product hunt URL.

Launch on Maker Hunt. (MH is a slack community of PH makers)

As I saw the time pass by, about 20 products had got featured and Sublime Tutor was nowhere to be seen. I had to wait for another hour and then I noticed Sublime Tutor in the featured section, probably second or third from the last. I was super happy, but given that it was a mid-week time, lots of new submissions were happening at a rapid pace. There was a tough competition. I had my apprehensions, why would product people care about Sublime Text?

I also posted about the launch on my facebook account and a facebook group ‘hackathon hackers’, but I didn’t provide direct URL to the product hunt page. I didn’t ask for upvote as well.

I waited for another hour and I saw the product climbing up in the list. Quickly enough after that, Sublime Tutor made it to the front page (above the products for which you had to click ‘more’). Another interesting part was that it was above some products which had more upvotes than Sublime Tutor.

On one side people were praising the product, Sublime Tutor was slowly gaining its rank. I had to wait only for half an hour more to see it at number 4! It looked so beautiful with that burning flame emoji signifying a trending product.

Sublime Tutor reached 4th position. Notice the next product after it has higher number of upvotes.

Now it was only about sustaining the position. I kept replying to people who commented here and elsewhere on facebook/twitter. It was great to see a reconfirmation from the users how much they wanted this product. Within no time, I also started receiving mails from people who had seen it on product hunt, showing their love for it.

Since the product was open sourced, some people who found issues in the product, sent the fixes on github as pull requests. It was an amazing feeling.

Left: Google Analytics reporting live traffic, Right: Pull Requests on Github

There were three other launches from big companies like slack, whatsapp and amazon but Sublime Tutor kept its place in the range of 4–6. By the end of next day, this is how it looked (in yesterday column):

Product Hunt position by the end of next day

More than 10K users have visited the website in the last three days. Out of them, more than 1K have installed the plugin. That’s 10% conversion, not bad at all.

Left: GA traffic spike in the last three days, Right: Package Control statistics on plugin installs

So, my takeaways from this launch:

  1. Product Hunt is a great platform for product launches. It will easily get you thousands of users in a single day. Make sure you are prepared for this spike.
  2. Be responsive. When people comment on your product, engage with them in conversations. Be humble.
  3. Don’t ask for votes. Don’t link your product directly on social platforms. Let people organically vote you up.
  4. To get more eyeballs, post it mid-week. But be warned that it’ll also get you competition in a proportionate amount.

How has your experience been with Product Hunt? Do you agree with me? Please share your thoughts via comments below.

Read my earlier post:

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