How Product Hunt ruined Christmas (Eve)

You hear all the time from founders that have super-awesome-successful launches on Product Hunt. They spend weeks preparing, get hunted at just the right time, tell the whole world about it, and everything’s just dandy.

This article’s about what happens to the rest of us.

What’s Contentacle All About Anyway?

Contentacle’s a platform that helps startups get less awful at content marketing with a unified place to plan, manage and publish content. My cofounder Jarratt and I’ve been working on since September 2015, and we’ve been getting some pretty decent traction so far.

We’re strong advocates of Inbound and Content Marketing at Contentacle. Have to be really, given we’re a Content Marketing startup. And we’re still building out a lot of the cooler features of Contentacle so we weren’t in a particular rush to get crazy large amounts of promotion.

Enter a Benevolent Stranger

So imagine our surprise, sitting there on Christmas Eve, bourbon (err, soft drink?) in hand, when this happens:

Surprise!

We’d been hunted by Charlie Irish — someone I’ve never interacted with — and featured on the homepage. Pretty awesome, huh?

Just One Chance

One of the best and worst things of Product Hunt is only getting one shot at being hunted. So we had to make this count.

We don’t really know any Product Hunters, and you’re not allowed (reasonably, I think) to just beg people for upvotes. So we worked out a strategy — with help from our mentors — to make the most of the situation.

Here’s what we did:

  • Thanked Charlie (probably multiple times — I blame the festive spirit(s)) for being so awesome
  • Sent out an email blast to our email list letting them know we’d been featured, with a link to the Product Hunt homepage
  • Reached out to all our personal contacts (of which there’s few) to let them know, again with a link to the homepage
  • Replied publicly to each and every person that upvoted us on the first day

Tempting though it was, we didn’t ask anyone to upvote us. It’s against the rules, and it’s just not cricket. Plus I’m happier knowing the upvotes we did get were all from people that actually think Contentacle is good.

We got a few upvotes right away from people we knew, which was pretty great. Then a lot of the people we tweeted thanks to retweeted the message to their followers, which caused a flood more.

The Product Hunt Effect

We ended the day with just shy of 100 upvotes, a threshold which we crossed the next day, and in the top 10 that day. As a pretty niche product we’re impressed with that.

In terms of traffic, we had a 5x spike in traffic on the first day and ~3x the day after, before it settled back to normal.

The awesome part, though, was that the traffic was way more targeted. Our bounce rate decreased, our trial conversion rate doubled and the feedback we’ve been getting is invaluable.

Moving On

Since being featured on Product Hunt we’ve made a ton of changes to our product and marketing site. We’ve pushed a brand new homepage live, launched a free 5-day Content Marketing course and improved a ton of our app’s functionality thanks to user feedback. And we’re still getting a little traffic every day from Product Hunt.

Basically, we’re doing well.


Thanks for reading! If you wanna reach out, I’m literally always on Twitter. Hit me up @jakeapeters