Our Product Hunt Strategy: How we optimized for maximum success and impact.
Now that the dust has settled on our hunt, we wanted to quickly share how much lift we saw (and what you may expect if you post yourself), our experience as a whole, and some tips that helped make our hunt a success. If you were ever on the fence about submitting your baby to Product Hunt then we really can’t recommend it enough. It has emerged as THE place to discover new products and for good reason.
Not only will you get a lot of valuable feedback and questions right on the post itself, but you’ll obviously get an influx of traffic to your site and product. Here are some benefits we saw from our hunt:
- User sign-ups: 427% increase
- Site traffic: 425% increase
- User hours streamed: 68% increase
- + Lots of emails about potential opportunities
- + A few items added to our roadmap based on great feedback (unlisted YouTube streams coming very soon!)
So, how did we reach #2 on featured hunts for May 12th, 2017 with over 960 upvotes? Simple: research and preparation. There’s already a fair share of guides and tips out there so we read a lot of them (we’ve also linked some of them below) and did some research of our own.
But before you go running off and utilizing these tips, you need to ask yourself, “Is my product ready for Product Hunt?”. The worst thing you can do is go through all this preparation only to have your site crash or users have a bad experience with your product if it’s in an infant state.
With that said, here are some of the best pointers we have for you based on our own experience and research.
- Choose your Day & Time wisely. There’s some debate on what day is best to post but everyone can agree on the fact that you should never post on the weekend. Tuesday — Thursday generally see the highest traffic so you’ll have more eyeballs on your product BUT you have more competition. We opted to post on Friday since we’d have less competition and also have the opportunity to make Product Hunt’s Weekend Digest email that goes out to all their subscribers. In regards to time, you’ll want to definitely post earlier in the day to get people checking during breakfast or lunch. A new day on Product Hunt starts at 12AM PST so take advantage of that. We opted to post at 8AM CST so we could activate our network and take advantage of the fact that most of our user-base, colleagues, and friends were in North America. More on that later though.
- Find a Hunter. You can post yourself but we’d really recommend someone who holds some weight in the community already. We were lucky enough to get Brad Feld to submit our product who has submitted things before and has almost 33k followers (all of those followers get emailed when he posts too) on PH alone. There’s a great site called 500hunters.com that constantly updates the best hunters so feel free to use that and reach out to some.
- Prepare Hunter Assets & Copy. After Brad agreed to post our product, we then had to send him everything he needed to submit.
- 4 images (each 1280x866) that showcased how our product worked.
- 1 .gif (300x300 and no more than 3MB) that would be our thumbnail. We really recommend a .gif too since it really sticks out.
- Name, tagline, website link, category (tech, games, podcasts, or books), topics (choose wisely, you can have multiple), status (available now or pre-launch) and any Makers (have your co-founders make accounts on Product Hunt ahead of time).
- A message from the Maker. After your product is submitted by the Hunter, you’ll want someone from your company (preferably a co-founder or someone that’s been there long) to be appointed as one of the Makers and then comment with an introductory “ask me anything” message. That person will then want to stay glued to the comments sections to field any questions they may receive.
- Activate your network. Once your product is live, get the word out. Alert your current user base (we sent a newsletter), colleagues, and friends that you’re on Product Hunt and tell them to go support if they’d like. Do NOT ask for upvotes though as that’s against PH’s rules. Don’t be afraid to directly link people to your post as well. It was previously believed that this was frowned upon, but that was debunked by the Product Hunt COO here. You really want to get a lot of comments, shares, and upvotes early on as momentum is taken into account in Product Hunt’s algorithm.
Remember, you’re shooting to be in the Top 5 featured hunts of the day. This guarantees that your product is on the homepage AND you make the Product Hunt email newsletter that goes out the next morning with the day’s previous top hunts. There are also dedicated sites like The Top Fives or The Top Hunt that will include your post on their site if you make it as well.
Having a successful post also gives you some PR ammunition when you go after larger publications to cover your product. Just be sure to include a link to the post and/or screenshot of how high your post got and then you’ve got instant proof that people do actually care about your product.
Stu & Team Lightstream
Need more help? Here were some other great guides we used to prepare.
Hackernoon: Dives into how the PH algorithm works, when to post, and offers a case study.
Foundrmag: This was a bit dated but worth a glance for sure.
Sitepoint: Some great bits on effective taglines and knowing when to post your product.
Ed Moyse: Interesting deep dive into best times to post.