In recent years, Product Hunt has become a cornerstone of almost any product launch in the tech world.
Its effect on product launches has become almost mythical with tens and hundreds of product makers documenting their experiences and efforts in trying to rank 1#.
If you haven’t launched on Product Hunt yet or don’t get what all the fuss is about, here are some of the results that founders of high ranking product have reported:
So yes, if you’re launching your product, Product Hunt is a big deal for you. That’s why companies try to strategize their launch day as much as they can.
In this post, I want to share our personal experience with launching Jaco on Product Hunt.
TL;DR: It was awesome
Reading a case study or “how to” post without knowing the end result is not very interesting, so let’s start with the stats:
- We ranked #1 in Tech for that day
- On launch day, we had 599 upvotes, in the next 58 hours an additional 204 new upvotes (803 upvotes in total *updated on May 5th)
- 119 comments
- 3037 new users directly from Product Hunt in the past 3 days
- Additional 6098 new users from other sources, likely related to the launch
- 567 new sign ups
We conclude from the data that our launch was very successful — especially with how the launch day unfolded.
Surprise! you were hunted on Product Hunt
We were in the midst of planning our Product Hunt launch — but we were planning to push for it in about 1–2 weeks.
On May 2nd, around 11:20 AM (Israel time) I got this email from Erik, letting me know that Jaco was hunted:
And that’s how my crazy day started.
When your product gets hunted on Product Hunt without you posting it or asking for someone to hunt it, you have two options:
- Roll with it
- Ask the hunter kindly to remove it and keep on with your original strategy at your pace
We were caught in total surprise by this hunt, but after a quick brainstorm with the team and our content marketing agency (who helped with the execution and strategy) we’ve decided to go for it.
Here’s why we decided to follow through:
- We had a great hunter — One of the most important things about PH (we were told), is that you need to find a great hunter. We were hunted by Kevin William David who was one of our top choices to begin with
- The timing was good — It was early morning in Israel — but the middle of the night in San Francisco — Which gave us the time advantage we were aiming for on our launch anyways.
- We were able to free our team’s schedule to work together on it for the rest of the day
- There have been numerous surprise hunts that went well. There was no reason for ours not be successful as well
What we did — step by step
1. Crafted a good “Hi, I’m the maker, ask me anything” intro message
One of the most amazing things about the PH community is that they really care about the products and the people behind them. It’s one of the things that make this community unique.
The first thing we’ve done after going live is to join the conversation on PH, and let people know that we’re here to answer their questions.
Since we were hunted by surprise we didn’t have the chance to set up a proper PH landing page with an exclusive offer, So in my first comment, I also offered a discount code for the PH community to use.
Here’s my original message:
2. Posted on our social media channels
We also experimented a little bit with boosting the posts in order to gain some additional reach — but with really low budgets.
Our original Facebook post:
3. Engagement & follow ups on social media
As you probably know, if you want to get your content noticed on Twitter, you have to post multiple times, But you also want to avoid becoming a spammer.
Our strategy was simple — instead of spamming everyone asking for support — we decided to either celebrate or engage in order to maintain awareness of our PH launch.
For example, we celebrated our 100th upvote:
We thanked Kevin for hunting us:
Showed our appreciation to some for our up-voters :
(You can expect many more of these tweets in the coming days as we will thank as many people as we can).
This way, we kept talking about our launch throughout the day and raised awareness to it — but we didn’t spam our feed or asked for annoying favors.
We reinforced our gratitude and sense of community.
4. Reach out to relevant Facebook communities
Because our content team has been active on social media and have already invested a lot of time engaging with communities relevant to our product, industry and tech scene, we were able to reach out and post in all those communities about our launch.
We know who the target audience for our product is, and we’ve never directly tried to sell to them through these communities, so announcing the Product Hunt launch did not feel spammy to us(and to them as well).
We posted real straight-forward honest posts to these communities telling them we were hunted on PH and we will appreciate them checking it out.
Our focus was groups that are:
- Related to the Israeli tech scene
- Related to UX and usability testing (our target audience)
- Product manager groups (our target audience)
Here’s the original message:
5. Kept on engaging — with comments
A lot of people think that Product Hunt is all about the upvotes. Product Hunt is all about the conversation and the community. It’s part of the platform’s DNA, and if you want to launch successfully, you have to respect that.
Throughout the day, I kept engaging and answering each and every question that users were asking. The good, the bad, the criticism, references to our competitors… We had an honest and open discussion about it all.
Here are some examples:
6. Leveraging direct messages throughout the day
Everyone on the team texted / emailed relevant people in their network letting them know we were hunted on product hunt. Never asking for upvotes (as it is against PH rules) — but yes, letting them know we’ve been hunted.
The unique thing is that we knew that to rank on PH, it’s not only about the number of upvotes — it’s also a matter of density.
If a product gets a lot of upvotes in a short period of time, you will jump higher in your product position on the feature page.
For example, 30 upvotes within 20 minutes are worth more than 30 upvotes within 2 hours.
The density of the upvotes at a given time can boost your product and bring you some focus as you become “trending in tech”.
To sum up, I believe that the combination of having a strong community with a good product is the key to getting great results from Product Hunt. Our main focus was about communicating with our target audience and upvoters, trying to give value and have an open dialogue about where we’re at with the launch.
Of course, no one can guarantee your product will trend on Product Hunt, and even if it does, no one can guarantee the amount of traffic or leads you’ll get from it.
It’s important to remember that there are many factors out of anyone’s control that will impact your PH success in replicating what we’ve done. Still, for us, Product Hunt turned out to be a great win and a very exciting (and intense) day.
Are you about to launch on Product Hunt and have any questions? Post your questions in the comments section!
Already launched and got great results? Share your tips so future readers can benefit from your experience as well!
Originally published at blog.getjaco.com on May 5, 2016.