4 things to love about Ship ⛵
I first heard about Product Hunt last year and, while it seems simple on the surface, anyone who has tried to launch on PH knows it can be a tad confusing. There are thousands of YouTube videos about how to do it and the best strategies combine influencers with gamification and viral luck. Of course you need a great product to start, but the rest is a bit of an art form. Watch a few and then let me know if it makes sense to you.
(Hint: It does not!)
Thankfully the team at Product Hunt made a product to help you launch your product (very meta). We found Ship by Product Hunt ⛵ not only easy, but an extremely valuable and cost effective solution in helping plan our launch.
Ship acts essentially as a pre-launch to Product Hunt. It will get your app featured on the Upcoming Page and allow you to build interest in your product prior to launch.
Ship has 4 key features we love:
1) A Simple Landing Page Building
One of the things I constantly struggle with is self-editing. My brain leans towards more information, more detail, more features, but to launch a product it needs less. It needs to be simple and stripped down. The Ship landing page builder forces simplicity and makes it beautiful. It also makes it collaborative with an Intercom-like lead form. Here is our page:
2) The Ship Slack App
Everything is better when you add a Slack App. And we are going meta² here by using Product Hunt to launch our product and their Slack app to monitor our Slack app that provides marketing monitoring. Mind blown.
How does it work? It starts with the landing page lead form and a simple survey. Since you are generating interest, you might as well survey your potential users using a simple survey-monkey-like questionnaire. Ship allows you to append a survey to each Subscription and then sends you the subscriber and their survey answers in Slack, like this:
Ship also provides a mini-CRM to manage your subscribers. There is Clearbit integration to enhance your subscriber data as well as light email marketing automation capabilities to send our product updates in prep for your launch.
3) Intercom-like Widget for your website
Not only do you get a simple landing page to announce your product, but you also get an embeddable widget for your main website. This handy Intercom-like chat bubble replicates the same landing page functionality on your webpage. Check it out:
4) Great Support
Finally, I’ve found the support provided by the Ship team to be amazing! You get more than what you pay for. The team is super responsive and helpful and they use Intercom which we love almost as much as we love Slack. (shout out to Nick Abouzeid 🙏)
Side note: Slack and Intercom were both called out specifically in the annual Internet Trends report (Kleiner Perkins). “Messaging threads” and the “Consumerization of the Enterprise” (See slides 270–276)
Final tips for Ship
Here are some best practices and lessons learned from our experience with Ship.
Use an animated GIF on your upcoming page
Animated GIFs are better than screenshots and easier than video for explaining simple demos. Getting the quality and size of the GIF correct can be tricky. I used QuickTime on my Mac to record a demo and then used a video-to-GIF converter to make and edit the GIF. I found EzGIF to be the easiest by far. Here is what we came up with:
Logo vs Thumbnail
I found this confusing when I was getting Ship setup. I hope this image helps everyone:
Go with the Pro Plan
For $79/month it is hard to beat this package. We have definitely found value in the Pro features. It’s worth the 80 bucks per month.
We will keep everyone posted with our launch, but for now, please subscribe to our launch here: https://www.producthunt.com/upcoming/eletype
And reach out if you have any questions about Ship or our new product at Eletype.