Do Yourself a Favor, Nail Your Product Hunt Launch
…because traction is everything.
Instead, I’ll focus on what you should expect from your launch & how to maximise the benefits for your company.
“ All you need is users”
- The Beatles, 1967
🌧 It’s raining users!
We were really surprised by the success of our Product Hunt campaign.
The point here is not to brag but to understand that:
- For SaaS B2C products, Product Hunt can really help you gain initial traction.
- Handling the post-launch activity spike is as important as its preparation.
- With users, comes the ability to experiment and gather statistically valid feedbacks. A huge advantage for your business.
… & it hurts 🤕
We were definitely not prepared for such a tsunami.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of our mistakes:
- On-boarding users with a welcome chat message
Courtesy of Intercom
On first use, a chat pane popped-up to greet the new user, give hime some info & offering him help. This seemingly good idea lead to a support nightmare as it puts too much focus on the chat pane & pushes the user to answer (coz we’re all polite, ain’t we?)
→ Chat is cool but chat is expensive: when you’re small & nimble, talking to each of your end-users is a stairway to bankruptcy, especially for a B2C product
- Relying on implicit / not being transparent
When your world revolves around your product, you tend to forget that humanity doesn’t give a shit. You restrain from giving basic information because you assume that visitors know / understand your proposal.
→ On the landing page, we didn’t say on which platforms our app runs (Mac / Windows only). It triggered a lot of legitimate reactions from Linux users that we could’ve prevented.
- Not adapting our call to action to mobile
Since 2016, the majority of internet traffic happens on mobile platforms. So even if your app is desktop only, your acquisition funnel must be mobile efficient.
→ We built our landing page with desktop users in mind & that triggered a couple of avoidable mistakes. For instance, mobile visitors where prompted to “download our app” & where redirected post-click to an unadapted success page. Anyways, downloading a file on your smartphone is never really a use case…
- Adding friction to conversion
On the website, we asked for an e-mail before allowing users to download our app. It might seem redundant as in-app login is done through Google Authentification but the goal was to be able to contact the users who forgot to install the app after downloading.
→ Overall, this was a bad trade-off as a lot of potential users bounced because of the extra-step.
- Not having a clear on-boarding funnel
The SaaS market is heavily crowded & the attention span of users is ever-decreasing. Under those heavy constraints, guiding newcomers through the key features of your product is crucial. If the value proposition & the abilities of your soft are not cristal clear, churn is what awaits.
→ We didn’t have enough time & didn’t want to move the launch date so we gave up on that. Ultimately, the time we saved pre-launch on development was wasted post-launch on support tickets. And most importantly, a lot of people churned without understanding the power of our tool (for great on-boardings, check this awesome curation work by Samuel Hulick).
Is it worth it? 🤔
Like every startup, we have limited resources & we’d like our decisions to be as ROI oriented as possible. Beyond the vanity metrics, earning a critical mass of active users gives you a lot of interesting & actionable levers:
- Ability to run A/B tests
On landing pages, app-features, in-app notifications & mailings
Because we have more than +5000 active users, we can field test design assumptions & new features. We want user-data to be the Single Point of Truth for every impactful decision.
- Ability to gather unbiased & valid feedback
From online surveys, community forums & social networks
This is partially linked to the 1st point. Beta testers’ feedback is precious but fundamentally biased because it comes from a population (tech-savvy early adopters) that’s different from your target persona(s).
- Ability to prioritise your roadmap
Based on real user needs & consolidated support tickets
We now have a clear vision of the main areas of improvements that’s based on user experience instead of internal assumptions (cheers to the folks at productboard for helping us with that).
- Necessity to streamline internal processes
To handle the workload
The workload increase shedded light on inefficient processes & unclear ownership. There was no need to convince anyone to carve-out some time to work on it since it was now an obvious necessity.
- Necessity to choose & scale the right tools
To stay efficient
The massive spike in help tickets forced us to rethink our support approach from scratch. We revamped our FAQ, ditched the chat-pane for 90% of our users & established a strict support funnel who forces the user to read existing material before submitting a ticket.
Thanks a lot for reading, hope this helps 🙏
Free Hugs & Candies 🍭
- Ryan Hoover, Nick Abouzeid & the entire Product Hunt team for staying reactive & chill, despite our multiple nudges.
- Laurent DESSERREY from Tribe for hunting us
- The awesome folks at eFounders for their great advice & support (Meghan Regior , Didier Forest & Jonathan Costet: we ❤ you)
About us 🤗
Based in Paris, we’re a small team of 6 whose sole ambition is to ease your workday.
Our product — a free desktop app named Station — has been thought & designed as a work only, distraction free platform. We’re laser focused on providing the best user experience on the “work hard” side; others handle the “play hard” side better than us.