Our experience with Ship by Product Hunt

It made our day and could make yours :)

With Userpace, we got featured in the newly released Ship Toolkit of Product Hunt, and we had a blast using this service! Here’s what you should know and why you should give it a try.

Upcoming section of Product Hunt

Product Hunt: label of quality, gage of success?

There’s no doubt Product Hunt has become one of the most popular places to announce the launch of a new product or service. The excellence of the service and the depth of its community makes many marketers and entrepreneurs fight every day to see its product become the #1 most upvoted product. It became so much of a crossroad for product launches that strategies to get there are fanatically shared on the interwebs, with weeks of planning and countless efforts.

What can be highlighted from these strategies and success stories from #1 products is quite simple:

  • is your product great and innovative?
  • does it has a potential to leverage a community of ambassadors?

If both answers are a yes, then you might have your chances. Otherwise, you’d want to work on your product a little bit more before you can elaborate a marketing strategy to enjoy the power of the Product Hunt community.

Ultimately, while becoming a top product on Product Hunt can definitely support your traction, whether you succeed or not is neither an end or a gage of success or failure. I would describe a successful launch on Product Hunt more as a brief moment of fame (admit if you’ve been there!), a reward, or a boost for the team behind.

I admire what the Product Hunt team achieved and by bringing Ship to us they made a leap on how we can all build a product and community, their way: fast, personal, simple and efficient. That might be the most powerful idea they had since their initial launch!


Ship (by Product Hunt)

Ship allows you to advertise your product BEFORE the launch, in order to acquire and engage with early-adopters through an upcoming landing page and a mailing-list.

This is a powerful asset in your product development and market research toolbox. If like us - at Onvey - you believe your should listen and question your market to engage with potential users before even building your product, then Ship is the one service that combines (almost) anything you need … and they killed it!

Here’s a quick review of what it offers:

1. Landing page Editor

Unlike any other landing page editor, Product Hunt forces you to focus on your brand and content rather than the look & feel (see after). Little, but sufficient options are given to personalise the design of the landing page, and text fields are limited in the number of character. You have exactly 17 options so every detail matters!

  • Service : Name, tagline, topics (tags), description, incentive to signup, thank you message ;
  • Branding: Logo, background image, color theme ;
  • Company: Maker / team description, social links, hiring? ;
  • Widget: custom message.

2. Beautiful landing page hosted on the Product Hunt domain

Once you completed the details of your Upcoming page, Product Hunt is making the page available for public consultation. You can check our landing page here. What’s in there for you? You just got yourself a landing page on one of the top 3000 most visited website in the world.

3. Widget to integrate

If by any chance you have a blog or personal website, you can integrate a smart module to present your service and collect leads directly from them with just a few lines of JavaScript. If you are curious to see the result, check the badge at the bottom left of our Lab.

4. Mini CRM

Each subscriber is listed in your Product Hunt account, with valuable details. As most of the members of Product Hunt’s community signed up with a personal twitter account, additionally to a valid email address you’ll have in most cases access to a Name, username, headline, twitter handle and followers count.

You can even import manually an existing list of subscribers you could have on the side, which comes handy if you want to use the messaging system.

5. Messaging system

Once your list of subscribers is growing, you can send them messages to share a thank-you note, follow-up with your progress, or engage in advanced discussions. The messages can’t be personalised, but it allows rich formatting, draft and test functionalities.

This is how, and for free should I remind you, Product Hunt saved you the hassle of:

  • Designing / coding / hosting ( / buying) a landing page
  • Optimising the landing page for conversion and SEO. What I like the most is that there is only one template, and I’m pretty sure that the team at Product Hunt will optimise every single bit of it to have the best performance possible.
  • Managing lead qualification
  • Your service is now discoverable by hundreds of thousands of users within a matter of clicks.

Everything works flawless, in a logical way that you only need to focus on the two things that matter the most to you: your message, and engaging with your new community.


Our experience with Ship

A few notes on the process of publication:

1. Get a Ship plan: as early adopters we subscribed to the waiting list 7 weeks ago, and had a free private invitation 5 weeks after.

2. Preparing the landing page: after a few friendly email exchanges with Nick from Product Hunt, we got to test the platform and our Upcoming page was live within minutes after the service discovery. Nick came back to us to validate that the page was scheduled to be pushed in the public listing at a later date — a week after — even providing at the same time a couple of advises on how we could improve our message for a better conversion. Very nice user experience!

3. You have time to prepare the launch, but not specific preparation is needed: During the week before the launch, we fine-tuned our message and integrated the widget on a few of our company’s webpage.

4. Day of the Launch: as promised, our Userpace Upcoming page was published at midnight (UTC -7) and we started to collect subscribers right away! All day long we remained at the #3 position of the most popular upcoming product page. It’s important to note that we made little efforts to advertise our page, by simply publishing a post on our social network profiles.


Results of our launch

Within the first 24h we recorded 70 subscribers.

As of when this post is published, 32 hours after the launch, we can enumerate:

A grand total of 88 new subscribers:

  • Mostly in our target ;
  • 16 guest subscribers, having no PH account and personal details shared ;
  • 7,560 followers combined between our subscribers’ profiles.

41 visits to our own external landing page: (linked in the presentation)
We had 5 subscribers registered directly from there, which represent a “poor” 12% conversion rate, but we would easily believe most of the visits were made after subscribing on Product Hunt already.

5 tweets, and 3 facebook sharing: It is also amazing to see that some people will subscribe and as well say it out loud on social networks.

3 direct messages to express a good feeling on the look of our service. We take that positive energy too!


Takeaways

The numbers might not look “that” impressive at first sight, but considering our market (B2B), the time spent, the fact it is a fairly new feature of Product Hunt … we have every reason to consider it a great operation. If you have a better plan, we are open to read it in the comments :)

With almost no effort and time, Ship will help you build and advertise a landing page on the most observed website for product discovery and give you access to their large and qualitative community.

  • You should consider Ship when you need to build or grow a list of early adopters.
  • The quality of the leads you collect is good, but obviously not all are relevant to your market or will turn to customers.
  • Test your landing page prior to the launch date, to validate your message is efficient ; on the Upcoming page the message alone is a key for conversion.
  • Invite a few friends to try it out and to display a few subscribers on the launch date.
  • Expect little traffic to your website, but use the widget when it fits.
  • Subscribers will continue coming after the day you launched
  • Engage with your subscribers soon after they joined your list.

If you arrived until there, congrats and thank you! I hope you enjoyed the reading. Feel free to share this post if you liked it, and ask any question you could have in the comments :)


ps: Userpace is an all in one feedback management platform, aiming to help businesses to drive their product evolution engaging their users.