11 Steps to a Proper Product Hunt
Snips has launched 2 apps on Product Hunt this year. Both of them went better than we could’ve hoped for. And you deserve to know how we did it!
This is the story of how our team’s passion project won its day on Product Hunt. That passion project — Capsule.ai.
What is Capsule.ai? Well, it had been a project (i.e. obsession) of a few of our team members at Snips for a while. It seamlessly tracks your day while you’re living it, using our on-device, private AI. Think of it like a timeline plus productivity journal.
While Snips was hard at work on our SDK, we also decided to launch Capsule into the Product Hunt atmosphere.
We’d already launched one product to PH, with success and great conversations — but could it happen again?
Oh yes it could. And — oh yes it did.
Capsule.ai not only won its day on Product Hunt, it exceeded the votes of our FIRST successful PH launch — and much to our delight, included some significant conversations about the value of privacy to AI. Of course we were thrilled to see our team’s passion do so well with consumers — but when all was said and done, we also learned more than a few things about how to make a truly excellent Product Hunt launch.
Because a huge part of the Snips ethos is the spirit of transparency and openness, we’re eager to share some of the Product Hunt #protips we’ve learned.
Understand your Audience, Focus and be Authentic! Entice your future users and build up urgency pre-launch.
1. Get your brand and positioning solid.
Develop a visual brand and narrative that will resonate with your early adopters.
2. Define your Audience
Who are you targeting? Which geography? Which blogs do they read?
- In this case, we knew we had something equally great for the quantified self crowd, the bullet journal folks, Foursquare users tired to constantly checking in …and of course, the growing consumer base interested in private AI technology.
3. Build a Mailing List
Build your mailing list before the launch, so that you can reach out and ask for support!
- Our past product launches and our super-short weekly AI newsletter had introduced us to users who cared about what we cared about, and who trusted us.
4. Define your Launch Success Metrics
Know what you’re aiming to improve during launch, what assumptions you’re trying to validate, and what a success looks like for you PH day!
5. Test your Acquisition Channels
How will you reach out to users on launch day? FB Ads? Mailing Lists? PR? Social Media?
- This is the part where you have to go back in time and Do. The. Work. Get your content strategies locked down. Give the people what they want! It’s all about adding value.
ON LAUNCH DAY
Remember: Your Launch is the best time to gather feedback!
6. Start Early and Stay Up Late
Post on Wednesday at 8am GMT, and build momentum in Europe, New York and then San Francisco.
7. Chose your Hunter wisely
Get a PH veteran to post for you. The more karma your poster has, the closer you’ll land to the homepage!
8. Ask Influencers to Tweet and Share
Build the relationship before the launch, and call in favors — but remember not to ask for votes, just ask people to check out your post. If they like it, they’ll know what to do. A good tweet or FB post will spark momentum.
9. Know the PH Audience Well
They see hundreds of products a day. So why would and should they care about yours? You know why you’re different — make sure the good people of PH know that, too.
10. Use High Quality Assets
Use bold colors! 🍋 Animated GIFs! Videos … Make sure people find your logo quickly when you ask them to upvote!
And don’t underestimate the power* of TOP-NOTCH ONBOARDING.
11. Don’t Ask for Upvotes!
PH will penalize you if you ask for upvotes or post a direct link. Tell your friends to vote from the homepage instead!
That’s what we got up to. In the end, our products got some amazing users, we got some of the smartest feedback of any platform out there. It doesn’t get better.