Duuude, get up! We’re #1 on Product Hunt…
The story of how we launched the top voted product of the last month (after The Boring Company)
One week ago.
9:13am (Berlin time)—SpreadShare is live on Product Hunt. It’s cold but I am sweating. Why is Sidney not online yet? (not referring to the city, Sid is my partner)
11:24am — I am starting to get nervous. We are #2 with 73 Upvotes but Sidney is still not online, I am calling him. He tells me his internet is not working. He’s living in the middle of nowhere in Belgium, no chance to get into a coffee shop with wireless close by. I won’t tell him what’s up just yet to make it a surprise 🍾
12:00pm — Sidney’s internet is back up, and we hit #1
0. Abstract: What you’ll get in this article
That was one week ago. It all went well. We had (almost) the most successful Product Hunt launch of the last 4 weeks (only Elon Musk got more upvotes for The Boring Company). If you missed it, you can start by reading the story of how I met my partner 5 weeks ago and how we decided to build a product together.
Since then, many users have asked us if we could share some of our learnings from our launch. Of course we can! Here is everything we did including a few bonus resources as a thank you to everyone for contributing and helping us out during launch. This article includes:
- 1.) a checklist for the launch
- 2.) a collection of our key learnings
- 3.) some statistics on the first 48 hours after launch
- 4.) our next steps
- 5.) the Google Doc we used to prepare our launch (link in the end of the article).
1. Checklist: What you should get done
- Connect to the PH community (upvote, comment, create collections, retweet)
- Find a top PH hunter to submit your product (or do it on your own). List of Top Hunters
- (If you plan to submit yourself) get access so you’re able to submit on PH. PH explains how this works here
- Define a launch date of your product. Site with PH Analytics
- Align on a submission date / time. Quora: best time to launch on PH
- Make sure to control who is submitting your product
- Get ready to handle heavy traffic on your site. Article about traffic handling
- Find people having collections that fit your product. A list of all PH collections
- Write an article about your launch on Medium (other content platform). Like this one
- Add a PH badge to your site (ship live on launch day). Get badge here
- Place a deal/voucher to PH community on your site (ship live on launch day). This tool might be helpful
- Define your title / tagline. Explore Taglines
- Prepare all promo material / creatives (logo, screenshots). A folder including our creatives
- Provide link, creatives to submitter (only if you don’t submit yourself). Link to our PH campaign
- Get product submitted / Submit product. Submit here
- Upvote your own product. On your PH page (this is ours)
- Add a creator commentAnswer comments of other users. Have a look how we did this
- Contact influencer / blogger / newsletter creators related to your product. Open Journalist/Blogger Database
- Direct message your network to inform about PH launch
- Post on social networks (FB, TW, LinkedIn etc.) and ask to reshare. A tool to keep track of all mentions
- Find and answer Quora questions related to your product. Use Quora search
- Find and post in Slack teams related to your product. A list of all Slack Teams available
- Post your PH site to related FB groups. List of FB Groups
- Tweet people & companies related to your product
- Ask ppl in your network to add a comment on your PH site
- Send a newsletter to your follower base informing about PH launch
D. Following up
- Engage with people who approached you during launch. Our FB Group
- Thank all people who shared your product during launch
- Submit on other platforms e.g. Hacker News, Reddit, BetaList. List of the best places to submit your product
- Collect the product feedback from the launch and add to your roadmap. This is our (high level) Roadmap
- Write a blog post and share your experience and learnings with the community (like this article)
- Monitor your KPI’s and evaluate the launch’s success. Our KPI’s
- Leverage your PH success and pitch your product to the media. A List of Media Contacts
2. Learnings: What we knew and what was new
- Let a top hunter submit your product. Why? Top hunters have the trust and respect of the community and usually deliver good quality products (due to pre-selection) which is why their submissions get more clicks. Top hunters have more followers than others. All of them will be notified when the product was submitted.
Good to know: Not every user can submit a product to the feed. Talk to @kwdinc who is the submission king on PH.
- Don’t forget about time zones Why? Be aware that the different time zones have a significant impact on PH traffic. Don’t stress yourself with a deadline, there is no perfect day to launch on PH, so rather get your product done right than rushing to launch it quickly.
Good to know: Tuesday 2 am CST seems to be the best time to launch but it’s also the most competitive. Don’t forget: over 20,000 apps are launched each month. We launched on Thursday and it was not too late to get into the Best-Of collection.
- You only have one chance of launching on Product Hunt. Why? The product doesn’t allow to listings of the same URL →he same product/version can’t be submitted twice. Don’t spread your product before official launch.
Good to know: Anyone can submit your product at any time. If somebody posts you when you are not ready, you will have to improvise, it might be the wrong day/time.
- Write about your experience building the product you’re about to launch Why? A background story is a good way to inform those ppl who want to know more about you.
- Your product’s tagline is important Make it short and relevant.
Good to know: You have max 60 characters.
- Make your submission look good Why? Because people on Product Hunt fancy good design.
Good to know: You can add between 5 and 10 images showcasing different parts of your product. Videos work really well! People love animated logo’s, create a GIF and make it fun (Emojis ✌️).
- Be there when the feed refreshes Why? PH refreshes its list everyday at 12 a.m PST. Be ready at this time
- Talk to the community Why? The community is interested to know why you build this, why it’s important, why it’s different from similar products. Encouraging the conversation is key. Offer AMA, answer quick and explain your thoughts well.
Good to know: Comments and the conversation have a bigger weight than the upvotes in the ranking. Keep the conversation going, ask questions/for feedback. Remember: people attract people
- Upvotes do not directly equal higher rankings Why? it’s not only about the number of upvotes — it’s also a matter of density (# of votes in a period of time).
Good to know: you should balance your outreach during the day to align with diff. time zones.
- Invest time to find the right people instead of as many as possible Why? The right people will not like your product, they’ll love it. And therefore they’ll share it and spread the word for you.
- Find people who try to find you We realised there’s a lot of people asking for a product like the one we build on Quora. So we answered those questions. As people follow questions, they’ll receive notifications immediately.
- Bound your community We created a FB group in which we invited all users who were interested to engage with us. In this group we share our learnings and best practices but also our ideas for product development, launch activities and content creations.
Good to know: It’s a great way to talk to your community and shape your creations together with your users. Don’t launch on all platforms on the same day, this can be difficult to manage
- Direct message your network Remember what Paul Graham said: “Do Things that Don’t Scale” — Ask people to have a look, share it, answer questions, get into interaction with people. This it what makes them get interested.
3. Statistics: Our Launch in Numbers
These are our stats after the first 48 hours.
- 1680 Upvotes
- 111 Comments
- 38,231 Pageviews
- 12,465 Sessions
- 11,634 unique visitors
- Average time on site: 3 minutes 12 seconds
- 83 Spreadsheets submissions
- 302 Collaboration requests
- 210 Newsletter subscribers
- 83 Twitter mentions
- 32 Comments on our site (spreadsheets being discussed)
- 910 Total Upvotes on our site (upvoted spreadsheets)
4. Next Steps: What we‘re planning to do next
We created a Facebook Group for our most active members. If you read this, we want to invite you to join our Facebook Group and shape our future product with us, discuss ideas and connect with like-minded people.
We are also in contact with very interesting investors who like what we do and plan to support us to get SpreadShare to the next level. We’re looking for an engineer who would like to join us as co-founder and CTO.
5. Resource: Our Launch Checklist Google Doc
Enjoy the list and let us know if you launch your product so we can support you: Master Checklist for Launching on Product Hunt