It was 3.30pm on Monday 12th of January. I was in a meeting and suddenly my phone exploded with notifications. My co-founder Loren had called me 5 times so I figured something real bad had happened. And lo and behold my gut instinct was right… Our new double dating app ‘Double’ had been submitted to Product Hunt by some random dude and we were in no way ready for it!
I panicked, our current version of Double basically does not work and any users downloading the app will have a terrible user experience resulting in an onslaught of negative App Store feedbacks and it would be effectively GAME OVER.
Fortunately the complete opposite happened and my fears were unfounded. We got great feedback from Ryan Hoover, Erik Torenberg and the PH community, a bunch of credible business opportunities and solid press enquiries. Here is what we learned from Double’s Product Hunt feature and how you too can best ride the wave.
We did not submit ourselves but Double had been in the wild for a couple of months. Thankfully we had prepared a Product Hunt launch plan so as soon as we were called up for active duty we were ready roll. Here is the game plan to take down the Death Star:
Monitor Product Hunt daily in case you randomly get featured. If you have a company twitter account somebody will find you and potentially submit you. Of course best case scenario is you submit yourself so you have full control. But be on guard so you can take the reigns if and when you do get featured.
Engage the community
As soon as you get submitted ensure you tweet and ask for commenter / maker access. This is massively crucial to your success. You will be able to defend, promote and answer questions about your product.
The more comments people see the more intrigued they will be to check out a hot talked about product. It will create a buzz. Of course the main benefit is this is all the feedback you will get from the community which is invaluable.
We had a Product Hunt friendly version of www.joindouble.com lined up so all we had to do was switch it when we went live. We replaced our standard stock images with pics of Ryan and Erik so it looked like they were users of Double and added the cheesy text ‘Maybe we should all go product hunting together some time.’
Hopefully this scored us a few laughs in the Product Hunt office and led to more sharing and promoting by the core PH community. Lets face it… it was pretty lulz.
At the very least update your site with a ‘as featured on Product Hunt’ banner. Try and think of some creative way to engage the core community during your feature that will encourage sharing, upvotes and comments.
Don’t wait forever
Thumbs up, lets do this! You can wait all your life for the perfect wave and it might never come. We planned on waiting a lot later to feature on Product Hunt but I strongly recommend now the earlier you feature the better.
A native American commented on our Facebook page once asking us if he should keep on his journey. We give the same advice to you now… ‘Your journey is only just the beginning.’ The earlier you start the better.
The community feedback alone will significantly improve your product for the better and in the long run you will reap the rewards. If you still feel you don’t want to feature just yet you can discourage submission by adding a ‘please don’t hunt me yet’ badge to your site.
Build a great Product or…
Volumes of books the world wide have been written on building great products so I won’t write much more on it… but with the advent of Product Hunt even the most silly and out there products can find great commercial success.
Projects that you would automatically cast to the trash bin can be created within a day or two and submitted. Think shipyourenemiesglitter and emojimasks. Don’t be afraid to think out side the box and just do it. For wacky ideas like this Product Hunt could well be the only marketing tool you need.
In the end we finished up with over a 100 upvotes and featured at the high end of the hunt for the day plus featured on the email newsletter. Here are a list of some of our more notable wins -
- Over 10,000 website hits in under 24 hours.
- Invaluable community feedback and product validation. Who would of thought double dating was huge in India? See our community comments here.
- Mentorship offers from Dating Industry veterans.
- Not a single bad app store feedback.
- Unsolicited press features and enquiries from all over the world. From China to Ireland to Australia!
- Lots of new twitter followers = warm fuzzy feeling inside.
- The traction we needed to showcase our app to a top London Tech accelerator and get us to the 2nd stage interview.
- Double was shared by the official Product Hunt social media channels.
Nothing ever runs as smooth as hoped and with the benefit of hindsight there are a couple of key things we would of done differently -
- Ensured Google Analytics tracking was 100% operational. Bit of a rookie error but you live and learn.
- For app based businesses ensure you have a send link text box on your homepage. This will massively increase your website to app conversion ratio. Linktexting.com is easy to set up and early results for us have been positive.
If this post rocked your world, you can follow us on Twitter @gmacdoo, @LozzaGould, @b_greenock and Double @joindouble. Check the app out at www.joindouble.com. We have lots more posts lined up for the future so look out for us #hustlehard