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If you have no idea about how to launch a product, what to do while getting ready or even where to start- this blog is for you. We have gathered all of the information you need for a successful launch, including instructions on how to get going, what to expect, and how to deal with the grinches.
Launching your new product can be an overwhelming process because you get only one chance every six months. So, there are some boxes that need to be checked before the launch day.
We launched BeforeSunset on November 2, 2022, and were the #3 product of the day. Before we dive into the tips and tricks, let’s get a clear picture of what Product Hunt is:
What is Product Hunt and why should you launch there?
Startups looking to introduce their products to a community of like-minded techies need to look no further than Product Hunt.
With Product Hunt, you can go from having a struggling business to having one that gets thousands of views and users in a matter of weeks with minimal investment of time and resources.
This, once more, explains the importance of the preparations. You don’t want the weeks of hard work to go to waste.
If launched successfully, your product can generate valuable feedback from an active user base, raise awareness for your product, and attract early adopters!
This blog is an in-depth approach to increasing your chances of success on Product Hunt based on what we've learned from the previous launch.
Let’s get going!
First things first, you need to set SMART goals you want to reach. These goals may include:
- The number of upvotes and comments on Product Hunt
- The amount of traffic to your website
- The number of signups
- Getting feedback from the Product Hunt community to improve your product
Having established your realistic goals, you can now set aside a period of time to work on them.
A good start to this is to be active on Product Hunt every day.
We, as a team, tested some platforms to launch our product. One of them was Quora. The platform required far more effort than we needed or could afford.
We were in search of a more interactive and practical platform. And that led us to Product Hunt. At first, a little part of our team started to be active in the discussion part.
We saw the momentum there, you could just ask a question and get your answers very easily.
Before launching, we read tons of articles and case studies to understand the know-how. But practically, we have no clue as to how we can actually do it.
That’s why we decided to launch our e-book on Wednesday, September 28nd, 2022. (the importance of the day will be explained soon!), The Productivity Guide with just two days’ preparations.
With the launch, we gained an inight and a little momentum:
The Productivity Guide got:
- 173 upvotes
- 500+ plus website visitors
- 166 downloads
After that, we focused on the real deal: the BeforeSunset launch and set a date which was November 2nd, 2022.
Before Launch Tips
Be Active on The Platform
Being active in the discussion part as a whole team provided us with great feedback.
First things first, the community engagement has been through the roof. We learned a lot of things, like, a lot a lot. The discussion part acted as a guide for us in a way because we used it as a feedback source.
The closer we got to the launch date, the more active we became. We gained so much visibility that you could see all of us in the popular discussion part. People knew we were BeforeSunset even before our launch. Fun fact, people used the design and BeforeSunset yellow in their profile photos as if they were members of our team. Inspiration or side-effect, you decide!
Being active in the discussion part, and answering questions were not enough for us. We reached the people we engaged with on Twitter and Linkedin, and let them know we were going to launch soon.
Another thing we did was to search for products similar to ours, to see with whom they interacted. But we gave up on that soon because they were not very active.
Then, we began to keep up with the latest launches. We reached out to people who gave upvotes and commented on launches before our date.
We contacted around 800 people with this method, asking them to give us feedback when we officially launched. 300 people stated that they would check out BeforeSunset on the launch day. This was our list of supporters.
An important thing to remember is that you need to write the names of those people down somewhere so that you don’t reach out to them again which can be very disturbing.
A little note: There may have been some people to whom we reached out twice since we worked really hard. Sorry 😅
Time Travel, Literally
Yes, we mean literally. Product Hunt has a time travel section where you can see the most loved products by the community. Starting from the most recent ones, you can reach out to the makers, upvoters, or commenters. You’ll know that they are actively using the platform. This will raise your chances of getting the support and feedback you need.
Use Social Media
We announced on all social media channels that we will be launching very soon.
But Twitter is much more important for Product Hunt.
We used Twitter actively. Interacted with and supported people who used the #buildinpublic hashtag. Not only that but also we reached people who also follow Product Hunt on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProductHunt/followers_you_follow
We created a community list for Facebook, Reddit, Slack, and Twitter.
Even before launching, people wrote us for support on their launch day. We collected their names and asked for support back. Although we did not get the same momentum, we managed to get some feedback back.
Being organized is so important at this point. Create a document (we used Notion) and write everything down there. Create columns for all the time periods such as “before launch, during launch, and after launch.” We also had continuous tasks like outreach.
While using social media, we also made sure people knew we were a team and we were launching very soon. So we asked our designer to create a banner for everyone.
Create an Upcoming Page
It’s so important to keep in mind that creating an upcoming page isn’t enough by itself. You have to pay an amount of money to make your product visible on the upcoming launches page. And that is also not enough. You need to decide on a catchy tagline and a logo design. They will do the job of catching the attention of people.
Note that the upcoming page stays for at least a month. So you have to create your upcoming page according to the launch date to get the most out of your audience.
Choose a Hunter
We wanted to increase our chances of being noticed and also make it to the top of the products of the day list. That’s why we chose to go with a hunter. But you can always be the hunter yourself. A reminder, don’t forget to add your entire team as makers so that everyone who follows you receives a notification when your product makes it to the home page.
The Hunter Kit
Once you shake hands with a hunter, you need to give them the needed information so that they can hunt your product.
- name — clear & easily searchable (less than 60 characters)
- tagline — catchy & clear (less than 260 characters)
- logo — make it move so people notice
- video — optional but highly recommended to get in touch with the audience in a sincere way
- images — they should be outstanding
Choose a Day
The launch day is much more important than you could ever imagine. Thursdays are the most competitive days, with Wednesdays coming in second. If your whole aim is to finish the day as the #1 Product of the Day, you can choose to launch on the weekends. But our main aim was to gain website traffic. So our launch date was on Wednesday.
Create an Email Flow
We didn’t know if our subscribers knew what Product Hunt was. So we needed to make sure they were aware of the platform and that they could support us. But it wasn’t done at the last minute. Because if all of them created an account and supported us on the launch day, our product might potentially end up in spam.
Weeks before the launch, we created email flows explaining how they could sign up and support us.
Create a Product Hunt Landing Page
It was an important step because creating a Product Hunt landing page gave us an opportunity to welcome hunters and ask for feedback to build BeforeSunset together in a sincere way.
Try to be transparent and explain your product in the most effective way.
Create a Video
Adding an interactive video highlighting the features of your product, and the story behind it is a great way to engage with the Product Hunt community.
It's a great tool for making your pitch to hunters, and it's also a must-have for your Product Hunt website once you've been discovered.
TL;DR / Before Launch Tips
- Be active on Product Hunt
- Check time travel
- Use social media
- Create an upcoming page
- Choose a hunter & prepare the hunter kit
- Choose a day
- Create an email flow
- Create a Product Hunt landing page
- Create a video
One Day Before Launch
The last 24 hours before the launch day is also crucial. To keep everything on track, we prepared a detailed plan for each one of us.
The day prior, we plotted out our schedule down to the hour. We also organized our team into subgroups to handle various responsibilities, such as responding to feedback and providing help, as well as maintaining outreach efforts.
The Launch Day
Launching on Product Hunt is a 24-hour battle - 12.01 am to 11.59 pm. You must remember to be organized beforehand because everything will happen very rapidly.
Preparing the first comment is so important. If people don’t watch the video, they can read the first comment, which is also the maker’s comment. Make an effort to explain things, providing genuine details about the product and its features, the people behind it, and how they got there.
Save Yourself for Later
Since we had been very active on the platform, we decided to save our upvotes for later. The more active you are on Product Hunt, the more valuable your upvote is. The upvotes of someone who has just created an account and who have been on Product Hunt, let’s say, for 1 month don’t have the same value.
Creating fake accounts doesn’t benefit you or your product. Product Hunt will spam you. (We’ll dig into that later.)
Stay Active and Be Responsive
First things first, open this website and keep it open for 24 hours. You can see the speed, how many upvotes, and the comments you and your competitors get.
Respond as soon as possible to everyone who expresses interest in your product.
On the day of launch, users are urged to participate and remark when they notice a discussion developing.
Update on Social Media
Post on all social media channels that your product is on Product Hunt. Ask for feedback, not upvote- it is crucial.
Announcing your updates is very important. This could be a noteworthy mention you received from a well-known person(like Ryan Hoover 😋) or an hourly update on the number of upvotes you have received.
Don’t forget to announce on IndieHackers, Facebook, Reddit, Discord, and Slack communities.
Add a Widget to Your Website
The widget is there to remind those who come from Product Hunt to see your website to go back and upvote, and maybe leave a comment. It also acts as an indicator to people who haven’t heard of our launch yet.
Reach Out to Your Upcoming Page Subscribers
Let them know that your product is up and running on Product Hunt. They subscribed to your upcoming page for a reason- they will check your product, too.
Now, it is time to let your audience know about your launch. Mail t your subscribers and ask for their feedback.
Spam the Spammers
We don’t want to be that whiny kid but when you watch the whole situation on a big screen for a complete 24 hours, you can clearly see if there’s something wrong.
One of our competitors started to climb the ladder very rapidly, which was not a normal situation for that time period. We wanted to see what was up with them and it was obvious from their comment section that their supporters were accounts that were newly created. (Note: You can understand by the red balloon next to their names.)
We were #3 at that point- proud of our current situation. But when they began to do what they did, we fell back to #4. Then Product Hunt noticed what was going on and gave us our spot back. But, like that was not enough drama, they became #3 again, leaving us in the 4th spot.
When the 24-hour ended, we were #4 Product of the Day. That made us sad but we all knew we worked really hard and did our best. But, after hours of careful consideration, PH decided to give our #3 spot back!
Try to keep your spirits up in situations like these. And reach out to Product Hunt support- things will work out eventually.
Don’t let this process be boring. Play some music, drink coffee, and dance. Have fun with your team, not every day you are launching on Product Hunt!
TL;DR / The Launch Day
- Prepare the first comment
- Save your vote for later
- Stay active and be responsive
- Add a Product Hunt widget to your website
- Reach out to your upcoming page subscribers
- Spam the spammers
At the end of this marathon, BeforeSunset was the #3 Product of the Day and got:
- 932 upvotes (Currently 1097 and counting)
- 1300+ website traffic between November 1st and 3rd
- 124 signups as of November 7th
We continue to get website traffic of 250-300 a day.
Besides all of these numbers, what we aimed at the beginning was to gain some valuable feedback so we can build BeforeSunset for you, with you! It was a success!
Wins of the day:
- We had an interaction with the founder of Product Hunt, Ryan Hoover, which was awesome.
- We got to gain user insights and feedback.
- BeforeSunset has been featured in Product Hunt: Digest
Start preparing for your launch now!
With the help of Product Hunt, you can get the word out about your new product, make connections with potential customers, and gather valuable feedback from those who are interested in your business.
But, it is not an easy path to walk. Let’s take a look at us. Even though we did the best we could, our first two competitors were so powerful. One of them was a community tool that, unsurprisingly, had a sizable audience of its own. The other one was made by the same person who launched Nomad List- which has had an enormous amount of upvotes, and a Product Hunt veteran.
We are very proud and pleased with the results. And, also a big congratulations to our competitors, it was a pleasure to compete with them!