1. Great product is the single best marketing channel.
2. Quickly launch the most basic version of your product.
3. Your one-liner must be crystal clear.
4. People want to instantly try out your product.
5. Choose the right day of week.
Last Friday, we launched I T E M S Y on Product Hunt with almost no preparation. We were very positively surprised by the response and wanted to share some lessons learned.
1. Great product is the single best marketing channel
It may seem like a good idea to spend time asking friends for support. But in the end it’s a numbers game and what counts is upvotes from Product Hunt regulars who visit the website every single day.
So you might as well focus all your energy on making a product people want rather than spend the whole day asking your friends to create an account and upvote.
It’s convincing the daily Product Hunt users that is key to success!
2. Quickly launch the most basic version of your product
This will help you in two important ways: you can launch sooner and you’re more likely to test whether your core product actually solves a real problem.
If it’s unclear what your product really does, all your experiments will give ambiguous results.
Bonus: people who comment on Product Hunt are likely to request the exact features you’d already built but haven’t yet unveiled . That’s what happened to us and that’s a good place to be!
3. Your one-liner must be crystal clear
Hopefully, the above one-liner is 100% clear 😉. If someone who read just your one-liner is unable to explain to their friends what your product does, you’ve failed.
Ask yourself if you would have (i) understood exactly what your product does and (ii) visited your website only having read your one-liner, nothing else.
Also, fewer photos that are clear and simple is usually better. Most people will spend very little time on your PH profile.
4. People want to instantly try out your product
This obviously puts more complex products at a disadvantage but is very important. At an early stage, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to try out your product and teach you how to improve it (that’s through analytics that you carefully set up before launching, didn’t you?).
Signing up to I T E M S Y takes 10 seconds and just your email. What’s even cooler is that you actually don’t even need to sign up! Just start using it by sending links to firstname.lastname@example.org. The way we onboard users is that everyone is already onboarded.
5. Choose the right day of week
Landing in top 5 Products of the Day is what you want. Top 5 make it to the next-day Product Hunt newsletter which is a big win. But be careful, Friday is an exception where you need to compete with Saturday and Sunday people for the Monday newsletter spot (which we learned the hard way…). On the other hand, competition for the top 5 is probably more fierce Monday — Thursday (curious, can anyone confirm?).
Product Hunt is not a one-off effort but rather a long-term asset that brings traffic to your site.
Keep it in mind and make sure it ages well.