Last month, we launched our product Wylo, an interest-based social network on Product Hunt and we managed to secure 9th position.
9th position may not seem enticing as I know you want to become the #1 Product of the day, right? But hold onto your horses and listen to what we encapsulated from our not so unsuccessful product launch.
Firstly, if your product is highly innovative or extremely crappy, this is not for you. If you don’t care about the ranks and badges, then this is not for you either. The rest of you are welcome to absorb all the truth bombs that we are dropping here.
TB #1: Product Hunt is as volatile as Crypto!⚡
LOL, this may sound like an overstatement. But it’s true to an extent. PH’s algorithm tracks multiple metrics of multiple products simultaneously. And it keeps shuffling between the ranks based on live data. Your happiness of ranking #1 may last only for a few minutes or hours as anyone can launch anytime.
- [ ]Action: Get initial traction as fast as you can and take the lead beforehand. These initial votes or comments can’t be from new users. Make sure your primary reach is coming from legit and old accounts.
- [ ]For this, reach out to a bunch of makers and hunters from PH via Twitter and take their indirect commitment to be the first ones to check out the launch page. Give them exclusivity. Make them feel exclusive. Create a list of all the Twitter accounts and notify them 5 minutes before the launch. If they leave any feedback, the algorithm will favor you a bit.
TB #2: Reviews are more important than comments.👥
Yes, you heard me right. Reviews happen when someone taps YES on would you recommend this product to others before commenting. These reviews are an indication of the extra efforts taken by your audience. They seem to have a comparably higher weightage than upvotes and comments.
- [ ]Action: So you better make sure that the recommendation is added as one of the pivotal action items while sharing with friends and peers. There might be some startup folks or some of your friends who would be on Product Hunt for at least a week. They are the right people to ask for reviews rather than just comments or upvotes.
- [ ]When you ask for support, use this statement: Hey, do check out our launch page and tell me what more or less we could have done to make it better. If you find it valuable, please allow me to help you understand how you can help us efficiently. And then lead with the action to be taken by them.
TB #3: Look for value then the hunter.🤠
Yes, hunters will give you exposure to some of their followers. But very few people care about who is hunting. Everything boils down to how good your product, presentation, and incentives are, and that’s it.
If a hunter wholeheartedly likes your product, they will spread the word. And that would do the job. If not, it’ll just give you a few upvotes, and that’s it. If your team has been working on personal brand building and networking on PH, the audience will get your launch more attention than others.
- [ ]Action: Three marketers with the founder need to be active on PH at least two months before the launch. These three people need to contribute in discussions, ask valuable questions, and then make an integrated network on Twitter simultaneously. These three people need to leave a comprehensive comment on the launch page after the founder and hunter make theirs. It is safer than relying on one hunter.
TB #4: It’s all about Product-Channel fit!🙌
Hear me out. Sometimes, your product/service is just not made for a Product Hunt launch.
A large chunk of the audience on PH is active either to discover new tools for their curiosity or to look for easy solutions to their mundane problems. These problems belong to select categories like finding a tool for better productivity, quicker automation, higher efficiency, or something of that sort. SaaS products can make the most of these launches. But if you are not solving a relevant problem, your launch might not be a big success.
- [ ]Action: If you are a B2C, come up with value propositions that can benefit the PH community exclusively. Give them special access to some locked features that are not available to the current audience.
- [ ]If you are a B2B, you can incentivize or reward the community with promo codes and discounts. These will trigger positive reinforcement amongst the audience, and they will check your product out.
TB #5: Engage. But don’t fake engagement.🌚
Commonly, products that launch on the same day do not engage in others' products, supporting each other by commenting or even upvoting. Do not be those people!
The whole intent of launching is not winning but expanding your wings and reaching out to quality users on the internet. And do not blatantly make discussions on the community page for promoting your launch. If the context is missing, anything can go downhill.
- [ ]Action: Comment on other product launches and wish them all the luck. (not at the end of the launch day, of course! That’s not good marketing!)
TB #6: It’s not about how MUCH but how GOOD you are promoting!📢
Like the others, we collected a list of 30 groups, including Discord servers, Slack channels, subreddits, and Facebook groups, to spread the word about our launch. We added value and engaged in a few groups, but the majority of promotion was instant. Yet, sadly, they didn’t give us a lot of traction.
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Action: Select ten groups and start being active on those by asking for tips and resources for the launch. Help others, provide value and subtly keep them hooked about the launch.
Believe in small and engaged communities instead of inactive or noisy servers/groups with thousands of users.
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undefinedLeverage Twitter. How? Make all of your team members share their personal stories and emotions attached to the product. And plug in the launch announcement at the end.
Try to be quirky and less spammy on Twitter. You can upload the teaser and tag some of the best hunters or the Product Hunt page to get some attention. For example, we uploaded our teaser and tagged Ryan Hoover, and he instantly liked the tweet. Though he didn't retweet, it meant something for sure. Remember, even one retweet can change the whole picture for you. So be smart!
TB #7: The free version of SHIP is sufficient for first-timers!🤗
SHIP is a backend tool by Product Hunt. It helps you create an upcoming landing page, collect subscribers before the launch, and track analytics of the launch. You can avail these features in the free version instead of going for the PRO version right away.
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Action: Spend less or no money on your first launch!
You may end up spending a lot of your money in SHIP for some advanced features, but you can use the same money for improving your product and prepping it for the post-launch traction.
TB #8: A product can secure #1 even without any marketing!🙀
I'm not kidding. But, Omnicourse (Product of the day #1) didn’t share even a single tweet or a social media post about their launch!
I am not saying they didn't do any marketing or leverage their user base. But this is an evident sign that obsessive marketing is not a mandate for everyone. You can launch out of nowhere and still make it to the top 3 just because your product is a perfect solution for product hunters.
- [ ]Action: Make use of your current users and leverage your community for participating in the launch. People who have been using your product are more likely to give constructive and on-point feedback. And do make use of email campaigns, in-app/website banners and let them know that the launch means something to you.
- [ ]After dropping all these truth bombs, you might be thinking, is it even worth launching? Well. It is for sure. If your product means something to you, the constant rush of numbers, ranks, and badges will keep you hooked for 24 hours. Every hour will feel like a day, and the entire experience will give you a practical essence of competitiveness and teamwork. And it was a ride that all of us at Wylo will remember.
To add on, here are a few resources to help you understand the world of Product Hunt launch better.
Hope this helps :)