Hacking Your Product Hunt Launch [A How-To Guide]
Growth Hacker & LinkedIn Lead Generation & Personal Branding Expert | CGO @ JotURL
If you still don’t know what Product Hunt is and why you should do your launch on this platform, I suggest you read this article, this is the official Product Hunt post, a must read.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF LAUNCHING ON PRODUCT HUNT?
I’ll tell you right away, yes, it’s worth it, as long as you do not underestimate all the preparation behind the launch.
There are 5 main reasons, let’s see them together:
I have hear many stories of collapsed servers due to too many requests for access.
Launching on Product Hunt generates a large influx of visitors to your site, so be prepared.
Here you find the screenshot of our GA, not bad at all, right? :)
You will end up in the spotlight, you will receive lots of requests and lots of interest from other Product Hunt users.
We have received a lot of interesting feedback from serial users of digital products.
This allowed us to understand a lot about the use of our platform, about the users’ wishes, their “Aha moment” and much more.
Perhaps the most underrated aspect in the prelasty but one of the most appreciated in the post launch.
At 10 days from the launch date, we registered 346 new members of JotURL, and this number is constantly growing.
5. The Experience
It was a fantastic experience, which I recommend to anyone who has a digital product or wants to give visibility to his start-up.
We have created an incredible network of contacts, got advice from many experts in the field and learned a lot from this experience.
Do you want a tip?
If you have not yet launched on Product Hunt, take the idea of doing it very seriously :-)
Now that I’ve finished the introduction, let’s get to the main point.
HOW TO PREPARE A WINNING PRODUCT HUNT STRATEGY?
I divided our launch experience in 3 steps
PRE-LAUNCH / LAUNCH / POST LAUNCH
In each of these phases I will tell you how I structured the strategy and the different aspects that I considered.
I held the most interesting part at the end, where I will explain some HACKS that helped us to make JotURL the first product of the day.
In addition to that, to each sub-category I gave a score from 1 to 10 for what according to my experience was more or less fundamental (10 = MUST DO / 0 = NOT TO CONSIDER)
Ready? Let’s begin!
1.PR — Relationship Building (10/10)
Product Hunt is a community of Early Adopter, many fans of digital products and news that can not wait to discover something new that can help them simplify their working day, improve their results and, why not, have fun and meet people new.
Creating a network of contacts of influential people is essential.
Both for the great feedback that you will receive, both for support during the launch day and social proof.
PH has an algorithm, so if the reviews, the upvotes and the comments you receive will be made by very active users and followed on the platform, their specific weight will be greater.
It is not uncommon to see products with more upvotes being in a lower position in product rankings with fewer upvotes, but more comments and reviews from influential users.
So start early, be polite, make friends and experience the platform to its full potential.
2. Provide value (10/10)
As above, participate in the discussions, say yours, comment on the products you find most interesting and make friends with the founder / maker of the products that are published daily.
Be honest and always available, both on Product Hunt and in the different groups.
You will discover them in the next point :-)
3. Register to PH groups on Slack and Facebook (10/10)
For us it was fundamental.
Join the Facebook and Slack groups of Product Hunt, Startupper, Founder, Digital Marketing, etc.
Keep in mind, especially for Slack groups, that if you place a link without first being actively involved in the discussions, your link will be deleted in no time.
So once again it is essential to forge relationships and give value.
At the end of the guide, in the link, you will find an excel file with all the groups to which I registered and the publication lineup I used.
4. Find the Hunter (8/10)
The official guide to Product Hunt explicitly says “Launch your own product”.
But there is one thing to consider, when a very followed hunter will launch your product, all his Followers will receive a notification and an email.
Why waste this opportunity?
Finding a hunter is not easy, since surely each of them receives many requests every day.
- an introductory message
- an about you message
- a description of the product you would you like to launch
- a description of its USPs
- images or explanatory video of your product
Do not just consider the number of followers they have, but look for someone who has already launched products similar to yours, probably his fan base will be more interested in your product, then + upvotes, better chance to finish in the top spots.
We have been launched by Kevin William David, whom we thank very much, he has always been very helpful and kind to us.
(confidence, every time he answered, especially in the initial phase, after taking several no from other hunters, I felt the same feeling when he answered my girlfriend via text message at 14 :) :)
In short, starting with a Hunter guarantees you a nice boost, if you can, take advantage of it.
5. Prepare Twitter / LinkedIn / etc messages (9/10)
The day of the launch between the agitation and the euphoria you will not be able to be very lucid.
Having a list of messages ready to be published in the various groups, on Slack, Facebook, Twitter, allows you to focus on the rest.
Keep in mind that it is very important to respond to all comments on your product, so it is better not to waste time writing anything else on the day of the launch.
6. Prepare Hunter Kit (10/10)
To launch your product, your hunter will need:
- Name of your product
- Link to your product (I suggest you give a gift to your hunter, so that he can try it without major problems)
- The tagline, 60 characters max, think about it and if you can, use the survey on the Shipping page (we’ll see it at the next point)
- The names of makers, please note that every follower of every maker on the day of the launch will receive a notification, take advantage of this feature
- Product video, highly recommended, I speak about this in point 15
- Photos, screenshots of the product and a thumbnail GIF
- Introductory explanation of your product and why it’s fabulous
- Launch date
Put your hunter in condition to give the best, the first person to convince on the goodness of your product is him (or she :-))
7.Ship (6.5 / 10)
The Shipping page is a relatively new feature on Product Hunt.
With the Shipping page you can publish your product among the “incoming” products, allowing users to subscribe and receive communications about your product (including, the notice of successful launch!)
There are several plans available, we have chosen the PRO, which allows you to do surveys (where we asked users to recommend the most appropriate tagline).
But … thanks to the Ship page and to a hack I discovered, I was quoted by Josh Fechter in his BAMF group, this made me several contacts that became supporter on the day of the launch.
Find the HACK in the appropriate section at the end of the guide.
8.Siftery Deals (8/10)
Thanks to Kevin, who runs this Life Time Deals platform, we decided to launch a special deal on the same day of the Product Hunt launch.
It helped us a lot both because the LTD announcement had been premiered in the group, getting a lot of success and different supporters, both because the Product Hunt community loves to feel special and this deal has further attracted our attention to our product.
9. Milestone images (6/10)
What are Milestone images?
These are the images that you will post on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn channel to inform users of the achievement of a certain number of upvotes.
Bringing traffic to your product’s page is critical and this is another nice way to celebrate with your followers the results you’re getting. Prepare them in advance.
10. Step by Step List (10/10)
Here is your map for the day of the launch.
Prepare everything in this temporal order: when / where / what.
At the end of the guide you will find my list on Google Sheet, so as to understand what I mean and facilitate the work.
11.Set Tag Manager (Analytics / FB Pixel / Hotjar / Albacross / Linkedin / Adwords) (10/10)
On the day of the launch you will receive a lot of traffic, we understood it.
Why not make the most out of this opportunity?
Install all the possible pixels, here is a brief overview.
I used the Google Tag Manager for convenience.
Hotjar: allows you to understand what works and what does not on your site.
Facebook: remarketing, do I need to explain it? :-)
Albacross: which companies visit your site? Very convenient and free tool.
12.Welcome Email Automation+ Video Tutorial (9/10)
I have prepared a series of 7 welcome emails (1 a day) with related video tutorials to explain to the user the functionality of JotURL.
For mail automation I used Mailerlite, simple and free up to 1000 subscribers, the automations work well and are easy to set (autoresponder).
For video tutorials instead I used Loom, even this tool is free and incredibly immediate.
After recording videos to guide the user step by step I uploaded the video tutorials on Youtube and linked them in the mails.
346 new users registered in less than 2 weeks, almost 40% of open rate, it was worth it :-)
13.Onboarding (Helphero) (9/10)
The initial feedback received from users during the pre-launch phase had clarified a concept.
Our product was fantastic, but to get to the “Aha moment”, the user had to do several steps and was often not as obvious as we imagined.
What have we done?
We used Helphero to guide you, on your first access, until the moment WOW.
This tool is very easy to set up and gives you a big hand in bringing newcomers to discover your product.
Very recommended to decrease the rate of abandonment of new members.
We started with the free plan but we had to go to the paid plan 2 hours after launch.
One of the features that our users liked best!
14. Post for LinkedIn / FB Groups / Etc. (6/10)
It’s not essential, but if you want to aim high, prepare a couple of post storytelling in which you tell your adventure.
People love stories, you can post yours in the most popular groups and make people passionate about your adventure.
15. Institutional Videos (Fiverr)
A video can help you better understand your product to your users.
On Fiverr, with a few tens of euros, you can have a video that guarantees you a good result and a good first impact without spending a fortune.
It is also highly recommended for remarketing campaigns for post launch days (at the moment the video is converting much better than the images).
Do you want to see our video? Click here
16. Introductory Agreement (10/10)
The first comment to post immediately after being published on Product Hunt. Thank your hunter and tell the community the benefits they will get from using your product.
Be nice and courteous and inform all users of any deal made specifically for the launch.
Well, you should have everything, it’s time to launch!
The fateful day arrived, placed between 12am and 2am PST (or posted, but your hunter in this case will already know).
I advise you to launch on Friday, on PH there is a little less traffic, but also less competition.
Also remember to check that no big company (Google, Apple, etc) launch a product on your own day.
Respect your plan, be diligent and remember to always respond to anyone who comments or reviews your product.
Give thanks and try to be useful (if all the “makers” have been inserted, let them be active in the conversations! More messages, more hype!)
It’s time to inform all your friends of your launch!
Avoid copy paste messages, be personal and do not explicitly ask for their upvote.
Ask for support and feedback, on Product Hunt it works like this! :-)
3. Prepare for a marathon
We sat in front of the screen chatting, thanking and answering the questions until late at night.
Launching on Product Hunt is not a sprint but a marathon, do not give up!
1. Thank everyone
Do not forget who supported you!
Thank you with a tweet, a private message on Messenger or a post on Facebook.
2.Contact the newspapers
If you have reached the TOP 5, it’s time to let you know!
3.Understand better your experience
Every Product Hunt launch experience deserves to be told (as I am doing, lol)
So do not be shy and tell others what you have learned.
Below you will find a list of resources and tools that you can use:
PH Today — Thanks to this tool you can see how your product is performing, very useful.
Product Hunt Lics — Statistics day by day
ThunderClap — Personally, after hearing several users, I decided not to use it. Some, however, speak well of it. I leave the choice to you :-)
PS IF YOU LIKED THIS GUIDE, GIVE ME SOME CLAPS :)
— — — — — — — — — BONUS — — — — — — — — —
GOOGLE SHEET | TO DO LIST STEP BY STEP
— My excel file with things to do on launch day. Lifesaver. Also, within this file, you’ll find links to all Facebook groups, the names of the Slack groups and a couple of emails.
Ok, now that you have everything you need, let’s move on to the most interesting part!
— — — — — — — — — PRODUCT HUNT HACKS — — — — — — — — —
Finally we got to the fun part!
The launch on Product Hunt allowed me to learn a lot of new things, it’s time to share them with you.
[#1 HACK] Shipping and Import Contact page
This discovery made me a quote from Josh Fechter in his BAMF group.
So, why should I explain it to you, when you can read it directly from Josh’s post?
NB I have included only the contacts of our newsletter that had agreed to receive our emails, but as Josh explains, you could also import LinkedIn contacts, Facebook, etc.
[#2 HACK] Tracked link in a Facebook Group
Let’s start from an assumption, I wanted to run Facebook Ads during the launch day.
But I do not like to waste budgets and to do that I needed a very profiled audience.
The users of the BAMF group were perfect, marketers & founders, of which certainly a large percentage enrolled in Product Hunt.
To label them with a remarketing campaign, users would have to visit our site (impossible, in many groups like BAMF no external links are allowed), the only possibility was to insert a Google Drive link.
You needed valuable content.
Hence the idea: scrape CMO e-mails and CEO from a US site (e-mails were public, simply could not be easily exported), then we uploaded the file on Google Drive and tracked the link with JotURL, associating our Facebook pixels.
We write the post, cross fingers and click on “public”.
Two hours later and our post was approved!
The results? Find them in the image below.
The day of the launch I did nothing but start Remarketing Ads on this audience.
Score of relevance to 9 and many clicks at a super low cost :-)
[#3 HACK] Guide
Value, value and more value.
What could we do to capture the attention?
Write a guide!
We started writing the first 3 chapters of the “DEFINITIVE GUIDE ON LINK TRACKING” and we posted it in some Facebook groups on the day of the launch.
Excellent feedback and some extra upvotes.
[4# HACK] Conversions and Retargeting
In the days following the launch, we started other retargeting campaigns with Facebook on users who had visited our website, communicating the LTD present on Siftery.
With the “conversions” feature, we know exactly which retargeting campaigns are converting.
Why did we use this feature?
Because the Facebook campaign does not bring the user to our site, but to Siftery Deals, so we would not have had direct control of conversions. The results? Here they are!
[5# HACK] Easy Deep Link on Product Hunt
The Product Hunt community mainly uses the desktop platform, from our GAs only 13% came from mobile.
But why not take advantage of the opportunity to allow these users to use the App?
We then developed Easy Deep Link, a feature that with a simple click enabled the user to access the JotURL page directly from the Product Hunt app (but there are many other apps already preset).
Feedback was very positive and certainly allowed us to reduce friction points to mobile visitors who had the app installed.
It is a very simple and immediate feature that I often use to make users seamlessly migrate from Facebook to Instagram and vice versa.
Finally you can forget about the odious Facebook login in the browser!
We have come to the end, I hope this guide has been useful, if you have a product to launch, do not think twice and do not wait for it to be perfect.
Take courage, study, prepare and launch your product!
Last but not least, if you have any questions to ask me I will be happy to answer and help you, you can contact me on Facebook
Now it’s your turn!
Subscribe to get your daily round-up of top tech stories!