Peter Vu

@petervu1

Product Hunt: Is it worth the hype?

It depends largely on your purpose.

Hi,

I’m Peter, maker of Habitify and Nirow.

Last month was my 5th launch on Product Hunt in 2018. Having learned a lot of lessons along the journey, I thought of sharing all the wears and tears that I’ve been through in the hope of helping other makers like me.

What is Product Hunt?

“Product Hunt surfaces the best new products, every day. It’s a place for product-loving enthusiasts to share and geek out about the latest mobile apps, websites, hardware projects, and tech creations” — Product Hunt

Basically, Product Hunt is where makers showcase their products and where general people update themselves with new innovations every day.

The charm of Product Hunt lies in its Today page, where it lists all the products that makers launch within the day.

What all makers dream of is getting their product featured on the “Popular” page, and ultimately, as top 5 because they’ll be featured in PH’s newsletter, getting more sign-ups and feedback.

Why is there a hype?

The race to the top spots is so challenging that it quickly becomes viral on the Internet. An “App of the Day” badge is like a certificate of the reputation for newly-launched products, so people are making a real fuss about it.

Consequently, it created an impression that if you’re a maker, you have to know and to post on PH once.

From my point of view, PH has its own uniqueness and only suits certain purposes. If you’re a maker and you’re on the fence about whether launching an app on PH is worth the effort, here’s my answer:

Yes.

  • If you want to gain some momentum for your new product, receive feedbacks and suggestions of the other makers.

There’s a probability you’ll get noticed by PH team like Ryan Hoover, Ben Tossell, Nick Abouzeid… They will definitely ask tough questions to challenge you, or simply retweet your products with deadly cute cats 🙀🙀.

  • If you want to gain very hardcore users who will not hesitate to give you bluntly honest feedback (like in my case) and got the attention of some very well-known influencers who later on can be your loyal advocates.
  • If you want to know how much your current users love you (🤣).

In my case, I was really surprised to receive a lot of testimonials from my most loyal users. It’s truly heart-warming and actually surprising because they had never told me that before.

Thanks Marc Copes!

No.

  • If you want a source of sustainable organic traffic to your website. Even the most upvoted products on PH will have to spare the throne for newer ones. The list is updated daily so technically even hottest products won’t stay there forever.
  • If you don’t love cats (Product Hunt is a cat-lover community, don’t ya know? (look at their mascot!)
  • If you want to expand your customer base massively. From our experience, the charm of PH is that it connects you to certain connections (media, influencers, power users) that you can rely upon later, not pulling thousands of new sign-ups.

For your reference, here are our numeric gains from 2 successful PH launches

Before you come to the CAT approach, I just want to make sure one thing.

If your product is already receiving thousands of visits to the landing page and thousands of download, this post is not for you (I’m afraid if you continue you’ll laugh at my numbers…)

But if you’re an indie dev looking for a way to get more public attention, then, you may want to check out some benefits of launching on PH :)

😸A huge burst of traffic to the landing page (Habitify for macOS launch)

  • 1,665 visits on launch day
  • 8818 visits in the course of 7 days
  • 11,958 users in the course of 14 days
  • $3000 sales (both iOS and macOS) in 14 days
The red box indicates PH launch after effects.

As mac App Store didn’t provide analytics at the time of our launch, it’s hard to measure the quality of the traffic. Let’s assume that users who are interested in macOS also have an iPhone and they visited the App Store.

In the period of Jun-Sep, this launch’s traffic has a significantly higher conversion rate.

PH traffic has the conversion rate of nearly 31%, measured in 14 days after the launch. It’s almost 8 times higher than the industry average conversion rate!

I don’t know why there’s traffic coming from zapier.com…

The same magic happens on Twitter!

For the first time in history, Habitify has reached over 20K impressions in July only (our Launch month), which is monstrously hugeee compared to 3–4K per month previously!

Our launch got the interest of Francesco D’Alessio (🙏) so we were luckily featured by him, too! You can check it out here.

😸Know the pros and cons of my product

PH is a great place because you’ll receive both positive and n̶e̶g̶a̶t̶i̶v̶e̶ positive feedback.

There’s no such thing as negative feedback because every comment will give us a little more insight into the users.

For example, for Habitify macOS, we realize that it’s simple and sleek enough for users who care about the ease of use:

Thanks @Fabiomotach!

But at the same time, we know that Habitify has a long way to improve for users who care about functionality.

Thanks Cody McLain!

😸New connections. Treasure.

My main strategy for the launch is to find as many Habitify supporters as possible and ask one by one to help promote the product. It turned out the effect was trivial, but I gained something else.

I am quite taken aback to realize that Twitter is a really cool platform to make friends and get to know people in the same field. By being active on Twitter I know some of my users are really keen on checking my tweets and retweets them! (thanks Zee M Kane and Ethan!)

The second launch (Habitify for Android) is not as successful, though. (I’ve explained in this post)

  • 450 visits to the landing page
  • 1337 app installs
  • $500 sales in 14 days

Not too bad, considering that time of the year (22nd Dec) is when most people start to wind down with their families and vacations. Still, it could have been better if it were not for our mistake…

It’s you who can say if Product Hunt launch is worth it or not. I suggest taking a look at your own product and your timeline (and again, if you love cats or not 🐈)

Product Hunt launch takes time and effort. It’s not a one-off game. Definitely not where you can even think about cheating.

Hm…

Okay.

Fine.

I thought about cheating, okay? But as karma goes I got backfired by my own dirty intents, so, nope, don’t try that at home. Here’s the story of how my app got severely punished to #5 place despite having 2nd highest upvotes!

If you think you have at least got some values out of the post, others might, too, your sharing is much appreciated.

If you have any questions regarding the post, feel free to leave it in the comments :) If you’re having a product launching on PH soon and want objective feedback, you can always DM me via @tiepvuvan :)

“Product Hunt: Is it worth the hype?” is my first post in the series of endless lessons I learned after 5 years of being an indie dev, from Product Dev, Marketing, Team Management, to Customer Management.

👏Let me know if you’d like to receive more posts like this :)

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