Marketers are always on the lookout for new avenues to drive traffic to their product. As a founder of an early-stage startup, I too consistently try to explore the best ways to market my company. Amongst the many other channels, a platform that I came across, and was rather impressed by, is Product Hunt.
Having launched two products on Product Hunt and benefited immensely in terms of new users to our product, I thought of sharing my experience around it.
Table of Contents
What is Product Hunt?
Before delving into how we went about the launch and the kind of benefits one can expect from a successful launch on Product Hunt, let’s dig a little deeper into what the platform has to offer.
Firstly, Product Hunt users are largely tech enthusiasts, while also consisting of those searching for products to make their lives easier. In other words, it is the go-to place to not only find a new source of traffic but also to receive constructive feedback on your product.
To summarise, the two goals that you can achieve if you have decided to explore this platform are:
- Receive feedback or validation for your product.
- To boost relevant traffic to your website and consequently add to your subscriber/user base/top-line.
Launch of Remote.tools
To understand the benefits of this platform and the process to make the most of it, let me chart our first launch of remote.tools on Product Hunt. Primarily, Remote tools was a side-product that we created to engage our predominantly remote working audience at Flexiple.
Preparing for our product launch
We did a couple of things while preparing for our product launch. This included preparing a list of Facebook and Slack groups to reach out to, drafting emails to be sent to tech blogs, reaching out to moderators of popular tech forums, amongst others.
To be absolutely honest, we just stumbled upon Product Hunt and posted our product. Little did we know that this would provide a majority of the traffic to our website.
Let’s quantify success
Within a day, we received ~500 upvotes and a lot of positive reviews. We also managed to become the second-most loved product of the day!
But what do all these accolades mean if not for traffic to our website?
We received over 10,000 visitors to our product, with users spending a good amount of time on it (~2 mins).
Most importantly, we were able to close 4 client deals, where the lead source had been explicitly stated as remote.tools. We had already made 10 times the money we had invested in the product!
What did we get right? (albeit unknowingly)
We definitely did not see this coming and went back to analyze our launch to understand what went right. This includes:
Useful and free solution: Naturally, products that solve a pain-point are greeted warmly. We strongly believed in our rationale behind building remote.tools and were not surprised that it resonated well within the community. Further, our product was entirely free – a nifty tool that is free is sure to garner good attention from the Product Hunt user base.
Clean UI: While offering helping products is critical, the presentation also absolutely matters. As all users worldwide, even Product Hunt users love a clean and well-made website. We learnt this from StartupStash, one of the best performing products on Product Hunt. Below is a snapshot of the website when it was launched:
Time of posting product: New products get prime real estate on Product Hunt, featuring for an entire day at the top of the website. The list is refreshed at 12AM PST – to get maximum exposure, we made sure that we launched exactly at 12 AM.
Interaction with the Product Hunt community: Product Hunt rewards product makers who are extremely active on the platform on the day of the launch. This results in better ranking in the list. We ensured that all comments were replied swiftly and in an engaging manner.
Product content: Not all users will go to your website – you need to convince them to do so. So, prepare your tagline, product description, pictures and other content that would attract the audience to your page. We put in significant effort into this.
Maker’s comment: The comment that the maker posts is his/her avenue to talk about the product and the vision behind it. The Product Hunt community is always eager to read about the product’s journey and how it came to be. We made sure our comment was detailed and that it explained our journey and what we aimed to achieve by making our product.
Make it to the top 5 products of the day: The top 5 products are the most popular products of the day and naturally, are the ones that attract maximum attention. So the goal must be to make it this list. We were the second most loved product of the day and although not quantifiable, featuring on this list will considerably boost your traffic.
What did we miss out on?
Although we had done rather well on the launch, there were definitely quite a few things we missed out on/did not do:
- Subscribe box: This was a big miss! We weren’t expecting a sudden spike and were therefore not prepared to convert the traffic into sign-ups. Ensure that you have a clear plan for the engagement you want from your users.
- Reach out to influential users: Having an influential user “hunt” or support your product will give you a great head-start. Although we had organically garnered support from a few influential users, we hadn’t reached out to any of them. Doing this would increase your chances of being one of the most popular products of the day as your chances of being noticed would now be multi-fold.
- Be active on Product Hunt: Product Hunt appreciates those who work their way around the platform – give feedback, suggestions and support other product makers. Although we were extremely active on the day of launch, we realized that being generally active users on Product Hunt will help you better understand the platform and when you launch your product after this, you will be duly rewarded as well.
Pro Tip: This is something that we hadn’t done, but would highly recommend: Use Preview Hunt to preview and prepare your Product Hunt submissions.
It isn’t over once you have launched
To drive traffic to your website, you don’t necessarily have to build complex side products that can be launched on Product Hunt. The platform’s users appreciate any resource that is nifty and extremely useful. So, here are 2 ways in which you can do this:
- Share resources: If while building your product, you built a knowledge base of any kind, you could launch that on Product Hunt too! The only thing to consider is if it is helpful and could add value to your specific target audience.
- Launch updated versions of your product: The new and improved version of your product deserves another go at the Product Hunt audience. You can share your journey from the initial version to the new release, the exciting features and more. With a good response from the first launch and having added tons of new features, even we launched on Remote. Tools 2.0 on Product Hunt.
Go ahead and start planning your launch!
Both, in terms of earning validation and garnering traffic to our website, Product Hunt can be a significant boost. The platform gave us the jump start that we had hoped for when we launched our product. Anyone looking to promote their product, especially in its early stages, should definitely not miss out on leveraging this platform.