Steps for a Successful Launch on Product Hunt

Feb 23, 2017 | Product Marketing

by Kaitlyn Witman

The Product Hunt is a closed community of startup enthusiasts, growth hackers, and tech-loving, cat-loving nerds. PH Users are called “Hunters.” A product can only be posted on PH a single time (with some exceptions). Once posted, the community can vote it up and the product with the most votes is listed at the top of the page for that day. They drive great amounts of traffic through their mailing lists, and great engagement all around it.

For Everyone involved (not just Makers/Creators)

  • You should have a Twitter Account, and be fairly active, or have posted some recent content.
  • Register to become part of Product Hunt.
  • Complete your profile.
  • Browse Product Hunt Posts, and upvote a few that you like.
  • Remember that an upvote from a person that has an active PH account counts more than an upvote from someone inactive.

Preparation

  • Landing Page Welcome
    • Welcome Hunters using a Welcome Header, like from AddThis.com or HelloBar.
      • Target messages based on where users are.
      • Product Hunt conveniently adds “..?ref=producthunt” to all of its URLs, so you can identify the referral source.
  • Hunter Discount
    • Create a discount, such as:
      • “Welcome on board, Product Hunters! Enjoy [insert promotion here] by entering HUNTERDISCOUNT at checkout. Offer Expires xx/xx. [Get it Now!]”
  • Set Goals
    • To get featured in Product Hunt Top 5 daily email, Monthly Collection, increasing traffic and Twitter followers.
  • Prepare Social Posts for Fans to share
    • “The best @ProductX is launched today! Visit @ProductHunt to find them and join the discussion”
  • Prepare Mailing List call-to-action (if you know Hunters are on your list)
  • Monitor the personal twitter handles of the Makers/Creators for direct @ Mentions.
  • Prepare a thank-you message to the community.
    • “Let us thank @ProductHunt team, [@hunter’s-twitter-handle], our supporters, commenters, & challengers! We are climbing on Product Hunt!”

For the Hunter

  • Anyone that has been invited to comment in the Product Hunt community is able to submit things.
  • First, read up on a few examples:
    • Polymail – A simple, beautiful, and powerful email client for Mac
    • Gboard by Google – Google Search, GIFs, emojis & more—right from your keyboard
    • Re/code Decode – Ev Williams – How Medium is different than Blogger and Twitter
  • After logging in, click the “+” button in the top right and submit the product’s URL, name, and tagline.
    Each post should include:

    • URL – Direct link to the product page (avoid links to press or blogs)
    • Name
    • Tagline – Very short description of the product (make it catchy!)
    • Additional URLs – for multiple websites (avoid links to press or blogs)
    • Category – e.g. Tech
    • Topics – e.g. Hardware, Wearables, Apple Watch, iPhone
    • Status: “Available Now” vs. “Prelaunch”
      • If it’s a pre-order or crowdfunded campaign, select “Pre-launch”.
      • According to Product Hunt, “the occasional crowdfunded, pre-launch, or private beta submission is acceptable if it provides thorough information about the product (e.g. clear video with a product feature walkthrough) and proof that it’s not vaporware.”
    • Feature Image
      • GIFs are more catchy
    • Images
    • Video URLs
  • Invite the Maker’s Personal Twitter Handle including “@___”
    • You can also use Twitter to tweet at ProductHunt to help you get the makers approved.
  • Be the first to leave a comment about why you like the product.
    • Don’t ask for upvotes. Be genuine.
  • Share the hunt to your personal Twitter account.
    • Tag other hunters on Twitter to notify them of this great new product: http://www.yvoschaap.com/producthunt/
    • Do not ask them to upvote it. Merely ask them to “Join the Discussion on Product Hunt”

Creators/Brands, if Your Product is Hunted…

  • Log in using your Product Hunt Account
  • Post a comment/s on the page for your product
    • Write a long, personal narrative about:
      • What gave you the idea for this product
      • Your process of discovering why this doesn’t exist already
      • Where you are in the process of making/shipping/ getting feedback, etc.
      • You can include videos/images, too.
  • Add a coupon code or special link in your comment to reward Product Hunters with a discount for visiting your site / ordering your product.
  • Invite Hunters to comment by ending with a question, such as “What do you think? I’m here to answer your questions!”
  • Keep the web page open all day and answer questions as they come in.
  • Share the hunt to your personal Twitter account + Your brand’s Twitter account
  • Thank each hunter individually via twitter as they upvote your product.

You First Comment

Hey Hunters!

I am excited to celebrate the launch of (PRODUCT) with all of you.

(PRODUCT) is (a simple description of what the thing is in 6 words or less).

[insert a walkthrough of all the features, what they get]

[See mission statement example here] A camera is only valuable when it’s ready to capture. Having high definition cameras right on your wrist makes it faster and easier than ever to instantly capture and share with the world. We’re excited to see how a truly instant camera will change how people create and share with photo and video.

Be amongst the first to experience [PRODUCT], and check it out at [WEBSITE] to learn more and pre-order. Product Hunters get a special $XX off pre-orders, so be sure to look for that deal when you click through.

We are excited to hear what you think. Get in touch at support@WEBSITE.com.

Your Email to Supporters

{PRODUCT} is “Hunted” on Product Hunt!

You can help us even more by checking out (PRODUCT) on Product Hunt! Product Hunt helps people around the world discover new and vote on new tech products every day. Here is the link to our post: Click Here to View i(PRODUCT) on Product Hunt

Launch Logistics – You Only Get 1 DAY to Do it Right

  • Timing:
    • PH servers run on (GMT -8) (Pacific Time)
    • The earlier, the better. You want to be posted as soon as a ‘new day starts on PH’ so you get the most exposure and a full day’s worth of traffic.
    • You should hunt things as soon as you launch. You never know if a product will already be hunted by someone else.
    • It closes at midnight, PST.
  • Mechanics:
    • Every day, hundreds of things are submitted to Product Hunt. Unfortunately, not everything can make it to the homepage, but those that receive credible upvotes from the community, rise to the top.
      All submissions first start in the NEWEST feed.
      Once the product has received a significant number of credible upvotes from the community, it will be promoted to the homepage within 48 hours.
  • Asking People to Upvote: Not Allowed
    • You have to be really careful to not try to “game” the system.
    • A better way to phrase this is to ask fans to say “The best @Product X is launched today! Visit @ProductHunt to find them and join the discussion”
  • An Upvote from the Homepage, ProductHunt.com, is worth more than an Upvote from the Product Page
    • NOTE: This is an old wives’ tale that’s been “debunked” by the Product Hunt team. BUT you can never be too careful!
    • Make sure that some people are independently going to producthunt.com and clicking on the upvote button, instead of straight to the Product’s page.
    • If people are unfamiliar with Product Hunt, you should send them directly to your product’s page.
  • Post the PH Page Everywhere
  • Send out real-time thank-you messages
    • Thank each hunter individually via twitter as they upvote your product
      Tag other hunters on Twitter to notify them of this great new product: http://www.yvoschaap.com/producthunt/


Sources Used:

  1. https://medium.com/@scalosub/how-i-finished-2-on-product-hunt-4040d69a85ce#.p51edu6iq
  2. https://www.quora.com/In-your-opinion-what-are-the-top-10-best-landing-page-designs-on-Product-Hunt#
  3. https://medium.com/@RealtimeBoard/how-we-learned-to-get-into-product-hunt-top-5-the-story-of-realtimeboard-f16e51ca4b17#.t2xonha3w
  4. https://www.producthunt.com/faq
  5. https://www.producthunt.com/protips