Why are we so in love with Product Hunt?
Well, it has the most amazing community in the world. Our team literally “hangs” on the platform every day and gets inspiration for new products, cool approaches to solving problems, and of course, new, similarly-minded friends.
Why we (you need to) want to be featured on Product Hunt?
For the past two years, Product Hunt has been the “must” location for product launches that aim to gain PR momentum and possibly the first customers for your product. As a marketer of a startup, you must pay attention to Product Hunt mainly because the numbers back its relevance. From 2000 users in 2013, the current community is bigger than 400,000, and most of them are founders, tech journalists, and developers – real people who happen to be very influential and early adopters.
For us, the main goal was not really the sales KPI, but we wanted to make a real case experiment and understand how Product Hunt really works. In short, YES it really works 🙂
27.06.2016 was a big day for our team @ EmbedSocial. Not only did our Facebook Album Plugin get featured on Product Hunt, it also maintained the position on the home page for the entire day and because of that, it will stay in the homepage scroll for the rest of the week.
Being featured on the Product Hunt homepage is very important because it has the best chance to be spotted by the Product Hunt visitors and, therefore, gains lots of up-votes, feedback comments, traffic to your website and possible sales.
Along with the euphoric atmosphere, we decided to tell the story behind the launch and share our “secret hunting checklist”.
1. Prepare for the submission, but do not overthink it
As I mentioned, the idea of submitting one of our products on Product Hunt was there for a while, but with all the work going on there wasn’t really much time left for preparing adequately, so we’ve postponed it several times.
Our platform offers very cool apps, but we decided to go with the most simple one, the Facebook Album Plugin as we thought most of the hunters would immediately understand its purpose.
But, when we finally decided to feature our Facebook Album plugin, time wasn’t really on our hands.
We believe that the part of our culture of “running the extra mile” for our clients, has become part of our DNA, and it makes us run that extra mile every time, in every activity, even when it’s for our own purposes.
Usually, people spend months for preparation, but we prepared for 2 days only; To be frank, it wasn’t even preparation it was more of “going with the flow”. And still, we ended up with more than satisfying results.
People make a big deal of Product Hunt (don’t get me wrong Product Hunt is a super-major deal) but all that “stressing” makes you feel nervous and like you have to deal with authority.
Okay, okay – let me tell you step-by-step what we’ve done.
2. Find someone to hunt your product
The important thing to look for in every hunter is the number of followers he has on Product Hunt. Why?
Well, when someone submits a product, every person that follows them receives an e-mail with the product. The more people receive an e-mail, the bigger the chances for up votes.
Here’s a great list for finding great hunters http://yvoschaap.stfi.re/producthunt
3. Making the ask to the hunters you chose
We’ve spent countless hours reading blog posts and to-do lists about how someone prepared their pitch for their product for months. All this made the whole process sound like there’s some science behind it and made us scared and anxious.
But when faced with a deadline and in panic, we decided to take a risk and improvise. We never thought we would get a response, but I guess miracles happen Jack Smith agreed and he was really open and friendly about it. Super-mega-huge thanks to him for hunting our Facebook Album Plugin.
Conclusion: Don’t overthink it too much, just ask.
Here ‘s the checklist WE DIDN’T FOLLOW:
- Have email address of the hunter (We wrote to Jack on Twitter);
- Prepare the email you will write to them ( We simply asked directly if he would hunt our plugin);
- Prepare Submission Kit upfront (Jack gave us a form with the required fields for PH submission, and we took it as a starting point. So best advice is to first talk to your hunter and ask about the techniques he prefers).
Here ‘s the checklist WE DID FOLLOW:
- Prepare our product submission after the suggestions by our hunter; we created a tagline, and landing page for the ?ref=producthunt referral and product images;
- Give a privilege to the Product Hunters; for example, we used 50% discount code solely for the launch day on Product Hunt.
Also, remember that the people who work in Product Hunt are very nice, friendly, and open to communication. You can write them at any time and any question, and they will always help you.
4. The start of the real party; gathering upvotes
On Monday at 9 am CET, our Facebook Album Plugin was launched on Product Hunt, and as excited as we were for our first launch ever we had to roll up our sleeves and get to work in gathering our troupes to up vote. Please note the time. It is best for every submission to be launched on Monday or Tuesday after 00.01 am Pacific Time.
5. Gather your troupes
Our goal was to stay on the homepage, and in order to do this, we knew that we had to gather our close community first to help us with their support and gain momentum with upvotes that would help our position to maintain on the homepage. So this is what we did:
- Sent emails to the customer base;
- Sent Facebook notifications through our platform to our subscribers;
- Made sure our founders Kate and Nikola are monitoring Product Hunt and answering comments and queries in real-time;
- Informed coworkers and influencers in our niche that our product got featured and asked them to share. In this relation, we would like to thank to the Macedonian Product Hunt community, who shared our Product Hunt link and asked their followers to support our product;
- Got some local press. Big thanks to Marketing 365, Brainster, Inovativnost;
- Spread beyond the close community by posting Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn ads;
- Posted in Slack communities. If you’re not a member of any Slack channel here are directories that are great sources for finding one. http://www.chitchats.co, http://www.slacklist.info;
- Get retweets from cool profiles such as the official @ProductHunt and the @ProductHuntLOVE.
— Product Hunt (@ProductHunt) June 27, 2016
And of course, do expect that amazing things might happen, such as the like on Twitter from @ProductHuntLOVE just after they liked Gary Vaynerchuk and its display in the official twitter feed on the Product Hunt homepage. 🙂
I am sure that you are noticing that we do not have the excitement over the actual traffic on our website or the sales we made, but the actual response from the community and the huge reach that simple tweets or comments by relevant people gained for our product.
6. Lessons learned
Product Hunt really works, and we definitely recommend it for every single product launch.
And, of course, we’re not perfect. Here are some things we will improve in our next launch ( and you should pay attention to them now)
- Spend more time on building our subscriber list
- Gather an even bigger community on Slack
- Try to get press coverage from a major publication
- Spend more time on Twitter
If you have a similar experience, please do share. We will definitely want to improve for the next Product Hunt launch.