Growth February 21, 2020

Do NOT make ProductHunt your growth plan

dqmonn @dqmonn

It's interesting how a launch on ProductHunt is so highly weighted for may product builders. I see the common 'I launched on ProductHunt, what now?' post here and there, but how I remembered it, it always made a little sense: A good PH launch got you exposure to 10,000s of folks and might be a good starting point to see how people use something you have built.

Yesterday I did a PH launch. I did not count on anything, but it went reasonably well. Was at #2 at some point during the morning, fell a few spots, ended on #6 after I had already went to sleep. Quite okay.

You know what I got from that? 700 unique visitors and a single hand full of bookings. I am not disappointed at all, just trying to show newer members what a relatively successful PH launch can get you. I usually get more visitors when I send out my monthly newsletter!

Do not count on PH in your growth plan, figure out how to market and grow your app organically.

  1. 6

    StatusGator got pretty much zero from Product Hunt during its launch. After 5 years of just grinding and iterating, we're close to $2,500 MRR. I'd say Product Hunt is nothing more than a gimmick and the real plan should always be to just keep launching, keep iterating, and most importantly: keep getting feedback.

    1. 2

      It’s not even a gimmick. It’s less than that. PH is like.... I dunno it’s not nothing, but it’s just A.N Other place to announce your product to the world.

      And unless you’re a huge company with a Big Bang marketing budget then the idea of a “launch” is kinda cringeworthy.

      Probably more people win the lottery than “launch” and find success on day 1.

    2. 2

      Good for you keeping it up and getting towards success!

  2. 5

    Regular and casual updates her on IH works well too. :) I'd love more people to feel like they can make updates outside of 'traditional launches'.

    I think often people feel regular updates aren't interesting, but I like to think the small challenges are what make the indie businesses succeed. The more we can share those, the more helpful it is to us all.

    1. 1

      Totally agree, people are also always so helpful on those.

  3. 4

    I think part of the issue is that product hunt loves shiny new things, but most of the people who upvote/visit your site aren't necessarily people that would use your product.

    I think it's good to get some starting traction, but PH tends to love well designed "sexy" products over feature-ful products, which IMO is the wrong way to go for an MVP.

  4. 4

    I've posted about this very thing times.

    It's equivalent to making a lottery win your pension plan.

  5. 3

    I think a lot of people romanticise the idea of having this big bang "event" where their product takes off and works from day 1. It's not an event though, it's a long and drawn out process. People rarely talk about this because it's not sexy.

    Lots of people in this community (including myself) publish their wins, but you don't see posts like "it took me 3 months to get my first customer". Personally I'd love to see more of those and how people are trying to overcome those traction challenges.

    PH is great for getting in front of lots of eyes, but not lots of eyes in your target market. I thought my PH launch was going to kick start my SaaS business. It didn't. But that's ok because I stuck to my process (e.g. funnel optimisation, positioning, etc) and now I'm gradually making ground.

  6. 3

    I agree that you shouldn't rely on Product Hunt alone for growth (no one with any sense would argue that), but at the same time we shouldn't discount the potential there. I launched my product on there 2.5 years ago and Product Hunt accounts for 40% of lifetime traffic, and roughly $125k in revenue. That's just speaking to direct revenue as a referral source, not to mention the various referral business received from those users.

    1. 1

      What product was that? Someone else on here posted that the product itself (and thus it’s target audience) is a huge factor and of course that’s completely true.

      1. 1

        The product was Hue (now DesignJoy.co). Of course a lot depends on the product, targeting audience, price, and even other products you're up against that particular day, not to mention the quality and relevance of the product itself.

  7. 2

    Fully agree. Biggest problem is that it is a one-time boost.

    Though, a few makers I know have been using PH in a different manner over the past 6 months or so. They have been building niche content sites that their audience would love (like Revitalize by Pragli and Remote Work 2020) and launching them separately on PH.

    While a few are hits and a few misses, the good thing is that need not over rely on the success of that 1 Product Hunt launch as their target audience does frequent the "popular" section on PH everyday.

  8. 2

    To be the counter to this with https://saaspages.xyz/ I got 19k+ visitors from PH and they still drive a lot of traffic to this day.

    With https://versoly.com/ on two launches I got 3000+ visitors, 600/400 demos and a few paying customers.

    If the Versoly conversion funnel was better we could have got even more paying customers.

  9. 1

    I agree with the general sentiment - try PH as one of the channels not the only one or even the main one.

  10. 1

    PH is a place to you make a little bubbling only. To boil the water, you can need more time. I went through this at Bybrand launched ~2 years ago.

    But the idea of ignoring the PH is not a good one. The domain is ranked well in Google, and secondary pages help increase website visits. Like my case on the Wisestamp alternative page https://www.producthunt.com/alternatives/wisestamp

  11. 1

    I'm new to all this but 700 unique visits for a top 10 launch? That's ... quite shocking IMO. With the amount of talk and anxiety surrounding PH "launches" I would have expected a LOT more!

  12. 1

    A PH launch is to niche early adopters. It’s the icing not the cake.

  13. 1

    I think the product is an important variable.