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53 Comments

Launching on Product Hunt? #AMA

Today I'm launching my side project on Product Hunt, and as part of my One Hour SaaS project I promised to share more about launching on Product Hunt.

I've launched a lot of products on Product Hunt, I think more than anyone else, so I'm happy to answer any questions you have about launching.

What are you curious about?!?

(Lets avoid requests to actually hunt products 🤗)

  1. 4

    PH users upvote your product. How many of them convert into users of your product?

    I, for example, sometimes upvote stuff that I find interesting but I don't necessarily need or use. What percentage of upvoters usually become your users later on (if you feel comfortable sharing these details, of course)?

    1. 2

      This varies a lot, depends on if you have a free tier, or not, how much you're charging and how good a fit the PH audience is for your product.

      It's usually very, low for a paid product. Like 1% that signup for your product. I think that compares well to most other kinds of marketing that isn't targeted to your ideal customer.

      But if you can get 8-10K visitors to your product (which you can with a 1-2 position launch) converting even 1% is a pretty good start for a new product.

      It's also important to remember that timing can play a big factor as well. Users might not need your product right when you launch, but if they see it, they may remember it for when they do.

      Like any form of marketing, a PH launch is about getting your name out there in the marketplace, and starting to get traction from there.

      For a free product something like PodHunt , the conversion rate was higher, closer to 8-10%, I think I had around 500 users a couple of months after the PH launch.

      1. 2

        "… if you can get 8-10K visitors to your product (which you can with a 1-2 position launch) converting even 1% is a pretty good start for a new product."

  2. 3

    I've been making good progress on multiple simpler apps I'd like to launch there as a by product of work on a dev tool I'm making. All of them are free to use.

    How would you go about launching less "serious" apps that will never be my job or even a profitable SaaS? Mostly I want feedback on the UX and to build up my PH profile.

    1. 2

      With smaller apps I think the story behind them is very important. Worry less about explaining features/benefits, if it's smaller it should be self explanatory. Go more into where this app idea came from and why you're releasing it. Also make sure you put a link from the smaller apps to the main project, or signup to the main project newsletter.

      Probably isn't the best place to get UX feedback, but definitely a good way to build up your profile, in preparation for the main product launch.

      1. 2

        Thanks, that's really useful.

      2. 2

        Mubs says:

        "Go more into where this app idea came from and why you're releasing it."

        That way people can connect with your concept, even if it is a little thing you made to scratch your own itch. He says you can grow your profile / rep this way.

  3. 2

    @mubashariqbal, is it still worth to be hunted? I heard that hunters don't notify their followers anymore.

    1. 2

      Yeah I think PH stopped that notification a long time ago.

      Obviously if the hunter is sharing to their own network on other platforms, then it can still be valuable, just not quite as much as before.

      1. 1

        Thanks for confirming!

  4. 2

    Thanks for offering your help here Mubashar! I'm launching my product GrowthBar on Product Hunt in January and I'm wondering -- do you have any example email templates of messaging you sent to your audience in the weeks & days leading up to your launch?

    1. 1

      I don't and I wouldn't look for anything specific.

      This should be a feature of your normal communication with your users.

      Try and match the launch with time you'd email your audience anyway, and just slip in that you are on Product Hunt. No need to make separate email.

      If the users would benefit from doing something pre your launch, just mention that. ie;
      "for more exposure, be sure to submit your <content> before our official launch next week."

      If people love your product they'll know what to do!

      1. 2

        Got it, play it cool lol. Makes sense thanks for your advice on this!

  5. 2

    Whatttttt!!! That's a whole lotta makes! Amazing, man.

    My question: what would you say is the primary interest of people looking on PH. Are they there to look for a solution to a problem and then leave? Are they usually interested in new and shiny things? Are they typically early adopters?

    Thanks for the AMA opportunity @mubashariqbal. (Also saw you in RobFitz's book Slack).

    Farez

    1. 1

      There is definitely a mix of people on the site. Most people going thru the homepage, are early adopters (or people from the media) looking for the new shiny thing to play around with.

      As PH has gained popularity, and SEO ranking, many people return to the site when they are looking for something specific.

      It used to be that I saw a lot of referrers from PH on and around launch and then practically nothing after that. More recently I tend to see PH in the referrers long after the launch, as people find my products on Google etc, via PH more often. At least until my SEO rank can build up.

      1. 2

        That's really great insight. Thank you for sharing!

  6. 2

    Upvoted your Podcast Hosting Review🚀
    Now my question: I try to be active on PH but don't get how to gain "Points" for your profile and what it means when you have many of them🧐 Do you know how they are working?

    1. 1

      I'm pretty sure PH has used the "karma points" for some time internally to rank the comments in posts, but they only recently started to publish them on users profiles.

      Not sure exactly how it's worked out, but my guess would that it's based on the user activity in the comments.

      The number of comments and replies they post and the number of upvotes those comments get from other users.

  7. 2

    Is there something you recommend to read or watch on how you should approach launching? Like a step by step guide - a distilled, focused advice/wisdom?

    1. 1

      Nothing written recently, but always recommend reading the last mega post by PH themselves about how to launch on PH:
      https://blog.producthunt.com/how-to-launch-on-product-hunt-7c1843e06399

  8. 2

    How on earth have you made so many products

    1. 3

      I really like making stuff.

      I'm good at multi-tasking.

      I don't need a lot of sleep.

      🤣

    2. 1

      He also has "starter" templates and processes so he can spin something up really quickly, with a stack that he knows inside and out.

  9. 2

    What are in your opinion the 3 most important factors to have a successful launch?

    1. 3

      Having a great product is obviously really important.

      Describing your product correctly for the Product Hunt audience is probably even more important (both the words and video/images).

      Engagement is probably the next more important factor. Many people think just asking for upvotes is enough, but to get a really successful launch, getting comments/review and engaging with the Product Hunt users is what you really need to do.

      1. 2

        Ok so instead of asking for upvotes, ask your network to leave a comment or a review. Noted 😂

        1. 1

          Officially you should never "ask" people for votes 🤣

          1. 1

            Of course, ask for “support” 😂

      2. 2

        What about images. How do you quickly do the necessary image assets? … do you do a video, or think about the video?

        1. 1

          Videos can be great for some products to have users easily understand how something works. It worked pretty well for:
          https://www.producthunt.com/posts/branded-background

          We used the video on the website homepage too.

          Images are usually just screenshots of the product, that highlight the features you want people to see.

          The exception being the first image, which is the image that will be seen first (if no video) and used when the link to the PH posts is shared on social media. I tend treat that like I would an open graph image, give a quick summary of what the product is and what it does.

  10. 2

    Can I launch my Beta product, and later next year my (non-beta) real product both on producthunt?

    Also how much does a hunter help?

    and if I post on a weekend will it go terrible? ahhaha

    1. 1

      Can I launch my Beta product, and later next year my (non-beta) real product both on producthunt?

      Typically you need at least 6 months between posting the same product, even then you need to have made big changes. Just going from beta to v1 is not considered a "big change".

      Also how much does a hunter help?

      Most top hunters have direct home page access to it can help eliminate that part of posting to PH. Other than that, not really very much.

      Off course if they have a big social media following, assuming they share their own hunts, that can help a lot.

      and if I post on a weekend will it go terrible? ahhaha

      Depends on what you are launching and how established your are. Will definitely be easier to get to the top 10, but your traffic will be much lower than on most weekdays.

  11. 2

    interesting ! upvoted + following 🤗

    1. 1

      👍 Thanks! Feel free to ask any questions you have.

  12. 2

    Upvoted:)
    We're launching IN 2 weeks or so(Tomorrow we're launching our upcoming page).
    It will be great if you can answer my questions:
    Our product is not "sexy" -  it's an app for receipt tracking, and products like ours are having a hard time on PH because it's not that tempting to try. What do you think we should do to overcome it?
    Another question is - how many followers should you bring manually (friends, family, colleges) to get a good acceleration when you launch? is it significant?
    And last one, do you think an upcoming page is useful?
    Thanks!
    Dor

    1. 2

      I cases like this you have to work really hard to craft the launch description for your product to the Product Hunt audience.

      For example: when we launched Founderpath recently, we knew what most people wouldn't be in the market for a loan for their SaaS Business on product hunt, so instead we emphasized the revenue analytics side of Founderpath.

      For your application, rather than say the reporting features you have have might be really great, focus on the time saving (tax time is soon) that your product can give really busy people building products. It's important to think about what's important to the PH crowd and highlight how your product will help them.

      As far as brining followers, if they aren't already Product Hunt users it's less valuable.

      You need to keep people informed during your build phase, if you're not doing that with your website, or mailing list, then an upcoming page is a great way to get started, but if you have something setup already, just stick with that.

      PS. Thanks for the upvote!

      1. 2

        Thanks for the in-depth comment:)

      2. 2

        " … work really hard to craft the launch description …"

        " we emphasized the [$xyz] side of [$abc]"

        … keep people informed during your build / work in public.

  13. 2

    Congratulations for your launch Mubashar... I am curious about the day you have choosen to launch your product. It's evident that the traffic during sunday on Product Hunt is lower than the rest of the week: why have you published your product during this day? Is it for the competition?

    1. 1

      My schedule is artificially influenced during my One Hour SaaS challenge, so I probably wouldn't have normally launched on a weekend.

      However given my reputation, I thought launching on the weekend would be good. There is less competition and I hoped I'd be able to bring enough people to the site to get me higher on the leaderboard.

      Also, for some products the weekend is actually more suited too.

      Given who's active on PH on the weekends, Podcast Hosts or people thinking about getting into Podcasting might be on PH and find the product interesting anyway.

      1. 2

        Did this prove to be effective? Super curious

        1. 1

          Hard to tell. It did well on the day, was in #4 most of the day, and I've had close to a 1K visits to the site since then.

          I'm happy with the launch and think it would have been tough to rank as high in the week, with this kind of project and considering how long I've spent on it so far.

          Would it have done better on a different day? We'll never know for sure 😀

  14. 1

    Hey,

    I am working on a Maker Swipe File(A practical e-book on creating the next FB from Mark's Zuckerberg's shoes).

    And it is now live on Producthunt! Would be great if you could help us spread the word and check it out on PH.

    https://www.producthunt.com/posts/free-maker-swipe-file

    How can I improve it in your opinion?

  15. 1

    Does it really impact if someone hunts your product?

  16. 1

    The insights here are MASSIVELY helpful! Thanks to everyone for sharing and to @mubashariqbal for opening it up 💛💪

    We're planning to launch Butter (https://butter.us) -- which is like Zoom but laser focused on workshops (and hopefully more delightful 😉) -- on Product Hunt soon. We're all very excited but also having first-time jitters since it's all very new to us. 😅 I'd love to get more advice on how to set it up successfully!

    A few questions, hope some of you can help:

    1. Which product launches got you the most excited on PH and why?
    2. What's the usual conversion benchmark for free SaaS products?
    3. Been reading quite a bit of "best practice" articles online. But things are often overlooked or underestimated by makers when preparing for the launch that can have a HUGE impact on how it actually turns out?
    4. Any other tips?? 😄

    I'd love to hear what you think!

  17. 1

    Hello Product Hunters! We are creating a slack group to share ideas for PH launch. If you like to join, you can fill out this form. https://forms.gle/LehhYocbCSPMnFU36

  18. 1

    Just finished our prototype for customerdiscovery.co. We help early stage founders build products that people love by connecting them with early adopters for idea validation (if you don't have an MVP) and user testing if you do have an MVP.

    I'm looking to launch on producthunt but honestly idk how to do it most efficiently. Any advice on the nuances of a PH Launch?

  19. 1

    Do you think PH would be a good fit for an innovative physical product? I am involved with https://www.moovguitars.com/ - a guitar made for travelers. Do you have any tips for physical products? Thank you!

  20. 1

    How to make it to top 5 product of the day?

  21. 1

    Hey @mubashariqbal thanks for doing this - hope I'm not too late

    1. So I messed up a launch and never made it off the 'new page' - I want to relaunch at some point in the recent future - do I delete it? do I not? How long do I need to wait?

    2. Guides for launching on PH seem to disagree whether getting hunted by a top hunter matters anymore (many say it used to matter/used to matter more).

    3. If you don't have a following on PH and launch is it generally a good strategy to ask people you know for upvotes as early as possible to get onto the front page and get more visibility? Is that common practice?

    1. 2

      So I messed up a launch and never made it off the 'new page' - I want to relaunch at some point in the recent future - do I delete it? do I not? How long do I need to wait?

      If you haven't made it to the homepage it's not a problem, you can edit/update the info about the product, then reach out to the PH team (just use the chat widget on the site) and ask them to review it.

      Guides for launching on PH seem to disagree whether getting hunted by a top hunter matters anymore (many say it used to matter/used to matter more).

      The biggest advantage about getting "top hunter" is that your product will make it to the homepage, and they will probably share it to their audience on social media, etc. No real advantage on PH itself.

      If you don't have a following on PH and launch is it generally a good strategy to ask people you know for upvotes as early as possible to get onto the front page and get more visibility? Is that common practice?

      You should never ask people for upvotes, against the rules :) Best to ask for review/comments.

      Most successful launches are about how much of a following (you or the product) has off PH. Even a small list is better than none if they are all passionate and will help you out. I'd focus on building a email list as much as you can to help move you up the homepage quickly and the rest should take care of itself (if you have a good product!)

      1. 2

        Thank you so much for your response!

        So I messed up a launch and never made it off the 'new page' - I want to relaunch at some point in the recent future - do I delete it? do I not? How long do I need to wait?

        If you haven't made it to the homepage it's not a problem, you can edit/update the info about the product, then reach out to the PH team (just use the chat widget on the site) and ask them to review it.

        This wasn't quite clear to me - I ask them to review the info to allow me to relaunch the same product - and this is a special exception if you don't make the homepage?

        Thanks again

        1. 1

          If your project didn't get to the homepage, PH doesn't see it as a complete "launch". The rules regarding "relaunching" have to do with being featured on the homepage. No special exception.

          What's the link to your PH post? You can DM me on Twitter if you prefer and I'll take a closer look and give you more specific recommendations.

          1. 1

            Ah that makes sense! Didn't know that, super useful thanks. I'll send you a DM! Thanks

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