Growth August 2, 2020

Product Hunt Launch Feedback

Michael Fenix @michael_fenix

Yesterday I launched HockeyStack on ProductHunt. It was #1 for a time but it suddenly dropped from there to 12th place and I don't know the reason.

I contacted them several times but they said it can happen. I am still not convinced but not disappointed either because I got a lot of good feedback and users!

First of all, many users said that they wanted an analytics tool that can track events and filter users by events but is also not complex. HockeyStack fills the gap between complex tools and simple tools so I am really happy to see that.

As of today, I am reaching out to potential users and talking to current users but want to go really hard on marketing.

What should I do now and whom should I reach out to?

Thanks for being an amazing community again, you are awesome.

  1. 5

    A few months ago I wrote how I’d grow Plausible. Their positioning is different but maybe you can still find some ideas there 🙂

    1. 2

      I just read it and must say that it is a killer thread @andreboso. Two quick questions:

      Is it enough to post an article with the keyword or should I make a separate page with the keyword?

      Should I write something like a brand manifesto to make the differences clear as I replied to another comment below?

      1. 4

        I would add a point to what @andreboso said.

        It's a great search marketing strategy to show your product as an alternative to a popular product in your vertical as it will help you acquire initial customers w/ low CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) and generate revenue in the short term.

        From here, you can start your journey from "XYZ Alternative" to a real brand in your core vertical.

        To understand this in detail, you can start by reverse engineering how the project management & To-Do platforms started as a Trello Alternative and after acquiring those initial customers, worked on building themselves as a standalone brand in the industry.

        1. 1

          I think this is great SEO advice and I also considered doing it, but I think it's hard as a solo founder to create so much high quality content. Also, it's very unlikely that a contractor would write a really good article for you, as you are the one who knows best the advantages or disadvantages of your tool over others.

          I see a lot of other startups and companies doing the same, creating many blog posts and articles only to improve SEO, but I started to look at those articles as a way of that company saying "the competitor is probably better than me, I do have to write all those articles to prove my point and get some SEO". So now, when I see an article like that I just can't stop thinking that more time was probably invested in SEO and marketing than in the product itself. I do think this is how the world currently works (70% marketing, 30% product), but it feels that so much effort is wasted.

          Do you have any tips on how to better outsource this kind of marketing strategy or should it only be done within the company itself?

          1. 1

            @XCS great points!

            Starting w/ your first point, no contractor would write an excellent article, and it's nearly impossible to do it alone.

            I would partially agree with you that not all contractors are willing to go that extra mile to make it a relevant, conversion-optimized landing page for your website.

            However, if you're willing to pay the price, there are numerous freelancers as well as agencies (mine too :p) that will sit with you to figure out the product's strengths and weaknesses and turn that information into a beautifully designed landing page to convert your visitor into a customer.

            As for your second point: Startups creating blog posts only to improve their SEO, and, this may convey a message that your competitor is better than you.

            SEO is a tool. It's how you use it in your overall marketing strategy that matters.

            The only reason we're building these comparison pages is to drive highly-targeted traffic with low acquisition costs.

            When someone searches for "XYZ Alternative" on Google, they're interested in a similar product to XYZ but not XYZ. This may happen due to expectations of price, features, usability, and more.

            If they were interested in XYZ product, they would directly search for that product or its reviews, not alternatives.

            Now, when you build an "XYZ Alternative" page on your website, it will bring a visitor (who is looking for a product similar to XYZ) to your website from Google.

            It's your job now to figure out why he might be looking for an alternative of XYZ.

            Is it due to price, features, or something else?

            You can figure this out by looking at the XYZ product's landing pages. And, once you do it, it's easy AF to convince your visitor why s/he should choose your product instead of your competitors'.

            Freshbooks does a fantastic job with this page: https://www.freshbooks.com/compare/quickbooks-online-alternative/

            This page receives nearly 700 new visitors every month. If 15% of these visitors buy their cheapest plan, i.e. $7.50 and stay for the next six months, Freshbooks will add almost $5,000 to its top-line revenue every month.

            1. 1

              To add the my previous comment, I do think content marketing is really important and actually useful, only that it's probably more suited to bigger teams or companies who can afford the time and money to do so. Depending on what stage the product is at, for an indie hacker it might be really hard to distribute the time and effort such that doing content marketing is worth and can take precedence over other tasks.

            2. 1

              Thanks for the detailed answer!

              I agree with what you said, the part that is still worrying for me is "will sit with you to figure out the product's strengths and weaknesses and turn that information into a beautifully designed landing page to convert your visitor into a customer". So, in the end even if I go with a contractor it would probably still take a lot of time from me (discussions, feedback, quality check, etc.).

              I am currently testing a way of doing SEO without doing SEO. Well, it's mostly without focusing on content marketing and putting more effort into the product, which should in theory lead to better word-of-mouth, thus to better social and news presence, which should in the end lead to high quality SEO.

        2. 1

          thanks, @Katiyar. But isn't it hard to rank for XYZ alternative?

          1. 2

            It's much easier to rank for XYZ Alternative compared to the primary industry keyword.

            For example, if you try to portray your product as a "Hotjar alternative", it is way easier for you to rank for that keyword compared to the "Best CRO Tool" or "Best Analytics Tool".

            Acc. to my data, Hotjar Alternative receives nearly 100 monthly searches from the US alone. If your page ranks in the top 3, you can expect 30-50 visitors every month.

            Now, if you target 10 similar keywords, that will get you anywhere from 300-500 targeted monthly visitors.

            Let's say you manage to convert 5% of the total, that will give you 15-30 new customers monthly. Considering, each of these customers subscribes for the cheapest plan i.e. $10/mo, you'll be adding 200$ MRR every month with a one-time investment.

            That means you will easily breakeven your investments within the first quarter itself.

            Additionally, you can install FB pixel and convert these visitors using retargeting. It is much better than starting a fresh campaign by guessing your target audience.

            1. 1

              thank you so much!

              If I cannot rank well with that page, how can I make its rank better? With links from other posts? I am asking this because if I write an article on CRO then I can write another one to rank better but if I write the differences between HockeyStack and Hotjar then I cannot write another one.

              1. 1

                Take a look at this website: https://clickup.com/trello-alternative/

                See how it is positioning itself as an alternative of brands in a similar vertical to get in front of thousands of potential customers.

                  1. 2

                    No problem. Feel free to reach out if you need any help.

      2. 3

        Thanks!

        Each keyword you want to target should have its dedicated page.

        You can definitely create a brand manifesto if you want, but first of all I’d create multiple pages targeting keywords like “Hotjar alternative” where you explain the differences. With time this will help you get additional traffic from Google.

        1. 1

          So I should create a page like hockeystack.com/hotjar.

          Isn't it really hard to rank for Hotjar alternative? And is the search volume worth it?

          1. 2

            This is a good example. Of course it’s not easy and it will take time but it’s free, high intent traffic so it’s definitely worth it.

            1. 1

              thanks!

  2. 2

    The manifesto is unique but personally I didn't read all the way through and wanted to just get a quick overview of the product.

    1. 1

      thanks for the feedback!

      A tl;dr would not be effective imo but I can highlight the hey ga users paragraph maybe?

  3. 2

    Hi Michael, my product was the most voted a few days ago but #33 in the ranking.

    I think the votes from direct link and new accounts are negative in Product Hunt.

    1. 2

      Thanks for the comment Jacin!

      Your product was an interesting one, I personally liked it. How are you going to grow it?

      1. 2

        It is being hard. I am talking one by one to photographers who have lots of followers on instagram.

        Every 50 messages I send I got 1 answer. But it is working.

        1. 3

          that's the hustle!

  4. 2

    Great!

    I would focus on startup founders with an MRR of 0-3000$ first. If they use it and love it, they would continue with HockeyStack.

    1. 1

      thanks, man!

  5. 1

    When I landed on your homepage from PH, I did not really understand what your product stood for. The copywriting on the landing page is vague and confusing. "Increase Your Landing Page Conversions" is too generic and is not clear as to what your offering is. Also, the lack of Privacy or Terms in footer does no good.

  6. 1

    Hi, what about the link to PH page?

      1. 1

        Cool, thanks! How is your product different from other analytics tools like Google Analytics, Plausible, and others?

        1. 1

          HockeyStack is different from simple data tools like Plausible because they don't analyze your data in-depth. It is the main reason why they call themselves 'simple'. On the other hand, we call our dashboard easy to understand because we present an in-depth analysis of your data on an easy-to-understand dashboard.

          With Google Analytics you have to manually ga(‘send’) everything to analyze user behavior and with tools like Mixpanel, you have to code for 10-30 hours to track 60 events. With HockeyStack, all events are automatically tracked. You just have to define actions that matter to you and filter visitors. No-code involved.

          1. 2

            Thanks!
            I wish you good luck!

  7. 1

    Direct votes are penalized on the platform. Once PH finds a lot of outside traffic coming in to upvote your product and leaving something like what you describe happens

    1. 1

      do you mean new accounts by direct votes?

      1. 3

        not necessarily, by direct votes i mean people who werent on "explore mode." So people who come vote for one product and drop off. If the account is new as well that doesn't help obviously. If there is a lot of that kind of traffic upvoting ur product u start getting penalized in the algorithm.

  8. 1

    @michael_fenix Congratulations for the launch!
    The landing page indeed looks neat.
    Quick question: What is the USP of the product as compared to the likes of hotjar, ga and so many other tools present out there?

    1. 2

      Hey, @rahularora thanks for the comment!

      Let me break this into two parts:

      Simple data tools
      We are different from simple data tools because they don't analyze your data in-depth. It is the main reason why they call themselves 'simple'. On the other hand, we call our dashboard easy to understand because we present an in-depth analysis of your data on an easy-to-understand dashboard.

      So you got a great analysis like other tools but you don't need a Master's Degree in data analytics to understand your data.

      Complex data tools
      Tools like Mixpanel, Hotjar are great. However, you need to set up .track() functions and need coding skills to analyze your data. Then you also need to spend a lot of time on your dashboard to really understand what is going on there.

      My first impression with a demo of a well-known data tool, as a product manager, was 'wtf is going on here'. I am a PM and my role is to understand users not to code. You don't need to code or set up anything to understand your data with HockeyStack.

      I would love to answer other questions as well!

      1. 1

        Hi Michael,

        Congrats on the launch, even though the lower final ranking you seemed to have gotten some nice traffic and upvotes! 🎉

        I think there could be a market segment for an analytics tool that "does the tracking and analysis for you", but your USP mentioned above is a bit long and
        confusing and on the landing page it does not say how exactly those problems are fixed.

        What exactly does it mean you don't have to do anything to understand the data or track events?
        The landing page looks nice but I didn't understand what the features of the product actually are (there is no live demo, video or features list) and how they solve the mentioned problem. What exactly does it automatically track that other tools do not? Click events? Conversions? JavaScript events? Or the main difference is a better UI?

        If it tracks a lot of data and events automatically, how does it show this data so it does not become overwhelming for me? For example, if a user clicks on 100 different buttons, but I care only about one I wouldn't want to see all the other 99 click events.

        1. 1

          Hey @XCS amazing feedback, thank you!

          Right now I am preparing a video but you can check the images here https://www.producthunt.com/posts/hockeystack

          The main difference is HockeyStack tracks #every# event, other simple tools track 0. Complex tools make you code for 10-30 hours to track events and they have complex dashboards.

          You are right, it can be overwhelming but you can define only one action or 3 or 5 and filter to see only visitors who done those :)

      2. 1

        Completely agree with the complicated dashboards provided by some analytics tools out there @michael_fenix that is a pain point indeed.
        It will be better and again giving my 2 cents on it, if your landing page can bring out that story (how HockeyStack is better than other tools) you have the way to go ahead from there.

        1. 1

          What about a brand manifesto kinda text to show the visitors? like this one: https://hey.com/

          1. 1

            I am not sure if someone would like to read that much. May be this can be given as "View details" link below a set of bullet pointers:

            • USP 1
            • USP2
            • USP3

            "View all features" link

            1. 1

              @michael_fenix We should connect offline and chat sometime.
              Would like to learn more on your product hunt launch from you!

              1. 1

                I wasn't really successful but sure!

                1. 1

                  What is the best way to reach out to you?

                  1. 1

                    You can add me with this code #0580

                  2. 1

                    I would prefer Discord.

                    By the way, I wrote a brand manifesto: hockeystack.com/manifesto. what do you think about it?

                    1. 2

                      It's informative.
                      Specially the below lines:

                      Hey google analytics users, it’s 2020 and you still need to manually ga(‘send’) everything

                      Hey fathom/plausible/simple-analytics users, it’s 2020 and you can only see your referrers on your dashboard

                      Hey everyone who needs analytics, it’s 2020 and you still have to do everything manually. The tools you pay for don’t give you enough data or make you work for it. The tools you don’t pay for harvest each data point and send it to 3rd parties.

                      May be you can shorten this and include it on your landing page as well.

                      PS: How on discord can I connect?