We launched on Product Hunt on January 27 (https://www.producthunt.com/posts/soundwise-2) and became #1 product of the day.
Things we did that seemed to work:
launched and drove engagement early. We launched a little after midnight pacific time. We contacted some PH users and some of our own users before launch day, and asked them to engage with our PH page early once launched. Early engagement seems very important.
several emails to our potential user email list. We have an email list of around 25k potential users. We emailed them a few days before the launch and also early on the launch day, encouraging people to post questions and give their thoughts about the product.
hosted webinar. We decided to host a webinar to drive buzz for the PH launch (it was scheduled 2 days after the launch). We promoted the webinar to our email lists, to our creator community (Soundwise Creators Lab slack group), and to our existing users. It also gave us something to talk about in the PH related emails, rather than just asking people for an upvote.
asked existing users to share their experience. We asked our existing users, who are audio creators, to share their experience and opinion about the product on our PH page. This drove much engagement because users also see it as an opportunity to gain exposure for their own audio products. Many of them posted thoughts about Soundwise on our PH page, as well as links to their own audio product catalogs on Soundwise.
The folks at AppSumo reached out to us proposing a deal campaign through them. We were initially hesitant for several reasons. We were not sure if their audience was a the right fit for us. We were not sure about if we could handle the support volume given the small team. Also, we didn't want to be branded as a highly discounted product. The discount deal marketing model definitely has its merits though. It has the potential to generate a lot of eyeballs and paying users after all. Eventually we decided to give it a try. And Soundwise ended up one of the best performing campaigns of the quarter on their site. AppSumo has a great team to work with. And to us, the campaign delivered on its promise. On the other hand, it did overwhelm our support team and infrastructure and created various technical problems. Also many of the users we attracted were not our ideal-customer type, i.e. our earlier concerns about this type of campaigns are right. Still, we consider it a success on balance.
We purchased a paid promotion on Betalist to be featured on their front page and email newsletter. It was only for < $200 and was probably one of the highest ROIs from our marketing investments. Yes we got some traffic boost but that wasn't really the main benefit. The real payoff was that we forged several promising partnerships with potential affiliates who discovered us through Betalist.
We had been running on beta for a few months and this was one of our beta users (a training and development company) who was hoping to launch their audio course subscription through Soundwise. But the product wasn't ready and more than a few functions were buggy. We spent a few months improving usability and adding new features the user suggested before they signed up as a paying customer.
Soundwise is the one-stop shop for monetizing audio. We built it for online creators to sell audiobooks, premium podcasts, audio courses and music directly to consumers, with smooth delivery to mobile devices.