Do’s and Don’ts on Product Hunt – Learnings from our public launch

Aug 04, 2020

On 07.07 we launched Type Studio for the first time on the platform Product Hunt. For all who don't know Product Hunt yet. The platform describes itself as:

"Product Hunt surfaces the best new products, every day. It's a place for product-loving enthusiasts to share and geek out about the latest mobile apps, websites, hardware projects, and tech creations.”

With about 5 million web page views each month (SimilarWeb) you can see that the community around Product Hunt is quite large. We learned so much from our launch that we decided to share these experiences and insights with you.

Despite being upvoted by 654 people within the first 24hrs, we didn't achieve a spot in the TOP 5  let alone reach the “Product of the Day.” The main reason for this was probably due to the value of most of our upvotes. At the beginning, we rapidly got upvoted by many people from our community, including friends, family members, and also early adopters of Type Studio. In other words, a closer community group. The problem was that most of these people didn’t have a Product Hunt account and had to subscribe on the day of our launch.

Nevertheless, we went from “zero to hero” really fast. We reached almost 300 upvotes within the first six hours. These were the six hours where the US wasn’t even awake yet, so we assumed there would be many more upvotes to come as the day went on.

Upvotes in 24 hours
Upvotes in 24 hours

The following six hours were overwhelming as we were on our way to “Product of the Day”. The ongoing upvoting process showed us that our idea, and product, was well received by the Product Hunt community, respectively the Product Hunt natives. Another bump in upvotes came when our tweet was retweeted by the official Product Hunt Twitter account. Even though every product from the top list is featured by them, the retweet gave us an additional push not only for our product’s upvotes, but also for our enthusiasm.

Our absolute highlight came later in the day when we got retweeted directly by Ryan Hoover, the founder of Product Hunt. We knew that many products get retweeted by the official Product Hunt Twitter page, but this really caught us by surprise! A few minutes later we got a mail from Ryan and Vedika Jain and their Weekend Fund  that they would like to meet us.

Ryan Hoover Twitter post
Shout out by Ryan Hoover

After 13 really successful hours in which we held the title “Product of the Day”, our competitors for the day were also getting upvoted quite a lot. Even though we still got the most upvotes, we were overtaken by the mmhmm app, which is from the Evernote founder Phil Libin. His app has gone viral in the whole tech scene and has received over 3500 upvotes so far. Especially his explanatory video has received an incredible amount of attention - over 300k clicks as of now. If you want to see an excellent product video, you should definitely watch it!

From this point on, the discrepancy between quality upvotes and less valuable ones could be seen. This means that some of our upvotes did not have the same value as others, and that the acquisition of our close community didn’t have a lasting effect. At the end of the day we were overtaken by some other products with less upvotes, so we ended up in #6 place.

Nevertheless we are more than satisfied with this result. All in all, we have received a lot of attention, which is also reflected in the 8 investor inquiries that we received during the day. Over the whole week until now, new upvotes are constantly being added, so that we have 1026 upvotes at this point in time, which is really...

Unbelievable-upvotes
Unbelievable

After processing our performance of our Product Hunt launch day, we wanted to give you some insights into what we came to learn from our experiences that day:

  • As already mentioned, community is good, but trust on Product Hunt takes the cake: Even though the acquisition of our surrounding community brought us many upvotes, we later noticed that the votes from people who are not frequently on Product Hunt are not worth the same as votes of Product Hunt experienced users/Product Hunt natives. This is probably due to the Product Hunt algorithm. In some blog articles you can even read that the upvotes of new accounts or people who came via a shared link have no value at all, and can even have negative effects on the algorithm.
  • Get yourself a Hunter! We started our first launch on Product Hunt without having a big Hunter who could have helped us with promoting our tool to the PH community. To be honest, we have had the opportunity to be hunted by Kevin William David one of the biggest hunters, but only as a second product, because he already hunted another product as first on that day. That would have meant for us that we would have gone live only from 12pm PST and lost half the day. Also we wouldn't have his advantage that his first hunt would automatically be listed on the start page of Product Hunt. In the end, we definitely learned that having a Hunter is a big help when trying to get upvotes from people who are already on Product Hunt and follow a Hunter because they all get a push notification.
  • There are days of varying intensity on which you can launch your product. During the week there are significantly more upvotes than on the weekend. We have made a small evaluation of this. In the chart below you can see the average number of upvotes the Top 5 products get together. As you can see Tuesday is the strongest day with an average of 2840 upvotes for the first 5 products. We deliberately chose Tuesday, because you have the chance to reach the biggest audience at the same time. For this you have to expect that other strong products will launch on this day, as it was the case on our day. If you only have the goal to become "Product of the Day", then you have much better chances on Saturday or Sunday.
Average Upvotes of the Top 5 products
Average Upvotes of the Top 5 products from 03.08.2019 to 03.08.2020
  • Another exciting opportunity is using Product Hunt Ship to announce your product even before launching it! Ship allows you to advertise your product BEFORE the launch, in order to acquire and engage with early-adopters through an upcoming landing page and a mailing-list. Since the Pro and Super Pro are really expensive, Ship is probably only worthwhile for products, through which you get paying customers. But you should definitely check out the basic version! We will too... and maybe even the pro version for our next launch!
Product Hunt Ship pricing
Product Hunt Ship pricing

As we mentioned at the beginning, we also want to share some insights with you.
Here are a few facts and figures from our Google Analytics account. All in all we had 11.8K sessions from Tuesday to Sunday during the launch week with 5.3K unique visitors. On the day itself there were 2.4K unique visitors.

Amount of website visits
Amount of website visits

The website hits come mostly from the US (23%), followed by India (9%). According to SimilarWeb these are also the two largest community groups on the platform. The device behavior shows that most people have visited our site via the Desktop browser, which is very useful for us, since we currently only offer the editor for the desktop and not for mobile.

Website traffic by country and device
Website traffic by country and device

In Amplitude, we recorded a total of 541 new Signup's during the week, which turned out to be very valuable for us, as we received an incredible amount of user feedback.

Type Studio new Signup's
Type Studio new Signup's

In conclusion, our launch on Product Hunt was very successful, we learned a lot about what we can do better next time and recommend everyone to launch their product there, because the community and the feedback you get is unique and valuable. If you have also launched on Product Hunt or plan to do so, feel free to drop me a message.

Michael Sieb

Hi folks, my name is Michael and I am responsible for growth at Type Studio.

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