“How to launch on Product Hunt” is a common question among thousands of new product owners.
Which makes sense. After all, launching a new product is a significant step and requires much research and planning.
Luckily, Product Hunt is a great platform for getting feedback from first-time users and testing your product.
But, how should you launch on Product Hunt? What can you do to make your product visible? What should you not do on Product Hunt?
This guide will give you the most detailed step-by-step process of successfully launching a product on Product Hunt.
What is Product Hunt, and why use it?
Created by Ryan Hoover in 2013, Product Hunt is a platform that shares new products daily. It’s a community for tech geeks to find the latest products and tools.
Here are some statistics to prove why it’s worth launching on Product Hunt:
- A SimilarWeb report shows that Product Hunt gets around 13 million visits monthly. That’s a massive audience to tap.
- More than 500k subscribers get a list of the most popular products in the daily newsletter.
Whether you want to make sales or get feedback, you need an audience that is willing to give your product a try.
In line with this, Product Hunt presents an ideal platform where millions of tech enthusiasts engage monthly to try new products. And you get access to all of this for free!
All you have to do is put your product in front of them. That is, launch your product on Product Hunt.
Getting first-users and feedback might be the most significant benefit of Product Hunt, but there are also byproducts:
- You’ll increase your website traffic.
- You’ll secure more press coverages for your product.
- You’ll get potential customers.
- You’ll build a community that will buy more products from you.
Clearly, you can build an entire business just by launching your products on Product Hunt.
How to launch on Product Hunt: the step-by-step process
Since it’s a massive step for your business, you must be well prepared. Product launches usually require months of learning, planning, researching, and tracking before and after the launch.
Fortunately for you, we’ve simplified everything here and divided it into three sections.
- During launch
1. Set goals
To measure your growth, you have to start with setting goals.
A goal will help you decide if you’re on the right track or not. It’ll help you make the right choices.
For instance, what exactly did you want from Product Hunt?
If you still haven’t decided, take some time to answer these questions:
- Do you want more traffic to your site? If yes, by how much?
- How many more signups or sales are you looking to have?
- Do you prefer to get more social media traction?
When you’re clear about your goals, you’ll be able to track your performance. You can decide how much effort you need to put into reaching your goals.
Goals set? Now, let’s move on to the most crucial step that will help you with your first product launch.
2. Build your community
Product Hunt is a marketplace where hunters launch 30 to 40 new products daily. So, how can you be sure that your product will reach millions on the first day of its launch?
You can’t, right?
The algorithm pushes products to more people only if it receives a positive response from the first few users.
To grow its reach, many hunters use sleazy techniques like asking for upvotes or reaching out to influencers. However, this isn’t something you should do.
The best and most genuine way to get enough traction for your first-ever launch is to have an active community on the platform. Your community will help you with the initial boost your product needs to reach more hunters.
If you’ve been using Product Hunt for some time and have enough people who support you, then great! Go ahead and skip to step 3.
But, if you haven’t used Product Hunt and don’t have an audience, it’s better to build a community before launching your product.
There are two benefits of this:
- The algorithm favors participation. If you’re an active Product Hunt member, it pushes your content to more people and helps you grow your audience.
- If you haven’t used the platform, you’ll get a chance to familiarize yourself and learn how it works.
So go ahead and create a personal account on Product Hunt (you can only launch a new product using a personal account)
Spend some time on the platform. You can do many things like:
- Participate in forums
- Engage with users by asking or answering questions (it’ll help you find your target audience)
- Reach out to experts and ask for their advice (you’ll learn their strategies)
- Publish engaging content on the platform
- Use the Ship option to pre-announce your product or reveal exciting offer details to create a buzz around it.
Overall, spend some time on the platform before the product launch to have an audience that’ll interact with it.
Get them excited about your product launch by sharing tiny sneak peeks.
If you launched your product on the first day of joining Product Hunt and heard crickets, you know where you did wrong.
3. Present your product well
Once you’ve built an audience, you’ll realize that getting in front of them is not enough. On average, 30 to 40 new products are listed daily, so what’s the bet they’ll see your product?
And even if they see your product, how can you be confident that they would want to try it out?
That’s right! Your presentation. You have to present your product well.
More than getting impressions, you have to work on getting their attention. To make your product desirable, ensure these three things:
- User-friendly website
- Product benefits
- Irresistible offer
Let’s look at each one of them.
a. User-friendly website
Having a great product is good, but don’t expect it to do all the ‘selling’ for you.
You get limited characters to describe your product while listing on Product Hunt. You can’t explain your genius idea there!
What if your audience wants to learn more about the product? What if they have questions? Where can they learn about the product’s benefits?
You need to do more than a product if you want it to succeed (or be in the business for a long time!)
Having a website as a one-stop solution to all your audience’s questions will save a lot of time and confusion and get you more sales.
So, make sure to spend some time designing a friendly website. At the same time, don’t get too fixated on its look; you just need a simple website that makes it easier for your audience.
b. Product benefits
You’ve created a revolutionary product, but your audience won’t know it unless you tell them. That’s why you need to consider what made you create the product.
Think about all the problems your product solves. How does it do that? What makes it unique? And list all the benefits of using your product.
Once you have enough items on your list, find the most pressing ideas.
These ideas are your product benefits that will sell it. You will use these benefits to hit the pain points of your target audience and give them a reason to try the product.
It’s more of a self-reflection exercise, but it will uncover the hidden benefits of your product.
After finalizing the most desirable benefits, use them in your website copy to describe your product. You will also use them while listing on Product Hunt.
c. Irresistible offer
People will make their final decision after reading your offer. So, make sure to give them a good deal.
On their Medium blog, the Product Hunt team themselves recommend an enticing offer to get more engagement on your product.
It will not only get you more reach but also helps in nurturing your audience.
Your audience will trust you more when you give them the first-user benefit, which is something you can use for future sales.
So, come up with an irresistible offer that makes them feel they’re missing out.
Do you have all the things mentioned above in place? Well done!
You’ve done the groundwork. Now your product is ready to be listed on Product Hunt.
4. List your product
So far, you have built an audience, learned about the platform, and prepared your product for presentation. All of that will also help you in the long run while listing your product.
How? You’ll see as you follow me in this step-by-step process.
First, on your Product Hunt dashboard, hover over the ‘Submit’ button and click on the ‘New Product’ option.
In the next window, you’ll fill in the necessary details about your product. You’ll have to fill in things like:
URL: This is the landing page of your product. It’s the page where they’ll be able to download or sign up for your product.
Name of the Product: Here, you’ll name your product and give it a catchy tagline.
Pay special attention to this section, as your product’s name and tagline are two of the first things your audience will see. You’ve also got a character limit, so make them concise but catchy.
Links: Here, you can fill in your website URL, Play Store, App Store, and other social media links like Twitter, etc.
Image source: Product Hunt
Topics: You can also choose topics (categories) to which your product belongs. For example, if your product helps schedule tweets, then you can select the category “social media.”
Description: This is a perfect place to describe your product. But don’t go overboard, as you get only 260 characters. It’s best to start with what problem your product solves: its benefits.
Thumbnail: You also want to add a thumbnail image to your product listing, as it’s a great way to get attention. Make sure to use stand-out colors and pop-up text elements.
Gallery: Here’s where you’ll show off your product. The best way is to create a carousel describing one benefit in one image. Or better, use videos and animated GIFs.
Media: You can use videos to show how to use your product. You can add video testimonials of your customers to build credibility.
Makers: Here’s where you talk about yourself as the product maker. Add your Twitter handles and contributors, if any. It’s also a great place to show you as an expert.
Pricing: You get three options: free, premium, and freemium versions. You can choose your pricing method here.
Promo: Add a promo code for your new customers.
Press: If you want the press to cover your product, mark this option.
First comment: Writing a witty first comment is a great way to boost conversation and make visitors interested in your product. You can use this real estate to describe the problem your product solves, who it is for, the features of your product, and your fantastic offer for first-time users.
According to Product Hunt, 70% of selected products for the Product of the day, month, and year had their first comment written.
Launch/schedule: The last option is to launch your product. You can also schedule it (up to 2 weeks) if you want to. After hitting the launch button, your listing will appear like this:
And that’s it! That’s how easy it is to launch on Product Hunt.
But it isn’t over yet.
Remember that Product Hunt is a marketplace that lists new products daily?
Just like other products, your product is out there in the crowd. In the beginning, it won’t get traction on its own. You need to give it a little push.
Which is why…
5. Promote your product
To give an initial boost to your product, you can do these things:
The first thing to do is to tell your existing social media audience. You can tweet your product listing like this:
Or share them on Facebook like this:
In short, let them know about your listing wherever your audience is present.
Respond to comments
Another thing to do is respond to every comment on your listing. It helps boost your product’s reach on the platform as the algorithm favors engagement. You can also ask your cofounders to be active in the comments section.
Embed product on your website
Another way is to convert your website traffic. If you drive traffic by sharing content like blog posts, you can embed your product listing to send that traffic to your product landing page.
Click on the ‘Embed’ option on your product landing page to get the code.
You can add a batch or product listing by putting that code on your site.
You can also add a newsletter subscribe button on your website to make sure you build an email list. You can keep adding new subscribers, nurturing them, and teaching them how your products are helpful.
In the future, you can sell your product to these subscribers.
Curate content on the Product Hunt feed
Want to know the secret to getting a spot on the top five products of the day, month, or year? Or the secret sauce to getting featured in the Product Hunt’s newsletter with 500k subscribers?
It’s curating informational content to help Product Hunt’s audience. It’s a great way to teach them about your product. Here’s a great example by Rosie Sherry, the founder of Rosieland, a resource for community builders.
Image source: Product Hunt community
Rosie builds relationships with potential users and talks about her product by doing an AMA. Community is one of the most engaging platforms on Product Hunt and is a great place to find new audiences.
You can use the same strategy and nurture your audience by asking them questions.
Promoting your product isn’t a once-done work. You must consistently mention your product to get more people to check it out. The more promotion you do, the better it performs.
6. Analyze your performance
The final step is analyzing its performance. Remember we set a goal in the first step? It’s for this moment. Analyze your product’s performance and make changes to achieve your goal quickly.
Read feedback and improve your product (that was the end goal, no?)
Over time, as you keep improving your product, it’ll reach its highest.
So this is how to launch on Product Hunt.
What not to do on Product Hunt
Product Hunt is a brilliant opportunity to make a product popular in a few days. In the past, many people have tried shady methods to trick algorithms.
That’s why Product Hunt has strict rules you must know about if you don’t want to get kicked out of the platform.
1. Don’t ask for upvotes
One common mistake new product owners make is asking for upvotes while sharing their product launch updates on social media. Don’t do that!
Asking for their feedback is fine, but don’t ask for upvotes. You must always earn upvotes naturally. That is if the users liked using it and gave it willingly.
2. Don’t pay hunters
You’ll see advice like pay hunters to hunt your product. No matter how tempting it is, never do that. It’s wrong and can ruin all your efforts so far.
Product Hunt recommends hunting your product to boost its performance. Your followers can also share your creation with others.
3. Don’t ask influencers
Don’t reach out to influencers and ask them to share your product because:
- It ruins your image and your chances of building a relationship with them.
- They will let the Product Hunt team know about it, and your product might get unlisted.
4. Don’t spam people
Also, don’t spam people on any platform to check out your listing. Spamming is never good and can be easily detected.
Plus, people won’t check your product just because a random stranger asked them to do it. You’re that random stranger. And even if they do check it out, they’ll never try it.
They will never talk about it and tell other people about it. That’s not the type of marketing you want!
A forced audience is never interactive. So you’re better off trying legit ways to grow your community slowly. On their Medium blog, the Product Hunt team recommends doing the same:
How to launch on Product Hunt: checklist
Launching your product on Product Hunt is time-taking and requires your attention. All steps are critical for your growth and can’t be missed. So, we prepared a product launch checklist for you to keep things in line.
- Set realistic goals
- Become familiar with Product Hunt’s interface
- Engage with the community and add value
- Build an audience by sharing content
- Pre-announce your product launch to build an excitement
- Build a simple website to give users a platform to try your product.
- Explain the benefits of using your product
- Come up with an irresistible offer
- List your product on Product Hunt
- Add the first comment
- Promote your product on social media
- Respond to comments
- Embed on your website
- Add a subscribe button on your website
- Curate content around your product
- Analyze your performance
- Ask for feedback
- Improve your product and repeat
Final thoughts on how to launch on Product Hunt
Product Hunt is a perfect platform to access a massive audience interested in your product.
Securing a spot on the top five products of the day is even better. Your product will get shared in the daily newsletter with 500k subscribers. With this audience, you can expect a few hundred users from there.
Using natural methods, you can get your product featured in the newsletter better.
I hope this guide was helpful. You’ve learned everything, now is your turn to act on it. Go and launch your first product! I wish it to be a successful launch.