— July 4, 2019
This is such a true statement. If you successfully launch your tool, you can get a high number of visitors to your site. These visitors can become daily users and accelerate your revenue goal.
Even in our own team, we didn’t know this at first. We wanted to move our startup further along and find ways to shout about our SEO tool to a broader audience. As we brainstormed, we also came up with the idea of ??launching the tool at Product Hunt. Finally, we tagged this idea with a lower priority and postponed it. Later, we got back to it, prepared it properly, and the final results surprised us pleasantly. Thanks to PH, we have received positive feedback on the tool, along with many new registered or paying customers.
Product Hunt is full of people who are passionate about technology, designers, marketers and developers in need to make their work or life easier by using better applications. Whatever your application is, launch it on Product Hunt!
Spotibo is a specific tool that can’t be used by everyone. It’s an SEO analyzer that can only be used by a person who has his own website or by a consultant helping a client with search engine optimization. This is the reason why we were surprised by the feedback and reach we achieved.
So, I am happy to share our results and strategy with you.
What are the main goals of a PH campaign?
To get traffic and new customers. I won’t tell you how to turn traffic into buyers, but I’ll tell you how to get traffic to your site from Product Hunt. To get the maximum results, try to be in the top 5. If your product makes it to the top of the list, all Product Hunt email subscribers will receive a newsletter a day later, where your tool will shine and you will get even more traffic.
Top hunts during our launch day. Our profile on PH here.
What web traffic to expect?
The answer to this question is very subjective. If you prepare everything for the launch in the best possible way, then you can expect traffic to be numerous times higher than you are used to on a regular basis.
In our case, we added 1,596% more new users during the launch day compared with the previous day. The traffic kept coming during the next two days in high numbers, too.
- Traffic growth thanks to launching on PH.
- The difference comparing launch day and the day before.
And what about online attention and backlinks?
We received dozens of tweets on Twitter, so the attention was big! But what was more interesting to us were backlinks.
We love backlinks. We are SEO specialists, so we know how domain authority is important, and that backlinks can help us to get better rankings. We also know how hard it is to get them.
After the launch, people started writing about the tool spontaneously, and for free! They published reviews and guides on how to analyze SEO, and they published it not only in English but also in different languages.
How to prepare for the launch:
When I was preparing the Product Hunt checklist for my team, I got inspired by this checklist from SpreadShare. In their checklist, there are tons of cool tips to not forget any single step throughout the process of preparation, submission, outreach and follow-up. I created a short version of the checklist according to the needs of our own working plan, and we followed these 20 steps one by one.
There are several guides on how to run a Product Hunt campaign on the web, and I don’t want to repeat the same “tips” all over again. Instead, I will try to skip to the questions that came to my mind during the preparation itself and for which we were unable to find answers.
Do we need a product hunter?
When you look at the products on PH, you’ll see that some were submitted by the creator, and some were created by another person — by a product hunter. What is better? Honestly, I don’t know. Internet opinions vary. While someone explicitly recommends reaching out to a product hunter who would be willing to launch the product and support it in front of his PH followers, some say it is nonsense to annoy people who may have nothing to do with the success of the tool.
In the beginning, I went the first way, and I was looking for a product hunter who would be interested in our tool and could consider it a quality one. There is a list of the top 50 hunters where I approached three users via LinkedIn, and I have not received any answers.
So, I chose another strategy. I opened previously submitted products that were similar to our tool (some kind of competition). I rummaged among the users who supported, commented or submitted the products and started to outreach them. Finally, Nivas Ravichandran, who also wrote the article How to generate leads on Product Hunt, said yes! Although he is not in the top 50, the launch of the tool was smooth, and I think his support helped us.
Can I change product information submitted by a hunter?
Cool, I found someone who will do the job. But what if I need to change information about the tool later on? Can I do that?
Yes. Hunter tagged me and our CEO as makers, giving us the right to make any changes. In addition, we could also add a comment under the product to describe our story and the problem we are trying to solve with our product.
When is the best time for launching?
The answer is simple – 00:01 Pacific time (PT). At that time, a new day starts on Product Hunt. The sooner you get to the list of products, the more time you will have for promoting it and to succeed.
After launching our tool, I noticed that other products popped up in similar time. During the day, more projects had been added, but only a few. This lowered their chances of getting a larger number of upvotes — a lot!
It was so important that our product hunter knew that our product needed to be posted during that time. He wouldn’t have done that if it was 3 a.m. and he had been sleeping. We were lucky because it was 9 a.m. for us in Europe, 2 p.m. for our hunter and midnight in Pacific time.
What promo materials do I need to prepare?
All these promo materials are needed:
- Screenshots of the tool
- Short description
- Creator comment
Be sure to be as creative as possible in this section of preparation. Design and fun play a big part on Product Hunt.
We tried to play with the logo (for which we eventually created the gif), title, keywords and emoticons. On the other hand, we didn’t prepare a breathtaking video, and our picture materials could have also needed the touch of a graphic designer.
Do I need to support my website?
Yes, you do. Although we received 1,300 sessions, our tool was a bit overloaded, and unfortunately, we had some blackouts. Throughout the day, our developers were ready to act immediately.
Should I create a landing page?
We were also thinking if we should create a landing page specifically for PH. Some makers create a landing page that contains some graphics edits. Some of them also provided discount code. Some makers don’t adjust the landing page at all.
We decided to add a simple banner with a discount to the top bar. I think it was a good decision. Users of Product Hunt who clicked through our site saw that they were in the right place. In addition, I consider it more professional if the launch is ready on all fronts.
The discount prompted several users to buy our tool, which was a good outcome.
What we had forgotten and what we considered to be important after the fact was the preparation of this landing page for indexing on Google. Our PH optimized landing page was duplicate (https://spotibo.com/seo-analyzer?ref=producthunt to https://spotibo.com/seo-analyzer). After we got increased traffic, mentions from Twitter and a few backlinks, Google started indexing this page, and we really didn’t want that.
Therefore, when creating a new landing page for PH, do not forget to place a canonical tag in the header of the page. That should ensure Google understands which URL is unique and which one is duplicate.
Can I promote it?
Yes and no.
Upvote requesting is not officially allowed. Be aware that you can’t ask friends or users for upvoting. Although, you should absolutely tell your clients or followers that it’s a big thing for you and they should check it out.
During our launch, we were constantly monitoring the development of upvotes, along with the comments we were answering. At the beginning of the day, the tool remained at fourth or fifth place. After a few hours, another product took over. Suddenly, we were in the sixth position. I was surprised. and I was also worried we would stay in sixth place and thus we would not get to the top 5 products of the day. But the more I observed the product that took over ours, the more I began to suspect the unfair practices they used to get more upvotes and comments. The numbers grew rapidly, and the users who were involved were mostly newly-established accounts.
A few hours later, the product with a higher number of upvotes fell to a position under Spotibo. The team at PH probably judged that they were using unauthorized promo and manually moved them down.
The lesson is clear — don’t push hard, because you can get into trouble and you will not get to the top 5. Upvotes must look as natural as possible; and shouldn’t be received only from new accounts or users from one country.
My final advice is — do not hesitate and launch as soon as your product is ready; it’s worth it.