How We Ranked #1 on Product Hunt, and What We Gained Past the Title
Updated: Nov 27, 2022
At Amy, we're developing a sales productivity tool. Our AI-powered technology increases motivation in sales teams using gamification leading to better overall performance.
Now, to the good stuff. Here’s a short guide to help you on your journey to #1 Product of the Day:
The most valuable resource in preparing for a Product Hunt launch is time. This is why you have to make sure you start preparing at least 3-4 months in advance (yes, you read right), so you have enough time to do all the other things I’m about to elaborate on in this post.
The first week or two will probably be dedicated to researching and devising a detailed plan to be executed in the months before the launch. It is my hope that this guide will save you the valuable time you would otherwise spend researching.
Choosing the Right Date
There are a few things you should consider when it comes to selecting a date:
Your product - Is your product mature enough? How well is it working? Do you think you can get it to where you want it to be by the time you launch? These are all questions you must ask yourself. Launching a product is one thing, but launching a product that actually works and users enjoy - is a whole new ballgame. We, for example, planned to launch in November but ended up postponing to January because we wanted to make sure we provided enough value to our users.
Your goals - What are you trying to achieve with your launch? Are you aiming for traffic (website visitors and new signups), or for that #1 Product of the Day? If you had the former in mind, the busiest days on Product Hunt are Tuesdays and Wednesdays (though there is fierce competition on those days). On the other hand, if you’d like to stack the Product Hunt odds in your favor, you can launch on any of the other days of the week, so you’ll hopefully get featured in the Daily Product Hunt digest (but won’t necessarily enjoy the same volume of traffic).
Remember the past, plan for the future - Use Product Hunt’s Time Travel feature to see what products were launched on similar dates in past years, and the Upcoming products feature to see what products you’re potentially up against.
Events, conferences, and holidays - Don’t forget to avoid launching on days of big events/world conferences, or on a holiday, when there’s less traffic (not many people are spending their Christmas day on Product Hunt).
Building an Audience
Now, that’s an important one. If you really want to get to the PH summit, you have to start working on building an audience, like, RIGHT NOW.
How can you do that?
Existing User Base - If you’re launching your product after an MVP or some sort of an Alpha/Beta version, you probably already have some users or supporters. Make sure to compose a list of all of them, let them in on your plans, share your excitement and ask them to help you out by joining the Product Hunt community TODAY (one of the biggest mistakes is to ask users, friends, or family members to support you on the day of the launch, as rumor has it that Product Hunt penalizes launches that get support from accounts that were created on the same day).
Launch a Ship page - This is a great feature offered by Product Hunt, which allows you to promote your product and collect subscribers pre-launch. We got along just fine with the basic (free) plan, but ended up upgrading, since we wanted Amy to be featured as an Upcoming Product on Product Hunt. We’ve used this page to send out updates about our product and the upcoming launch:
Update 1 - Exclusive first look at Amy
Update 2 - Amy is getting ready for lift-off
Update 3 - Amy is now live on Product Hunt
Update 4 - Thank you for your support
Social Media - LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram… we’ve used them all in order to build our brand and our audience. We leveraged each medium to offer our followers real value, and in the days that led to the launch we started sharing more and more content relevant to the launch, as well as some really sweet and funny behind the scenes moments, so people would feel like they’re part of the experience, and could also get to know the team behind Amy.
Communities - Find relevant communities on Slack, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, etc., where you can promote both your product and your launch. We mainly focused on two types of communities: those that are about productivity, sales, etc., where we would be more likely to meet our target audience (people who are looking for a great meeting prep solution), but also Product Hunt communities - here is a list of some.
Once you have enough connections and are closer to launch day, create a list or a database where you store all your contacts and divide them into different batches based on time zones. While it’s very important to start the day strong and place your product at the top of the list, it’s also crucial to make sure you have enough connections you can gradually reach out to throughout the day. One of our biggest mistakes was that we put a lot of effort into Israel and the US, while disregarding other influential time zones like Australia, China, and India, which could have helped us get that boost we needed in the second half of our launch day.
Generating Engagement on Product Hunt
Throughout the last four months, we fell in love with the Product Hunt community, as it is filled with like-minded people who geek out about new products, love helping each other, and gladly share their knowledge. I can’t stress this enough - rely on the community! Ask questions, get advice from others who’ve been there before, connect with amazing people, and then enjoy the genuine love and support you’d get when you launch.
Being active on Product Hunt increases your credibility and influence. Each point and follower you accumulate as a Product Hunt member gives your discussions and your launch more exposure. When you finally launch your product, all your followers will be notified, which will result in more upvotes and comments.
Product Hunt’s Discussions are a great start - join some ongoing conversations, start your own discussions, and get your entire team to be active on Product Hunt. It’s both fun and rewarding.
This day is supposed to be about FUN. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also hectic, stressful and exhausting, but above all - it’s fun! Launch day is a day when the entire team gets together, and everyone is working towards a common goal. That’s some powerful stuff right there.
Here’s a list of things we implemented to make sure Amy’s launch day was both successful and enjoyable:
Launch Day KPIs - Come up with some relevant KPIs to help guide you through the launch, and later on reflect on whether or not you’ve met your business goals (here are ours, for reference). To measure the different metrics, we used Splitbee, Mixpanel, and Product Wars.
Launch Day Plan - Write down a plan for the 24 hours of the launch. Going into our launch day with a plan proved to be nothing less than crucial. Without a plan, it’s very easy to get carried away by whatever is happening at the moment and requires your immediate attention, but it’s also important to stick to the original plan, so you can meet your goals.
Book an offsite location - Don’t settle for your office (or home). We booked a beach-front Airbnb apartment in Tel Aviv, where we cooked, ate, listened to music, laughed, worked, and slept. This time together as a team has really brought us closer, but also allowed us to do a much better job than we would have otherwise.
Food - Make sure you have enough food, snacks, drinks, and coffee to help you get through these 24 hours. A hangry team = An unsuccessful team.
Music - “Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music.” (George Eliot). Need I say more?
A Launch Day “Manager” - Make sure there’s one person who’s in charge of your launch day plan, ensures it is executed properly, and keeps track of your progress so they can constantly compare it to the company’s launch goals.
Celebrate small wins - Every time we hit a new milestone (first 100 upvotes, #1 place, 500 upvotes, etc.) we would all take a moment to raise a glass and appreciate our most recent achievement. This has really helped us boost morale and keep going.
Debrief - Once the 24 hours are over, come together as a team and share your thoughts on what went well and what you could have done better. It’s important to strike while the iron is hot, so you don’t lose those raw insights and feelings.