On 22nd of February, I organized a ProductHunt launch for Goosly, and this was the first time I launched a product on this platform. So in this post, I'll talk about the experience, what was done the right way and what didn't go so well.
So ProductHunt resets the listings every day at 8 AM UTC, so the plan was to make Goosly listing live at 8:01 AM and start inviting people to check it out and give feedback.
The way this works is that supposedly, the quicker you amas upvotes and comments early on the better. Because if you manage from 8 AM to position your listing on the first five places and keep it there, it will eventually be part of a snowball effect. More people start visiting the product list page and they click through the top items mainly, engage and upvote.
So, needless to say, performing well in the first few hours is essential. With Goosly I wanted to maximize those first hours so I talked to everyone in my network that I'm going to do this and also scheduled a live stream for 8 AM a sort of launch party where I talked about the product, it's purpose, use cases and what's coming next. This while inviting my audience to ask questions and give feedback on the ProductHunt listing in an effort to generate engagement early on.
I'll talk about how all that went, but first here's the listing my team and I created. We prepared descriptive screenshots, an eye-catchy animated logo, an attention-grabbing tagline, and a proper detailed description as my comment.
You'll also notice that it wasn't published by me, the maker but a hunter. You can publish your product yourself or have it hunted by a hunter in the community. I wanted the latter because that way, at least in my eyes, the listing would get more validation in the community. So I looked at a few hunters that posted in the prior week and I found Nikki and messaged her. She looked at the product, and she found it valuable and was interested in sharing it with the Product Hunt community. Nikki also gave me some critical feedback on the listing and landing page messaging, and this helped me to create a clearer copy that focused on our niche, which is build in public audience.
Now you notice that it had a lot of engagement in comments and feedback and a decent number of upvotes, but I made a fundamental noob mistake that got my launch penalized by Product hunt.
So at 8am, just before going live on my stream, I messaged everyone that we're live, my team, partners, and LinkedIn network, but also slack communities and DMed a few people on Twitter. Now, most of my team, partners, and LinkedIn network, which is the bulk of people I know, are not regular PH users, and actually, most of them didn't even have accounts. So when I invited people to join the discussion, many of them had first to create accounts and then engage. But this caused some internal alarm bells with PH system so even dough in the first hour I had generated 50-60 upvotes and a tone of comments which would've positioned Goosly 4th or 5th I had it show up on 12th and 13th under listings with much less engagement than mine.
Later in the day, even with a larger number of established users that seen my tweet or dm now coming to engage, the listing couldn't get from 12th place. It was too late. Also because Goosly didn't make it in the top 10 it was not included in the next day newsletter to PH users which would've gave some more boost in visits.
So yeah, eventually, Product Hunt removed from the counter the upvotes it thought were invalid, and the final number stayed 144 upvotes. Which I guess is not brilliant but not bad either. I'll definitely add the widget that it was a featured product on the landing page. I also got about 50 new registered users from this launch.
And I think that's the biggest lesson. Next time I launch on Product Hunt, I will need to make sure I tap into communities of makers and have connections there that can support the launch early on the day and push it in prime spots in the list.
But yeah, that's about it. That's my experience with my first Product Hunt launch and my main takeaways. If you want to get your listing nailed I suggest you watch at least a few videos on how to prepare properly and if you can afford it, there are experts that offer consultancy for PH launches.