How To Launch on Product Hunt: An Actionable Checklist For 2020

How to launch on Product Hunt

If you are an entrepreneur or a marketer in a nascent startup, Product Hunt might be THE place for you to launch your product. Launching a new product isn’t easy, especially since the online space is already super crowded with new products every now and then. To be honest, getting the word out about a new tech product is as hard, if not more, as building it from scratch.

Well, one of your “growth hacks” can be launching your product on Product Hunt. This will not only help you get the initial traction but also massively boost your website traffic. You will get valuable feedback on your product and your initial customers if you launch it the right way.

Product Hunt witnesses a crazy amount of new tech products being launched every day and thus, the prime challenge of launching yours is to make sure you stand out from the crowd. In this handy checklist, we have listed down the tactics that we have used to launch our sales intelligence tool – Ampliz in 2020. Also, stick around because we have shared a couple of bonus tips that have worked wonders for us!

What is Product Hunt?

Product Hunt is a website which lets you share and discover new tech products on a daily basis. It is the ultimate destination for the launch of new products either by “hunters” or by “makers”.

Product Hunt feed with launched products

Hunters are people who have been using Product Hunt for a long time now and have launched a lot of products over the years. They possess the power to “hunt” or discover a product and show it to the rest of the community. Whereas, makers are either the entrepreneur(s) themselves or the developer(s) of the products that have been hunted.

Product Hunt’s home page is an ever-changing display feed of new products every day. Other than the most upvoted products on a particular day, they also display top 3 products of the week and the top products of the days prior to it and so on.

For first-timers, Product Hunt might seem a little intimidating. Thus, this checklist for 2020 will be the only resource you’ll ever need to launch your product successfully on Product Hunt. Read on.

How To Launch on Product Hunt: The Ultimate Checklist

The Zeroth step of this entire 2020 checklist would be to start planning at least 3-4 months prior to the product launch. Especially, if you are new and you don’t have a thriving online network. Anyway, with that out of the way let’s look at the ultimate 2020 checklist on how to launch on Product hunt:

Chrome extn sales tool

1.  Create a personal Product Hunt account

Create a personal account on Product Hunt

This might seem like the most obvious step and need not be mentioned, but getting this right is the most crucial of all the other steps. Create a personal account and steer clear from using any branding or company id. The folks at Product Hunt are very particular about this as it helps them keep the user base clean and real.
You can use any one of Facebook, Twitter, Gmail or your Angellist account to create an account. The following steps of account creation are fairly simple as you just need to provide the usual details along with a short bio.

2.  Start networking and be an active member of Product Hunt

This step is a no brainer. Networking is the key to a successful launch on Product Hunt. Treat this platform as any other online community as start building a strong network. For starter, check out the products daily and upvote the ones you like. Ask questions on the forum, build real relationships, make friends in comments and just be an active member on the platform.

Network with People on Product Hunt

Being an active member of the community will also teach you what works and what doesn’t work on Product Hunt. The connections that you build on this platform prior to your product’s launch will help you immensely in getting some early upvotes and feedback. Upvotes and comments from active users or people with a good following will most likely boost your ranking on Product Hunt.

3. Find a Hunter, if you can

As mentioned above, Hunters are the people who launch products on Product Hunt. Honestly, convincing a hunter to hunt your product is quite difficult compared to finding a few hunters. Does your product getting hunted by a good hunter influence the rankings? Probably a little. Is it the most important factor? Not at all.

Now, you’ll find a lot of articles that still claim that finding an “influential” hunter is the most important step. Earlier Product Hunt used to send out email notifications to that particular hunter’s followers and thus people still think it’s very crucial to find a good hunter. 

“It makes little difference who hunts the product. It used to matter, back in the day when we sent email notifications to the hunter’s followers, but we stopped doing that a long time ago.”

There is absolutely no problem in being the maker as well as the hunter for your own product. Instead of wasting time finding a hunter and convincing him, you’ll be better off using that time to spend some time on the community and building organic relationships with other users. A hunter, by all means, will definitely have less context about your product than you will.

Find hunters at 500 Hunters

However, if you do manage to get a hunter who’s ready to hunt your product, great! To search for hunters, check this site which has a forever changing list of the Top 500 hunters on PH

4. Get yourself added as a maker

As discussed earlier, a maker is a person who has created the product. If you have a group of people who have worked on the product, make sure you add them as well. Getting more people as makers of the product (brownie points if they already have an active PH account) will only help boost your rank.
To get added to the community as a maker, you’ll still need to create a personal account first. Once you have your personal account up and running, get in touch with Product Hunt’s team:

Get added as a maker on Product Hunt by reaching out on Twitter

You just need to send them your username along with a link to the post and you’ll be good to go.

5. Pre-Launch Campaign on Social Media

Now that you have got al the technicalities of launching on Product Hunt out of the way, let’s look at the other activities you should focus on. Use social media extensively at least 2 weeks prior to your launch day. Remember those connections on LinkedIn you’ve been talking to for a while now? Or the incredible number of followers you have on Facebook & Instagram. Or maybe the numerous Slack & Telegram Channels & WhatsApp groups you are a part of. Yes, this is the time to use these channels to your advantage.

Reach out to as many people as you can – tell them about your product, that you will launch on Product Hunt and that you have a sweet offer for them. Who doesn’t love offers?

Get creative and think out of the box campaigns to run organically on these social media channels to ensure that you can count on some upvote numbers.

6. Create a Landing page

Creating a landing page before the actual launch of your product is a great way to build awareness and arouse interest in the community. Building a landing page is fairly easy, thanks to Ship by Product Hunt.

Create a landing page with Ship by Product Hunt

With Ship, you can:

  • Collect email ids
  • Do surveys
  • Direct message makers, investors, and journalists on the community
  • Group message inside the community
  • And a lot more

Once you build a landing page, it will show up on the “upcoming” section on the Product Hunt. This is another chance for you to gain those early “upvoters” and “commenters”.

These people are not only early subscribers to your product launch, but also are your potential customers. Thus, keep engaging with them via mails before the launch. Also, use your social handles to drive traffic to this landing page.

7. Launch a Freebie Before your Product Launch

Okay, this is sort of a bonus tip and a dicey one as well. This technique has worked for a lot of people and we at Ampliz, have used this technique as well. Before the actual launch of your product, launch a freebie – a quick guide, and actionable e-book, a free-to-use simple tool, et cetera. This will help you create an initial buzz in the community and also help you start meaningful conversations. People on Product Hunt love free and open-source stuff. For instance, check this out!

Create freebies before your product launch

8. Get the Product Hunt Badge on your website & offer visitors an offer

Let visitors to your website know that you’ve been posted on Product Hunt. You can do this by adding the Product Hunt badge on your website. If you are added as the maker fo your product, you can easily pull a piece of code and embed it on your website to pull real-time stats from Product Hunt. When you launch your product, the web visitors you get from Product Hunt will love a nice little offer exclusive to them. Also, make sure you add a “FOMO” element to whatever offer you are creating.

Product Hunt Launch Day CheckList

So you have checked off everything on this list as far as pre-launch day preparation is concerned. Good!

Now the next big thing is getting all the things right on the launch day. We’ll first go through the process of publishing your product and then we’ll have a look at the launch day strategies. 

1.  Posting your product

Finally, the D-day is here and you are all excited & ready to publish your product. While at it, make sure you get the basics right.

  • Link: Add a proper link of your product, or the company website or to a particular landing page that you want to drive users to. Typically, add your product or company website as the primary link, followed by links to Playstore or Appstore (if any). Product Hunt will use this link to check the product.

  • Title: Just write the name of your product as it is or as it appears on the internet.

  • Tagline: In this section, describe what your product does in under 60 words. Be very precise while writing the tagline. Treat this as your product’s one-liner elevator pitch.

  • Thumbnail: The thumbnail is the small logo that appears next to your product listing on Product Hunt. This is the part where you should really get creative. We have seen some amazing Gifs which coaxed a click from us. Either you can use your brand logo as your thumbnail or an attractive Gif. If you ask us, we’d say a good Gif as your thumbnail can even determine the number of clicks you get.
    The thumbnail should be square in size and Product Hunt prefers a dimension of 240×240.

  • Gallery: Gallery is where you upload several images and videos to explain what your product does. Make sure your designs are on point and are conveying all that your product does in this real estate.

  • Topic: This is more of a category so to say. Select 2-3 categories in which your product fits in. Select some broad topics like “marketing”, “tech”, et cetera.

  • Social Links: Here, add your company’s social links such as Twitter, Facebook or AngelList.

  • Status: This is the space where you mention whether your product is still being built or is it ready to download/use.

2. Add makers to your product

We have already discussed this earlier and we can’t stress on this enough. If you have a team of people who have built the product from scratch, do add them as makers. Not only does this ensure they get their due credit/ feedback/ appreciation, but also their followers on Product Hut get notification about the product launch.

Now after the product has launched, one of the makers should do the first comment. Use the first comment to briefly introduce yourself, the product and what problem you’re solving. This is a great way to explain what your product does with a personal touch.

3. Get the early comments and upvotes

We sincerely hope you were paying attention to the aforementioned section of how you should build relationships on PH prior to the launch. This is the time to put those connections to use. Get as many comments and upvotes as early as you can because that’ll really boost the ranking of your product. We assume that the “super-secret algorithm” of Product Hunt gives brownie points for those early upvotes.

Get early comments and upvotes in the community

Now don’t sit idle while people comment. Once you get those comments pouring in, start replying to people, ask for feedback, and just engage with them.

4. Reach out to People on Social Media

Immediately after the launch of your product, head over to your social channels and use your social media connections/following to the fullest. Ask people to check you out on Product Hunt and drop some comments if they like your product. Don’t push it too hard to the point of being spammy as neither people nor the folks over at Product Hunt like “spammy”. Share links on WhatsApp groups, LinkedIn groups, Facebook and Slack communities – you get the point, right? This might come across as a very generic tip, but it actually works.

5. What is the best time to Post?

This is one thing everyone has on their minds and let’s address this now. Product Hunt follows Pacific Standard Time (PST). Once you are ready to publish your product, you can go live right away or schedule it for a later time. If you want to publish it right away, then it’ll get automatically scheduled to be posted at 12 a.m. PST. 

Now honestly, there is no right or wrong posting time when it comes to launching your product on Product Hunt, but we can give you two perspectives. If you want to reach the maximum number of people, then publish it at 12 am and get as many early upvotes as possible (we suspect that the PH algorithm loves early upvotes and comments). If you, however, want to get more clicks on your product then schedule it for a morning publish (i.e, when people wake up and receive newsletters). Makes sense? Good.

 6. Have Fun

Lastly, enjoy the process and just have fun. You have put in all the hard work to build the product, you’ve ensured all the points in the pre-launch checklist are ticked off and now it’s time to take it easy. If you do this right, we guarantee that you’ll get a huge amount of traction from PH as well as early subscribers to/ customers of your product.

Now that you have reached this far, we have a couple of bonus tips for you. These 2 hacks have really worked well for us and we are sure it will for you too. One of these hacks is getting the feel of PH before you launch and the other one is for boosting your product’s rank on the D-day.

#Bonus Tip 1: Use Preview Hunt before you launch

Preview Hunt is by far the best utility website when it comes to Product Hunt. This is basically a mock version of the actual process of publishing your product on PH. Use this to test out various taglines, thumbnails, media and see what looks good. This will come in really handy if you are a first-timer. Use Preview Hunt to get a look and feel of what it’ll look like on Product Hunt’s feed.

Use Preview Hunt to test before the actual product launch

#Bonus Tip 2: Use Proper Keywords

You know what the best part about Product Hunt is? That, Google loves it. What we mean by this is, each product page of PH gets indexed by google and kind of ranks pretty decently too. When you write your tagline or the first comment, make sure you include your brand keywords in it. The keywords you want to appear for when people search on Google or any other search engine for that matter. Get your team to post comments, optimized with keywords, once your product goes live. This way, not only you’ll ensure good reach on the launch day but also, days after you have successfully launched on Product Hunt.

Product Hunt is an amazing place to launch your product if you are a nascent startup. This checklist for 2020 mentions every little detail about the activities we have done and that works. Don’t treat PH as a market place but as a place where you’ll build long term connections and also where you’ll gain your early customers.

Be prepared for the amount of inbound leads/requests you’ll get once you go live on Product Hunt and we ensure you that it’ll be a fun experience. We hope you have a great launch!