How to launch a product successfully on Product Hunt

As Appcircle, we recently launched our product on Product Hunt and even though we have a relatively niche product that specifically appeals to mobile app developers, we became the #3 product of the day after going back and forth in #2 and #3.

I would like to talk about our experience with a successful product launch.

Overview and Facts of a Product Hunt launch

Before the launch

  • Having an established user base is important for the launch and you should actually wait if you have no users.
  • If you don’t have a large network or a user base to get support (upvotes), the launch will be challenging, and you only have one shot at it.
  • Preparation is critical. You need to consider a number of factors for the right positioning and appealing to a large audience. It is not just about what the product does but also about why you are doing it and what is your vision. In some ways, it is like pitching your product to an investor.
  • Because the target audience is so diverse on Product Hunt, you need to convey your product and the accompanying messages clearly, but at the same time you need to be able to reach the right segment in the audience.
  • So, you will need to choose your topics and the tagline accordingly.
  • In this sense, having a well-produced introductory video and images is one of the most important items for success.
  • Similarly, you can prepare a press release and supplemental materials for additional exposure in the news outlets.
  • You may also want to provide a special deal for the launch day.
  • Additionally, you may get additional launch support by working with a hunter as well as through collaborations.
  • Of course, it’s not just about the content. Your product should also be ready in terms of resources for the increased demand during and after the launch. In our case, we increased the number of build agents and the accompanying cloud resources.

During the Launch

  • As for the planning, it also depends on what products are launched on that day. In our case, we planned for June 30 a couple of months back, but if you have flexibility, you may shift your launch based on what’s being launched. For the highest reach, you should launch as early as possible after 12am PST, but you may opt in to wait to see if there is any high-profile product from a big player, which would be more challenging to compete.
  • If your date is fixed, you can consider a scheduled auto-launch.
  • Starting early is important to have your followers and supporters across different time zones have time on the launch day to support your product. Launching on weekends is also an option as it may be less crowded.
  • If you finish as #1 of the day, you will be featured more prominently, but if that’s challenging for some reason, finishing in the top 5 is also valuable.
  • In any case, the launch day is the most critical one in terms of reach, where you can reach hundreds or even thousands.
  • However, it’s not just about the launch day. Always consider a couple of days before and after for planning and preparation.
  • This includes planning for promoting your launch on social media or on your website. You may consider sponsorships or targeted ads. You can also send newsletters to your users to ask for support.

After the launch

  • This item is also applicable during the launch, but anyway, you should be responding to all the comments as much as possible. This shows that you care, and you will also have the opportunity to see how the community is responding to your product.
  • You should continue monitoring the comments from time to time after the launch.
  • As the product is now featured, you can focus on promoting your success. You may reach out to news outlets with your press release, launch ads and embed the Product Hunt badge on your website.
  • If you couldn’t achieve the expected results, don’t be discouraged. Consider it as an experience gained. You can always have multiple launches on Product Hunt if you are having a major release with impactful changes or if you are introducing a new module that is significant by itself.

Co-Founder at @appcircleio and @smartface_io, product guy and tech entrepreneur, 15+ mobility experience, father, motorcycle fan