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  • Writer's pictureAnastasia Santos

2024 Guide to Win "Product of the Day" (& more) on Product Hunt

Updated: May 10

So it's 2024, and you're planning to launch soon on Product Hunt. Want to know how to make it to the top spot? Then this is the perfect article for you. 🥳

Why listen to what I have to say?

Well, my team and I launched Beep on Product Hunt in December 2023.

(So this is more of a 'throwback' kind of article that sums up all of our key learnings and reflections gained from that experience)


We won:

  • No. 1 Product of the Day 🏆

  • No. 2 Product of the Week (Productivity Category) 🥈

  • No. 3 Product of the Month (Design Tools Category) 🥉


Screenshot of Beep's Product Hunt launch page
Beep's PH launch page & metrics

(Mind you, we launched on the same day as Midjourney V6. That alone was enough to give us anxiety right from the get-go 😨)


Beep launches on Product Hunt at the same time as Midjourney V6
We launched on the same day as Midjourney V6


Like many others before us, we've noticed that - sadly - Product Hunt is not what it once was. Nowadays, PH seems more like a game, and you've got to play by the rulebook to win. Winning is much more a science, than it is an art.


"Nowadays, PH seems more like a game, and you've got to play by the rulebook to win. Winning is much more a science, than it is an art."

To make this as systematic and helpful to you as possible, I organized this article into 3 parts; giving you advice on what to do:


 

🛠️ What to do before your Product Hunt launch


Ideally, you should begin this pre-game phase weeks, if not months, before your launch day. Overall, the earlier you begin, the better.


1. Product is King

Want a real fanbase that would readily upvote & engage with your product on launch day?

Then have a product that the PH community finds useful.


PH community members are mostly marketers (40%) and early-stage startup founders or product builders (35%), with the remainder (25%) being tech fans who enjoy being early-adopters of new tools.


Essentially, you will save yourself tons of effort crafting a perfect pitch or "hard selling" it to the community if your product's inherent value speaks to them - as they say, "a great product sells itself" .

However, PH is not that simple; having an amazing product alone does not guarantee you the top spot. I have often seen lackluster or downright "useless" products win 1st place over more developed or useful products just through marketing or 'gamifying' the system.


🏅Therefore, your success on Product Hunt relies on 2 main pillars:

  1. Have a useful product that provides instant value

  2. Have a solid marketing strategy (which I will provide insights on in this article)


2. Set up a 'Coming Soon' Page

Once you have an approximate date of launch, setup a 'Coming Soon' page as soon as possible. Even if you're not absolutely certain of your launch date, don't worry - you can enter the approximate date now and edit it in the future.


What is a 'Coming Soon' page on PH? It acts as a teaser for your upcoming product. It features a brief description of your product, a single image, and a CTA (call-to-action) button that allows PH community members to get a notification once you launch.


Sample of a "Coming Soon" page on Product Hunt
Sample of a "Coming Soon" page on Product Hunt

How does having a 'Coming Soon' page help?

  • Great way to build early awareness and excitement for your product on PH.

  • PH community members who click on the "notify me" button will receive a notification on your launch date - so there's more chances of getting upvotes from them.

  • Helps increase your product's follower count, as every person that clicks on "notify me" will be added as a follower (this is more of a vanity metric, but is nevertheless great for social proof).

  • You and your team mates (whose accounts are associated as "makers" of the product) will have a nifty "Launching soon!" label displayed whenever you engage in PH community discussions. This is not only great for building awareness, but also those interested can easily click on "notify me" via a pop-up window that appears when hovering over this label.



3. If you confuse, you lose!

I'm talking here about the copy, images and videos you use in all your pages (i.e., Product page, Launch page & "Coming Soon" page).


🏅Best practices:

  • Be clear & brief

  • Focus on highlighting benefits, over simply listing features.


A good test here is the "mom test".

If you show your mom your product's pages, will she instantly understand what your product does and what value it brings?


You can also do this test with anyone in your network that does not yet know about your product. Ask for their opinion and make any necessary changes.


4. Stand out from the Crowd

Forget the age-old adage that "the nail that sticks out gets hammered", because in Product Hunt, the nail that sticks out gets hammered with upvotes.


Although some of the points listed below require some experience working with image & video editing software, it will be worth the effort.


🏅Best practices:

  • Ensure your product's pages have images that, at the very least, look professional

  • If you can feature a nice demo or teaser video for your launch page - even better. Videos help community members understand your product better than mere words or images can, plus it helps you make a great first impression.

  • Use a GIF for your product image instead of just a static image. This isn't absolutely necessary as community members will only see your image in action if they visit your launch page or hover on it on the launch listings page. But it does lend some points to your professionalism & gives visitors the impression that you pay attention to details.

  • One trick that helped us stand out above all is using GIFs for our profile images. This helped us stand out when we posted in community discussions. However, it seems like PH recently removed this functionality... bummer.


5. Build genuine connections

What helped us most on launch day was having a long list of connections to reach out to for support.


Amassing these connections is simple in theory, but demands a lot of time investment.


🏅This is the process we followed:

  • One person of our team spent over 2 months being active on Product Hunt discussions & supporting other people's launches.

  • As there is no way to send direct messages to other users on Product Hunt, he had to manually visit users' profiles and connect with them via their LinkedIn or Twitter profiles (and not everyone displays these links). More of our connection invites were accepted when we sent a message alongside the request.


The message we sent alongside connection requests on LinkedIn
The message we sent alongside connection requests

  • By being active on PH, he also received a lot of LinkedIn connection invites from other PH users. It is important, for this reason, to have a link to your social media profile on your PH profile.

  • For a more systematic & organized approach, we created ourselves a spreadsheet on Google Sheets and shared it with the team. This document listed our connections' names, a link to their social media profile, who in our team contacted them, and a toggle for us to know at which stage of the "funnel" they were at (i.e., invite sent, connection, notified for the launch, shows interest, & uninterested). This spreadsheet helped us keep track of who to contact for support on launch day.

  • Our goal was to have at least 1000 connections on this spreadsheet by the time launch day came around. More is better, since not everyone on the list will be online or willing to support you on the big day.


✍️Note: Building this list of connections as early as possible is vital since LinkedIn has a weekly limit of 100-200 new connections - even if you have a Premium account. The exact limit varies depending on the age of your account; the newer your account, the lower this limit is.


✍️Another Note: If you have family members, friends or social media followers who want to support you, make sure they also set up a Product Hunt account way in advance and at least upvote 5-10 other product launches and participate occasionally in discussions. Only those with PH accounts can upvote your launch, and even then, PH may choose to take down upvotes from accounts deemed "new" or low in karma - since they could be "fake".


6. Product Hunt Groups

This point goes hand-in-hand with the previous point of building connections.


Joining and posting on Product Hunt-dedicated groups across various social media platforms will help you:

  • Find and nurture new warm connections that can support you during launch day

  • Increase the reach of people made aware of your launch that will likely support


Though it isn't as amazing as what others claim, it still can get you around 20-30 upvotes minimum (which still helps).

For starters, we used Beep to build you a list of some PH-dedicated groups on LinkedIn & Facebook. 👉 https://share.justbeepit.com/screenshot/647f77b9b37c520014258391?hashtag=PHgroups

There are even groups on Telegram & Whatsapp that we joined, but we have long left those groups (to avoid getting spammed with launch support requests) and no longer remember what they were.

✍️Note: This is best done a few weeks in advance as some groups require permission from the admin before you can post.


7. Be aware of your competitors

Yes, your Product Hunt launch will also involve market research.


Being active on Product Hunt, not only helps with building connections, it can also help you survey the competitive landscape.


A good place to get a general idea of the competitive lineup in the next 7-30 days would be to view Product Hunt's "Coming Soon" page.

Actively take note of what products seem to be popular or strong competitors. And then while you're exploring the discussions on PH, try to see if there is any mention by their creators of when they plan to launch.


If you're competitive and ambitious, then by all means compete on the same day as they will. But if you want to maximize your chances of getting to the top spot, then it's best to schedule your launch on a day when you are not likely to face tough competition.


8. The date of your PH launch is important

It's commonly said that the most competitive days of the week are Tuesday-Thursday. This is evident when you look at how many upvotes products get comparatively throughout the week. There are always exceptions, but this is the rule-of-thumb. Why not Monday?

Because, being the first day of the week, people are likely catching up on work and emails that accumulated over the weekend. Thus, they may be less willing to spend time heading over to support your launch.


✅ On the plus side, if you have already established great relationships with connections or have a short & catchy CTA asking for support, launching on Monday could be a good thing as people are most probably online on LinkedIn or via email.


Why not Friday?

Because there's an increased chance that people are either focused on finishing off their remaining weekly tasks, or looking forward to the weekend, or both.


✅ On the plus side, launching on Friday might be a good thing. Since people are anticipating the weekend and usually on their best mood, they can also be more willing to show support.


Why not the weekend?

Because generally, people are less likely to be online.

If you take a look at the PH launch archive, it's easy to see how weekend launches have less upvotes than other days of the week. Plus, if you are aiming to also compete for a "Product of the Week" spot, then a weekend launch is not ideal (as will be explained shortly below).


✅ On the plus side, the weekend is the best time if you want the least amount of competition. if you have already amassed a list of connections and they know you will be launching on the weekend, then it is easy to make it to the top spot.


🤔What's the best day to launch on Product Hunt?

Overall, choose a day that suits:

  • you/your team

  • your product

  • your level of preparation.


We launched Beep on a Friday in December, and it worked for us.

However, if we were to launch again, we would choose to launch earlier in the week, and also earlier in the year.


This is because by launching earlier, you gain the advantage of having more time to accumulate more upvotes till the end of the week, month or year (depends on what time horizon you're aiming to also compete in).


It goes without saying that the later in the year you launch, the less likely you are to win the Golden Kitty Awards. (Not that it's super important anyway - in the larger scheme of a SaaS's life, these awards are more like a cub scout badge.)


9. Hunters don't guarantee success

The answer to whether it is worth having a "hunter" promote your product with you, or not has already been answered by countless others on the web. Even Product Hunt themselves answered this on their page.


In our experience, it doesn't. Hunters were necessary back in the day due to special privileges they had, but that is no longer the case.


In fact, we've seen many cases where products associated with popular hunters either lost upvotes or were even removed from being featured entirely - yikes.

If you read this guide and follow-through on the points laid within, then you most definitely will not need a hunter. Besides, only you and you alone know your product inside and out, and can promote it the best.


 

🚀 What to do on your Product Hunt launch day


Ok. So the big day has arrived.

Here's what you can do to ensure your PH launch goes as smoothly and successfully as possible.


1. First-Hour Sprint

One of - if not the - most important things for your success is making sure you make it to the top 5 within the first hour.


When the day begins, it's all a mystery.

The list of products launching that day is arranged in random order and the upvote counter is hidden.

However, after the first hour elapses, that list is then arranged by rank and the products' respective upvotes are displayed. In other words, the product in the top spot also is the first to be seen when people visit that page - that's an enormous advantage.


Therefore, during that first hour, you & your team should go full steam ahead in contacting your connections for support. That should be your sole focus.

2. Reach out to your connections

Remember that old spreadsheet we told you to make and have hopefully been filling out all this time? Well, now is its time to shine - start reaching out to all connections on the list.

Here's what we wrote:


Product Hunt support message sent via Linkedin
PH launch message to LinkedIn connections

Ideally, you should reach out to everyone whose launches you have previously supported. They are most likely to support you to return the favor. This worked particularly well for us, hence the importance of actively supporting other launches and building a warm network of people who remember you before your launch.


Don't worry if not everyone responds or supports - that is normal.

In our experience, around 55% of those we reached out to supported, 25% supported a day or couple of days later, and the rest either left us on read or didn't open our messages.


3. Support new "Coming Soon" pages & other launches too

This can be done once you run out of connections to reach out to, or if there are members of your team that are free.


Visit the Product Hunt discussions to see if anyone is seeking support for their "coming soon" pages. People who are seeking support for their upcoming launches are also much more willing to support you in return. Chances are, these support-seeking posts contain replies from others also requesting support and willing to do the same.


✍️Note: You will notice that people who already launched have moved on and may not be as readily willing to support you - even if you supported their launch beforehand. This is normal as a lot of PH users only join and participate to promote their launch and see no further need to engage in the platform beyond their launch.


Also, PH is a friendly community, so show some love to your fellow competitors by also supporting them when they ask for it in the discussions. They'll most probably be happy to return the favor.


Beep supporting other launches on Product hunt
Support other launches too - don't be stingy!

4. Post & engage on PH Community Discussions

While you are already on the PH discussions, be sure to publish a post or two throughout the day to get people aware of your launch (inserting a subtle request for support is important).


Use our post for inspiration:


A Product Hunt post on discussions
One of our posts on Product Hunt during launch day

5. Post on your social media page

If you have a big following on any social media platform, posting about your Product Hunt launch there can drive some support your way.


However, this is only effective if a large number of your followers have existing and active Product Hunt accounts - otherwise, even if followers want to support you, they wouldn't really be able to. (This relates to what we mentioned in "Another Note" under point 5 of the previous section.)


6. Post on PH-dedicated social media groups

Remember all those groups you joined on LinkedIn, Facebook, Whatsapp, Telegram, etc.? Well, now is the perfect time to promote your launch on all of them.

Don't be shy - as you will see, everyone does it.


As we mentioned earlier, this is a great method for getting at least 20-30 extra upvotes.


PH launch promo on LinkedIn group
How we promoted our PH launch on a LinkedIn group

7. Forget the scammers - they don't do much anyway

Weeks leading up to your launch - and even on launch day itself - you will likely receive a lot of messages or emails from people offering to promote your launch to their massive following (for a price, of course).


Avoid upvote services for Product Hunt
You'll get plenty of messages from upvote services

I get it... even an extra 100 upvotes sounds very tempting when you've got competing products breathing up your neck in the rankings.


If you've done the necessary preparation until this point, there's nothing they can offer you (contacts, product hunt-related groups, etc.) that you don't already have. We've spoken with a number of other product launchers to see if hiring any of these people proved any success - in all cases, there was a resounding "no". Here are the reasons:

  • Even if they have a massive following in the tens of thousands, you never know how they got that following. They could have simply spam-connected with hundreds of people per day without them actually knowing and establishing relationships with those connections beforehand. Thus, only a small handful of them (at best) will actually read, let alone act on, that person's call to support.

  • Many cases, there isn't really any accountability. How do you know that person you hired to spread the word is actually doing what you hired them to do? Will they send you receipts of their efforts in the form of screenshots? How much effort and persuasiveness are they channeling into their outreach?

  • If they use fake accounts to upvote your launch, you can get reported, have upvotes taken down or, worse, hide your launch from being featured.


8. Engagement over upvotes

Aside from upvotes, you should also work on encouraging dialogue between you/your team and visitors to your launch page.


Why?

Because upvotes alone don't get you to the top - comments and comment quality do too. There are many examples where lower-upvoted products ranked higher than those with more. One such example, when you look at the Product Hunt launch archive on November 1, 2023, you will see that the 3rd Product of the Day has less upvotes AND comments than the product in 4th place (which we found strange).


🏅Best practices:

  • Respond to all the comments & questions you receive (a must - because nobody ever likes to be left on read!)

  • Your product's tagline, description, video, and images should be easy to understand. This makes it also easier for visitors to comment on your product.

  • Though this doesn't have anything to do with boosting your ranking, if you pay attention to what visitors say, there's a chance some might write a nice piece of text you can use as a future tagline or in your future marketing efforts.


9. Be prepared to stay online for 24 hours

Yes, it is necessary if you want to ensure you make the top spot.


If are not yet in 1st place, then every minute counts towards soliciting more upvotes and engagement. If you're already in 1st place, then every minute lost gives competitors a chance to overtake you.


Being online also helps you promptly respond to comments or reviews you receive which helps keep engagement up & giving off the impression that you care about your user experience.


🏅Best practices:

  • Rest plenty the night before (which can also be quite a challenge if you're cramming last minute developments or bug fixes)

  • Setup your office space for maximum comfort (we found having background music also helps keep the mood up)

  • Have easy access to coffee, energy drinks, or snacks.


If you have a team It's a great advantage.

With a team, the best setup would be to have all key members online for the first 2-3 hours. After which you can have rotating shifts of at least 2 people online until the day ends (though the more, the merrier), so the others have time to eat, nap or stretch their legs a bit.


If your team works remotely, like our team does, set up an online call so you can collaborate on-the-go and keep the team spirit up!


 

🎉 What to do after your Product Hunt launch


Congratulations - 24 hours of hard work and adrenaline have passed. Here are some next steps we recommend!


1. Show off that PH badge wherever you can

PH success is great social proof that shows users love your product - or at least displays your team's capabilities in gathering support.


This works best if you made it to "Product of the Day".

But don't let us stop you if you ranked in any other place and are proud of it.


When you rank, Product Hunt will send you an email with a link to the page shown below. Here, you can embed the badges you earned on your website.

Product Hunt badges to embed on your website
Product Hunt allows you to embed their badges on your site

Be sure to promote your Product Hunt success by displaying your badge everywhere, especially on your website & social media pages.


2. Ask for user feedback & reviews

If you have a system for capturing email address (such as when you use an email automation software that immediately populates the subscribers list with new users), or have a way to check user contact info on the backend, be sure to reach out to users and ask them for their thoughts on your product.


Their insights can help you improve your product, build new features, fix bugs, give you an idea of how to pivot your product's development, or even a new product idea altogether.


Additionally, if users have plenty of nice things to say about your product, why not ask them for a glowing review?


Overall, user feedback is fundamental to growth - so important, in fact, that I wrote a whole article about it, titled: "User Feedback Tools - the key to maximizing your businesses' growth".


3. If you're competing for more badges

If you want to claim more badges (e.g. Product of the Week, Month, or Year), then just repeat the points laid out in the previous section - 📌 especially points 3, 4 & 6.


4. If you plan to launch again

Depending on how far in the future you plan to launch again, the Product Hunt landscape may change. Some of the tips laid out here might be obsolete in the next 1-2 years, who knows?


So keep an eye out for new developments on how PH works, and adapt if necessary. That's the most important tip of all.


5. Prepare yourself for Spam

Brace yourself... unfortunately, this is one of the big disadvantages of doing a Product Hunt launch.

For example, shortly after our launch we were still receiving tons of LinkedIn messages from people we didn't know requesting PH support. Thankfully... that slowly dropped to about 1-2 daily support requests.


Though there are some things you can't avoid, the best is to mitigate what you can (such as leaving the PH-dedicated groups you joined earlier or setting their notifications off).


But, if you want to give your friends the impression that you are popular & in-demand, then by all means turn all your notifications on. The PH community will support you in feeling like a real celebrity.


6. Relax

Above all, relax. You deserve it - no matter what place on the day's ranking you got.


If you worked with a team and did well, be sure to reward them as well. Order them a pizza, organize a team outing, show them some love.


 

I hope this helped 😊

And that's it, these are all the best recommendations I can give you based on our team's successful experience launching Beep on Product Hunt.


I wish you (and your team) all the best on your own launch!💯

📌If you found this useful

Then don't forget to pin or bookmark this article for easy future reference.

And share it with your team or anyone you think it'll help.🙏


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