How We Became the #1 Product of the Day on Product Hunt
<hl>The inside story:<hl> January 22nd, 2020 was the date we chose to introduce Mine to the Product Hunt community and the rest of the world. We’d been planning to launch our data ownership product for months and decided that Product Hunt is the best place for us to do it. The results of our launch were MIND-BLOWING and we’d like to share the journey leading up to that with you today.
As many of you know, Product Hunt is a platform where people are exposed to new products every day for the community to test, rate, and share valuable feedback with the makers. This includes the good, the bad, and most importantly – the ugly. But it’s not just that. For us and many other entrepreneurs, this was our stage and our flagship product’s time to shine and so we were ready to go ALL IN. We were competing for the World Cup and eventually got even more than we could hope for. Launching on Product Hunt really took our product and our team to the next level, making us even bigger fans of the platform.
We’re Mine and we let you discover and control what the internet knows about you – your digital footprint.
In this article, we’ll explain our game plan, our strategies, and tactics for winning the Product Hunt game and dealing with the next day’s hangover. In addition to having a great product, you also need to prepare for the actual launch. It’s important to remember that there is no bench time for anyone on the team. If you’re thinking about launching on Product Hunt, aim for the 1st product of the day, or you won't reach the results you hope for.
Our campaign results were reaching #1 product of the day and week, and #2 product of the month. Our product page on Product Hunt, here.
Here’s how we did it:
Set your product hunt launch strategy
Mine was (and will always be) a work in progress. A fun and crazy ride in which our team is focused on one goal: building a great and valuable product for our users. Like many startups, we were preparing for our launch day, spending hours doing research, collecting feedback from other successful makers and hunters, and reading countless articles about successful (and not so successful) launch campaigns.
That’s why it was important to us that we give back to the startup community and share our own experience.
YOLO - You Only Launch Once: Choosing the perfect moment
For us, it was when our product was ready to provide initial-yet-real value to users and was still far enough from being perfect with enough room for feedback and growth. We wanted to base new feature ideas on comments received from the early adapters in this wonderful community.
Choosing the right date is one of the most critical components of a successful campaign. Here is how we did it:
- Choose a date with no famous or popular event, holiday, conference, or other major product launches, so you won't have to compete for people’s attention.
- Check the Product Hunt TimeTravel and Upcoming to see which products were launched on similar dates and check their metrics.
- See upcoming product launches and try to research and understand whether you want to compete with them or not.
- In addition to the date, you need to decide on time – we started at 00:05am PT so that we’ll have almost 24 hours to run the actual campaign, share the word, and drive as much engagement as we can.
After deciding on the exact date, we had to get the product and the team ready. We worked like crazy to get as much done as possible since we knew exactly which features we wanted to be in place. The process took many long days and nights, and lots of team-building and bonding time that included jokes, cries, and twisted muscles.
Talking strategy and tactics
Then, it was time to put those tactics down to paper. We invested almost a month in preparation for this launch day, taking the following steps:
Securing a hunter: Finding the right hunter for your product launch is critical. Strong hunters normally have a certain number of followers and a high level of credibility within the Product Hunt community. We were lucky enough to have the mighty @Ben Lang hunt us. Ben is a long-time veteran of the Product Hunt community with many successful hunts under his belt. You can see the top 500 hunters here to get a sense of what we are talking about.
Engagement with other hunters and Pro members: Another important step is engaging with other hunters and Pro members before the campaign. Share your product, vision, and plan, and get them on board. We engaged with hunters such as Raz Karmi, Ryan Hoover, and a few dozen more. You’ll gain from their knowledge, as well as their support.
The Product Hunt “Ship”: We used “Ship”, a dedicated tool by Product Hunt to build a landing page a month before the launch, with information about our product and product screenshots. We started collecting subscribers for our launch by sharing the information on social media, among friends and family, throughout our network, etc. This was done in order to build anticipation and we were able to reach more than 1,400 subscribers before the campaign started.
Content for our product page: A few tips:
- Tagline: Should be short, concise, and simple. Max: 55 characters.
- Product Description: Should only include a couple of lines. Max: 115 characters.
- Meta Tags: Product Hunt has a lot of tags to define the product. Products are categorized by tags that enable users to find new products they’re interested in. Make sure you choose tags that are relevant to your product and audience. Max: 3 tags.
- Hunter’s intro: Keep these two lines clear, short, and appealing. Max 250 characters.
- Maker’s message: This is the most important part which everyone is going to read, so it has to be AMAZING. Max: 255 words.
- Always choose practical messaging copy over a sales/promotional one.
- Product screenshots: Choose the best 3-4 screenshots and demonstrate the product in a clear and appealing way.
- Product video: Create a short 30-60 seconds product video overview.
- GIF logo: Once again, this is very important, because everyone is going to see the GIF before visiting your product page. The GIF must stand out to grab people’s attention.
Spread the word: Announce your upcoming launch, build as much anticipation as possible, and get people excited by offering early access to the product while using Ship to collect subscribers.
Prepare Q&A: A Product Hunt campaign is a 24-hour marathon, and the entire company has to participate. If you play it right, you could get a lot of engagement from the community and you must be ready to reply to their feedback and questions, actively. In order to do so, we prepared +50 possible Q&A that might be asked during the campaign and managed to be very responsive.
Social media content: We prepared content assets for every social media channel we were going to use on the day of the game to spread the word. This included social media posts for each of the networks we are active on, tailored to the channel’s tone of voice. Remember that you can’t explicitly ask for upvotes, this is against the rules!
DURING the official launch: Game time
To get to our goal of winning the #1 product of the day, we had planned to reach 1,000 upvotes in the first 10 hours and keep growing from there throughout the rest of the day. To achieve that, during the first 10 hours we focused on our community, mainly within Israel and Europe due to the time difference. Then, for the next 10 hours and right when the US crowd started to wake up, we moved our focus and efforts there.
For the last 4 hours of the day, we planned to have one last worldwide push. We knew we had an intense 24 hours ahead of us, and so we brought our sleeping bags, slippers, and high energy. Instead of bringing vuvuzela and drums to the game, we bought a gong. Every time we hit a nice round number – we would hit it.
You cannot imagine how many times we hit that refresh button to see new upvotes and comments. And every time, we were stunned and excited by the results. It feels like the whole world is cheering and screaming for your attention.
Prepare yourself for the occasional BOOO: Not all screams and comments are positive. We’re grateful for the valuable negative feedback because we can use it to improve our product. In some cases, your most valuable users and future supporters will be less than impressed with you at first.
Expect the unexpected: Your product may suffer from some hiccups when facing such high scale use for the first time. Identify these issues and fix them as fast as you can. It’s a test run that you’ll be learning from for years to come. We had a few crisis moments that night, and the best tip we can offer is to listen to users, communicate the issues, take their feedback seriously, and stay focused.
Waking up (from the 3 hours of sleep) the next morning was intense. What’s the best remedy for sore muscles? More exercise! We had a few more hours to go before the end of the launch and so we focused on an outburst of new upvotes and comments. Shortly after that, we realized that our goal was reached and all hell broke loose. We have officially won #1 product of the day with 1,637 Upvotes and hundreds of comments.
AFTER the official launch: THE HANGOVER
We had hoped to get 1,000 upvotes by midnight (Israel time), but actually achieved much more than that and ended the campaign with almost 1,700 upvotes and more than 2,800 to date. Mine is now officially live and we welcome you all aboard.
The game doesn’t end when you win. In fact, this is only the beginning. The effect the launch had on our product and its development is still noticeable. We continue to engage with the Product Hunt community and still receive feedback from the tech experts who are happy to be our pioneer users. We even have VIP fans who join product brainstorming sessions. It’s up to you to decide what you can get out of this launch and platform, and we intend to enjoy the ride as much as possible.
Keep in mind that if you win #1 product of the day, Product Hunt will include you in their newsletters to millions of people. We were lucky enough to have that boost as well - “350 companies hold your data”. Thank you Product Hunt.
If you plan to launch on Product Hunt anytime soon, and are currently researching and reading articles written by other launchers, that's a great way to start. Prepare whatever you can and on the day of the launch focus on communicating, answering comments, and making sure your website/app is running smoothly. There are so many myths out there and even after reaching our dream milestones, we still haven’t figured out everything. One thing’s for sure: it all starts with building a great product that people need and love.
We invite you all to join Mine and take ownership of your personal data. Sign-up, <nofollow>here<nofollow>.