Thinking Of Launching On Product Hunt: Here’s A Pre-Launch Checklist

Thinking Of Launching On Product Hunt: Here’s A Pre-Launch Checklist
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

What to do before the *big* launch day to make sure your product grabs the maximum eyeballs.

Product Hunt is the ultimate platform to bring new products into the limelight.

It is a hub of passionate techies who keep launching and discovering innovations. Launching your business on Product Hunt brings you closer to an active target audience and a supportive community to make your product the next big thing.

Sharing your creative ideas with the Product Hunt community will help you bring initial momentum and sustain your business in the long run by:

  • Improving your brand awareness
  • Bringing in new customers
  • Improving your products through genuine feedback and validation
  • Collecting testimonials and reviews that bring social recognition
  • Attracting investors to your product
  • Bringing credibility and collaboration opportunities with other ventures.

Product Hunt does all this free of cost.

But you’ve to do it right in one go because there will be just one ultimate “shot”.

It won’t allow the makers to repost the same product, at least for the next six months. Even after that, only redesigns are allowed.

You need a launch strategy to leverage the platform to its maximum potential. Let’s dive in and see how to bring about a successful Product Hunt launch.

Product Hunt Launch 101 Guide

The mechanism of Product Hunt is similar to Google search. You can consider your launch successful if your product reaches the front page. The key here is to attract the maximum number of upvotes and engagement.

Product Hunt follows specific rules while tracking the product’s ranking, and any signs of fishing are strictly prohibited. The algorithm might negatively affect the ranking if the maximum upvotes are from newly created accounts.

They even have a team that monitors PH voting scams on Twitter to ensure fair play. Before the final launch, you must do your homework to build a loyal social audience on PH.

Here’s a pre-launch checklist you need to make the most out of PH effectively.

Step 1: Build up the launch

It’s best to have an existing audience of at least 400 members before the launch. Start being active on PH and gather a pre-launch audience at least three months before the launch.

Invite your friends, teammates, and social community to join PH at least a week before the launch. This allows your audience to genuinely vouch for your product without breaking the rules. It’ll also enhance your chances of getting to the top 5 rankings.

Things to do before your Product Hunt launch:

  • Take some time to optimize your PH profile.
  • Update the “About” section and highlight your experience, goals, interests, and personal website.
  • Add links to your social accounts in your profile.
  • Guide your community and team members on how to use PH so they can show their support on launch day.
  • Be active on the platform and engage with posts of people in your niche.
  • Familiarize yourself with the workings of the platform.

Try to get into the networks of the early adopters of the PH, popularly known as product hunters.

If they discover your product and like it, they can reintroduce it to a broader audience on the platform.

When a hunter resurfaces your product, it gets enough credibility and boost. This also helps you bag qualitative upvotes. Networking with influential hunters, aka “superusers,” can be a game-changer.

They even have the authority to feature one product in a day.

How to find hunters for your Product Hunt launch

  • Using socials like Facebook groups or Slack chats is the ideal place to get in touch with popular hunters.
  • Browsing through Upvote Bell’s leaderboard can also help find the top-ranked superusers.
  • Networking on the 500 Hunters community.

Step 3: Get your website ready for the PH crowd

Once you launch your product, the chances of people visiting your website are high. Focus on creating a landing page on your website diligently enough that urges people to try out your product.

How to optimize your website before a Product Hunt launch

  • The landing page of your website must have a user-friendly interface.
  • Highlight the key values of your product along with a clear and efficient CTA.
  • Offer a free ebook or checklist as a lead magnet to encourage users to join your email list.
  • Have a library of helpful resources on your blog to familiarize users with what to expect when they try your product.
  • Offering exclusive discounts and free trials to the PH crowd to boost conversion further.

Step 4: Prepare your upvoters before the Product Hunt launch

Hundreds of new products are launched on Product Hunt every day. This makes the platform a competitive battleground, where reaching on top is only possible through credible upvoters.

This is one of the most crucial steps in making your launch a massive success. Use these steps to prepare your upvoters in advance.

Make a list

Create an excel or Google doc with the names of people interested in upvoting your product. It could be your teammates, friends, hunters, etc. Use your Twitter followers and email list to gather as many names as possible.

Choosing influencer accounts on social media is a smart move to promote your product to a broader audience. Find similar products featured on PH and prepare a separate list of people who showed interest in them. There are higher chances they would do it for you too.

Prepare messages to send them

Curate personalized messages for people on your list, keeping their language and interests in mind. Introduce them to Product Hunt and send invites so they can upvote your product during the launch.

Keep your messages concise and make them creative yet personal.

Build an audience on Product Hunt by being active there

Be active on Product Hunt before the launch by optimizing the profile and exploring various features. You can also use the “Coming Soon” feed to display your product to let people follow the launch closely.

Share valuable insights on makers' space, and chat groups. Show support for other products to build an active audience before the launch.

Identify and connect with influential Product Hunt users

Influential PH-ers can make your launch a successful attempt. Make a list of superusers of PH. You can find them on 500 Hunters besides Facebook and the Slack community.

Screenshot by the author.

Once you find them, connect with them on social media. Most of them remain active on Twitter. Tell them how you worked relentlessly on this project. But don't overdo it.

Create a hunter kit to help them understand your product and save them some time. A hunter kit on Product Hunt consists of the following details:

  1. Name of the product and its URL
  2. Tagline
  3. The platform where your product functions
  4. Media- photos and videos describing your product
  5. Goodies that you’ll be offering to the PH community.

Get your team to create PH accounts and assign responsibilities

Ask your teammates to sign up on Product Hunt way before the launch. Every upvote counts on the launch day.

You also need to assign responsibilities to them on the platform. It could be getting in touch with the hunters, sending follow-ups, or being responsive to the comments.

Step 5: Learn about the Product Hunt algorithm

PH algorithms can make or break the deal on the launch day. Stick to the guidelines, especially to gather genuine engagement. Keep your audience's time zone in mind because the number of hours your product remains on the homepage matters.

Try to gather at least 30–50 upvotes in the initial hour. Remember, the upvotes from the homepage are more valuable than the ones from direct product links.

Summing up: Product Hunt Pre-Launch Checklist

Marketing your product on Product Hunt is an excellent opportunity to garner initial traction. Launching on PH might seem challenging, but the right approach, especially in the pre-launch stage, could be highly-rewarding. Here’s a quick run-through of all the things you need to ensure before launch so you can have a successful Product Hunt launch:

  1. Build up the launch by building your profile and familiarizing yourself with the platform.
  2. Find a popular hunter to “hunt” your product from relevant communities on Facebook, Slack, and the PH website.
  3. Optimize your website for the Product Hunt crowd to convert casual visitors into users.
  4. Prepare your upvoters before the Product Hunt launch.
  5. Learn about the Product Hunt algorithm.

Product Hunt gives you all the right reasons to launch your product and get started on your entrepreneurial journey with a supportive community. Leverage this opportunity following the pre-launch checklist from today itself.

Note: This article is part 2 of a 3-part series on how founders can leverage Product Hunt to market their product and build a profitable audience. Read more here:

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Thinking Of Launching On Product Hunt: Here’s A Pre-Launch Checklist
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PS: My team specializes in Product Hunt launches for startup founders and solopreneurs. We have coordinated 4 successful PH launches so far. One product became #1 product of the week, and another became #4 product of the day. If you need help designing your website or product’s launch strategy, hit me up here.