Russ Halilov
April 4, 2024

Getting to the top on Product Hunt: Personal Experience after 3 Failures

On March 12, we launched Bluedot on Product Hunt, and got #3 Product of the Week. This is a complete guide based on our learnings.

Getting to the top on Product Hunt: Personal Experience after 3 Failures
Getting to the top on Product Hunt: Personal Experience after 3 Failures

Results after the launch

After getting 🥈 #2 Product of the Day and 🥉 #3 Product of the Week we generated 120+ signups, 3 annual & 6 monthly subscriptions. Some newsletters mentioned us after the launch, so there is still traffic coming in

Here are some numbers to give you an idea what you can expect from such results.

‍Results after the launch‍ on Product Hunt
Traffic from Product Hunt

Here are the sign-ups for the last 60 days and impact of PH launch. We only accept corporate emails, so I believe we could have 2-3x number of signups if it was for personal emails as well.

Signups coming from the Product Hunt launch

1. Have a product that is useful for the community of Product Hunt

Community of Product Hunt are mostly early-stage founders, marketers, product managers and tech geeks. If you are building CRM for Roofing Companies, there is a very small chance to get to the top on PH. (but you probably already make lots of money, and don’t need PH 😂)

2. Engage with PH community before the launch (not for everyone)

PH has an “active” community in Discussions. People there discuss startup, growth and launch topics. I committed two hours weekly to engage in these discussions, aiming to establish a presence. However, I eventually realized that many participants were also preparing the community for their launches. It felt a bit like a waste of time, but at least some of these folks could be customers of Bluedot.

But if your target audience isn't on PH, your time might be better spent elsewhere. Additionally, the community's tendency to support multiple launches can dilute the impact of upvotes for your product.

3. Connect, and support other founders before your launch (secret sauce)

A few months before our launch I started reaching out to founders who just launched on PH. I used LinkedIn to congratulate them and express genuine interest in their product. This is the message I used 📩

The Linkedin Message I used to write to founders
LinkedIn outreach

The response rate from these messages was extremely high, and founders where happy to get some help from strangers. After writing 50 messages, I passed this task to my assistant. She was writing down all the names, links and email addresses of these people using Apollo. After 2 months we’ve had 1K+ leads and 500 already added us on LI. It’s very important to use 2-3 LI accounts for this, since during the launch day you will need to outreach all these people ,and LI might block you for high number of messages.

4. Don’t buy upvotes

When you launch there will be 10+ messages in your inbox offering paid upvotes. They can offer it in various ways, but all of that is scam. Don't buy them. PH is finally paying attention to this, so you might just get blocked by admins.

The SPAM messages you get during your Product Hunt Launch
My inbox with spam offering paid upvotes.

If you see that some products get unrealistic upvotes, report them to PH via support email. During our launch one of the products skyrocketed to the 2d place out of nothing, and after we reported to admins, that product went down to the bottom. Use this tool to track upvotes rate of your competitors.

5. Get the first 100 upvotes in 1 hour

It’s important to be in the Top 5 in the first hours of your launch. That’s why you need a group of trusted individuals who can upvote you during the initial hours of the launch.

- You can build a list in a spreadsheet, and reach out to them during the launch
- Create a WhatsApp/Telegram channel, and invite them all before the launch. This way you have a higher chance to get lots of upvotes quickly.

Make sure your supporters are registered on Product Hunt. From my experience, only about 30% were aware of it during my first launch, and I had to wait for them to register. This can be time-consuming, so it’s best to have everyone set up in advance.

6. Encourage friends to share your lunch with their networks

Don’t just ask for upvotes. Increase your reach by asking friends and colleagues to share your launch within their circles. This could mean posting in their company’s Slack channels or simply sharing with their friends.
It feels uncomfortable at first, but that’s why we need friends right?

7. Ask your users to support the launch

This one is simple, and everyone does it. Here is an example of what we wrote.

The email we sent to all our customers
Email to our customers

8. Reach out to all the founders you supported before. (that brought most of the upvotes) 

Time to use your superpower. Community of founders who you supported before. First batch are people who added you on LI. This is what I wrote:

The message we sent on Linkedin to people who we supported before
LinkedIn first message

Only 30-40% replied from the first message. This is when you need to follow-up. We began following up three hours later and received an additional 30% of replies after that. Here is an example of the follow-up message

The follow up Linkedin message
LinkedIn follow up message

Meanwhile, I uploaded a list of another 400 leads to Apollo and activated my outreach campaign. Initially, I was skeptical about generating a significant number of upvotes, given that these individuals were not familiar with me (remember these are ppl who didn't add me on LI during their launch). However, it turned out that we received a good response rate, along with multiple upvotes.

The cold email we sent via Apollo
Example of cold email

9. Share launch updates with your community

After launching our product, we initially made a single announcement from each of our team members' personal profiles. However, I’m thankful that Daan Stolk suggested a more dynamic approach: sharing our experience throughout the day to generate buzz. Following this advice, I posted two (example 1, example 2) additional updates related to our launch, which both received substantial engagement.

While I don’t have specifics on upvotes, these posts successfully drove leads to our website.

That’s all I know about Product Hunt Launches, and I hope it’s helpful 💙💙💙

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