How to become #1 Product on Product Hunt

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How great would it be if you could share your tech product with a community of tech enthusiasts, and in turn, receive feedback for improvement, increase brand recognition and awareness and have a great product launch?

Product Hunt helps you achieve this. One of the world's best user-driven communities, Product Hunt enables its users to share and discover the best and latest tech products. Here, product makers can connect with users to showcase their products and collect feedback through upvotes and comments.

Table of contents

Why launch on Product Hunt?

In the startup universe, a Product Hunt feature is akin to discovering the 'holy grail.' Product Hunt offers tech product makers and marketers a host of benefits. A top launch on Product Hunt can turbocharge your growth as it:

  • Increases brand awareness and recognition.

  • Increases website traffic and helps in acquiring customers.

  • Attracts early-stage evangelists and investors.

  • Provides product feedback from an audience of tech-enthusiasts and product makers, making the platform one of the best places to conduct thorough concept testing to build a definitive product roadmap.

  • Increases your chances of gaining media traction and featuring in the news.

Featuring on Product Hunt vs. getting crowned #1

If you're looking for a quick way to get your product under the radar of a well-primed and aware tech audience, getting crowned #1 or featuring on Product Hunt is a sure-fire way to gain some undivided attention, as opposed to merely listing on Product Hunt.

Being featured on Product Hunt helps you to stand out in a sea of tech products. It also helps increase immediate website traffic and builds a consumer base to increase brand awareness and media coverage. Being featured as a top ranker allows you to showcase your product and gain effective feedback that goes a long way in helping you improve and optimize your product.

Overcoming challenges of ensuring a top spot on Product Hunt

Getting a featured launch on Product Hunt can be an overwhelming process that requires a lot of preparation (and a bit of luck!).

1. Finding a hunter

A well-established Hunter is a Product Hunt account holder on the lookout, or more aptly, on the hunt for exciting products to share with their large following on Product Hunt. Having spent considerable time networking and interacting with other users, a hunter is trusted and recognized by the Product Hunt community. Many Hunters on Product Hunt help other users (who are not as well established) by launching products.

To launch on Product Hunt, you need to do your diligence to locate a hunter who will understand your product and has the right target audience suited to help you increase reach and recognition. The challenge lies in finding a Hunter who can maximize your product's reach to the right users.

Pro tip: If you're unsuccessful in finding a Hunter, don't lose hope. It doesn't mean that you can't undertake a successful launch. The best way out in this scenario is to pick up a hunter tag to hunt your product. The community respects product makers and their initiatives, and there have been numerous instances where self-hunted products have reached the top ranks.

2. Choosing the right date and time

Yes, there is a right time to post on Product Hunt. Most users say that time is 12:01 AM PST. Since the Product Hunt homepage is set to a 24-hour cycle, users should get some time to review and experiment with your app. A huge no is posting after 9 AM PST.

There's a debate on what the right day to post is. Some prefer weekends when the competition is less, but the downside is, so is the traction. Most people prefer posting during the middle of the week. Steer clear of posting during big product launches because it's likely you might get lost in the mix.

Pro tip: Choosing the right time and day also means focusing on your target audience. Choose a launch coordinate that helps you target users based on their geography. For example, launching a product to attract Indian users should be done at a suitable IST rather than PST.

Mailmodo becomes the #1 Product of the Day

Mailmodo was featured as the #1 Product of the Day on Product Hunt on January 18, 2021. This #1 crowning helped us increase our signups by almost 7x and increase website traffic by 10x. In addition, we received wide recognition in the product and marketing fraternity.

This journey wasn’t easy - and here’s how we did it:

What Mailmodo did to become the #1 product on Product Hunt

Succeeding on Product Hunt requires strategy. We prepared a comprehensive pre-launch, launch, and post-launch strategy to find ourselves a spot on top.

1. Pre-launch

We chose the right time

Based on an analysis of our product and its target audience, we chose 1 AM PST as the time to launch.

We chose a hunter suited for our launch

Kevin William David, an excellent and well-received Hunter, was kind enough to agree to hunt us on Product Hunt.

Created a checklist of items

To craft our profile on the site, we followed a comprehensive checklist. The checklist includes a description and guideline of the items we needed to ensure we're ready on our profile -

  • Business and download links;

  • Title and 60 characters tagline of the product;

  • Video to explain the product;

  • Thumbnail;

  • Gallery of images;

  • Product description;

  • Topics the product falls under;

  • Information on the product makers;

  • Media and social links;

  • Introductory comments by the product makers and basic comment responses to users.

Maximized our creative content

An eye-grabbing video is one of the best forms of content consumption today. We created a video that helps users easily understand what Mailmodo is, how it can benefit businesses, and what problems it solves. To better attract users, we used GIFs as the thumbnail (simple tips to increase content awareness and grab user attention that many businesses fail to capitalize on when launching.)

Gave more than just a basic description

We went a step ahead than simply providing a product description. We maximized the description outlet to talk about our journey and form a connection with our users. By listing out the product features succinctly, we also made our description interactive by encouraging users to share their feedback.

Creating rapport in social media groups

Social media groups on Facebook, Reddit, Slack, Telegram, etc., are amazing to spread the word for your launch. But you cannot just knock there on the day of launch. You have to engage in the community and build a rapport by helping others. Once the rapport is established, you can share the product launch, and it will be well received.

2. Launch day

On launch day, the idea was to maximize reach and recognition as much as possible. Mailmodo achieved this by -

Ensuring employee evangelism

Using each of Mailmodo's team members as brand evangelists to promote the launch, we enabled an increase in our organic reach. We also shared the launch links with friends, investors, colleagues and encouraged them to spread the word through re-shares.

Each of the product makers' social links, such as Twitter and Facebook, were also tagged to make it easier for users to discover the product and the people behind it. We also pushed the product link through curated posts on the company's social media channels and our team members.

Creating conversations

We facilitated creating positive conversations around the product and product launch by sharing relevant content and using channels like Facebook, Whatsapp, Reddit, etc., to create buzz. We engaged with folks in the channels and groups we had already built a relationship with to promote our launch.

Customer feedback

We also reached out to our customers to share their feedback and experiences on our Product Hunt page. They gave us genuine reviews, which helped create a connection with the users who had just been introduced to Mailmodo.

3. Post-launch

Just because a product is launched doesn't mean the effort stops. There's a lot of work post-launch that went into ensuring our product received a top spot -

Divert traffic to the Product Hunt feature page

We created a cyclic feedback loop by including a '#1 Product on Product Hunt' announcement popup on the Mailmodo homepage. This enabled us to encourage people to directly click and check Mailmodo's profile on the Product Hunt profile. It also informed our users that Mailmodo was now a #1 Product on PH, which might help them evaluate the product for their use more positively.

Real-time responsiveness

Being responsive in the comments section is a must. Our team proactively answered all user questions, queries and responded to queries to maintain engagement. For Mailmodo, the main product team and our CEO personally responded to user comments, allowing users to personally interact with them.

Request, don't spam

We also manually requested each of our contacts and database to look at our product on the Product Hunt website to increase views and traffic and share their reviews. Mailmodo has been fortunate to receive close to 43 reviews from users.

4. Things we didn't do to become #1 on Product Hunt (and you shouldn't either)

To feature on the #1 spot, many users indulge in some methods that may be considered below etiquette. Here are some things we didn't do -

Spam social media

While it was important for our social media following to check out our product and increase traffic, we didn't spam people. Spamming can not only lead to accounts being reported, but it can also deter people from wanting to check a product or page.

Nag people to upvote

Upvoting definitely helps gain traction. However, forcing people to upvote is a huge no. If your product has what it takes, the community will back it. Mailmodo received about 791 upvotes from users based on their own experience with the product and still counting.

Things we could have done differently: An introspection

As the dust has now settled and we introspect the entire Product Hunt launch episode, we realize that there might have been a few things that we could have done better.

We should not have hunted on holiday. We later realized that January 18, 2021, was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This lessened the traction in the US geography.

We should have accompanied the launch with additional traffic sources like Press releases or ads. The #2 Product that day got featured on Techcrunch the next day, and they got more votes than us on the second day.

We'd do It all over again

It definitely was a rollercoaster ride for Mailmodo to be featured #1 on Product Hunt, but we did it, and each moment was worth it. From launching to the post-launch stage, what helped was the preparation - something we definitely encourage users to be aware of. We were excited to see Mailmodo receive traction through product use, comments, and upvotes and encourage you to give our AMP email system a shot too!

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