Launching A Successful Product Hunt

I’ve been fortunate to have 2 successful Product Hunt launches under my belt – both of them reaching the #2 product of the day achievement. 

I often get asked how it was done and how others can emulate this success to get their product featured in the #1-5 spots. While a portion was due to luck, I can confidently say that the bulk of the success was due to planning and preparation. This means that you too can emulate this success on Product Hunt.

Why Product Hunt?

Product Hunt is the place to launch your product. When done well, you can expect thousands of new hits to your website from passionate and well connected marketers, tech enthusiasts, and entrepreneurial founders. If you can only launch your product on one platform, choose Product Hunt. 

There are a lot of great online resources detailing how to successfully launch on Product Hunt, and I’ve linked a few below that have helped me:

As to not rehash already existing information, I’ll simply let you know what I did that you can emulate.

How I Successfully Launched Twice on Product Hunt 

Here are the two products I launched on Product Hunt:

Free Designs by Delesign

Both received the #2 product of the day spots, thousands of hits to our website, valuable feedback, and many new users. 

Free Designs by Delesign was a product that had a high chance of reaching the top 5, even without a lot of planning. Why? Well, it’s a platform that provides free customizable high quality illustrations, icons, templates, and more. Nothing is being sold, and it can immediately provide tremendous value to startups, marketers, developers, and entrepreneurs – which is exactly the audience who is active on Product Hunt. 

Delesign however wasn’t the kind of product that you may expect to have done so well on Product Hunt. It isn’t free (in fact it is pricey compared to the types of products launched at Product Hunt), isn’t necessarily a product (it is a productized service), and isn’t necessarily something that people can easily test like they can a widget. Yet we still were able to reach the #2 product of the day spot.

Below I will discuss the methods I used to successfully launch these two products on Product Hunt.

Launching Delesign on Product Hunt

For the Product Hunt launch of Delesign, I went into Product Hunt completely dry. To be honest, I hadn’t even heard of Product Hunt until a few days before we decided to launch on their platform.

I figured it could be a helpful way for us to reach potential clients and gain feedback on our service, and since it was free why not try it out?

I filled out the required information to submit our product. I added several existing assets that we had already created previously to our Product Hunt listing, found a good template to use as the first comment to make on our Product Hunt listing, and submitted the project at midnight.

When I woke up the next morning, I was shocked to find that hundreds of people had already upvoted our product. By the end of the day, we were listed at the coveted #2 product of the day, had been featured in their email newsletter, and promoted on Product Hunt’s social media channels!

Did I mention that we launched on Christmas? To say it was a Merry Christmas was an understatement.

It was luck that allowed me to do the right things for this launch. With that said, that doesn’t mean that this success was only due to luck or that it can’t be emulated. In fact, there were specific things that I had done that resulted in the successful launch:

  1. Launch on a day in which you estimate less competition. Holidays like Christmas are likely to have less competition which means you’ll have a greater chance of reaching the top 5 list. While this may mean that there will be less traffic on the Product Hunt website, if you reach the #1-5 spot you’ll be featured in Product Hunt’s email newsletter that’s sent to over 400,000 subscribers and featured on their social media. This more than compensates for the lower amount of traffic on Product Hunt. 
  2. Provide an incentive for Product Hunt users to engage with your post. I provided users with a large discount if they left a comment on our post. In addition to increasing our engagement and helping more eyeballs land on our page, this also initiated conversations with interested clients.
  3. Spend time creating high quality designs. If your product itself and Product Hunt listing look professional, you’ll be much more likely to receive a favorable response from the Product Hunt community.
  4. Leverage a successful launch. If you receive a Product Hunt badge, wear it proudly and leverage it to receive publication on other online channels. 

Launching Free Designs by Delesign on Product Hunt

For the second product launch, I launched a large collection of free customizable illustrations, icons, and templates created by the Delesign team. Like the first launch, we ended as the #2 product of the day .

To avoid repeating the previous takeaways mentioned above, I’ve only mentioned unique actionable items you can take from this launch below:

  1. Set up your product on Product Hunt in advance. Admittedly, it didn’t occur to me that I could set up our launch on Product Hunt in advance. I waited until the last minute on the day of the launch to begin setting up our listing on the Product Hunt website. This resulted in a few last minute scares, which were fortunately remedied.
  2. Don’t spam. It’s necessary to promote your product effectively. If you’re posting in online groups, make sure each post is uniquely tailored to that group and provides them with real value. We were lazy about this, and I believe our promotional posts on Facebook received less reach due to us making multiple very similar posts in a short period of time.
  3. Tag the user in your reply to their comments on your listing. I simply used the reply function to reply to those who commented on our listing, and didn’t explicitly tag these users in my message. Most users won’t receive notifications unless you tag them in your response.

Above all else, make sure that your product is something valuable to the Product Hunt community. Spend time speaking with real people and asking for their honest feedback on your product, and make sure your product looks professional before launching it on Product Hunt.

By following this guide, you’ll greatly increase your odds of launching successfully. Best of luck!

Kenny Schumacher on Linkedin
Kenny Schumacher
Founder, CEO at Delesign
Kenny is the founder of Delesign - a flat rate graphic design service helping hundreds of businesses. When he's not working, he enjoys staying active and playing with his parrot Mango. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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