Product Hunt is a key part of my launch strategy. I would even say that Product Hunt IS my launch strategy.
Every time I've "hunted" one of my products, the impact has been huge both in terms of awareness and conversion.
All of my previous Product Hunt launches have gone pretty well:
Needless to say, I had high expectations for GrowthList 2.0. I had everything I needed to finally reach that first place: 2,000+ emails collected over the last two years, a really supportive and engaged twitter audience, and a strong and already profitable product.
After several days of procrastination, I made up my mind on a whim. We were Wednesday, November 25th (mind the date, it’s important) and the launch would be the next day. I went on Product Hunt and scheduled my post for Thursday, November 26th at 9 A.M (in France we have a 9 hours time difference with San Francisco).
Once my post was scheduled, I took a look at the latest products showcased on Product Hunt and came across The Launch Checklist, a product made by Jim Raptis to help makers succeed in their PH launches.
At that moment I thought that I knew how to make a successful launch, but out of curiosity I took a look at these tips. That’s the best idea I've had that day.
“Be sure, it's not a holiday on US”. This was Jim's third tip.
You see, I live in France. I already have enough trouble finding my way around in our national holidays, so the US ones… Fortunately, Google knows everything, and in a few seconds I had in front of me the list of all US holidays.
Labor Day, Sept 7.
Veterans Day, Nov 11.
Thanksgiving, Nov 26…
Wait, Nov 26th?! Did I just schedule my launch on one of the most important US holidays?!
Okay, nothing to worry about. I went back to my scheduled post and switched the date to the next week. That was a close call, nonetheless I had it all under control.
But of course, it would have been too simple if it ended that way. The next day, to be absolutely certain, I checked if my post had indeed been postponed.
You see it coming?
10:34AM. GrowthList 2.0 was live on Product Hunt with only 1 upvote (well, technically 0 upvote because Product Hunt automatically counts the vote of the person who hunts the product. That was me.).
"Don't panic. Don't panic. It's only been an hour and a half since the day started in San Francisco, you're not THAT late."
Spoiler alert: I was “THAT late”.
The thing is, when your product goes live on Product Hunt, you can’t delete it and republish it another day. I had no choice, the damage was done, I had to make the most of it.
In less than 30 minutes, here’s what I did:
11AM. Refresh. 2 upvotes.
At that point, I was resigned. I had wasted my opportunity. My post was doomed to wander in the shallows of the "newest" section, hidden from everyone.
12PM. Refresh. 20 upvotes.
Still not great. But here was a glimmer of hope: GrowthList was finally out of the "newest" section and now visible among the "popular" products.
1PM. Refresh. 80 upvotes.
Now it's getting serious! GrowthList made it to the top 3 and my upvotes counter was growing faster than the other products.
GrowthList ended up "Product of the Day" with more than 700 upvotes. That's less than my previous launches, but at the end of the day, your Product Hunt ranking is just vanity. Even if it feels good to see that gold medal next to your product, what really matters is your conversions. Whether your goal is to collect email addresses, drive more sales or to acquire new users, that’s the kind of stuff you need to focus on.
My goal was to sell at least 50 Pro memberships (that’s what I made in 24 hours when I launched SaaSFrame). With 38 GrowthList subscriptions sold on that day, I did not reach my goal.
But despite that relatively low number, I’m overall pretty satisfied with this launch. Especially when I look at all the great comments and feedback I received. Here are a few of them.
I can only imagine what the result would have been if I had launched GrowthList on a different day. Maybe I would have managed to get to the top with two or three times as many upvoters. Or maybe my product couldn't have stood out with a tougher competition.
Even if I didn't particularly need it, it’s a sure thing that launching your product on a US holiday makes it easier to get to the top places. If you're launching a product for the first time and you haven't yet developed an audience big enough to get tons of support, launching on a holiday isn't necessarily a bad idea.
Update: after a few days, GrowthList is now Product of the WEEK with 1,086 upvotes 🎉