Open Startup

How to Launch on Product Hunt?

Pine v1 was released on Product Hunt. Here's what I've learned.

9/23/2019

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who supported Pine via feedback and paid subscriptions. The internet is full of trolls and full of hate, but all the feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive.

Getting this much support truly warms my heart and is the best reason to keep pushing forward.

Thank You!

🌲 Pine Version 1 is here!

In fact, it has been officially here for two weeks now.
It launched on December 9th, 2019 on Product Hunt, and I believe it went pretty darn well for a newby launcher like myself. Here are some numbers from the last two weeks:

  • 👪 Just over 6,000 site visitors.
  • 👤 1,129 new app users.
  • 🤑 401.34 dollars made.
  • 2️⃣ #2 Product Of The Day on Product Hunt.
  • ❤️ Lots of positive emails, comments, and feedback.

These may seem like modest figures, but I'm very excited about them!
Especially because of people spending real money on Pine. I believe people in the biz call this market validation 🤷‍♂️

Pine is in such an early stage, it desperately needs a mobile app, a desktop app, chrome plugins and several core features implemented. I also want to make it as user-friendly as possible, there are lots and lots of small things that should look and feel better.

But people still buy it and send warm emails about how they enjoy it. It's so awesome! I can't wait to hear the reactions when all the missing bits are ready!

The overflow of users coming in, emails and comments have obviously died out after the initial boom, but there's still steady traffic and some sales here and there.

Mistakes I made so far

This bit is for the hustling, bootstrapping, part-timing Indie Makers out there. You worked on your product for months if not years. If you're ready to launch, spend a good amount of time prepping. Hopefully, you won't repeat my mistakes.

1. No video of the app.

This one's a biggy. If you have a video of your app functioning, Product Hunt users don't have to navigate to your website, log in and try things before coming back to upvote. They can see in the video what your product is all about and decide if they want to upvote without leaving the page.

Ironically, the better and more engaging your product, the lower the chance of an upvote. New users of Pine spend 5 to 10 minutes in the app. There's a good chance they never went back to Product Hunt to leave feedback.

As an animation graduate and someone who edited videos for a living for a while, I should be especially ashamed for skimping out on this part.

Here's a great example of a simple video on Product Hunt. It looks good, presents the app well and doesn't require fancy or expensive editing, voiceovers, etc.

It's easy. You can do this yourself, you can get it done for cheap on Fiverr, don't be lazy like me. It will help with your launch by a lot.

2. No animated logo.

Product Hunt allows animated logos. I wanted to make one but was too lazy again. It surely helps with catching the eye of the users, and I should have done it. In my defense - the less time I spend on animating logos, the more time I spend developing the app. I'm sure paying subscribers will appreciate this.

3. Not using a mailing service from the start.

Thankfully this mistake was made in the Betalist phase and not the Product Hunt phase.

I collected some emails before the beta version launched. I read somewhere "Do the things that don't scale" and thought it would be a good idea to simply send out all the beta invite emails by hand. Long story short - it took hours to do, the emails looked crap and most of them ended up in the spam folder.

I tried again with Mailer Lite and it's great. Not only was it much easier to craft those emails, but I was also able to see how many users have read them, clicked on links, unsubscribed, etc.

This isn't some sponsored content either, I was honestly surprised how much easier it made my life.

In summary

Launching is exciting, I recommend trying it.
Getting #2 product of the day is pretty good, but with a few tweaks, you can get #1 which is much better. Getting #1 significantly increases the chance of getting featured on the weekly and monthly lists, which means a lot more exposure.

Don't do the mistakes I did, but do be sure to:

  1. Prepare great images, videos, logos, and text.
  2. Launch at 00:01 San Francisco time.
  3. Spread the word as much as possible.
  4. Participate in the Product Hunt community for at least a few months before launching.

And most importantly, don't miss the chance to subscribe to Pine before the new years to get 50% off 😉

Click Here to see Pricing.

Okay, bye ❤️