Optimize your product pre-launch for launch day success.
Set an objective for your launch, and the metrics you’ll use to measure your success in achieving it.
Know what you want:
- Your product to be featured on the front page?
- Press coverage?
- Attract investors?
- 10,000 new users?
Whatever your objective, establish the metrics you want to track in advance to determine whether your launch is a success:
- Comments and reviews received.
- Number of upvotes.
- Number of downloads or active installs.
- Referral traffic from social media and Product Hunt.
- Mentions in the media and on social media platforms.
Conduct an alpha test of your product with a close community of friends or peers, to check that everything works before you go public.
Ask people to look at:
- How is the onboarding process?
- Is the design attractive?
- Is the interface intuitive?
Here are some things you check at this stage:
- Your product is ready to be tested. You’ve applied the feedback you obtained from your alpha test identified and worked out major bugs. You don’t have to work on a perfect product at this stage, however, for the product to be ready for wider testing it has to have its core features polished.
- You have supporting materials to make your product easy to use. Prepare a full list of FAQ-type content for potential customers that cover every technical aspect of the product.
- Your social media profiles are up and running. Create dedicated social media pages and profiles, which can help with market research and spread the word about your product.
- Some aspect of your product is free. Think free trials, freemium models, or special offers to Product Hunt users like three months of free access. You need people to come and test it, review it, and publish their comments on Product Hunt and other channels. Nobody will pay upfront for the privilege. However, if you plan a future commercial or paid plan for your users, implement this option after the launch.
- You have a dedicated Product Hunt page on your website. You can welcome Product Hunt users and deliver a custom offer. Here’s an example of such a page from Algolia, which offers two free months of access:
The dedicated page is the go-to place for delivering more information about your product and company to new users. Here’s another example from Video Ask, a simple app launched through Product Hunt a while ago:
The page is easy to understand and gives the visitor an instant idea of what the product is about. You get links to the app, an explainer video and, of course, a link to try Video Ask.
Alternatively, create an entirely new section on your website, one dedicated solely to your Product Hunt launch.
Create a Product Hunt account and get added as a maker, then browse the website to see what pages look like, what people are talking about, and how makers respond to user comments and reviews.
Learn everything you can about the ecosystem:
- Discover new tools that you may be interested in.
- Upvote those that you find useful.
- Leave comments and reviews.
Identify a few super-active Product Hunters and connect with them. These people will be able to paint an accurate picture of the community and how to approach it when you launch.
Do additional research. Read as much as you can about Product Hunt. Find success stories of the best product launches and study them.
Teach your team about Product Hunt. Inform them about the benefits and what you require from them post-launch. Advise them to create free hunter accounts, at least one to two weeks before the actual launch.
For your alpha testing community, prepare a newsletter explaining your plans to work with Product Hunt and encourage them to create hunter accounts as well. If you think some of them would be unfamiliar with Product Hunt, give a brief explanation of what it’s about. Many won’t sign up, but if you convince a few, you’ll gain a lot. Any existing community is better than none.
A highly visual website alone may not convey enough information. Prepare an article and, if necessary, a press release. You don’t have to send it to the press, but it should be there, available on your website, if your visitors want more information regarding your launch.
Answer your alpha testers’ most common questions about your product. Teach people about what your product is good for, how it can help them, and so on. If your product is better seen in action, you can include screenshots or videos.
Create an entertaining explainer video or GIF and share it on YouTube, your website, and social media channels.
Almost all businesses use videos for their marketing campaigns, and 91% of marketers consider videos an important part of their strategy. You can post videos on your Product Hunt page. Here’s an example of a Product Hunt page that features a video description:
Use GIF animations that show your product in action. GIFs can work particularly well as an addition to press releases and write-ups on third-party blogs and websites.
Screenshots also make great assets for your support team to aid text-based explanations to alpha testers, Product Hunt users, and, down the road, paying customers.
Here’s an example from Kony Quantum, which uses screenshots on its official Product Hunt launch page:
Prepare visuals like banners to use in social media campaigns, using a tool like Bannersnack.
Bannersnack can create full sets of visuals for all your social media platforms at once. You’ll need attractive posts, banners, and designs to help persuade your target audience to try your product.
Prepare explainer text that contains basic information about your product to share on third-party websites, blogs, and online digital catalogs.
You’ll need the following:
- Tag Name.
- Meta Tags.
- Website URL.
- Description of 150–300 characters.
The description is an opportunity to provide more detailed information about your product and connect it to your unique value proposition. Try to keep it short at 3–4 sentences, and avoid using buzzwords.
It’ll also give you the details you need later to fill out the information for your Product Hunt launch:
As you can see, you need a name, a tagline, a couple of tags or keywords, a thumbnail, and, of course, a download link if it’s an app, or a link to the landing page dedicated to the Product Hunt launch.
Take at least a day or two to prepare yourself for launch day. It’s going to be stressful, and you’ll have a lot of work to do when you finally get to launch on Product Hunt.