On 27th June 2022, Tevent officially launched its platform, which makes engaging virtual events accessible.
To make some noise about our launch, and to learn more about how our potential customers might find the platform, we also decided to launch on Product Hunt the same day.
If you know about Product Hunt, you know that it’s a web platform that lets its community learn about, interact with, and support the best new products coming to market.
We’ve been wanting to put our word out on Product Hunt for a while, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so.
After several weeks of preparation and perspiration, we were delighted that our launch secured the Product of the Day badge, helping us amplify Tevent’s brand awareness and spread word about our mission to make engaging online events accessible. Here’s how the post turned out.
On top of a notable increase in eyeballs on the website and the app, we secured great leads for users and partnerships.
Along the way, we learned a great deal about the workings of launching on Product Hunt, and after mulling upon it for two weeks now, we thought we’d share them with you.
After many months of hard work, iterations, preparation, and refinement, Tevent was ready to be opened up to the world.
It’s only natural that we wanted to make as big a splash as possible. We also wanted to hit the ground running to appeal to as many event organisers as possible.
So, our key goal for the launch was to get as many people on Tevent’s Product Hunt page, website, and app as possible. In short, brand awareness.
Our secondary goal was to convert these eyeballs, i.e., get as many new event organisers on board as possible. Along the way, some bonuses would be finding new partners, reaching the investor community, and potentially getting some press coverage.
Having said all this, what really drew us to Product Hunt was that it was a community that could share in our excitement. Maybe it felt like a natural pull because Tevent is also built for communities.
At the core of the Product Hunt community are the genuinely interested explorers who are keen to learn and try the latest products in the market. The community also has entrepreneurs and early-stage teams who are looking to share each other’s journeys and help where possible.
As Product Hunt grew, it also attracted investors and personnel from the press. Slowly but surely, Product Hunt has become a prestigious name in the startup industry, and getting recognised by its community is almost a rite of passage to a new stage in a startup’s lifecycle.
So we set ourselves one goal which we thought would help us achieve the rest: securing the ‘Product of the Day’ badge.
We thought all we had to do was launch Tevent on the platform and hope for the best. Of course, more research showed us that launching the product would be the easy part.
Getting to #1 was a different ball game altogether.
Here’s what we learned about getting there.
The only thing which can propel your product to the top of the day’s listings is support. Not just any support, mind you, it has to be quality support. It seems a little obvious, but this is the hard bit.
For one thing, you would need to gather support well before launch day — the more you can amass, the better.
However, keep in mind that community members who’ve been active on Product Hunt for a few years carry a lot more ‘support weight’ than new Product Hunt users.
Knowing this, we mobilized all Tevent team members to join Product Hunt several weeks before the launch.
Secondly, you need to activate your support. Give them a heads-up, reach out on the day of the launch, ask them for a comment, or get a review. Everything has to come together on launch day to help your bid for ‘Product of the Day’.
So where do we recommend gathering this support from beyond your personal network?
First off, the Product Hunt community itself is a great place to do so. Support other launches, join discussions, and connect on Product Hunt or LinkedIn.
Next, there are several online groups and communities on Slack, Reddit, and Discord that could be an ideal place to build a network well before the launch.
Some of them are growth-oriented, some topically interested in technology, and some are simply communities around people.
Pro-tip: Try and gather support from topical groups and communities on Slack, Reddit, and Discord.
While we did garner support from these communities before and during the launch, we definitely wish we’d done a lot more. No matter the community you join, Product Hunt or otherwise, try and genuinely contribute to the space. That should help your chances to get their support when you need it.
Lastly, there are agencies such as Social Growth Labs, that are also an option to help with your Product Hunt launch. We had a good time working with them. They can provide help at multiple stages — helping garner support, reviewing assets, advising you on your strategy, and so on.
It must be apparent by now — the majority of the work around the Product Hunt launch is done before launch day.
The better prepared you are, the better the chance you’ll have to find that extra luck on your side to propel your launch.
We tried to be very methodical and clinical about this part of the organisation. So naturally, a lot of it was very chaotic. 😄 However, it did help the entire team stay aligned on our goals and what we needed to do to achieve them.
The first level is around operational preparation. There are a lot of things to get done to get launch day right. We recommend recording all these aspects on a shared document or task tracker.
Learn more about Product Hunt itself, and best practices for the launch (we’ve shared some resources at the bottom that might be helpful).
Then, we recommend getting your pitch narrative in place. We focused on the user as much as possible and tried to tailor the narrative to them rather than around our product. Take the user on a journey.
Our launch pitch conveyed a bit of our origin story — maybe that’s an option for you. Also, think about an offer that could serve as an incentive for users to try your product out. Product Hunt displays this prominently on the launch post.
Pro-tip: Build a narrative and story before embarking on your launch copy and assets.
At this point, it might be ideal to think about your assets. We wanted to incorporate all possible options to illustrate Tevent’s benefits for event organisers.
So we decided to use both static and video assets. These are potentially the attention-grabbers when someone lands on your post on Product Hunt.
Try to keep them engaging — we went with an approach that had worked well for us in our promotions.
Next, the finer details are what we believe can separate a good pitch from a great one. The first comment, for example, is your chance to speak directly to the Product Hunt community. This is where your narrative can truly shine.
We spent a lot of time trying to perfect our first comment.
Did it work? Yes, it was clear that supporters were able to instantly understand what we were trying to do.
Was it actually a game-changer? We hope so, but you can never really tell, can you?
Lastly, your logo and overall branding. It isn’t necessary to have a logo gif, but we thought it was a really neat idea. Very pleased with it, in fact.
We do recommend focusing on getting your brand values across — since the one thing Product Hunt really does do well is conveying a snapshot of your product to users. It helps get your message to become memorable.
That’s the assets covered for the Product Hunt post, but there are more channels we’re sure you’d like to announce your launch on.
Maybe social media, or an email to existing customers? The Product Hunt link embed is quite handy to put up as a banner on websites. This is completely up to you, as you know your users and marketing channels best.
Despite all the preparation done beforehand, the launch day can be quite chaotic. We'd highly recommend having a game plan for the day since there's so much to do.
Having a team involved with people addressing different needs would be ideal.
Here are things you can plan for.
First, is the launch itself. Product Hunt lets you get your launch post ready beforehand so you can see how it looks and comes across.
It also lets you schedule it to go live when you want it to. Even then, it's a good idea to keep an eye on the post just before and after it goes live so you can catch any issues early on.
Next, getting the support going. You've done all the hard work of gathering support — now it's time to activate your network. Plan for your team to spread out support throughout the day.
While support pours in, it's important to engage with the comments as much as possible. It's ideal for the product owners aka ‘makers’ and some additional team members to be involved with this.
Lastly, it's not just about Product Hunt remember? Make sure your product goals are also being covered. Hand off leads and partnership opportunities to the appropriate team members as they come.
This is one of the biggest dilemmas for potential product launchers, at least that's what search engine traffic tells us.
Product Hunt is based out of California, and so a ‘day’ in their schedule is based on their 24-hour local time schedule.
Hence the ideal time to launch: is 12:01 AM Pacific Time. The earlier your product goes live, the longer it can stay live on the day to get views and support.
Focus on getting support from different time zones during the morning and evening hours local time (afternoons get a bit slow).
Pro-tip: 12:01 Pacific Time is the ideal time to launch on Product Hunt.
Also, do factor in daylight savings, and double-check time conversions on Google and your local clock to ensure you don't miss out on the ideal launch and support time.
Another important question — which day of the week should you pick? There's no easy answer to this, and TBH, we should’ve paid more attention to this.
The Product Hunt community is most active through the middle of the week, around Wednesday and Thursday. It's least active during the weekends, i.e., on Saturdays and Sundays. Tuesdays and slightly more active than Mondays and Fridays.
Active days can get a significant boost in traffic to your product and support for it. So, ambitious launchers should go for mid-week.
Having said that, competition is also high on those days. Keep an eye on upcoming launches too as an input to when you plan to go live.
We launched on a Monday and might have benefited more by launching during the middle of the week to get more support and leads.
On the other hand, maybe we were able to get to Product of the Day only because it was Monday. We'd like to think not, but we can never know now.
As we mentioned earlier, it's not only important to get a lot of support going, but also to ensure its ‘high-authority’ support on Product Hunt.
In general, older and more active accounts have the most authority on Product Hunt. You can also look at a user’s badges on their profile to learn about their activities.
Do upvotes matter? Yes.
Do some upvotes matter more than others? Definitely yes.
We saw this play out on our launch day when a different product with more upvotes than Tevent was ranking lower on the Product of the Day leaderboard.
So be careful, folks. If you’re thinking about creating new accounts on Product Hunt just to beef up numbers, you should know that the algorithm is designed against it.
It’s also important to spread support out through the day — Product Hunt takes into account whether all the support came at one specific time window (which is likely to be orchestrated), or if it came throughout launch day (which is more likely to be organic).
Similarly, comments and their sentiment, are also given significant weight in measuring performance. We learned that it’s a good strategy to invite various members of the team to interact with incoming comments.
However, comment replies and general engagement from Makers carry more weight than others, so it’s a good idea to ensure that keeps going through the day.
Pro-tip: Comment replies from Makers carry more weight than others.
One thing we didn’t do was get reviews, and overall, it didn’t seem to hamper our performance too much. It’s quite common now to see products securing some honest reviews once they’re live, and perhaps it will become more important in the future.
It is definitely an important element to consider post-launch to improve organic social network-effect opportunities.
Like we said earlier, the better prepared you are, the better the chance you’ll have to find that extra luck on your side to propel your launch.
If your support is helping you rank high on launch day, ideally in the first 3 or 4 spots, it helps get your product right in front of every Product Hunt front-page visitor. With the traffic the platform pulls every day, it instantly increases your chances of finding more organic supporters to push your product’s launch.
You can also never be 100% sure about the community’s reaction to your product. Despite a team’s research, logic, and instinct, sometimes a winning product could very well slump.
On the other hand, sometimes products you might not have confidence in, get picked up since they met an unforeseen demand or need in the market.
Our point is — it’s never straightforward to tell what will happen on launch day. The best strategy is to prepare as well as you can, get as much support as possible to upvote and engage with your post, spread the support out through the day, and as we uttered at multiple points through our launch day, “Pray to the Gods of Product Hunt”.
Whether or not your launch is successful on Day 1, there is some comfort in knowing that launching on Product Hunt goes beyond launch day — after all, your product is not old just because it’s Day 2 or 3 or 4.
Product Hunt also awards badges for Product of the Week and Product of the Month, so if you’re more confident about a week-long or a month-long campaign, then you could potentially go for it.
However, the Product Hunt front page is built for daily listings, so gathering support would rest more on your marketing efforts beyond Day 1. You will also need to continue to engage with new comments and replies as they come.
Pro-tip: You could also run campaigns for longer to go for the ‘Product of the Week’ and ‘Product of the Month’ badges.
You could continue to gather support or showcase your success, using the embedded options provided by Product Hunt on your website or other channels. Another important task would be to schedule follow-ups with the leads you gathered on launch day.
Other social channels can also be a powerful ally in keeping the engagement going — this would depend specifically on your context.
We capitalised on our ‘Product of the Day’ badge by showcasing it on our website home page and also on social media. In fact, this blog is also a result of trying to learn from our experience and pass it on to those who might be interested.
A potential activity for us is to embark on gathering some reviews and opinions going on Tevent’s post to improve our social authority.
We secured the Product of the Day badge on launch day, and it was a huge win for the team. But behind the scenes, we also had a lot of fun — the preparation and engagement on launch day takes its toll, and humour and communication helped us deal with the stress of it.
Considering we’re a fully remote team with each member situated in different parts of the UK, this was even more important to us.
Our campaign lasted for one day — we were targeting the Product of the Day badge, and so the results we saw in terms of traffic on the website and signups on our platform were also seen for a short period of time, as expected.
You can, of course, plan to run a longer week-long or month-long campaign. Or you could smash it out of the park in one day to retain the product of the week and month title - it’s completely up to you.
If you're in the top few startups of the day, you’re also featured in Product Hunt’s daily newsletter which has over 500K subscribers. That helps keep the buzz going for another few days beyond launch day. Here is the newsletter from June 27th.
Most of all, Tevent saw a great boost in brand awareness by getting featured on the Product Hunt. We had a tweet from Product Hunt which featured Tevent, we also got a review on a brand new YouTube series by Goosly. We also received proposals for partnerships and co-marketing opportunities to take forward (keep your eyes peeled for these 👀 ).
All in all, it was a very fruitful campaign and we’d like you to know that the opportunities secured from the launch can be diverse and varied.
Well, we’ve harped on for a while about our learnings. We did learn a lot from our friends around the internet — maybe you’ll find some of these to be useful too.
For a lot of ventures, launching on Product Hunt can be an ideal way to announce a product launch, gather support, assess demand, and get user feedback.
Launching on Product Hunt can have benefits beyond the badge that the product gets, based on its success. These can include but are not limited to, brand awareness, user growth, sales leads, partnership opportunities, funding opportunities, media coverage, and others.
Launching successfully on Product Hunt might not be as easy as it seems. To summarise, we’ll just repeat what the title here says^.
Support, and quality support at that, is what Product Hunt looks for to determine your success. To get enough support, you’ll need to do your homework of reaching out to your personal and professional networks, along with others who might be on Product Hunt.
There is also a lot of preparation that goes into getting the narrative and presentation right. Beyond this, getting support going on launch day, and engaging with the community, are key elements of success.
Remember, outcomes from this exercise go beyond the Product Hunt badge — think about your business.
It’s about time we outgrew the teething pains of current virtual and remote solutions. Let’s start making remote fun, collaborative and workable for all.