Checklist for Launching on Product Hunt

A step-by-step guide for nailing your next Product Hunt launch

This is a practical guide and checklist for launching your product on Product Hunt. Make sure you give yourself the best chance of success on launch day with these easy to follow steps and tips.

What people are saying

We ended at #4 for the day and received over 200 votes on Product Hunt which we're extremely happy about! The checklist for launching on Product Hunt from @mattcrail was really useful in helping us to prepare so do check it out if you're launching your product.
- Krupali@Everysize
This guide is solid gold. Cannot recommend it enough. It helped us get featured on the PH homepage and end the day with 200+ votes.
- Mishka@This Code Works

Remember

You can follow this guide to a T and do everything right, and sometimes your product will still flop. This can be for a number of reasons:

  • Product Hunt is the wrong community for your product
  • There are lots of other great products launching that day
  • Your descriptions and copy don't make the value proposition clear, or aren't as catchy as they could be

Do's and Don'ts

Do

✅ Prepare!

✅ Link from your website to Product Hunt

✅ Share with everyone you can who might be interested

✅ Try and connect with makers on Product Hunt ahead of time and build a following

✅ Know you won't show up on the main page until you are featured, so get engagement as soon as possible

✅ Post right at midnight PST the day of launch

✅ Be prepared to answer questions and provide support throughout launch day

✅ Make it super easy for your community to get involved

✅ Make sure you have the infrastructure ready to handle a new influx of users or visitors

Dont

❌ Don't ask for upvotes - ask them to get involved and list the various ways they can

❌ Worry too much about a Hunter - a lot of people focus too much here when in reality it is just another person to help promote it with you

❌ Sit on your hands and hope you get upvotes - drum up support from your users

❌ Expect a successful launch to be your full go-to-market strategy (check out this post)

Launch Checklist

Here's the step by step guide to getting the most out of your launch. We try to make it as easy to follow as possible, so you always know what to do next.

Add this checklist to your Taskable Account. We are offering Taskable users a free 30-minute call to walk through this guide. Book your slot here.

Before Launch

◻️ Build a list of supporters

  • Build an email list of every user, friend, family member, former colleague, and anyone else in your network that can support you
  • Look through your followers on PH, people you follow who follow Product Hunt, or people you follow and find ways to connect with them and let them know you are launching
  • A couple days beforehand, send an email to them and say you are launching on Product Hunt, explain what PH is, and how they can support you, and encourage them to register

◻️ Decide on a date and day to launch

  • Have a hard deadline of when you want to launch so you don't keep pushing it back
  • The day of the week you launch matters. Monday - Thursday gets you the most engagement, while Friday - Sunday you are more likely to place higher

◻️ Draft your emails and asks of your audience to make it super easy for them to support you

  • Share a list of ways they can engage, such as commenting, emailing their network, share on social media
  • Provide them copy or ideas for what to post, whether in the comments, on social or in emails to their friends

◻️ Clear launch day so you can focus on answering comments, sharing, and getting more engagement

◻️ Make sure your product is ready to go

◻️ Prepare your infrastructure to handle a high volume of website visitors, orders or signups

◻️ Create your assets and collateral (eg video and Gif logo)

  • Gif Logo
  • Product/demo video
  • Anticipated questions about the product
  • List of questions for your community to ask
  • List of ways your community can support you
  • First comment
  • Product images
  • Emails drafted to go out with your questions and ways to engage
  • Website updates directing to Product Hunt

◻️ Get feedback on your submission to ensure it's clear and concise

Launch Day

Spend your day making the launch a success. Get the whole team involved and push through together over some pizzas and maybe a beer or two.

◻️ Post your product right at midnight PST

◻️ If you aren't featured after an hour get in touch with the PH team

◻️ Direct people from your website to Product Hunt so they can upvote or get involved in the conversation

  • PH provides widgets you can embed
  • Use HelloBar to share an announcement across the top of your landing page, and you can even hide it from users that were referred already from PH

◻️ Send out reminder emails to your community

◻️ Set aside the day for this - no meetings or anything else in the calendar if you can avoid it

◻️ Spend your day doing this - make it a fun, team building exercise and brainstorm ways throughout the day to drive engagement

◻️ Keep an eye out for mentions on social media/Twitter and retweet/engage with them

◻️ Brainstorm new places throughout the day you can share/promote

◻️ Follow or Tweet at people who have engaged with Product Hunt in the past

◻️ Tweet at Taskable and email them the link so they can support us

Post Launch

◻️ Draft a thank you to your supporters and post across your social media and email lists

◻️ Make use of your new users - even if many of them don't convert to paid users the PH community can provide excellent feedback so lean on them

◻️ Continue to monitor your campaign: people often check Product Hunt sporadically and will scroll through past days so they'll keep finding you

◻️ Share your story with us and help other makers 🤗

Helpful Tools

FAQ

How do I launch?

Click here and start submitting your details. Don't worry, you can schedule it for later. Here's the stuff you'll need to prepare so there are no surprises.

I'm not ready to launch today. Can I schedule it for later?

Yep... you can schedule a post as far as seven days out. More here.

Why I am not showing up on the homepage of Product Hunt?

When you submit to Product Hunt they need to select you to be featured. Unless you are spamming or there is some other issue, there shouldn't be a reason to not feature you. Feel free to reach out to the Product Hunt team using the chat widget in the bottom right of the screen.

What is a Hunter?

The 'Hunter' is the person who submitted the product to Product Hunt. It can be the maker of the product. Or, it can be someone who likes a product and wants to share it with the PH community, even if they weren't involved in making it.  Some Hunters on PH have a large following there or on Twitter.

Do I need a Hunter?

There is no additional juice you get from having a Hunter, apart from whatever promotion of your launch they intend to do on your behalf.

What happens if I fuck up my launch?

You can always launch again. Try not to overthink it too much. Obviously you want to avoid blowing it. But, if you do, you can always launch again and get it right the second time around.

Should I use Product Hunt's Ship feature?

Maybe... we do at Taskable but you can go without it. We have a whole section on this here.

If I have the most upvotes will I be product of the day?

No, not necessarily. Upvotes are only one element of the Product Hunt algorithm for determining product of the day and ranking on the front page. These factors definitely include time since posting and perceived fraudulent voting ring activity. It also likely includes things like number of comments, amount of feedback, strength of feedback, sharing and click throughs to the product. That's why it is critical to not just ask for upvotes.

My product is a list/directory. Am I a good fit?

Apparently PH rarely features list products these days so keep that in mind.

Should I Use Ship?

Should you use Product Hunt's Ship product? Maybe. The free version of the product itself doesn't achieve what it is meant to. They survey and email tools are clunky, the product is buggy, and you should send most people to your landing page anyway. However, on the paid plan you have the option to promote your product on the Upcoming page to PH users. This gives you a built base of people to launch to, and can help you get momentum on launch day.

Pros

➕ Paid plan gets you exposure and lets you build a list of Product Hunt users who are interested in your product

➕ The email tool is useful for sending out updates

➕ Building the landing page is super easy and intuitive

➕ Can use it for multiple projects, and to validate new ideas

Cons

➖ Cost: $79 per month

➖ The product is fairly buggy and the PH team doesn't seem to be focused on fixing it

➖ A lot of sign ups are spam

➖ The fact that there is very low friction for PH users subscribing to your Launch means many of them aren't actually that interested in your product

Places to Post Your Launch

Managing Launch Expectations

Launching on Product Hunt is great for exposure, and to get lots of new visitors and a bigger audience. However, you shouldn't expect to get millions of new paid users overnight.

  • If you hit it right, you can get thousands of new visitors to your website or product
  • The Product Hunt community often has great feedback, and will be very supportive in the comments, as well as sharing
  • Free products generally work really well
  • Paid products generally do not generate very many paid users from the Product Hunt launch - many are just there to try it out

Additional Guides

Shoutouts

Neil // Ramp T-shirts // @NeilCocker

Add this checklist to your account

Add Checklist to Taskable