We launched on ProductHunt!
Every day, hundreds of new applications are launched on the mobile “stores”, desktop or on the Web. In Silicon Valley, we tend to say it’s all in the “product”. But as good as your product may be, success is never guaranteed! Take the example of MSQR (recently acquired by Facebook), an application that allows you to make up your head as a zombie or Iron Man in real time and record it in a selfie-video, we have the impression that the success was immediate but this is forgetting that this application actually took 3 years to find this success.
Making the best product in the world is therefore not enough, it still has to meet its audience. For this it is necessary that its launch be planned with the same care as that brought to the design of the product. If the launch methods are multiple, I will tell you here how we prepared and operated the launch of our “actvt” application which took place…. today (03/23/2016, Editor’s note)! ProductHunt (PH for close friends) is at the heart of our strategy, we have spent time learning and understanding the ins and outs of this platform. This post aims to share what we have learned… and to demystify it.
actvt is the easiest app to quickly create and edit stylish, high-quality videos on your smartphone.
The launch strategy
The objective of a launch is quite simple and it sums it up in a few words: to do the maximum to be noticed. To do this, you have to surf all the brands of attention to convince users to test the application. The history of the application, its raison d’être, its first successes are all elements that will help attract the attention of the press and influencers. But let’s face it, the first days of an application’s life are complicated, the first versions are never perfect (or we just launched too late) and it will therefore take a lot of effort to hope attract media attention.
“There is no such thing as overnight success” – “success never happens by chance”
We therefore decided to launch in two stages, first a version “by invitation” that we will publish on ProductHunt, then, secondly a real global launch once our community has reached, approximately, the 10,000 members.
Of course there are many communities whose objective is the promotion of new products: Betalist, Makerbase, Launchsky… but our choice fell on ProductHunt because this community, launched in 2013 by Ryan Hoover, has succeeded in establishing itself as the benchmark for the launch of new technological products. The community is mainly made up of “early adopters” – technophiles – and every day new products appear there, erasing the successes of the day before and opening the door to new conversations between their creators, “makers” and members of the community. . Most of the time these conversations are impressive by the ambient positivism… even between founders of competing products!
In order to make our launch a success, we made some changes to the product to increase its impact during its passage on ProductHunt.
We started by adding a queue system which will make it possible to control the number of new users on the platform and thus ensure its capacity to grow. Other The advantage of this system is that it allows ProductHunt users to skip the line, which is a benefit appreciated by the community.
To this system, we have also added an invitation mechanism allowing a user, already present on the application, to bring several of his friends by making them avoid this famous queue.
Having published the application on the Apple Store a few days before, we had time to switch the beta testers to the launch version and to collect the first opinions in order to “reassure” the visitors coming from ProductHunt on the quality of the application.
Finally, of course, we had to think about setting up tools to collect user feedback and which gives us the possibility of interacting with them (notifications, messages in the application, etc.).
Small bonus for ProductHunt, we created a small animated GIF presenting the interface of the application and we found a friend who agreed to post it on the platform because it is more interesting to have an engaged user who it. will do for you (although it is possible to post it yourself) and therefore allow you to ensure a little more visibility.
ProductHunt only lasts 24 hours and starts in the morning on the West Coast of the United States. The post on the platform must therefore be done in the early morning – but be careful not to make a mistake! Posting at 8 am Paris time is to risk ending up in the listing of… the day before (I did… thank you for switching to summer time…. And it’s extremely frustrating)!
Once the product is on ProductHunt, it is customary for the creators to come and write a review where they share their story and the purpose of the product and explain to the community how to test it and take advantage of its exclusive benefits if there are any.
Then comes the time to collect the votes – “upvotes” as they call them – and to spend the day as creator of the app discussing and exchanging with the community.
The objectives of the Start-up of the day are simple:
collect the maximum number of votes (1000 +)
be in the top of the day
Bonus: appear in the ProductHunt newsletter.
The rules of ProductHunt are clear: it is forbidden to go and ask to have your product upvoted. It is accepted to announce the arrival of the product on ProductHunt and to invite his friends to join the discussion, but on the other hand we must be careful not to transgress this rule of upvote. Nevertheless, it is important to collect as many votes as possible, so you need a little finesse in the messages instilled on your favorite communication channels (email, twitter…).
Every vote counts…. more or less ! The algorithms of ProductHunt are obviously secret and the # 1 product of the day is not necessarily the one with the most votes! For example if I share the direct link of our actvt application form and you use this link to “upvote” the product, it will have less impact on the ranking than if you went to the section tech / newest and that you look for the actvt application to leave your vote there. The activity level of your ProductHunt user account will also have an impact on the weight of your vote. So the whole actvt team has been going every day on ProductHunt for a few weeks to upvote & comment on products in order to increase their impact on the platform.
The die is cast !
Now that the ProductHunt process is demistified and even if there is nothing rocket science, having a checklist is always a good thing … and I therefore invite you to go and see in real time how things are going for actvt on ProductHunt !