By now you’re probably familiar with Product Hunt, the go-to place for startups (and lately not-so-startups as well) to launch new products. But most of the featured products are focused on consumers, developers, and designers (not surprising with the very maker-heavy core group of Product Hunters). Taking a quick look, out of the 20 products featured so far today, 19 of them fit those categories. So should you care about Product Hunt if you have a B2B product, especially one focused on business users?
Background: We launched at the Demo conference on Nov 20. Prior to that we had done a small closed alpha within our network, then a closed beta that we announced on Show Hacker News. A couple hundred total signups.
Opstarts on Product Hunt
After launching at Demo, we were lucky enough to have Demo’s Executive Producer Erick Schonfeld submit us to Product Hunt. Erick is highly respected and has a ton (over 4000! ) of followers on Product Hunt – I’m sure that helped a lot with our initial exposure.
Tip #1: If you can, have an established Product Hunt user submit your product.
We didn’t know Erick was submitting us. He called us “Scenario planning for startups” which was exactly what we showed in our on-stage demo. Had we known Erick was going to submit us, we would have suggested a more general tagline like “Planning, forecasting and tracking without spreadsheets” – the without spreadsheets part especially resonates with people. In retrospect, we probably could have requested PH update that, but we didn’t think of it at the time.
Tip #2: Make your Product Hunt tagline as informative and enticing as possible.
A cool feature of Product Hunt is that founders get a “Maker” badge and can participate in the discussion. As soon as we saw that we’d been submitted, we tweeted @ProductHunt and they got us set up to comment. This is key so you can answer any questions people have about your product.
Tip #3: Message @ProductHunt on Twitter to get your Maker badge!
Product Hunt has a very popular and high engagement email list (with over 40,000 subscribers last I saw a number, certainly more than that now) that goes out Monday through Friday. On Mondays, they include top hunts from the prior week. On Tuesday through Friday, they include top hunts from the day before. We were posted on a Friday, so the next newsletter was on Monday and we just missed the cutoff for top hunts for the whole week. Definitely want to maximize your chances of getting a mention in the email as well as on the site.
Tip #4: Submit Monday through Thursday for a better shot at getting in the Product Hunt email.
So what were the results?
We started picking up some votes and getting some comments, and as the day progressed, we climbed to almost 200 votes and were in second place for the day (this continued climbing the next few days to over 250). This was amazing, and what was even more amazing was Opstarts trial signups coming in almost as fast. We got over 200 trial signups directly from Product Hunt. More importantly, engagement levels and conversion to active users from this group is double that of any other channel we’ve used so far (Show HN, personal mailing lists, twitter, blog posts, etc). And 2 months later, we continue to get a few signups from Product Hunt every week.
Product Hunt has tons of designers, developers, and savvy Internet users of all types in its audience. Among them are a lot of startup founders, execs, freelancers, and other types of small business owners. So if you have a product that helps these people run their business (finance, marketing, sales, whatever), Product Hunt will expose you to a group of them who are not only good potential customers, but also are product fanatics who love really trying new stuff and giving great detailed feedback.
If you’re launching a product that helps startups and small businesses, Product Hunt is an incredibly valuable audience to reach.
Thanks for reading! As always, please follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates on Opstarts.