How to Launch on ProductHunt: Real-Life Tips from Successful Teams

Aaron Marco Arias
Last edited on Jun 21, 2024

Launching your product on ProductHunt isn't just about gaining some extra visibility—it can be a game changer regarding validation, growth, and connection with your target audience. 

A successful PH launch isn’t valuable for its own sake - but because it’s a great way opportunity to:

  • Connect with early adopters
  • Test your product-market fit
  • Test your product’s positioning

However, it may be trickier than you think.

We reached out to teams with successful recent launches, and they generously shared their top tactics. So here's everything you need to know to make sure your PH launch is a hit.

But first, let’s go over the basics.

The Basic ProductHunt Launch Strategy Framework

According to SimilarWeb, ProductHunt receives 4.8M visits every month. However, this doesn’t mean that PH’s active user base is particularly large.

To get awarded Product of the Day, your submission will need to get the most upvotes out of any product launched on that day. However, around 30-40 products get posted every day. And it usually takes less than 1k upvotes to get to Product of the Day. 

The 3 stages of a successful ProductHunt launch

There are 3 stages to a ProductHunt launch:

  • Pre-launch day
  • Launch day
  • Post-launch day

It’s wise to prepare your PH launch in advance. The “pre-launch day” phase can begin weeks or months before launching. You only get one launch day, and you should choose it wisely. Usually, experts recommend releasing your product around 10 AM - 12PM (Pacific Time), or in the 4 PM - 6 PM time frame. Some suggest launching on a weekend to minimize competition or launching on a weekday to maximize potential impact. But truly, there’s no magic formula. Consider capitalizing on offers and holidays. For instance, if you’ll run a Black Friday promotion, you could launch around that date. 

Post-launch day, it’ll be time to reap what you’ve been sowing. We’ll dive into how to make the most out of “the day after”, in the next section.

Should you collaborate with a Hunter?

Some experts recommend seeking a “Hunter”, instead of posting the product yourself. 

On ProductHunt, a "Hunter" is a user who discovers and submits interesting products to the platform. These individuals are often influential within the ProductHunt community and have a significant following. Collaborating with a Hunter for a product release can have both pros and cons.

If you’ll look for a Hunter, make sure that:

  • Their audience matches your ICP
  • They have a large and enthusiastic audience
  • They have a positive track record collaborating with startups like yours

At this point, you may be wondering if a “Hunter” is essential. In short: No, it’s not. A Hunter can help, but if you build a solid list of enthusiasts pre-launch, you can do without one.

How Do You Get “Product of the Day” on Product Hunt?: Advice from Successful Startups

Usually, successful teams:

  • Set up a Coming Soon page
  • Recruit supporters weeks ahead of the launch
  • Get into the PH community months before the launch
  • Connect with their ICP on launch day
  • Stay in touch with supporters 

Let’s dive into each tip.

Prepare a Coming Soon page

Toni Dos Santos, product manager at Lemlist and one of the makers behind Buska, recommends you “create a Coming Soon page (especially if it's your first launch) and share it with people to grow your audience.” 

Aside from your PH launch, your Coming Soon page can be a great asset for:

  • Capturing early adopters
  • Conducting a cost-effective proof-of-concept

We recommend:

  • Nurturing these early adopters in the weeks before your PH launch
  • Connecting with them on launch day

There are many potential approaches to creating a Coming Soon page. Some teams pre-launch on ProductHunt and, relying on the context of the PH publication, craft a hyperminimalistic page that only includes a newsletter sign-up form. Other startups launch a regular landing page with a sign-up form as their main CTA. Personally, we recommend the latter.

Recruit supporters in advance

Iren Ivashchinenko is the product manager at FirstHR, which topped the PH rankings as:

  • #1 product of the day
  • #5 product of the week

According to Iren, recruiting supporters in advance is essential: 

“We didn't use any artificial upvoting methods, like some teams do. All our upvotes are from active users. We built a database of such users and reached out to them in advance. If someone agreed to visit our page on release day, we marked the conversation with a star. On release day, we asked them to help and encouraged them to find new voices."

Brian Shin is the co-founder and CPO behind BusinessCanvas. The company recently got a Product of the Day badge for Re:Catch, an inbound marketing automation platform. 

Brian seconds Iren’s advice, and adds: 

“If you're pre-product, just like any other process of validating a problem & solution, build an audience that understands the problem you are tackling and supporting your efforts to solve that issue.”

Get into the community

ProductHunt’s power users are passionate about discovering and supporting new products. Most of them are young and based in the US.

ProductHunt userbase age distribution

Aside from PH, they frequent:

  • Figma
  • Medium
  • Dribbble
  • Notion
  • Hacker News

This suggests that they’re makers (or maker-adjacent) themselves.

ProductHunt may not be the platform that helps you onboard your next 10,000 users. But it can be a great place to recruit early adopters. These early adopters can then help you grow by evangelizing for your product and unlocking network effects.

Toni recommends that you:

"Engage early on before the launch with the community on PH (2 months is ideal). Respond to discussions, support others, ask for advice, be genuine.”

Usually, teams create “maker” profiles for top leadership, and these team members engage with potential early adopters on the PH forums. Aside from commenting on existing threads, these team members will create new conversations related to their product’s use cases. Of course, these conversations should be constructive, not promotional.

Iren also suggests “keeping the maker profiles in a consistent style.” 

Target your ICP

ProductHunt isn’t about collecting upvotes as a vanity metric. Instead, you should focus on getting real traction for your product. To do so, go where your ideal customer profile is. 

“After launching, make sure to use channels that have a high density of your ideal customers (ICP)  to share your launch news!”, recommends Brian, “that may be on LinkedIn, subreddits, community platforms, or even physical communities”.

Don’t forget to say thank you

Product Hunt (PH) is indeed a means to an end. It's about forging and nurturing relationships with an enthusiastic, qualified audience. These relationships are not just transactional, they're a dynamic dance of mutual value exchange that can fuel the growth of your product and brand.

After your product launch, the work is far from over. In fact, it's just beginning.

“After the launch, thank the people who supported you and follow up on the people who signed up for your tool”, recommends Toni, “get their feedback to improve.” 

This simple act of appreciation can go a long way in fostering a sense of community around your product. It shows your audience that you don't just view them as users or customers but as valued partners in your journey. Remember, Product Hunt is just a stepping stone. The real destination is the creation of a vibrant, engaged community of customers and advocates.

Download Our ProductHunt Checklist

Wondering how to structure your ProductHunt campaign? We’ve created a Notion checklist that’ll help you plan & execute a successful PH launch. Download it for free now.

Happy launching!

Get in touch today, have a full Content Operation running in under 3 weeks.