Viral Loops for startups product hunt

How we got 1000+ upvotes in Product Hunt

the beginning

Do you know how when you think about something a lot, ideas start coming to you at any time.

On Sunday mornings I’m usually out surfing but if it’s flat, as it was that weekend, I take the skateboard to the park and play around for some hours.

We had been thinking of doing a launch on Product Hunt for a while but never really got around to doing it. At that moment, it just hit me. I called Savvas Zortikis (our CEO).

“It’s time”, I said. “We should go on Product Hunt, the timing is perfect and we already have Viral Loops for Startups, let’s not wait anymore”.

“You’re the marketing guy, start planning it. Let’s discuss this tomorrow” was Savvas’ response.

And so it began…

the planning

A day later, on Monday morning, we did our weekly catch-up meeting. At the end we decided with the rest of the team that we’re going to launch on Product Hunt.

Like we said in a previous story we wrote about how we organize our growth process, everyone started shooting ideas on how we’re going to launch successfully.

The development team. The design team. The product team. The customer success team. The marketing team. Everyone.

Wait, I almost forgot. Do you all know what Product Hunt is?

Whether you’re a newbie or oldie on Product Hunt, you should know how it works. It’s the place to discover your next favorite thing. Every day, new things are submitted, upvoted, and curated by the community and the Product Hunt team.

So, to get people love your product and gather a ton of upvotes you should do some small but important things. Like its founder and CEO Ryan Hoover says:

“It’s most important that people understand exactly what your product does. If they don’t understand what it does, they’re not going to care.”

We wanted to be 100% sure that everyone on the team was on the same page and knew how huge this launch was for Viral Loops and the awareness that we were going to generate. We asked everyone if they knew Startup Stash. 90% of people said yes, but only 2–3 people knew that it became famous through Product Hunt. (read how Bram Kanstein ✌️did it here)

“See?! That’s how important Product Hunt is”, Savvas said

After tracking a ton of product launches, reading over 50+ playbooks, blog posts, medium stories etc. and also talking with some makers about how they did it, we started getting some great ideas on the table.

One game-changing thing that we brought on the table is that we should take advantage of our community.

To launch successfully you should master the art of engaging with your community.

After almost 3 hours of brainstorming and prioritizing our ideas, we came up with our launch plan.

There you go, here’s the real thing.

the launch

To make things simple enough, we organized our activities based on the day of the launch.

before the launch

  • Make sure you join some communities like MakerHunt, PHglobal, Startup, #Launch in slack. Also try finding some local facebook communities related to Product Hunt, startups etc.
  • Send straight to PH team to get an invite and be able to hunt your own product.
  • Choose a perfect launch date/time for you. Try to avoid big events like Apple/Google keynotes etc. Fridays around 12am-2am PST have proven to be good choices for launch days.
  • Create/Customize your landing page. Have a clear message, CTA, don’t overdo it with the design. Remember that people want something simple that covers their needs or that is totally unique and impresses them.
  • To prompt people to use/purchase your product you can offer something exclusive. Use IntroBar to notify them about your offer.

during launch day

  • Update all your social media profiles announcing you’re being featured in PH.
  • Post your message to Facebook and Slack groups/communities.
  • Send a newsletter to your community and your customers and let them know that you’re launching and you need their support.
  • Post the introduction comment as a Maker of this product
  • Add all your team members as product Makers
  • When you reach a milestone, like 100 upvotes or 500 upvotes it’s good to announce it to your community in social media.
  • Include visuals like videos, images, GIFs etc. Show real features instead of polished marketing shots.
  • Your whole team should stay engaged with comments, upvotes etc. Comments are part of the algorithm which ranks submissions on the leaderboard.
  • Follow back and reply to everyone who mentions your launch that day. It’s important to stay engaged.
  • Aim for daily top 5. You’ll be in the Product Hunt homepage and in the next day’s newsletter.

post launch

  • Track everything, look at your analytics and monitor who signs up, identify influencers and users who are from a company meaningful to have as a customer in your industry.
  • Thank your community. Don’t forget, they’re the ones who supported you.
  • Write down a blog post. Post launch, some makers (like we do ????) write a medium post about their experience. That can be a good way to keep the momentum going.
  • Talk to your upvoters by DMing them in Twitter. Tweet a thank you to each and everyone of them.
  • Check back to see if there are any new comments to reply/upvote. It’s important to reply and upvote comments because they keep your submission “hot” ????.

useful resources & tools

  • PH Today — See how your product is performing.
  • Product Hunt Analytics.
  • Notify — Know when someone says something about your company/industry etc.
  • Twitter — Follow and engage with users who tweet about you.
  • IntroBar — Welcome and entice your Product Hunters who come to your website.
  • Meta Hunt — See what products perform better on Product Hunt.
  • MailChimp — Engage with your community and let them know when you’re launching.
  • Find a Hunter — Find top hunters and reach out to them. Remember, they’re the ones who will get you to the front page.

the outcome

Right now:

  • we are getting >500 new visitors from Product Hunt everyday, without any effort
  • we have over 1000 upvotes with a tiny tiny amount of effort
  • we are in the top 10 in Growth Hacking and Marketing tools
  • we got over 1000 new sign ups during the launch
  • we got noticed from influencers
  • we increased our awareness overall

Not bad right?

Check us out Viral Loops for Startups here.

Also good luck with your submission. Ping us to support you. ✌️

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