A guide to your Product Hunt launch — How it got us our first 100 customers

A guide to your Product Hunt launch — How it got us our first 100 customers

There are many ways to land your first 100 paying customers. Even so, it remains a very hard task to achieve.

At Y-combinator, they teach you to “Do things that don’t scale”, which makes a lot of sense during the early days of your venture.

Online or offline however, what matters most is to find an audience that experiences the problem you’re trying to solve. We knew though that as a knowledge productivity tool, the channel that makes the most sense to use is:

Product hunt.

Here’s how we did it -

Here is how we ran our campaign:

First thing we did was to plan our launch day (L-day). The launch date is a very important part of your success. You need to make sure there are no collisions with any international or national events on your L-day. Do your research.

In addition, you will need to choose what day of the week you are going to launch on. Monday and Tuesday are busier days on PH, while Weekends are much less busy. If you are planning to go for the product of the week or month, make sure you understand how to maximize your chances. For example, if PH considers a week to be from Mon to Mon, and you launch on Friday, then chances are you will struggle with the weekly competition. The same goes for the monthly count.

Three weeks before: The plan.
So for us, it all started Three weeks prior to our L-day. We started by learning from successful Makers and launches. We simply reached out to some of them and had a few conversations to learn more about the community and how to be successful. We also learned from online articles such as this one by Superpowered.

We then set our goals for the project which were to gain exposure, market validation and sign ups. We also aimed to win the daily contest and set a goal of hitting 1000 upvotes. Next, we started to plan our moves by working in accordance with this goal.

Two weeks before:
We started to reach out and form a community for the L-day. We used one of PH’s cool products called “Ship”. Ship is essentially a landing page that allows you to present your product briefly and to provide a teaser. The page also allows people to sign up for updates, create conversations, add your community and create a little buzz prior to the launch.

We also started to reach out to successful and popular “Hunters” and founders on Twitter — we wanted to ask for their support during the L-day. If you can get a few thought leaders to tweet about your launch, then you can drive traffic to your product and get more support. This effort was a solid try but it didn’t work very well for us.

The week of:
We prepared our F&Q and made sure we have templates to send and share on all social media. We created the design assets — for the PH page and for the social channels during the day. We wanted to be very prepared so that on that same L-day we could focus on the comments, questions, and distribution of our launch.

It’s worth noting that we did not invest any funds toward a paid marketing budget — we decided to focus on our network.

Launch day!
We made sure the whole day was fun and we wanted to create an enjoyable team experience along with it being a productive and successful day. We had everyone attend my apartment, we made sure we had good food and drinks along with a Spotify playlist of our favorite songs, and we had roles for each person.

We divided the work so one team was dedicated to answering comments and questions, another team was responsible for social media, and the last team was in charge of more reach outs and social media efforts throughout the day.

The main challenge is to get the support of your network. Obviously everyone has their routines, hence it is not easy to ask for their attention and support. This is where your team needs to dig in and get early momentum to create the snowball effect:
PH starts the day at midnight PST. If you are based outside the US that may be your biggest advantage, so make sure you exploit it. Get your network involved early and position yourself in the top products of the day from the get go. This will create the snowball effect as new people come in and see your company at the top, they will be automatically inclined to check it out. So we started getting massive organic traffic.

It never hurts to have an amazing product as well…

24 hours post:
These are critical hours, right after the day ends. We invested the time to thank multiple people and groups for their support but the real work is to capitalize and take advantage of your momentum.

We were able to secure 3 PR articles and get our story out there. We posted and shared our success on all social channels and we spent time answering all the comments, messages and emails we got.

In addition, we started measuring the data, and made sure all our new visitors and sign ups were having a clean and smooth experience.
We also pushed our new referral program into production so that the newcomers could invite friends and get rewarded.

Finally — we posted individual posts on LinkedIn & FB and tried to get our story out there.

72 hours post:
When finishing up the project first
start by celebrating your success.
Celebrate the effort, the execution and the journey with your team!

Now it’s data time. You can now get a much better picture of what happened during the launch. We used Mixpanel, Google Analytics and Full Story to better understand the data.

Results: #1 product of the day

  1. #1 product of the day, #2 of the week, #4 of the month — over 1500 upvotes and hundreds of comments.
  2. Traffic: We had over 10K visitors to our website.
  3. Paying customers: Over 100 new paying customers. Exciting!
  4. Inbound — Investors: We had six investors reach out to us (two of them are top in the world) during the first three days post the launch.
  5. Inbound — Enterprise deals: We had 3 organizations asking for the enterprise solution. We didn’t have the enterprise solution ready but going on the calls with them led to us learning a lot about what we need to make it happen.


To conclude, Product Hunt is a great channel to launch your product and share it with a community of sophisticated product lovers from all over the world. We got lots of love, lots of feedback and were met with many business opportunities.

This was a breakdown of our plan and execution, I hope it makes sense and helps founders all over the world. We believe it is essential to invest time to prepare for this channel, just like other channels. The more prepared you are, the better the results of course…

And yes, it doesn’t hurt to have an amazing product too :)