How to Successfully Launch Your Mobile App on Product Hunt

By David 'DJ' Oragui / 14 February 2018

Discover how to promote your app on Product Hunt to get thousands of targeted leads and app downloads.

Product Hunt is a curation website that helps people discover the latest and greatest mobile apps, websites, and technology products around the world.

With thousands of products hunted on Product Hunt (many of which go on to capture the interest of angel investors), it’s no surprise that apps like Konsus, a professional outsourcing company, leverage Product Hunt to grow their startup by 500%.

In this article, you’ll learn how to successfully launch your mobile app on Product Hunt to increase app downloads, leads, and partnerships.

We will cover:

  • The anatomy of a successful Product Hunt launch
  • How to get your mobile app "Hunted"
  • How to increase your chances of becoming “Product of the Day”
  • What to do after your initial launch on Product Hunt

Step 1: Understand What Makes Mobile Apps Successful on Product Hunt

After working with countless software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies to launch their products on Product Hunt, I see five recurring themes that all successful products follow religiously to gain traction.

  • It's a product people want to pay for or use (if it’s free).
  • There's an existing audience that will help with promotion.
  • The product targets early adopters who are likely to become loyal customers.
  • There's a strong lead nurturing campaign after signup.
  • The product is accessible to small to medium businesses.

While Product Hunt primarily is for tech and marketing products, your app or product may still perform well if it caters to another industry.

For example, Flyright is an app that makes traveling easy by giving you essential information such as travel warnings and currency before you book a flight and after you land.

screenshot of Flyright app showing helpful travel information

Flyright became Product of the Day on October 28, amassing over 700 upvotes from Product Hunt’s community.

Step 2: Get Your Mobile App Launched and Hunted

There are two main ways to get your mobile app hunted and posted on Product Hunt:

  • Launch it yourself with “Ship Pro”
  • Find a hunter to post it for you

Post It Yourself With Ship Pro

Product Hunt recently released “Ship,” a suite of tools to help app developers launch their products on Product Hunt.

Product Hunt's tool, Ship, product promotion and launch scheduling features

Ship helps you create landing pages, embeddable widgets, and broadcast emails – all the collateral you need to market your new product.

Even more significant, Ship Pro allows you to set an embargo date – to schedule your product launch in advance and prevent your product from being hunted before you’re ready.

Find an Excellent Hunter

Hunters have a unique role: They're the only people allowed to hunt products and post them on Product Hunt.

But, you don’t just want any hunter to post your product. You want to find the best hunter around.

Here’s a short list of things to look out for when finding the perfect hunter for your mobile app:

  • Significant number of followers on Product Hunt: When a hunter posts your product, all his/her followers get notified.
  • Past history of successful launches: The hunter has posted other products that received hundreds or thousands of upvotes and regularly got into “Product of the Day."
  • Posted a successful product in the same industry as yours: This success shows the hunter understands your space and what potential customers are looking for.

If your target hunter ticks all three boxes, then you have an excellent chance of having a successful launch on Product Hunt.

Perfect Your Pitch to Grab The Best Hunter's Attention

The best hunters get inundated with email after email, asking them to hunt a product on Product Hunt.

You need to differentiate yourself from the pack and position your product in a unique way.

Bram Kanstein, the maker of Startup Stash, the most upvoted product of all time, has the following advice for app developers who’re looking to pitch their product to a hunter:

  • Be enthusiastic and make your pitch personal
  • Tell the prospect about the problem you’re solving
  • Show your solution (video does this best!)
  • Show early results if you have them
  • Explain why you the man/woman/team that’s going to succeed
  • Ask for specific advice and feedback; don’t be general. Specify how they can help you.
  • Give them everything they need once they’ve said yes

As you’re gearing up for launch day, your hunter is going to need the following essentials to post your mobile app on Product Hunt:

  • Name of product
  • Website URL (ensure it has an opt-in form or a download app link)
  • Tagline
  • Logo (make it a Gif if possible)
  • As many team members as possible listed under your Maker Product Hunt URL
  • A product video and several screenshots

Your target hunter isn’t going to do your work for you.

As with everything marketing related, the more steps, loopholes, and obstacles your prospect has to get past, the least receptive they’ll be to your proposition.

Providing all this information upfront, will put you in great stead with your hunter, so he/she can give your mobile app the launch it deserves.

Finally, you’ll want to have your first comment prepared beforehand. It should provide the community with a thorough understanding of your story, product, and the value for them.

Here’s an excellent example of a first comment by Aytekin, the maker and founder of Jotform, an online form builder.

sample email comment about product on Product Hunt

See how he introduced his app by saying his product was originally ugly, inconvenient, and out of date? Don’t be afraid to use storytelling to pull the audience in, start a conversation, and ask for feedback.

Step 3: Market Aggressively to Become “Product of the Day”

Congratulations! You’ve successfully launched your mobile app on Product Hunt. While it’s easy to bask in the praise, new customers, funding partnerships, and business deals, you must realize that your work isn’t done yet.

The buzz you gained from Product Hunt will soon run dry once your campaign ends. And, with 365 days a year, there will always be a new “Product of the Day” at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

You must continually leverage your product launch to increase brand visibility and keep customer acquisition rates high.

Provide Exceptional Value Beyond the Opt-In

Prepare an email automation campaign before your app launches on  Product Hunt.

Simply having four emails designed to teach your audience why your mobile app is the best solution to their problem will increase app downloads and sales.

Your email sequence could look something like this:

  • Day 0: Welcome email
  • Day 1: How your mobile app helps simplify business/life
  • Day 3: Unique feature 1
  • Day 5 Unique feature 2
  • Day 7: Unique feature 3
  • Day 9: Special offer for upgrading today

Have a FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) Announcement or Irresistible Offer

It’s basic human psychology to fear missing out on something that’s too good to pass up.

Offer exclusive access to features or a special deal to help early adopters overcome their objections and buy into your product or service.

This offer could be as simple as saying “whoever signs up for my mobile app within 24 hours gets BETA access to a highly-requested feature.”

Or, you could go further: Offer a one-time, lifetime offer to anyone from Product Hunt who upgrades to a paid plan within 24-hours.

Salesflare, an Intelligent Sales CRM, is an example of how an app can take advantage of human psychology to generate buzz on Product Hunt.

offer on product hunt for free trial

As you can see, Salesflare's 3FOR1MEOW offer, gave Product Hunt members access to 3 users on their app for the price of 1.

By creating an irresistible offer, you’ll gain upvotes, acquire customers, and make them feel special, all at the same time.

Step 4: Improve Your Product, Launch It on Product Hunt Again

As your app grows and evolves, you may choose to build additional features or update existing ones. If these new features or updates solve a core problem or offer a creative new way to interact with users, then consider re-launching your app on Product Hunt.

For example, MailChimp, a popular email service provider, recently launched “Landing Pages in MailChimp,” which got hunted by the community in Product Hunt.

MailChimp landing pages in Product Hunt

MailChimp has been around for nearly 20 years. But, they just started offering landing pages.

As you can see above, their launch was an absolute success, acquiring nearly 2,000 upvotes and becoming both “Product of the Day” and “Product of the Week.”

So, how do you know whether it's a good idea to launch a product feature on Product Hunt?

Ask yourself, "Could this feature run as a standalone product today?

If you answer, "Yes," then the new feature may get hunted. If you answered, "No," then simply sending out an email newsletter to your customers and creating a landing page for a Google Ad campaign will probably serve you better.

Identify areas of improvement from your first product launch and address these issues so your next launch is much smoother.

With a bigger network and list of customers to work with, hopefully, your next launch on Product Hunt will be even more successful.

Product Hunt a Success for Mobile App Marketing

Product Hunt is an excellent platform for startups and mobile apps looking for exposure – you just need the right approach.

By building a great product and providing exceptional value to the community, you can garner thousands of targeted leads and business opportunities quickly.

Next time we'll delve into some clever ways to generate targeted leads for your mobile app via Quora.

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