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Product Hunt launch: What did Wudpecker learn?

Published
November 24, 2023
Read time
5
Min Read
Last updated
March 21, 2024
Hai Ta
CGO
Product Hunt launch: What did Wudpecker learn?
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Two weeks after Wudpecker’s debut on Product Hunt on 23rd May 2023. What do I have to show? Here goes:

Stats

🏅 4th of the day
❤️ 544 upvotes
💬 174 comments
📝 200 new users exactly
🙋 692 web visitor
⏺ 823 web sessions

A recap of our story

First of all, you need to have a goal. This dictates how you much effort you should be channeling into the launch, to avoid crippling disappointment from expecting too much, or a sense of regret that you didn’t try hard enough.

Here’s how I look at it: Your product hunt launch goal depends on your stage

  • Get first users to test out the idea - Freshly built MVP: Aim for top 10
  • Maximize traffic and exposure - Working product with <1000 users: Aim for top 4
  • Long-term social proof - Established product with >1000 users: Aim for top 2

Our stage is the middle one. Our priority about getting the most amount of eyeball to Wudpecker. We have users that loved our product, so we were confident that we can reach top 4, but realistic enough to not aim for #1.

Wudpecker has been live for about 5 months, and we were established enough that we wanted a surge of new users to test out what we currently have that works well (Summary) and a feature we just released (Ask Wudpecker - extract insights for a meeting).

We aimed for the top 4. Because, well, anything beyond that wouldn't be immediately visible to Product Hunt visitors - the #5 slot was reserved for Promoted products.

Promoted products taking up space in Product Hunt's main page

To that end, really all I needed was to be on top 4. And luckily, for 20 out of the 24 hours, we were actually taking #2.

So that was our story. All that’s well ends well.

Actionable tips

Now I want to share with you some insights, that are not commonly mentioned like in other blogs. I will list the common things still:

  • Read Product Hunt launch blogs
  • Get ALL of your friends and family support. You need all the help you can
  • Get a popular hunter to hunt your products
  • Be present in the ProductHunt community a month prior to launch
  • Engage with every comment on your product

These are important things that you still need to cover, but I won’t mention them much in this blog, since others did a much better job at it already.

  1. Create a teaser page (also known as “coming soon” page)

This lets you gauge interest and gather followers who can potentially turn into upvoters on the launch day. Up until launch, we had about 140 followers.

Me promoting the teaser page

Even if we were to only convert these followers to upvotes and nothing else, we would land on top 10, according to Product Hunt historical votes.

And at the very least, it will give you a fleeting sense of control that your effort before the launch is counting toward something.

1. Commit to a launch day

I see many makers choosing to not disclose their launch date. That’s fine. I set on a date the day I decided to commit to a Product Hunt launch.

This is for a few reasons:

  • I don’t want to be flaky. When I chose the date, I immediately publicized it every where, on Twitter, Linkedin, my Product Hunt profile, outside my apartment. This forces me to not make excuses and move the launch date, just in case I see some big names showing up near Wudpecker in the Coming Soon list.
Putting the launch date everywhere
  • Fend off competitions. By publicizing my date, I have noticed that some makers actively shifted their date to avoid mine. It’s not that Wudpecker was a household name, but if you can avoid unnecessary competition, why wouldn’t you?
  • Make sure my supporters remember. The date is inched into my brain, because this is my most important project for the month. But for my supporters, even my own brother, are not nearly as invested. How would they remember the date if it keeps changing?

2. Have fun with your visuals and videos

I started being active on Product Hunt exactly 1 month before the launch date. What I noticed is that the products that stood out to me were the once that has humor.

Remember that Product Hunt are filled with early adopters, not suits and ties. You don’t win by playing it safe.

For Wudpecker’s launch, I did a little skit about our target audience’s pain points. I teased it a couple weeks before the launch and it performed really well.

Video performed decently on social media

This resulted in more attention and people getting notified about my launch day. That gave me a bit more confidence that we are going in the launch with people backing us.

3. Pace your upvote

Learning from Klu.so’s experience, who had the most upvotes during their launch day but ended #3, we understood that we shouldn’t focus on getting a burst in the beginning.

Instead, try to come out of the first 4 hours being at least top 4. Remember, our goal is maximum visibility, so as long as visitors see us without needing to scroll.

As the day continued, I called up support in batches, to make sure we keep the spot.

On the other hand, their was 1 product that had a huge burst of upvotes in the beginning. Due to Product Hunt’s updated algorithm, their position were surpressed. So even though by upvote count, they should be #2, but they ended up #5.

Wudpecker (cyanide) was #2 for most of the day despite having third most upvotes

As for Wudpecker, up until the last 3 hours of the day, we were at #2.

4. Find your community

Arguably the biggest factor in our launch success was this. Alongisde me being active on Product Hunt community, I was also very active on Twitter, particularly with the #buildinpublic community. They are the ones who build and launch products frequently in Product Hunt.

So their feedback was great and their support network was very active. Throughout the launch day, they actively shared and tweeted about Wudpecker.

Big shoutout to everyone who supported us loudly 🫶

Final thoughts: 2 weeks after product hunt launch

The Product Hunt launch was by far the best thing that happened to our growth.

Within 2 weeks, we doubled our users from 900 to 1800.

Great growth

Our daily signup velocity tripled.

We received 152 in-app feedback.

We got criticism.

We got heartfelt praises.

Most importantly, all the feedback helped us chart out the future course for Wudpecker.

Should you launch?

If you asked anyone else who has launched, they will tell you Yes, you should launch.

It’s hard to describe, the anxiety, stress, excitement that leads up to the launch day, and during the launch day. You will know it when you do it.

It’s kind of like being a parent. You don’t know what it’s like, until you have a kid yourself. (spoken as a non-parent).

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Product Hunt launch: What did Wudpecker learn?
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Product Hunt launch: What did Wudpecker learn?
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Product Hunt launch: What did Wudpecker learn?
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