Product Hunt is an excellent platform for product-led startups looking to validate product demand, acquire new users, earn PR, or get early feedback on their product.
This guide shows you how to launch on Product Hunt the right way. We’ve broken it into three parts:
Let’s dive in.
Part I: Prepare
Much of the legwork around launching on Product Hunt happens before the launch.
You’ll need to:
- Familiarize yourself with Product Hunt
- Be clear on why you’re launching
- Join the right communities
- Create social media posts
- Create an Upcoming page
- Nail your target audience
- Gather your supporters
- Prepare an FAQ sheet
- Create an offer
1. Familiarize yourself with Product Hunt
Diving into Product Hunt is the fastest way to learn how it works.
Create a personal account on the site, explore different topics and products, and make friends in the comments.
Note down what kinds of discussions garner engagement and how other products are listed on the platform.
2. Be clear on why you're launching
Startups launch on Product Hunt for different reasons:
- Attract new partnerships
- Attract top candidates
- Get product feedback
- Boost search ranking
- Gain new customers
- Boost team morale
- Attract investors
Nailing your launch goals helps you craft a winning Product Hunt campaign that encapsulates everything from copywriting to graphics.
3. Join the right communities
Product launches need the right visibility, and online communities are a great way to earn this.
Popular Slack sales communities can give you a much needed boost on launch day, such as:
Product-focused groups can also drive targeted traffic to your Product Hunt listing, such as:
Get into those groups, introduce yourself, and link to the product you’re launching.
Most people are willing to check out your product and give you valuable feedback.
Don’t just spam these communities with your listing, however. Give them something in return for their attention.
This could be a:
- Short guide to a product-related topic
- Free resource (like a calculator)
- Sign-up discount
People are more likely to engage with your listing if there’s something in it for them.
4. Create social media posts
On launch day, your team will need to share the announcement on their social media feeds.
A pre-written list of tweets and LinkedIn posts arms everyone with the right words.
Allow your team to tweak each post to suit their personas, and create posts of different lengths to avoid cut-offs on Twitter.
5. Create an Upcoming page
An Upcoming page on Product Hunt describes your product in a few lines and lets you collect emails ahead of the launch.
It’s a great way to presell your concept and build an early audience.
For best results:
- Choose a full page theme with product screenshots in the background
- Include a product video or pre-recorded demo to immerse the user
- Briefly describe your product (heavy on benefits, low on features)
- End with a compelling CTA to earn their email address, such as:
- “Be the first to know,” or
- “Get early access”
6. Nail your target audience
Your sales tool isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for all sales professionals.
Dig a little deeper to determine who it’s ideal for. For example, you might be building a tool that:
- Helps SDRs prospect faster
- Gives sales leaders better operational oversight
- Helps sales recruiters manage candidates better
- Helps account executives manage relationships better
Know your audience to craft a campaign that resonates. This will help you nail your copy, graphics, and offer.
7. Gather your supporters
On launch day, early user feedback can push you up the ranking.
This feedback can come from key supporters like your current users, friends, family members, investors, and partners.
But most founders spam their contacts a day before launch asking for upvotes and feedback. This is the wrong approach.
Product Hunt frowns upon numerous accounts being opened in one day just to upvote a specific product.
It’s best to ask your supporters to create accounts well in advance of the launch and play around with the site — preferably three weeks before launch.
This handles ‘signup friction’ upfront and paves the way for easier feedback collection on launch day.
By then, they’ll have explored the site, dropped feedback on a bunch of other tools, and gotten a feel for the platform (just like you).
It’ll then be easier for them to give your product feedback when you launch.
8. Prepare an FAQ sheet
On launch day, you’re going to get a bunch of questions around your product’s benefits, features, pricing, and support.
Answering these questions promptly is key to maintaining momentum. But you or your team might not have all the answers on hand.
An FAQ sheet anticipates these questions in advance and gives your team the right responses to share on Product Hunt, social media, and via email.
9. Create an offer
A solid offer makes signups and upgrades a no-brainer.
Nobody will pay for the privilege of using your product and giving feedback.
Make it easy for people to try out your product without going through demos.
This makes them more likely to sign up quickly and give honest feedback on Product Hunt.
For example, “Use our discount code “HUNTED” and get 50% off your first year” is tempting enough to encourage a signup.
Add your discount code to your Product Hunt listing and display it on your pricing page to remind users about it.
Part II: Publish
After doing the legwork, it’s time to publish your listing on Product Hunt. There are 5 steps to this:
- Sign up for a Product Hunt subscription
- Add your product description
- Upload your product media
- Craft your intro story
- Hit publish
1. Sign up for a Product Hunt subscription
Before you can publish your product listing, you’ll need to sign up for a Product Hunt subscription.
Product Hunt currently offers three subscription tiers:
- Super Pro ($249/mo)
- Pro ($79/mo)
Pick a plan that suits your needs and continue on to the listing.
2. Add your product description
Your product description on Product Hunt includes your:
Keep your title short – just the name of your product. Don’t include descriptions, emoji, or hyphens.
Link to your homepage, download page, or pricing page for the primary link. For the secondary links, you can link to other places like your social media accounts.
Choose topics relevant to your tool. This could be ‘Sales,’ ‘CRM,’ ‘email,’ ‘SaaS,’ and more. Product Hunt recommends sticking to three or four topics.
Keep your tagline under 60 characters. Don’t harp on about features – simply communicate the value your product provides.
Use a GIF thumbnail related to your product to stand out in the listings.
Keep your production description short — one or two sentences — and use it to describe your product.
3. Craft your intro story
Short, descriptive, humble ← This is the holy grail of a winning Product Hunt intro story.
Product Hunt users typically browse for cool new tools that may appeal to them. But they’re busy and don’t have time to read your long origin story.
Keep your intro story short and sweet, and direct readers to your website for more information.
4. Upload your media
The graphics you use in your Product Hunt listing determine how the listing shows up on social and whether people will click on it.
For your media gallery, you can use:
Your slides can either:
- Preview your users’ ‘before’ and ‘after’ states
- Showcase your product’s evolution
- Speak to benefits and features
- Tell a story with your product
The order is important, so make sure your first slide is your best one. Your first graphic gets used for link previews.
5. Hit publish
Once you’ve uploaded your launch assets and triple-checked everything, hit ‘Publish’ to go live.
You can also schedule your listing to go live at a later date. For best results, schedule your listing to go live at 00:01 AM Pacific Time, as that’s when Product Hunt resets each launch day.
Part III: Promote
Launching on Product Hunt is just the first step. You still need to promote your launch to your online and offline communities and answer queries related to your product.
There are five main steps here:
- Upload your launch graphics everywhere
- Respond to comments on Product Hunt
- Sponsor relevant publications
- Post on social media
- Run paid ads
1. Upload your launch graphics everywhere
Plaster your launch banners across all your online accounts. This means adding the launch graphic to your:
- Social media banners
- Product dashboard
- Website headers
- Email signatures
- Podcast page
These images ensure your launch remains top of mind for anybody who visits your website or socials.
2. Respond to comments on Product Hunt
After your listing goes live, you may get questions from users about your product’s features, as well as congratulatory messages.
Respond to these messages on time to maintain momentum. Refer to your FAQ sheet from earlier to answer common questions.
3. Sponsor relevant publications
If you have the coins for it, sponsor a few sales newsletters and podcasts related to your audience.
Top sales newsletters include:
- The newsletter sponsor network by ConvertKit
- Sales Caffeine by Jeffrey Gitomer
- Jill Konrath’s Newsletter
- And more
Top sales podcasts include:
- Revenue Engine by Rosalyn Elena
- JB Sales by John Barrows
- SalesHacker’s podcasts
- OpsStars by DealHub
- RevAmp by DealHub
Sponsoring the right publications can put your launch in front of the right eyes and build momentum toward the #1 spot on Product Hunt.
4. Post on social media
Promote your PH listing on Twitter, LinkedIn, Slack communities, Discord servers, and other relevant platforms. Here’s a sample message:
Hi everyone — thrilled to announce we just launched on @ProductHunt! Please check out our listing and support our launch with feedback. → [link to PH]
5. Run paid ads
Paid ads can drive traffic to your Product Hunt listing faster than organic outreach can.
Your followers are the warmest audience you can target, so craft ad copy around your launch and drive traffic to your existing audience.
Launch your sales tool on Product Hunt today
Launching on Product Hunt requires putting lots of moving parts in place well before launch day.
From product assets to organic and paid outreach, a successful launch needs thoughtful planning, time, and energy.
Use the tips in this playbook to launch to a warm audience.