I want to share our experiences from our Riddle launch on ProductHunt at the end of April 2015 with the community. I am sure we have many startups using Riddle and maybe you can find something of value in these notes.
– get the product to an MVP (minimum viable product) stage. Where the core functionality is up and running with loads of room for improvements
– make sure the servers are stable and can handle just about any kind of load. Using the Google infrastructure, this has become really easy these days I have to say
– find one major news outlet to cover us in return for giving them an exclusive on the release
– submit to Producthunt.com to get feedback from an engaged community and to get exposure
– reach out to our networks on Facebook and Twitter to get the word out.
We timed our launch so that we would get onto Product Hunt and hit the press at the same time. We also booked a booth at the Collision conference in Las Vegas to add more visibility within a very short timeframe.
Overall the Product Hunt listing and the fact that we made top 10 for our submission day was the most successful launch activity. Even after the first 24 hour period, we continued to get quite a few upvotes and traffic from Product Hunt kept coming in. Overall, we signed up over 700 engaged users from Product Hunt. While that number does not seem to be super large, these users coming from Product Hunt proved to be very active and they actually used our service to create content instead of just checking us out. We also had useful comments on Product Hunt, which helped us to further improve our product.
Our PR efforts also proved to be very successful. Riddle got a great article on The Next Web (http://thenextweb.com/apps/2015/04/30/riddle-makes-it-easy-to-create-viral-lists-polls-and-commenticles-from-anything-on-the-web/), which continues to send good traffic to us.
We were also very happy (and a bit surprised) to hear that the fact that we made the Product Hunt top 10 helped to convince a large publishing house to give Riddle a try. They said that anyone getting featured in the Product Hunt top 10 is worth trying out as it is vetted by a very critical and knowledgeable community.
The comments we got on our booth at the Collision trade show were quite similar. Pretty much everyone was aware of Product Hunt and they all nodded in approval when we mentioned our top 10 placement.
Our goal was to win 1,000 new creators with our launch activities without spending anything on media buys and I am happy that we exceeded that goal.
My advice to fellow start ups. Go find someone with influence to submit your product to Product Hunt and combine the listing with highly targeted PR.
To find people with influence on Product Hunt, check out this tool: http://hunterlist.co/
Also, make sure to follow up on all comments on Product Hunt immediately, even if it means staying awake for 24 hours! Then follow up with anyone who upvoted you via Twitter. The best way to handle the following up part is to use Product Friends – another great tool that for a small fee lets you send out thank you tweets to everyone who upvoted your product.