After all 5 of my successful Product Hunt launches, I’ve recorded statistics: traffic, users, and long-term SEO effects.
Since I started putting my products on Product Hunt in 2019, I’ve kept these recordings in my personal marketing journal. Now, realizing they could bring a lot of value to other founders, marketers, and indie hackers, I think it would be cool to share them.
What you’ll get from this article:
- How much traffic a successful Product Hunt launch brings.
- How many users a successful Product Hunt launch brings.
- Long-term effects of a successful Product Hunt launch:
- Article and newsletter mentions.
- SEO effects.
- Word-of-mouth effects.
I confidently tell people Product Hunt is the best place to launch technology products and iterations. In this article, you’ll see why.
A quick explanation of how Product Hunt works
Product Hunt’s Featured page (its front page) updates every 24 hours at midnight PST. Being on the back page, the “New” page, is unlikely to have much of an effect on your business.
You want to be on the Featured page.
The best way to do this is to have a complete launch profile made. Product Hunt gives you a checklist as you’re submitting your launch. Make sure you check off everything.
All my launches had everything checked off. I go into each launch taking everything seriously because, as you will see, the effects of a good launch can make a business.
Once you’re on the featured page, you want to get a lot of votes from great people. The top-ranking products are ranked by votes. It’s a meritocracy, so do your best to have a great product and a great launch listing.
About my notes
I got most of my data from Google Analytics and in-app data.
My most recent notes are far more in-depth than the notes from my earlier launches. It took me a few launches to realize the value of taking scrupulous notes.
After each bulleted note section, I have a breakdown, written today, about the launch and the results that came throughout the months and years that followed.
My most recent launch - December 2, 2022 - Friday
I want to preface this by saying we accidentally launched on the same day as ChatGPT.
We were riding high, ranking #1 for the day up until the afternoon, when ChatGPT slightly surpassed us. Then it completely outpaced us.
We finished #2 for the day, second to one of the most transformative technology products of all time.
This was our second Product Hunt launch for our product, Commit Club. Our first launch, months prior, performed well but the product needed improvements. We made major iterations and then launched again on this date.
A bit more context: Commit Club is an app for doing daily challenges, so in addition to measuring user amounts, we wanted to see how many daily challenges were created.
Below are my notes from the launch day with extra information added over the following week:
- The second Commit Club Product Hunt launch.
- Wake up at launch time. Immediately #1 on Product Hunt.
- So exciting. We spend the first half of the day at #1 and then are overtaken by ChatGPT, launched today, from OpenAI. It’s the most impressive piece of technology I’ve seen in the last decade.
- We finish the day at #2.
- According to Google Analytics:
- Friday, day 1 (Launch): 570 visitors.
- Saturday, day 2: 181 visitors.
- Sunday, day 3: 94 visitors.
- Monday, day 4: 213 visitors.
- Tuesday, day 5: 224 visitors.
- Wednesday, day 6: 97 visitors.
- Thursday, day 7: 60 visitors.
- Total: 1,317 visitors (accounting for repeat visitors).
- App data for that week period (12/2 – 12/8)
- New users: 85
- Challenges attempted: 93
- Challenges completed: 1
- Conversion percent of visitor to user: 6.45%
- As a result of finishing #2 we:
- Appear in the coveted Product Hunt newsletter.
- Appear in ~7 blogs, some of which are domain specific.
Like other Product Hunt launches you will read about in this article, this launch had positive effects for months.
Commit Club was recently (February 2, 2023) mentioned in a major newsletter, and that newsletter continues to bring users to this day. Here’s a screenshot of the traffic.
The spike is the newsletter launch, and I think it’s unlikely we would have appeared in that newsletter had it not been for this launch.
Our SEO also increased, and since the launch we started ranking for some keywords we had been targeting for months.
Our Fintech First Users launch - June 21, 2022 - Friday
A fintech I’m advising has an SEO-heavy strategy and needed a way to boost search performance. It’s a known SEO tactic to have great content that attracts backlinks. The problem is most SEOs don’t know how to distribute said great content.
Well, if the content is turned into a product and is helpful for startup founders, it may perform well on Product Hunt.
This is exactly what happened with us.
This fintech spent months doing research to compile Fintech First Users: How 22 Fintech Startups Got Their First Users. We turned this into an information product and then gave it away for free using Product Hunt for distribution.
Here are my notes for the launch day and the following week:
- The Fintech First Users launch is going very well. We constantly have 10-14 visitors on the site. I see somebody in Antarctica on it. We’re ranking most of the day between positions 3-5.
- Day 1 (Launch): 826 unique visitors to the site.
- Day 2: 296 unique visitors to the site.
- Day 3: 268 unique visitors to the site.
- Day 4: 483 unique visitors to the site.
- Day 5: 379 unique visitors to the site.
- Day 6: 197 unique visitors to the site.
- Day 7: 106 unique visitors to the site.
In addition to direct visits, the launch boosts performance for many of our tracked keywords and increases our site’s Domain Authority.
As shown in that screenshot, there’s a clear uptick in search engine rankings after this Product Hunt launch.
This increase in rankings also comes with a large boost in traffic, and the fintech continues to receive product inquiries from organic search to this day.
The first Commit Club launch - June 21, 2022 - Tuesday
This was the first Commit Club Product Hunt launch. As I said earlier, we learned from this launch that we had a lot of work to do to improve the product.
With that said, we still performed decently on Product Hunt, I think because we put a lot of effort into the presentation of the product, because the idea is cool, and because I shared the launch adamantly on social media.
To understand my notes, a “Committer” is a user committing to a daily challenge in Commit Club. We also allow people to pledge money on their ability to follow through – so a money commitment is a far more dedicated user.
Below are my notes from the launch day with brief notes from the following weeks:
- Commit Club Product Hunt launch!
- 8 AM.
- I shared the launch on LinkedIn an hour ago. Friends, unprompted, then share it with all their LinkedIn followers – super nice, “Check out Commit Club – Edward Sturm’s latest incredible venture.”
- Post publicly on Facebook. I need everybody involved! By this point, I’ve sent to dozens of friends and acquaintances who I previously showed Commit Club to.
- 12 PM. We’re #6. I will need to share more.
- Stabilize at position #5. Finish the day at #5.
- The results:
- 286 unique visitors to the site.
- 86 unique visitors to the app.
- 10 new committers. 1 money committer.
- 7 new Twitter followers.
- 5 new Discord members.
- Visitors and followers continue for weeks after. Product Hunt is again proven as a worthwhile channel.
- 8 AM.
Despite being nowhere near as successful as the second iteration on December 2nd, at the time, I still viewed this launch as positive.
We got a lot of exposure and several users. Most importantly, we learned enough to make the second launch far more successful.
My second all-time launch - March 13, 2020 - Friday
This was a statistical product about the world at the time, and it related to working remotely – which our startup, Reverb, facilitates.
Being so relevant, we put Reverb in the footer of the site, hoping people would visit it.
Below are my notes for the launch day and the following days:
- The results:
- We finish at #9 for the day.
- According to Google Analytics, we receive 1,755 unique visitors for the day. The next day also receives many visitors.
- This site sends Reverb 481 new visitors for the day.
- Next day: 738 new unique visitors to the statistical product, which results in Reverb receiving 114 new users.
- Seven businesses reach out to try the Reverb beta just for this day. Businesses continue reaching out over the following days.
- One business, has 77,000 employees in 53 countries.
- An influencer reaches out publicly on Twitter. He has over 500,000 followers and 30+ employees. This gets other people noticing Reverb.
What’s especially interesting is despite finishing #9 for the day, we received far more traction than the more recent launches, in which we ranked dramatically higher.
I believe this is because the state of the world at the time had many more people on their computers.
Either way, as the notes show, this launch ended up bringing our startup a lot of traction.
My first launch - September 23, 2019 - Monday
Reverb, mentioned above, was originally launched under a different name, Speek.
Not long after, we changed the name and the brand to Reverb.
Speek did the same thing that Reverb does – it allowed people to record their voice in the cloud and share it anywhere with a link.
This Product Hunt launch was a transformative launch for us, as Reverb now has MRR and is acquiring new customers daily. I’ll discuss this more in the breakdown after the notes.
Below are my notes for the day and the following days:
- Speek Product Hunt launch!
- I had been thinking about this for weeks and was nervous.
- Launches on producthunt.com at midnight LA time.
- 90-minutes after launch, Speek hits #3 on the front page. Amazing. We end up finishing the day at #8.
- People from all around the world are using Speek. People are sharing. There are constantly 5+ people on the site, many of whom are desktop users.
- We get a standalone article in a very highly trafficked Spanish publication, lasexta.com, bringing us a lot of Spanish-speaking users.
- An influencer records a Speek and tweets it out to his 25,000 followers.
- We receive 590 unique visitors, up from 18 the previous day. The next day we receive 421.
This launch was tremendously successful for us. We had daily users and mentions in many niche education blogs.
This boosted our SEO domain authority, which I leveraged to get Reverb to a point where it was getting 32,000 unique visitors a month from SEO alone.
Over the years, with very little additional marketing, Reverb has had 1,000,000 users and even got a bit of funding.
Only a month and a half ago, on January 26, 2023, we put payment tiers into Reverb (something we should have done long ago), turning it from a free product into a freemium product.
Now we have 107 paying customers, and thousands of DAUs (senders and listeners). We’re also acquiring a few new customers each day. Yesterday we got six new customers. We charge on an MRR basis, so this is very exciting for us.
I went into Google Analytics just now to check statistics for this article, and this is what I saw:
If you’d like to see more results from Reverb, I tweet out MRR and Total Revenue statistics daily on this account: https://twitter.com/showprogress.
How to get results like this yourself - how to perform well on Product Hunt
This article wouldn’t be complete without a section explaining what I did to get these results, which I’m proud of and will eagerly seek out again.
It shouldn’t be surprising that performing well on Product Hunt is relatively straightforward.
Obviously, you want to have the best product you can have. However, since it’s always better to ship and iterate based on user feedback, you may not even know what the “best” product is. So in lieu of this, here’s what to do.
As I previously wrote, you’ll want to fill out your Product Hunt launch listing completely. Have the most vibrant pictures, the most intriguing tagline, and the warmest, most thoughtful introductory message you can have.
Do everything on the checklist. The only things not necessary are other links, additional makers, promo code, press, and you working on the product (you can always be the Product Hunter).
Then, prepare some launch lists.
What are launch lists? These are lists of people on different platforms who you will share your launch with. Create an email list, a list of LinkedIn URLs, and a list of Twitter handles.
Schedule the launch in advance. Message your lists the day before to warm them up and then again on the same day. You want to start the day with immediate visibility. Send the launch announcement a few minutes before midnight, at 11:58 PM PST. Send the follow up 16 hours later.
This is what we did for the three launches in 2022, and as you can see from the results, it worked very well.
Do you need to get somebody else to hunt your product?
Contrary to what all the guides say, you don’t need somebody else to “hunt” your product on Product Hunt.
I’m the perfect example.
All launches in this article had me as the Hunter and as one of the Makers.
If I can have multiple successful launches as both the Hunter and the Maker, you can too.
Product Hunt is the number one place to launch your technology product.
It’s filled with users, investors, journalists, and people who are all three!
If you make something people like, your life can change in a day with Product Hunt.
If you make something that doesn’t have dramatic product/market fit, you can still leverage your Product Hunt launch into something very big, or at the very least, a lifestyle business (depending on what you want).
Product Hunt is used daily by garage startups launching their MVPs, and by major corporations, like Tesla, launching their newest cars. It’s where ChatGPT launched to the world (beating our startup), and it’s where many other revolutionary pieces of tech get their start.
It’s completely worth the time and effort, and I hope this article demonstrates why.
If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with a friend! Most writers ask for a coffee, but for me, the attention is my caffeine.
Finally, do you have any thoughts or experiences of your own? Please share them in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.