Product Hunt – Here’s what we learned!

Hi everyone!

I said I’d drop back in after our Product Hunt launch with a progress report, hoping that it might help some of you when pursuing your own.

So, on the 21st April, at 7 am (GMT) we launched VAYU on Product Hunt.

VAYU is an end-to-end data platform. It enables people to prepare, analyse and visualise data, then save their workflows as templates or share them as reports.

It requires absolutely zero coding experience. No knowledge of Python, R or what have you. It’s easy to use. Most of the functionality is intuitive; drag and drop querying, basic commands and one-click visualisations.

(By the way, if you're interested, you can still sign-up for free!)

It is of value for many sectors and many job functions, so we had a job on our hands communicating that as succinctly as possible on Product Hunt to a variety of different people.

Here's what we did. Feel free to ask questions below and I'll do my best to answer them.

  • We created a product demo video, some straight-to-the-point images and an animated gif for our icon. We used a handy site called Preview Hunt (https://previewhunt.com/) to see how it might look when put together.
  • To stay organised before launch we had daily meetings for the week leading up to it with everyone involved.
  • In the lead-up, we posted in groups like this one. Reddit, Quora, Slack channels, LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups. Just to make people aware that it was on the horizon, so we could revisit on the day and remind people.
  • We got a hunter late on. Bad move. Should've taken that more seriously instead of waiting for the "perfect" hunter. Anyone with an established audience is better than no-one!
  • On the day, we sent out tailored email campaigns to our segmented audiences.
  • We had a conference call running all day and night. When we needed to we could drop in to communicate with the rest of the team and coordinate.
  • We constantly monitored the site traffic/behaviour and made amendments to our website to improve the user experience/flow when needed.
  • We posted on social media with regularity, when we hit milestones or wanted to drive some further attention toward our PH page.
  • Our founders posted into their own extensive networks to drive traffic to the page.
  • The investors got involved, leaving comments of support, sharing our updates, etc.
  • We had an incentive, three months of the paid tier for free if you signed up on the day.
  • We planned the day, and our marketing activities, around the times our audiences would be awake. Keep that in mind, at a certain point in time the US would be waking up so try to capture their attention.
  • By the following day, one-third of our users had come from Product Hunt. In terms of user acquisition, we were very happy to see many people come on board and find new and interesting ways to use VAYU.

At the end of the day, it was all an experiment. We took what we could from other companies who had used PH but had to adapt as we went to suit our team, budget and needs.

We knew what we wanted to get from it, and we achieved it.

Could we have done better? Yes! But you live, you learn.

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TLDR: Plan. Communicate. Get a hunter early. Others will buy upvotes, so don’t worry if you don’t finish high up the rankings. Just take what you can from it, learn your lessons and adapt. Be aware that it is an international community. Users from India will not be online at the same time as the US.

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Side note:

We noticed a pattern emerging with a few of the products above us in the popularity rankings. They were definitely using upvote bots. It was actually rather farcical, and plainly obvious.

MelissaHughes1, MelissaHughes2 and MelissaHughes3 all upvoted the same products, had the same amount of followers (0), followed the same topic, and had eerily similar names…Reverse image search on some returned a “fake user profile generator” site.

Apparently, the PH algorithm penalises you for a number of unknown factors to do with upvotes, comments etc. Yet these products were flying high above us for most of the day. Some even finished above us.

Because we were playing by the rules we weren’t going to finish high up. Instead, we took heart in the fact that we didn’t have to employ tactics like that to stand out, and we still finished the day with a respectable amount of upvotes. We took what we needed from this launch, and came away proud of our outing on the site.

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