How to land early adopters with Product Hunt

Product Hunt is a great platform for getting early adopters to sample your product, and it’s at least 20x more effective than getting a HackerNews or TechCrunch story today — and 200x more effective than getting on legacy sites like TechMeme.

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Getting the first 100, 500 or 1,000 people to engage your product is hard, so it’s certainly an awesome resource if you follow some simple best practices:

  1. Only launch when you have a clever product that can get to the top 10. If you don’t have a product that’s as good as the top 10 over the past week, it’s best to focus on refining your product — because you only get one shot to put your product up (or one shot for a major version).
  2. Like the iTunes store, your graphics matter, so make sure you have killer screenshots.
  3. You’re not supposed to ask for votes, but everyone does. So, instead of asking for votes, make a list of your top 50 or 100 customers, friends and investors and ask them at 7am and again at 10am to “check us out on Product Hunt.”
  4. Respond to every comment people make.
  5. Credit all the people who worked on your product.

Product Hunt can be a nice bump for a product, and it’s certainly more effective than TechCrunch or Mashable articles these days, but it won’t make a crappy product awesome — only you can do that.

If you get to the top 10 and gain 1,000 new users and 20% of them stick around, it’s 200 early adopters engaged with your product — not bad for what I would say is 10 hours of planning/work. At $40 an hour you spent $400 to get 200 early adopters — $2 each. The value of those new users would typically be $3 per install on Facebook, so $3,000 for the 1,000 users to sample your product, and if 200 stick around that’s $15 to acquire each early adopter.

If you’re a SaaS product or Clash of Clans, $15-50 works for each early adopter. If you’re a dating, photography or news app, you’re going to quickly run out of cash if you try to pay for users (there are better methods).

Product Hunt is a wonderful new resource and I think it’s worth investing your time in because a) you can learn what a great product is by studying the top 10 and b) you can acquire passionate early adopters.

I wish I had gotten a chance to be an angel in Product Hunt — it has a very bright future.

Questions:

  1. What are your best tips for Product Hunt launches?
  2. What are your favorite sites to launch on?
  3. Any other tips on getting your first 100 passionate users?

best @jason

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