It was a morning like any other, when the Blitzen team got up,
Then they checked their phones and saw that Product Hunt had struck.
Realizing quickly, the storm that was about to come to pass,
Everyone jumped out of bed and got to the office in a flash.
We had the good fortune of getting featured on Product Hunt last week, and the outcome was pretty amazing. We made it onto the front page and ended up in the Top Ten for the day alongside companies like Uber, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This got us a ton of positive results including:
- An 80% increase in trial customers (well over a month’s worth of growth)
- 2,670 visits to our website (close to the most we’ve ever had in 24hrs)
- 2K twitter impressions (5x greater than the normal number)
- Getting featured in a blog post ranking us a Top 3 Lead Gen Tool
However, this wasn’t our first rodeo. Blitzen was hunted back in February 2015 while we were still in stealth mode. At the time, my cofounder and I were walking around SF in SOMA, when we suddenly got caught with our pants down…
We got an email from our marketing manager telling us that signups were going parabolic, so we grabbed a table over at The Creamery and started frantically scouring the web for the source of the sudden influx of inbounds.
Had we been featured on TechCrunch? Did someone famous just tweet about us? No, we’d been posted on Product Hunt and WE WEREN’T READY.
Although we got over 100 signups that day the problem was because we weren’t prepared, we didn’t do a great job sharing the news with our network, and engaging with the people leaving comments, which meant we only got 26 upvotes 🙁
To make matters worse, because we were operating in stealth mode with our product still under construction, instead of getting access to the product, all of our signups were just being put onto a waiting list for when we actually launch.
Although we were grateful for getting hunted, to us it felt like a missed opportunity, and one that we wouldn’t get a second shot at…or so we thought (wink wink).
Although we weren’t ready to get hunted, we didn’t want to waste the chance we’d be given so we turned our attention to the 100+ signups and engaged in customer discovery with them, while doubling down on our product development.
After working our collective ass off over the summer, we were ready to launch Blitzen 2.0 at the Dublin Web Summit. Once that went off without a hitch, we thought it might be good time to give Product Hunt another shot.
Having had the good fortune of being mentored previously by veteran hunter Hiten Shah, we thought he might be the right guy to ask, and he was. Hiten generously agreed to help get Blitzen 2.0 hunted and this time, we’d be ready for it.
We learned from our first go-round that we had to be prepared, and with the launch of our product alongside our newly redesigned website, we were more confident then ever that this Product Hunt would have the impact we were hoping for.
We prepped a plan in advanced including a schedule of tweets and a list of different groups to reach out to. In the end, we came to a halt at 260 upvotes, which was 10x more than our first time! The Blitzen-Product Hunt redux was a success!!!
We’ve put together a few tips for anyone that’s looking to get the most out of their Product Hunt feature. It’s mostly common sense, but still important to remember:
Be prepared – Prepare a worksheet of social media posts and plan a storm of tweets before it’s too late. Have content ready to pump out right away to keep the conversation going all day and be conscious of users in different time zones.
Don’t be a robot – It’s important for other users who come to the page to see that you’re interacting with the people making comments and upvoting. Always respond to comments and if the opportunity is right, connect on LinkedIn.
No direct links – It’s a bad idea to post direct links to your profile. While this can help you get upvotes quicker, the PH algo will actually push you down the list. If you’re going to ask for help from your network, just send them a link to the home page and something like this to help them find you:
Expect some pushback – Not everyone is going to agree that your product is awesome! Some will make negative comments, but don’t take this personally. Respond by asking them for their feedback and address the criticism. This is good PR!
Engage a veteran hunter – If you can, engage with an influencer on Product Hunt and see if they’d be willing to post you. This will help you get the visibility you’ll need to get more votes and into the top ten.
So moral of the story, even if you get hunted and you aren’t ready, in the timeless words of Douglas Adams: Don’t Panic. There’s tons of good that can come from a Product Hunt feature, even if you aren’t prepared. It also doesn’t have to be your one and only shot. If you make big improvements to your product or release a killer new feature, it is possible to get reduxed, just like we did. Once you do get posted, make sure you maintain the relationships and awareness around your brand. Leverage the people you meet and the connections you make to allow the success to be continued even after you stop getting traffic from Product Hunt!
Find out more about what we do at: http://blitzen.com