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This step by step guide will tell you how to pull off a successful…

August 4, 2017

2019 update:

We launched Poptin 2.0 on September 24th and we finished #1 on Product hunt 🔥

https://www.producthunt.com/posts/poptin-2-0

We used the same strategy and techniques as described below.

The original post:

Oh man, that was a crazy day..(and super fun 😎). I’m going to tell you all about it, and what your pre-launch checklist has to include so you can have a successful product launch.

I will start from the end. After 30+ straight hours of working, typing and making sure everyone in our reachable circles knew about Poptin, even Gal’s keyboard got tired.

Keyboard
Gal’s broken keyboard

Lead capture platforms and other conversion rate tools usually don’t do so well on Product Hunt. 95% of our competitors finished with less than 400 upvotes. Our type of business is not one of the best viral topics, I must say.

A week before the launch a colleague told us:

“You’ll be fine as long as Google, Amazon , Facebook, Apple or Elon Mask won’t launch a product the same day as you do.”.

So guess what? TWO Google products were hunted the same day. plus another Amazon product. C’mon.. really? 🙀

Despite the above challenges, we finished #3 on Product Hunt, with the 2nd most upvotes.

PH

Ok, Let’s get started. I divided this post into 3 parts:

👉 The preparations – all the things we did before the launch day
👉 The launch day – what happened that day minute-by-minute and how we kept the momentum
👉 The results & lessons – number of sing-ups, website visitors and other KPI’s

For dessert, I’ll tell you what our plans are for the near future.

Before we get into the details, if you don’t know how Product Hunt works, what “maker” or “hunter” means or if you read a few articles (which probably contain some myth methods), I recommend you start with this one written by the Product Hunt team themselves. Oh yeah, here is a cool tool to keep track of the trending upvotes live.

The preparations

Launching on Product Hunt isn’t something you can be ready for in 2 or 3 days. We started our preparations over a month before the launch day. The preparations were in 3 main areas: development, creative and marketing..

Development

This part took probably over a month as there was a lot to be done. We launched the Hebrew version at the end of February and we needed to translate the whole interface, error messages, emails and so forth. The translation was the easy part. There were a lot of developing challenges to match the global standard and little things that were not always obvious to think about, like adding popular English fonts, adding more common 3rd party integrations, changing the format of dates and time display in the UI and more.

To keep track of our development tasks we used Trello. We created a board called Launch and there we put all the ‘MUST BE DONE BEFORE LAUNCH’ tasks and focused soley on them (and on critical bugs if there were any). Things like improving the editor, fixing little but annoying bugs, improving and bringing back the drag & drop interface, and launching our clever autopilot trigger. Dani, our lead developer, managed to complete it all on time 💪

We also upgraded our AWS servers (where the app is hosted) and Upress servers (where the front website is hosted) in advance, to be ready to handle a high volume of traffic.

Along the way we got some awesome scaling consulting from Adam Lev-Libfeld, and had some experienced front-end developers have a look at our drag and drop interface and the front website.

This part is way different for every startup, so I attached a to-do list for the next parts. We managed the following parts in a Google spreadsheet that was accessible to all the team members on Google Drive.

Creative

I’ve got to say that the creative was the fun part. Avi, our creative manager, was in charge of it and he did a great job with a little help of our remote artist for special occasions. What needed to be done was:

Creative checklist:

TaskDeadline
Facebook page and our profiles’ cover

 

cover(3)

 
Twitter page and our profiles’ cover 
Linkedin page and our profiles’ cover 
Facebook square profile videos

 

  Product Hunt branded cover

poptin office

  Gif PH launch for Facebook groups

poptin-producthunt-final

  Give feedback poptin floating bar

ph feedback

  Discount PH poptin floating bar

PH coupon

  Posters for the office

poster a3 2
poster a3

  ‘We were hunted’ video

  Product Hunt submission kit
(thumbnail, 3-4 images, main video, demo video, fixing main video)

Examples of poptins
poptin list overview
poptin list
poptin product hunt page

  3 dressed mascots for the pre-launch blog post
(English version, autopilot trigger, drag and drop release)

English-drag-and-drop-autopilot-723x334

  Pre launch posts for all the social networks

launching tomorrow

  Thank you GIF (which we created at 03:00AM)

IMG_20170719_004415(2)

  Facebook remarketing ads   Google remarketing ads

1

  Facebook preview link share image

poptin-share-en

Marketing

Gal and I were in charge of marketing. This type of job never ends. It was a combination of bizdev, content, micro-copy, support, advertising and creative. Since we were waiting for this moment from the start of our adventure, we were highly motivated to do everything possible to make this launch the best we could. I want to share our to-do list with you:

TaskDeadline
SEO for “poptin” – to be ranked at the top 1st page on Google 
Make sure Facebook + google remarketing pixels are in place 
Set up events in Google Analytics and cross-domain connection 
Go over the copy on the front page 
Write a blog post about our differentiation from the competitors 
Set up auto message to Product Hunt users
on intercom (with the discount)
 
Write 2-3 blog posts to be shared on the launch day 
Join relevant Facebook groups and make a list of them 
Join relevant Slack groups 
Make connections with Makers from PH 
Build the ‘give feedback’ and ‘PH discount’ bars in Poptin app. 
Install Smartlook (heatmaps and session recordings) 
Open accounts on Brand24 and Mention for social brand monitoring 
Build a Google Adwords campaign around Poptin brand 
Write the maker’s comment for PH in advance 
Send an mail to our user base and mailing list about the upcoming launch 
Create some pre-buzz with personal touching social networks posts
(and tell everyone around you about it)
 
Make a list of more websites where you can share your startup besides PH 
Hunt you hunter (Huh? yeah you read it right. Make sure you secure a hunter to be on your side at least 2 weeks before your big day). BTW, you can hunt your own product and you’ll probably be OK too. 
  

 

Other stuff

TaskDeadline
PREPARE YOUR FAMILY AND TELL THEM YOU ARE GOING TO BE SUPER BUSY THIS MONTH 
Branded t-shirts

 

tshirts

 
Create a happy and fun launch music playlist 
Buying food, alcohol and a lot of coffee and energy drinks

 

IMG_20170717_15230633(1)

 
Make a spreadsheet for all the things you need to do on the launch day in chronological order 

Launch day

The time difference between Israel and the east coast is 10 hours. When it was midnight there, it was 10AM here. Because of that, we planned to stay awake in the office from 10AM to 10AM of the next day.

So how does a launch day look like? The following schedule is written according to Israel time.

The day before: we shared the New Features blog post on social media, invited our friends to like the Poptin Facebook page, submitted a blog post to Zest, and went to bed early.

The launch day:

06:30AM – we woke up. This day we skipped the gym so we wouldn’t be exhausted later.

07:15AM – took the train to our Tel-Aviv office.

08:20AM – got there.

08:25AM – put the posters on the windows.

08:30AM – coffee, cleaned the tables (we need room for the snacks 😋), and made sure no one will bother us with not important stuff.

08:45AM – Activated the Google Adwords campaign we made around the “Poptin” brand. I made a Facebook story which I’ve never done before.

09:00AM – Avi and Dani came and got settled in their work stations.

09:30AM – Activated the floating bars on poptin.com. One for the visitors who would come from Product Hunt (with the discount) and one for all the others.

10:20AM – We were live on Product Hunt! Thanks to Ben Lang 🙂

10:25AM – We changed our Facebook profile pic to a cool video and also replaced the cover

10:30AM –Wrote posts on all of our social media profiles saying we were live on PH.

10:40AM – Sent an email to our users and to those who subscribed to our newsletter.

10:45AM – Posted on Product Hunt Israel.

10:50AM – Posted on WeWork members network.

11:00AM – AJ Segal released a Quora post about Poptin

11:10AM – Friends and colleagues started to share it on the Facebook wall and a few Facebook groups’ managers (who also use Poptin) shared it on their groups.

11:30AM – Posted on more Facebook groups like: SasS Growth Hacks, SaaS Product & Marketing, Product Hunt, SaaS Mantra and more.

We got featured pretty fast, I think it was within the first 45 minutes after we were hunted. In the beginning of the day, “Book like a boss“, that was hunted by Noah Kagan, lead the scoring board for a couple of hours. We gave it our all and were chasing their tail until we got our momentum and climbed above them. Then Hire (by Google) and Google Glasses (for Enterprise) were hunted and quickly rose to the top four.

11:40AM – Posted a blog post on DesignerNews.

12:00AM – We got a present form our wives.❤️

fruits

13:00PM – Got our 100 upvotes, and we share the news on social media

100upvotes

13:30PM – Lunch time!

sushi

17:00PM – We passed 300 upvotes
300upvotes

17:10PM – Posted on Slack groups. You can find some great ones here (especially the one called #Launch)
20:00PM – We passed 500 upvotes
500upvotes

22:00PM – Pizza time!

pizza

Midnight: We called it “injury time”. We thought that we would be super busy at this time with chat support and stuff, but actually it was pretty quiet. We used this time to get more distribution and submitted Poptin on more websites from this list.

At this point Avi and Dani went to sleep on the couches.

07:00AM (of the next day) – We were squeezing every connection we had and we got a nice momentum in the last 2 hours of the day.

10:00AM – OK. Done. Poptin and all the other products moved to the ‘yesterday’ table and we were ready to go home.

The results

This is how it ended (2 days later):

PH board

We also got into Product Hunt newsletter the day after 🙂
Let me give you some numbers (July 18th – July 20th)

Upvotes: 562
Comments: 100+
New sign-ups: 170 (70% from Product Hunt).
66 on the first day, 67 on the second day, 37 on the third day.
New poptins created: 87
New paid subscriptions: 3 (most of our paying users purchase a subscription plan within 2-4 weeks)
Visitors from Product Hunt: 2492
Dozens of new connections
We’ve been invited to 4 interviews/podcasts/lectures.
Strengthen our brand in our community.
We’ve been asked for more integrations and partnerships,
and got noticed by some really big brands 🙂

KPIs

To summarize, I’d say that these are my top 5 tips for a good product launch on PH:

  1. Make a checklist like I described above in this post with all the tasks you must complete before launching the product and make your team ready for the big day (development, marketing, sales, support, creative etc).
  2. Prepare all the PH media kit (video, screenshots, GIF’s etc) in advance, including the tagline, topics and the maker comment. Also make sure your landing page is well-designed and ‘dressed’ for the big day and offer a special discount. You can use Poptin to do so 🙂ph coupon homepage
  3. Connect with a lot of makers and people from PH community a month before you launch your own product.
  4. Be responsive and check your PH page every 10-15 minutes and comment when needed.
  5. There is no better strategy than a good product. If the community will love the product itself, it will promote itself organically and this is the strongest thing. Remember that your launch doesn’t end when the ‘race’ is finished. Top 5 products will be shown in the PH daily newsletter and you can get a lot of traffic from there. Take advantage of the momentum and keep growing your business from this point on.

Remember that your launch doesn’t end when the ‘race’ is finished. Top 5 products will be shown in the PH daily newsletter and you can get a lot of traffic from there. Take advantage of the momentum and keep growing your business from this point on.What’s next for us?

What’s next for us?

We are focusing now on:

  1. Adding more triggers and templates
  2. Adding more integrations like Zapier, Aweber and more
  3. As requested, we are adding bigger paid plans (with more views)
  4. Designing the next tool in Poptin that will help digital marketers improve their website conversion rate, and get us one step closer to make Poptin All-In-One CRO platform.

Good luck! If you have any questions feel free to PM me or Gal 🙂

Highly dedicated entrepreneur, co-founder of Poptin and Ecpm Digital Marketing. Nine years of experience in the digital marketing field and internet project management. Graduated with an Economics degree from Tel Aviv University. A big fan of A/B testing, SEO and PPC campaigns' optimization, CRO, growth hacking and numbers. Always loves testing new advertising strategies and tools, and analyzing the latest start-up companies.