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May 29, 2024

Our Product Hunt Launch Experience

Simona shares the events leading to CANVID’s successful Product Hunt launch!

Will it fly or will it sink? We couldn’t have asked ourselves this question, because failure was never an option! CANVID just had to spread its wings and learn to fly.
Yes, I know it sounds like a cheesy song. So let’s cut to the chase. 

The Preparation

We started working on our Product Hunt launch plan in November 2023. 6 months before the actual launch. Was such a long process intended? Absolutely not!

Our initial plan was to release CANVID in January 2024, so the idea was to have 8-10 weeks of preparations.

I got a hold of a Product Hunt launch playbook from one of my good friends, Erdem Galal - CEO, Flowla. They had the most perfect launch in November 2023 (1st Product of the Day, Week and Month). It doesn’t get better than that, so there can’t be a better playbook to work from. I was super excited and got into the zone right away.

The advice was very clear and simple. Get active and proactive!

I personally became a very involved Product Hunt community member. Started engaging with other makers and supported their launches (231 and counting). I followed, reached out and connected with top hunters on LinkedIn as well as PH.

This was super important, because LinkedIn allows direct messaging while Product Hunt doesn’t. Why did that matter? 

It offered the best way to communicate in real time and get feedback from our potential customers and launch supporters prior, during and after the launch. 

Other team members became very active on Reddit, Discord and other social platforms.  

We joined various groups and communities with one goal. To spread the word about CANVID! 

We wrote , read and engaged in community discussions on a regular basis. That was our best chance to get noticed, recognised and respected by other community members. It gave us an opportunity to talk about what we’re working on and to present our unique point of view. 

When you share valuable insights, help and support others, they will do the same for you! 

We had to build a list of allies.

Product Hunt in particular has a very close knit community, so once you’re in - you’re in!

It doesn't happen overnight though. You’ve got to stay consistent, genuinely engaged, curious and present! No bots! 

There was a period of time just a couple of months ago when Product Hunt was full of fake accounts. Bots and AI generated comments were making us and other community members super irritated. It was so obvious, repetitive, irrelevant and simply annoying. Thankfully PH cracked down on it by removing fake accounts, and I personally don’t notice it as much anymore. 

So my first piece of advice to you is this - be human! 

Apart from engaging with other makers and hunters on Product Hunt, one very important task we had was to create our “coming soon” or so called product teaser page. We got to do it three months before the actual launch date which was a huge advantage. Product Hunt only allows you to set a launch date one month in advance, but because we had to postpone the release date multiple times it gave us more time to grow our follower list. 

Your product page follower count matters! Why? Because those people will automatically get notified once your product goes live. 

Please don’t assume that hunters will just go and start following your product though! 

It does happen and I personally follow certain product launches that I am really interested in, but if you want to have a large enough follower count you’ve got to go and get it yourself.

How? Prepare your page with some nice and engaging assets and a good overview of what your product is and why it’s special. 

Make an announcement that your upcoming product page is now live, share the link to it on every platform and with every potential customer or supporter you can think of, and ask them to hit that notify button. 

Remember, you don’t ask, you don’t get! 

Then, make a list of all the people you contacted and got a response from so you can reach out to them again on the launch day! Don’t assume that just because they get notified by Product Hunt they will see it or remember to check out your launch. You need to be proactive and send out the reminders personally too. 

We ended up generating a list of close to 1000 people who joined the waitlist via our website and Product Hunt. Was it enough though?

The 24-hour launch

We picked the most competitive day of the week for our launch and got ready to battle.

Once the clock struck 12.01am PST on Wednesday the 22nd May 2024, all the preparation and planning came to a 24 hour race to the finish line. 

CANVID got featured by Product Hunt right away and we were off to a very strong start. 

Within the first 4 hours we accumulated over 130 votes and 53 comments. We ranked #3 and weren’t too fazed about competition. We seemed to have plenty of support and encouragement. There was lots of buzz around our product on social media, and my personal LinkedIn inbox was inundated with connection requests and messages. 

Many of them offered promotional services. X number of upvotes for x number of dollars. 

Yes, there seems to be plenty of so-called influencers and fully dedicated marketing teams providing launch day support services. 

“No paid services required, thank you  “ was my response. We were aiming high and I was confident that our product speaks louder than any marketer or influencer.

 However, 16 hours in we got overtaken by another product and I seriously started to doubt my decision making. Even though we already had 300 votes, at that stage it was not enough to safely lock in the podium. Nonetheless we kept pushing through and put all our hope on the US based supporters. To finish in the Top 5 was our new goal. 

Managing different time zones is one of the most difficult things to do on the launch day. There needs to be a lot of planning and knowledge who to reach out to and when. But even at that you are never guaranteed that people will see your message and get to check out your launch before the competition time is up.

Thankfully the final 7 hours gave us the much needed additional 145 votes, and that was just enough to secure the #4 of the Day spot. 

A huge sigh of relief and an overwhelming amount of positive vibes. We did it!

The Aftermath

CANVID's accolades in Product Hunt

No matter the placing, what really matters is the engagement our product got on the launch day and the days after. Let me share some numbers with you.

As of today CANVID has close to 500 upvotes, 156 comments, 1000+ website visits, and a lot of valuable feedback and encouragement to keep doing what we’re doing.

We got featured in Product Hunt’s newsletter twice:

We received a number of partnership & collaboration requests, demo requests, 5 star reviews… But most importantly we’ve put CANVID into the hands of many, now very happy Windows users! 

Thanks to all who helped us fly high on our launch day! And thanks to all who are helping us make screen recording fun and classy. Onwards and upwards!