Our ProductHunt Launch by the Numbers

February 05, 2018

Last Wednesday, we launched on ProductHunt. As expected, it resulted in a pretty large uptick of traffic and signups, but just how impactful was it?

Let’s break it down.

Launch Circumstances

To set this up, let’s cover how we launched, and the circumstances around it, so as to properly contextualize everything.

The basics are this: we posted to ProductHunt around 7:00 am EST, on Wednesday, January 31st. That same day, I (Justin) pitched at One Million Cups in St. Petersburg, FL. We thought that coinciding our launch on PH with a One Million Cups pitch would help to concentrate the efforts a bit. Plus, the crowd at 1MC tends to be filled with folks that lurk on ProductHunt to begin with, helping us to scoop up some additional traction.

I did that pitch at 9:00am that morning.

Now, the day before our launch, I hit up my social networks with a warning shot:

product hunt warning

The idea here was to get people primed to look for the announcement the following day, so it would be expected, and hopefully get more traction.

Here’s where I made a big mistake. I didn’t put the date in the tweet, I only said “tomorrow”.

Why is this a big deal? Because people started retweeting that tweet the next day, making “tomorrow” the day after our launch.

Did that have an impact? I’m unsure, but it wasn’t ideal.

Getting the Word Out

When we launched the morning of the 31st, we hit our networks, and our email list pretty hard:

product hunt annoucement

product hunt email

This was a fairly coordinated effort, with us spacing this out throughout the day in order to keep steady pressure and reach different folks at different times.

The Numbers

So, how did we do?

TL;DR:

  • 154 Upvotes (as of Monday, February 5th)
  • 50 new signups
  • 603 site visits on the day of launch

A few screencaps from Google Analytics to show the effect that PH had:

weekly audience

Here’s the jump in site visits, as expected. Here’s a glance at the traffic for the previous week, for comparison:

previous week

As you can see, we averaged around 60 or so sessions a day in the week leading up to the launch, and post-launch, we’re still seeing north of 100 sessions/day.

How about some other key metrics?

One of the things we track at CrowdSync are the number of signup “events” that happen every day. We’re very specific with how to measure our conversion funnel, and knowing how many people click a signup button or link somewhere helps us to understand and optimize that funnel.

For the two weeks leading up to the ProductHunt launch, the clickthrough rate for signup (meaning, the percentage of site visitors who clicked a signup button somewhere) was as follows:

  • Jan 15 - Jan 21: 8.07%
  • Jan 22 - Jan 28: 5.30%
  • Jan 29 - Feb 4: 7.23%

As you can tell, no real material difference here in terms of clickthrough rate. It’s up from the previous week by a couple points, but down from two weeks prior. I’d chalk that up to a fairly normal variation, so it doesn’t appear that the ProductHunt audience is any more or less likely to sign up than our general traffic channels.

However, where there was a difference, is in actual signups after someone clicked “signup”.

Sound weird? Here’s what I mean: when someone clicks a signup button on our site, they’re taken to a signup page for the app.

Not everything completes the signup process.

In fact, a surprisingly low amount do. Two weeks prior to the ProductHunt launch, only 17.86% of people who clicked signup actually became registered users. The week prior, that number had climbed to 30.43%, and the week of the launch, had nearly doubled again to 53.76%.

There are a few factors at play here, including ongoing modifications that we made to the signup page in order to improve this metric, but it’s also clear that the ProductHunt audience seems to have more actual signup intent than our other channels.

Why is this? My theory at the moment is that A) the ProductHunt audience is a more engaged audience that’s likely to try new things (there’s some selection bias, due to being on a site like ProductHunt to begin with), and B) with ProductHunt, we have more of a chance to fully explain the value proposition, giving visitors stronger intent to signup, making them more likely to complete that process.

The Afterglow

An interesting part of the ProductHunt launch is the afterglow, which we weren’t totally expecting.

At the end of the day on January 31st, the day we launched, we were sitting at 113 upvotes.

The next morning, that number had risen to 131, and as of today, has risen still, to 154 upvotes.

It’s hard to say how long this afterglow will last, but clearly, the launch day itself isn’t the full story. Over 25% of our total votes came after the day we launched.

Our traffic and signups also tell the same story:

traffic over two weeks

events over two weeks

Clearly, the effect of the launch lingers past the initial launch day. How long? We’re still unsure, but we continue to see increased rates of both visits, and signups (through a weekend, mind you), so an afterglow of up to a week might be reasonable.

Overall Thoughts

In general, as expected, ProductHunt was a good experience for us. It drove traffic, drove signups, and provided us some great feedback from users. It’s a bit early yet to determine what the end result will be in terms of total impact, but clearly, it helped.

Got a ProductHunt launch story of your own? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

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