Getting your app, website, or other tech product featured on the front page of Product Hunt can open many doors. Investors watch the site, sussing out potential prospects. Influential users visit the site daily to discover new, innovative products for their fields of expertise. And, of course, creators watch and use the site to create success, revenue, and, in some cases, fame. If you're one of the latter, you'll want to read on.
The most up-voted product of all time, Startup Stash, went on to be acquired by a marketing agency, leaving creator Bram Kanstein with both a nice exit and a boosted reputation as a growth leader. While being featured on Product Hunt doesn't guarantee success, it certainly brings you closer to your goals.
For this report we took a look at an entire month's worth of top-five daily picks on Product Hunt in order to help creators get closer to finding success on the platform. We crunched vote numbers, comments, topic trends, and even product name commonalities in order to bring you five things you should probably consider when your product is ready to get hunted on Product Hunt.
That's the data. Here's what we found:
1. Choose your topics wisely
We're not saying you should predict the future, but you need to be aware of trending topics in order to give your product a better chance at being seen on the front page of Product Hunt. We looked at topic trends on Product Hunt for hundreds of thousands of products, and we've seen things like Bitcoin, Smart Home Apps, and even Photoshop come and go, replaced by hotter topics.
When hunting a product, hunters can choose many topics, but the most-upvoted products keep their topics to no more than four, and 2-3 on average. Of the most-upvoted products in April, "Productivity" was the most common, followed by Tech. If those sound super general and uninteresting, Product Hunt users agree with you.
That's because in April, the more specific and uncommon the topic a product was tagged to, the better chance it had to take off. In fact, the least-common tags showed more average upvotes than the more common ones.
So while it may be tempting to hop on the productivity train because you see so many products in that space, the law of scarcity may apply here: find your niche, and hit it hard.
2. Surprise: Don't worry too much about your product title
In April, Notion Template Gallery was the most up-voted product with (as of publishing) 2,445 updates. The name tells us a lot about what works: it's a tool for an already popular productivity product, Notion. But wait - the second-most upvoted product with 1,882 upvotes was called Jumbo. Jumbo is a privacy app. While the name itself doesn't evoke much meaning, its description does. It's a "single app for all your privacy needs". The key for Jumbo, then, is its trending topic (see above) and the fact that it was featured by both The Verge and TechCrunch.
When correlating the number of upvotes a product got in April to the length of its title, there was virtually no statistically significant evidence to prove that any linear relationship exists. As you can see in the scatter plot above, successful product names were all over the place in terms of length.
So, yes, if you can get your product featured by two of the most influential tech blogs on the internet, you'll probably do well on Product Hunt.
3. Comments on your product are the key to success, so get involved
Making a great product is the most important factor here, of course. Without that, none of this matters. Of second importance when it comes to Product Hunt is getting your product to the front page. But once your product is seeing some action on Product Hunt, the most important indicator of your success is the number of comments your product gets.
When we number-crunched hundreds of April's top products to uncover the key to their success (that is, how many upvotes and comments they get), we found an extremely high correlation between the number of comments a product gets to the number of upvotes it gets. In April alone, for instance, for every single additional comment a product got on its Product Hunt page, its number of upvotes increased by an average of 12.64. This correlation is so high that our researchers tell us the correlation's default confidence level is a near-perfect 95%.
Sure, the number of comments is going to increase with the more upvotes and activity a product gets, and vice versa. But, as a creator, you own the conversation on your product's page. Get in there and be active.
4. If you're not on the front within a week, chances are it'll never happen
As the saying goes, timing is everything. Product Hunt is no different.
Of all the daily top-five products in April, 50 were featured the same day that they were initially published. Sixty-five were featured within one day of being published. But beyond one day after initial submission, the likelihood that a product will make the front page rapidly drops. This trend continues to decline until we see that virtually no products were featured more than 9 days after they were initially published.
This means a couple things: first, before you submit your product (whether you're doing it yourself or it's being hunted by someone else), make sure you dot all of your i's and cross your t's. It's obvious, but it is important to have all of your info lined up for the submission: name the product creators, write out an easy-to-read description, and have a website ready to go. In short, make sure it looks legit. Be authentic. Read this blog post from 2017: https://blog.producthunt.com/how-to-launch-on-product-hunt-7c1843e06399
That all aside, just hope and pray. And as the data shows, if you're not voted to the front page within a few days, chances are it's not going to happen.
However — and this is a big however — don't give up hope if your product isn't upvoted to the front page within a day. That's because, according to data from April, one product — Big Think Edge — got 1,634 upvotes on its fourth day of existence.
So, in other words, the best time to put some marketing and promotion around your product on this website was on its first day. The second best time is right now.