Product Hunt Professional Launch Checklist

Product Hunt Professional Launch Checklist: a basic guide to plan out a successful launch

After helping multiple products successfully launch (and achieving 4x #1 Product of the Day and 1x Golden Kitty Award), we decided it’s time to help others.

We learned a lot during those launches, and looking back we’d definitely do some things differently.

So here’s the no B.S. guide that will teach you how to successfully launch AND get actual results.

We also talk about things you shouldn’t do. Doing these could kill your whole launch, no matter how well you prepared for it or how good your product is, so stick until the end.

Important to Know BEFORE Launching

Is your one and only goal getting #1 Product of the Day with 100s of upvotes? Then you’re already set for failure.

Having that badge on your website feels good, just like a parent feels good when their child gets a university diploma. But how does that help you, except for some social proof?

This is a trap most founders/makers fall into. The real rewards of launching on Product Hunt are getting users, building relationships, and receiving honest feedback on your product.

We’re not saying you shouldn’t aim for the top, but rather not make it your sole purpose for launching.

So before even considering Product Hunt, let’s take a look at how the platform can actually help your business:

1. New, Qualified Users – A product might get a few hundred to a few thousand website visits during their launch day. It might not seem impressive, but remember that those people are actively looking to test products. Naturally, most of them will take the action specified in your CTA (add email, join waitlist, download product, etc.), and can turn from users customers.

2. True, Honest Feedback – Users will inspect your product, website, and launch. Then they’ll provide feedback (positive or not) and ask deep questions that make you think. You’ll find out what improvements/changes you should make AND what people think of your product.

3. Strong, Long-lasting Relationships – PH’s community loves products (a shocking fact), but they also love networking and building relationships. The raw, Reddit-like networking allows you to truly connect with the community and build strong relationships.

4. Awareness & Reputation – This is a no-brainer: you get a big community of SaaS fans, devs, product managers, etc. to see and test your product. They’ll become aware of it and form their thoughts and opinions. If those are positive, then your reputation will also be positive.

5. Activate your community – If you have a community around your product, launching on PH will get them involved. This will lead to a bunch of benefits for you and your product, while the audience grows closer to your product.

As you can see, launching on Product Hunt is not so much about collecting badges as it’s about consolidating your product and exposing your product to a qualified audience. So set your goals accordingly.

Product Hunt Launch Checklist

There are crucial actions you must take in order to skyrocket your launch. Let’s see what those actions are, step by step:

Before the launch

Launching on Product Hunt is not a one-day thing. For best results, you need to prepare weeks in advance. Here’s how:

1. Join Product Hunt’s community

Start by joining PH’s community. You and your team should have active accounts instead of fresh ones. This shows trustworthiness to users and to Product Hunt.

There’s no need to comment on every product, get 1.000s of kitty coins (value points for PH accounts), or have a gazillion day streak. Just make sure the accounts are not brand new and have a bit of activity, even if it’s just for one or two weeks.

2. Tease your internal community

You should already have a seed audience that’s interested in your product before launching. Product Hunt doesn’t build momentum, it reinforces it.

If you don’t have a seed audience, focus on building one before launching. Then tease them in order to build some hype around the launch.

For example, you could say things like “Something really special is coming soon 👀”, while showing a 3-second video of the “Coming soon” page on Product Hunt.

Get their trust, and they’ll not only support you, but advocate your product on your launch day.

3. Build hype

Product Hunt lets you schedule launches up to one month ahead. You get a neat “Coming soon” page where users can click on the “Notify me” button.

Now you should market and promote your launch as much as possible. Promote it on your website. Tell your audience about it. Tell your social networks about it. Tell even the Home Depot cashier about it.

Just make sure your approach is authentic. Say it like it is and don’t over-inflate it.

4. Build relationships with new, external communities

Community is an important aspect of PH launches. Frankly, some say it’s all about having an engaged community to support you.

However it would be, you need communities. And for that, spamming Facebook groups, Slack groups, Whatsapp groups, etc. with posts about your future launch is not the move.

Join relevant communities (not just groups for PH upvotes) and bring value. For example, you can give them special offers, create webinars around the community’s topic, do Ask Me Anything posts to answer their burning questions, etc.

Don’t bribe your community, earn it.

5. Prepare a list of supporters

Create a list of people who are ready to support your launch with upvotes and comments. These can be people from the previously mentioned groups, your seed audience, and other makers who are preparing to launch.

It’s true, focusing solely on upvotes and comments can damage your launch. But that doesn’t mean you should leave them aside.

Add to that list people who actually like your product and want to support your launch. Later, you can notify them when the launch happens.

6. Pick a launch day & time

This can make or break your launch. There’s plenty of data about what the best day to launch is.

Time-wise, set your launch at 12:01 am PST. This will ensure your launch is up for 24 hours, as PH runs a 24-hour cycle around this timezone.

Day-wise, some people say Tuesday is the best, others say Thursday is the best, and some even claim that Sunday is the way to go. There are two rules of thumb we always use:

  • There are more competitive days and less competitive days (see pic below). From highest competition to lowest, they are: Wednesday Thursday Tuesday Monday Friday Saturday & Sunday. High competition means more eyeballs on your product, but less chances to win #1 Product of the Day. Low competition is the exact opposite, less eyeballs on your product, but more chances to get to the top. Choose your launch day according to your goals.
  • Research upcoming launches to see if there’s a big product launching on the same day you want to. You can have the perfect product, offer, visuals, etc., but if OpenAI launches in the same day, chances are you won’t get #1.

7. Get a hunter; or don’t

A while ago, having a hunter was a shortcut to ranking in the Top 10. Their followers used to get notified when the hunter, well, hunted a product.

This is not the case anymore. You can be your own hunter and have success.

Still, a hunter can help in other ways, such as social proof. They’re established users of the community, often called “super-users”. Thus, some of their credibility and authority will be transferred to your product.

8. Prepare assets

Any launch on Product Hunt has photos, videos, graphics, copywriting, testimonials, so on and so forth. You should prepare (some of) them too.

The least you could do is create eye-catching graphics and set a proper description of your product. Focus on benefits, the problems it solves, and who it’s for. If you have a special offer, make sure to add that too!

Here are the assets you should prepare:

  • URL – This is the link to your primary page. It can be your own website or an external one. Avoid shortened and tracking (UTM) links, because PH will not let you add those.
  • Product’s name – Just the name and nothing else.
  • Tagline – You have 60 characters max. Make it clear what the product does.
  • Description – You have 260 characters max. Give more info about the product, what it does and who it is for.
  • Thumbnail – It’s a square pic or GIF; PH recommends it to be 240×240. Make sure it’s under 3MB and, if it’s a GIF, don’t use quick cuts or flashy frames, as they might edit it.
  • Gallery images/videos/GIFs – You need at least two of them for your product to be viewable on the page. The recommended size for mages is 1270×760. Videos and GIFs are not necessary, but they might boost users’ first impression of your product. One great tip is to create a product demo and display it in the gallery.
  • First comment – This is the place to expand on your product, its benefits, and the special offer. You can get to the details as you’re not limited to a max number of characters. But remember, you’re writing to PH’s community; it’s not the place to make sales, but rather show why the product is good. 
  • Optional: other links and Twitter handle – if you have other links (Google Play, Amazon, etc.) and a Twitter handle for your product, you can add them too.

9. Prepare the first comment of your launch

Product Hunt says that “70% of products who achieved Product of the Day, Week, or Month had a first comment by the maker”.

Product Hunt gives you 60 characters max for a tagline and 260 for a description. The first comment, although, has no limits. Use it to go into the details of your product and its benefits, provide use cases, expand on your offer and much more.

Get creative and make sure you don’t skip this step.

10. Prepare a special offer

Everyone likes feeling special. The PH community is no exception to that.

Preparing a special offer like a big discount, some extra perks, or even an LTD will not only get you more awareness, but it’s also a nice “thank you” to the community.

After all, they’re willingly testing your product, providing feedback, and supporting your journey as a maker/founder.

Here are some special offers/perks ideas for your launch:

  • Discounts (big, small, lifetime discounts, etc.)
  • Extended trials (“Get an extra 1 month trial risk-free!”)
  • Upgrades that only they have access to
  • Free add-ons
  • Lifetime deals
  • Vouchers and coupons
  • Bundle offers (“Get all these X products for this price!”)
  • Early bird pricing

During the launch

The big day came. You prepared weeks in advance for this. What should you do during the launch?

Before that, we have something to tell you.

Yes, this day is about your product, but try to stay away from the “I have to get #1 in any way possible” mindset.

Instead, make it an event that your community will want to celebrate with you. It’s not about you, or your product, or your community, or PH’s community. It’s about all of these combined.

That being said, here’s what to do during the launch:

1. Notify supporters

Remember that list of supporters you made a while ago? It’s time to send them a reminder that your launch is live. 

During the launch, find more relevant groups and people who can support you, and approach them respectfully. Don’t beg for upvotes and comments; let the interested ones support you naturally.

2. Promote on social channels

Write a clear caption, prepare a neat visual, and add the link to your launch in a post. Then share it on all of your social channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter/X, LinkedIn, Slack groups, WhatsApp groups, etc.).

Your social following already likes your product, so there are good chances they will support your launch. For best results, get all the makers to share the post. Just make sure they don’t share it twice in a group – it can seem spammy and drive people away.

3. Activate marketing early

Similar to Google’s search results, a lot of users will stop scrolling after 10-20 products.

For the first 4 hours, products are randomly ranked and you won’t see how many upvotes they got (unless you click on them). After those 4 hours, the products with the most upvotes & comments will be displayed at the top.

Marketing the launch asap will ensure your product gets traction in those first 4 hours and gets you closer to the top, where most of the eyeballs hang out. 

4. Engage with the comments

People on PH will comment on your launch, ask questions, and provide feedback. Don’t leave them hanging!

Reply to each comment in a respectful and constructive manner. Your launch’s comment section is not the place to make sales, so talk to them like you would to a friend, not a potential customer.

5. Monitor the launch

As with anything, monitoring will give you real-time insights on what’s happening.

We love to use Product Wars 2, which is a cool platform that shows the products’ ranking in real-time. You can see the top 9 products’ growth curve, the growth speed, and more.

6. Diversify voting sources

This shows trustworthiness to Product Hunt and that you have a legitimate campaign. PH looks with suspicion at products with only one voting source, as it usually means they use shady tactics.

In this case, the more voting sources, the merrier. But make sure not to do anything shady (like incentivizing upvotes), as that will get you penalized.

7. Leave everything aside

There are new “burning” tasks every day. Try not to respond to that email, write that article, or make that Google Sheet during your launch day.

That whole day is all about the launch. Focus 100% on it, then you can complete your other tasks the next day.

After the launch

You’ve amplified momentum and gathered a new community around your product. Now it’s the perfect opportunity to leverage on it and continue the momentum.

1. Spread the word

Share your success on social channels, groups, and forums. Thank them for supporting your launch.

You can also create “Thank you” posts for Product Hunt and post them on your website and social media. This will also help you get more traffic.

2. Measure and analyze

How many new unique visits did your website get? How many of them completed the action from your CTA? What insights have PH supporters provided during the launch?

Product Hunt launches are a gold mine for understanding your product and audience better. Measure and analyze these metrics (and more) to find areas for improvement.

3. Stay active

Many products don’t stop after the first launch. If you are at least Top 10, chances are you’ll launch again.

Even if not, continue to be active in the PH community. You don’t have to dedicate one hour every day to upvoting and commenting. Just make sure you open it once in a while to see what’s happening.

What to Avoid (So You Don’t Get Penalized)

Product Hunt wants to be relevant, so they’ll punish any attempt at fishy, scammy, shady tactics. If you don’t avoid these, all of your efforts might as well be considered wasted.

1. Don’t launch with new accounts

Your maker accounts need to have a bit of history. Having some activity will help you with:

  • Establishing connections that will be notified about your launch
  • Showing that you are a trustworthy contributor

2. Don’t spam the launch with new accounts

Creating new accounts and spamming the launch with upvotes and comments seems like a great idea. It isn’t. Product Hunt will penalize the launch and cut down the upvotes. Or it leaves them alone, but drops the product’s rankings.

3. Don’t buy upvotes

This one should be obvious. It’s not a good idea to beg for upvotes, let alone buy them. Product Hunt tracks every activity that’s happening on the page. For them, a huge flux of upvotes in a short time frame is a red flag, and they will penalize the launch.

4. Don’t incentivize upvotes

If you are to incentivize someone to upvote your product, it should be with the special offer you post on your launch page. Other than that, giving people perks and other incentives outside of Product Hunt will get you penalized.

5. Don’t do paid ads

This is simply a bad idea. Product Hunt sees the source of upvotes and comments. If they see paid ads as a source, that gets you disqualified automatically.


Product Hunt launches take time and need to be prepared accordingly. Still, there’s always the element of luck, so you can do everything right and still not guarantee #1 Product of the Day.

Make sure your whole approach is sincere. Product Hunt is a thriving community, so be a constructive part of it!

Want more insights about how to launch successfully? Then join our FREE Live Webinar on Product Hunt’s best practices on Monday (March 29) at 2 pm GMT!