48 hours later, over 200 signups, #1 Product Of The Day, and 546 upvotes later… Here's our Product Hunt launch success story.
A lot of Ghostit's growth to date has come from direct sales and building relationships with existing customers. But as we’ve expanded, we have been able to grow out channels and increase our ad spend in order to attract new potential customers. We made the executive decision from the beginning to not look for outside funding and bootstrap the company. By doing this, it has forced us to make critical decisions about how we use our money and what we decide to build. The overused -- but very true -- “scrappy startup” trope applies to Ghostit and our team through and through.
My co-founder Rahul has run many small businesses in the past, and as a result, it has allowed us to understand what is important to small and medium-sized businesses. Our direct sales tactic has also helped us to empathize with each of the business and build Ghostit to help not only solve any pains but to help our customers reach long-term goals. In short, we have been moving from an outbound growth strategy to a more inbound one.
On a whim, I decided to launch Ghostit on Product Hunt. We have been operating for a over a year, but I thought the exposure would be an added bonus and we could get maybe 20 or so additional signups. Boy was I wrong. Not just wrong, but I gravely underestimated the power of the web and how fast people can respond.
On Friday night we launched it on the Product Hunt website. Our offering was one free month of social posts, and a basic content strategy with access to the software platform. Once launched, I finished up some other work and went to sleep. Seemed basic enough. Nope.
The next morning I checked the our website's form submission box and saw that 8 people had already signed up for the free trial and we had 30 something up-votes. I was thinking: “Sweet! It kind of worked!”
I called Rahul to let him know the news, since he was out of town proposing to his girlfriend, (she said yes by the way). I interrupted him the morning after he proposed, and he answered on the first ring because we both live and breathe Ghostit.
So I said on the call, “Congratulations on the proposal! By the way we have a few signups coming in, the launch seems to be working.”
Rahul then checked his phone because the notifications for signups were going to him. “No man, we have over 60 signups.” This was all within the first 7 hours of us being live.
I redirected the messages to notify me on my phone and they just kept coming in! In 48 hours we had over 200 signups with tons of up-votes and comments on the product. People seemed to love what we were offering.
To put things in perspective, because we do direct sales calls, we only get inbound through our sign up page every so often. Having 200 sign ups through our website is more than what we get in an entire month.
Here are the things I did that helped us gain traction:
1) I emailed the founder and the product hunt team asking for a boost. Thanks Ryan 😀.
2) As we were gaining some steam, I noticed that Niv Dror (he has around 21,000 followers) liked us on Product Hunt so I thanked him publicly — which brought us even more exposure.
3) Product Hunt also gave us a boost at the end of their day which probably helped.
The end result was:
And a whole lot of signup numbers!
Overall, our Product Hunt launch was very successful and will act as a springboard for greater success in the future. One thing I learned from all this is that our explainer video is too long, taking a look at those analytics people watched an average of 1:01 and the video is 1:36 so I can definitely trim some time off that.
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