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Lessons Learned for DogSync on Product Hunt

Lessons Learned for DogSync on Product Hunt.

Hey guys,

I wanted to do a quick write up of what's going on with DogSync on Product Hunt, as there's often little material that's written about the channel. If you add value and are able to put it in front of the right people, I've seen Product Hunt do wonders to pull in committed users and more importantly, get people to give you honest feedback on your product.

For those that don't know, Product Hunt is the premiere showcase for great new tech products. They've expanded into other verticals, but it's basically a large forum for product-minded folks to discover and curate useful new tools and platforms. It works similar to Hacker News/Reddit: the number of user upvotes you get determines the position you have on the coveted front page.

For context, DogSync is the world's first task management app for dogs. It helps answer the eternal question of "who walked the dog?" by letting dog owners seamlessly coordinate and communicate with one another.

I went through the grind before with Flatbook, a time where we got upwards of 1000 votes. The numbers we drew from that were insane. I wish I had recorded it, but we managed to get hundreds of applications/conversions in a short span of time--which meant a lot to us as the LTV for each of our final conversions was in the thousands of dollars!

This time around, I got surprised working with DogSync. Somebody had hunted us randomly and so we had no idea what was going on until halfway through the day we noticed a spike in conversions from the West Coast (we usually get most of our downloads from the East Coast).

Not to worry, we quickly rallied in our Slack channels and looked for resources. We hit on this collection of Product Hunt tips and set to execute an outreach strategy. We split some tasks up in Asana, our task management software, and decided to go all-out.

I resolved to record the results this time around, and update them as I learn more.

6:41 pm EST, October 18th (hunted 12 hours ago)

WHAT WE'VE DONE

1) Send an update newsletter to all of our users
2) Message friends and family about us being featured on Product Hunt
3) Put up a Twitter Install ad that targets followers of Product Hunt and lets them know about what we do and places the app right in front of them
4) Follow every Product Hunt influencer from our Product Hunt accounts
5) Reach out to startup Facebook groups
6) Activate a custom smart bar for our website welcoming Product Hunters.
7) Added a lot of our team members as Product Hunt makers.

THE RESULTS SO FAR

36 downloads today (400% more than our daily average this week of 9)

Thank the lord for Branch helping us track where our users come from.

Hundreds of visits to our landing page (waiting on GA to update to get an accurage total).

78 upvotes on Product Hunt and 8 comments (good for 6th place today)

WHAT WE'VE LEARNED SO FAR

1) Don't ask for upvotes. Seriously. Product Hunt gets mad at you, and their algorithm is clever enough to keep you ranking low if you do. Share, by all means, but don't ask for upvotes while you're doing it.

2) Your friends and family will always be eager to support you--maybe over-eager.

3) It's not hard to receive up-votes, but reasoned discussion and feedback is really hard to crack. Hopefully we spur some commentary soon and find out how to get real feedback from people who deeply care about the product.

4) It's a lot easier to get top of the funnel traffic from Product Hunt but hard to convert them. I suspect this is the case for a lot of people whose goal goes beyond just getting people to sign up. We have seen a lot of really cool activation patterns that suggest some Product Hunt people are going to be super-users that will stay for a while--but they're a very small fraction of the hundreds of people who are checking out our website.

5) Always be on the lookout for sudden spikes of traffic/conversions and seek to explain them. You can act quickly once you've found causes and find opportunities.

WHAT WE WANT TO TRY NEXT

1) Publishing a blog post that explains the "why" behind DogSync more clearly, and sharing it with Product Hunt users.

2) Tweeting at Product Hunt users who have indicated their interest in other dog products so we can get their feedback on DogSync.

3) Got ideas? Let me know!

That's it for now, though I plan to update this at least once before Product Hunt closes the front page on us (in 12 hours) and I'll do a part 2 on the finale. Until then, comment here--or on Product Hunt :P

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