Launching a new app is like the launch of a shuttle in orbit. Everything is prepared meticulously and everyone knows what to do. But when you push the ignition button, nobody knows what it’s going to happen from that moment on.
In fact, the dynamics that regulate the online universe are more complex than the ones that regulate space physics. In short, if you are going to launch a new app, get ready for everything and hopefully also in a big stroke of luck.
Why this little intro?
Because I want to tell you what happens when you are lucky enough to publish your app on Product Hunt the same day Mister Facebook decides to launch a new one with the same name: Hello
But let’s start from the beginning..
We launched Hello on April 7th on the App Store. Hello is an instant messaging app that automatically creates geo-fenced chat rooms and allows users to communicate even if they are not connected directly each other. They just need to be in the same venue or area. Plus, with the “teleport” feature they can travel anywhere in the world and start chatting with users physically in that place.
The business model is freemium: download is for free and the “teleport” is an in-app purchase feature ($0,99).
As you can imagine, just after the launch, downloads and visits numbers are not crazy. We just promoted the app on Facebook and we reached an average 30/40 users a day. Which is not that bad, without any ads budget, but we need to push.
The media reach-out begins. The best way to get free advertising is to be covered on important online tech magazines. Our target is global so we immediately looked for international visibility. Product Hunt seemed to be a great target and an excellent way to launch the app.
Why Product Hunt
For those not familiar with it, Product Hunt is a platform where everyday new tech products are published in a simple list. You can find everything: new apps, new ecommerce platforms, wearables, tech gadgets and free tools. It is now very popular in the tech industry and it recently got a Series A investment of $6 million. About 15 million users visit the website each month.
Each user, once signed in, can add comments and up-votes on new products. I’ve already read about successful apps launched on Product Hunt, as Meerkat for example, and I thought it would be a great opportunity for Hello.
But listing a new product on the website isn’t that easy: just some users can request to submit a product and then, it needs to be approved by an internal team of reviewers.
You are in!
Yes! After a few pending days Hello has been accepted, and on Wednesday April 22nd we are listed in the daily new list. The users started to vote the app and we set everything up to promote the news. With a minimum budget, split in two days, we promoted a post on Facebook ( $35). Furthermore, we share the news on some Facebook and Google+ groups and communities. We gained a good amount of up-votes (210, as of today) and downloads started pouring but…
Houston, we have a problem
Sure, Hello is a very common name. But, how many chances you have that, the same day your app is on Product Hunt, Facebook decides to launch an app with the same name? Not may. Furthermore, it was also published on Product Hunt.
It doesn’t matter. We continued and in the bad luck the unexpected came. Product Hunt’s founder added a comment to the Facebook’s Hello post: ” ironically, another app named Hello is also on Product Hunt today. 😃”, with a link to our Hello. Sure, Facebook is Facebook but, in our own little, the news played to our advantage.
The day after tomorrow
On Friday morning we are among the best new apps on the Italian App Store and some blogs and online magazines started talking about Hello. The downloads grew and so the first feedbacks and comments. Some people requested details about the functionalities, others congratulated and suggested new features to add. We also received some partnerships and collaborations proposals and the congrats by Product Hunt for breaking the wall of 100 up-votes.
Let’s talk about numbers
The results of the first three days after the launch on Product Hunt were good:
- 6,200+ visits on the website
- 3,012 downloads
- 50+ in-app purchase to buy the “teleport”
Of course, after the coverage on several blogs, numbers continued to grow the following days.
That was just the first week and the climb begins now. Product Hunt was very helpful to launch the app, get the first feedbacks and fine-tune with our audience. It helped us to discover who and where our most interested users are. During the following days we used Hello to chat with early users and ask them tips and impressions. Today, most of them, are tech-savvy and industry experts so their comments are precious to improve the app.
I really hope this post was helpful for anyone who’s launching a new app or a startup. If you want to chat with me just send me an email or reach out to me via my social profiles.
Otherwise, see you on Hello!DOWNLOAD HELLO NOW