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How we planned & executed Airschool’s ProductHunt launch

We launched Airschool on ProductHunt exactly a week ago. Contrary to most successful launches, we did so without a ‘top-hunter’ on board....

Written by Fatima Rizwan · 3 min read >

We launched Airschool on ProductHunt exactly a week ago. Contrary to most successful launches, we did so without a ‘top-hunter’ on board. This was our first ever ProductHunt launch. And to help others like ourselves, I am sharing our planning and outcomes to help founders and indie makers successfully launch their products.

I hope this is useful. Please do share with relevant makers.

We launched Airschool on ProductHunt last week and overall it has been a great learning experience. Before we delve into it further, let me share some post ProductHunt launch metrics.

  • 200+ new expert sign ups
  • 60+ new courses underway
  • Domain rating jumped from 31 to 50
  • 10,000+ page views in first 2 days of PH launch
  • 2 Angry Feedback Emails 😛
  • Increase in DDOS attacks 
  • A few dozen calls with prospective partners etc.

Now that the metrics are out of the way, I will talk about the pre-launch strategy. 

Pre-launch

On Mondays, the Airschool team has an all hands video call. So, one month before the launch I presented the idea to use ProductHunt to drive some new experts and engagement to the platform. Everyone was onboard and excited. 

From there on, we quickly made a road map of what issues we need to tackle and what features need to be improved before the launch. We made a timeline for development of these features. We achieved 60% of our target but also realized that these features are mere upgrades and won’t impact our launch at all.

Fact: Tuesday to Thursday are high traffic and competition days on ProductHunt. Weekends and Mondays are slow. We picked the 24th of August, Tuesday for the launch because our objective was to drive engagement to the platform. I learned this by speaking to founders with successful launches and by reading a whole lot of content on the internet.

Once the day was finalized, we prepared a spreadsheet with a list of deliverables from every team member. It included details of who will create the PH launch design content and who will write the copy. 

Side by side, we also created a list of Airschool current users and early believers who can participate once we launch. Let me tell you, this is the most important step. Rather than making mental notes, write down names of every individual, every community who can participate or where you can share once the product is showcased.

Everyone from the team participated and wrote to at least 10 individuals from their network who can participate in the launch. This was so exciting that my housemate also came forward and she promised to tell her product-enthusiast friends about our launch too. 

One week before the launch

One week prior to the launch, we shared about our ProductHunt launch plans in our weekly newsletter. We told our users that we are preparing for the launch and they can sign up at ProductHunt if they’d like to participate.

We prepared material including banners, newsletter, and content which will go on social platforms once the launch is activated.

By this time, everyone in the team had signed up at ProductHunt, created and activated their profiles. I had added data from Airschool so that we could preview and optimize the content too. 

The engineering team was testing and we decided to not release anything one day prior to the launch. Our focus was to test, improve and remove any bugs in the application.

Two days before the launch

Two days before the launch, I was anxious that I haven’t closed any Hunter to introduce our product. In my defense, I was looking for a hunter who had hunted products in similar spaces, and they just don’t hunt every product – they are very picky about what they introduce.

Anyways, rather than fretting about it and delaying things.

We created our launch page and decided we’d hunt Airschool ourselves. 

During the launch

Make sure to launch at 12am PST. So that you have a total 24 hours to promote your product.

Right after the launch at 12am PST, everyone in the team shared on all social platforms, communities and we reached out to everyone on our respective list. We sent out the newsletter, shared on our social handles and embedded the ProductHunt upvote button on our website landing page. Why? Because a lot of visitors from PH will open your website but won’t go back to give feedback. So we made it easy for them to do it.

Airschool - Shopify for course creators | Product Hunt

The launch day was very busy and stressful, I remember being up till 5am in the morning and then took a break and re-started at 8am. We made sure to respond to every query on the launch page and customer support on Airschool. 

The engineering team was available and our eyes were on sentry in case there is a bug on the platform. 

During the launch, we noticed that our website is becoming increasingly slow, it is taking 5 to 10 seconds to open a single page and overall the experience was very sluggish. On closer examination, we realized we are facing a DDOS attack. The attack is still going on, but thankfully we were able to create a firewall to dispel the bot’s threat.

After the launch day, 24 hours, was over, we had aggregated 800+ votes, 175 comments and great traction too. I believe we generated only 40% of the upvotes through our network, once our Product reached one the top ones, we started getting a lot of organic upvotes, comments, and shares through the network. 

We also got a couple of angry emails around the UX of experts onboarding. I am truly thankful for those emails, they were an eye opener. One user made a video of their onboarding experience and shared it with us. We quickly realized that we are asking too much information from experts before they sign up to Airschool.

We quickly re-imagined the expert’s registration and onboarding process and released an update. 

After the launch

Airschool ProductHunt

Most of the founders and indie makers usually make the mistake of not following up with their supporters after the launch is over. I’d recommend sharing the outcomes especially of ProductHunt launch with everyone who supported.

Here is what we achieved: 

🏆 #2 Product Of the Day
❤️ 1100+ votes
💌 175 comments
⭐ 14 Reviews

So we wrote a newsletter once again, WhatsApped everyone, shared on all social media channels, the outcome of the launch. We also approached new signed up users through email automations to get them to book a call with us.

Phew! That’s all for now. I will update this article if I feel I have missed out on something.

I hope this is useful. Please do share with relevant makers.

Written by Fatima Rizwan
Fatima Rizwan is the founder of Airschool. She is passionate about the creators economy and the future of work and education. Profile

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