Hello everyone, I’m Tony.
Yesterday, I launched Xnapper on Product Hunt
It got 1,428 votes and got into the #1 Product of the Day! 🥳
I thought it would be helpful to share some reports and insights about the launch.
- Xnapper is a macOS app to help people capture beautiful screenshots fast.
- I started working on Xnapper on 26th May. It has been running in beta for ~3 months.
- During that 3 months, I recruited about ~4,600 beta users and have them on my mailing list.
- I had ~45K Twitter followers and a newsletter of 3,000 subscribers when I started all this.
I’ll go into more details about these items at the end of the post (How did I recruit 4,600 beta users? How did I get 45K followers on Twitter?)
Although the official Product Hunt’s launch day only lasts 24 hours, I consider the sales contributed by this launch are spread over 3 days:
One day before: 789 visits, $670 revenue
This is where I announce that the early bird discount will be over soon. This drives some traction as people want to claim the early bird discount.
I had the early bird discount running for a while at $20 per license, so everyone who bought the app before 23rd Aug got it for $20 (now it’s $30).
The launch day: 2,343 visits, $2,656 revenue
Thanks to the support of the community (with many of you reading this post, I believe!), the app was at the #1 spot the whole day!
That’s 24 hours of exposure at the very top position of Product Hunt’s home page. I can’t imagine a better exposure than this!
This is the main driver for the launch’s revenue.
I was online the whole day to answer questions and reply to people on Twitter and Product Hunt while watching the metrics.
It was fun! 😄
People on Product Hunt are generally very nice and supportive.
I also posted Xnapper on Reddit a few hours after the Product Hunt launch. There were mixed reactions as usual.
One day after: 3,139 visits, $886 revenue
I consider the sales from this day are also from the launch because of the long tail effect.
The conversion rate is much lower, only ~$0.3 per visit.
Lower than the launch day (~$1 per visit) and the usual days (~$0.4 per visit).
I think it is explainable because the traffic spread out by Product Hunt and Reddit makes the app reach a wider audience, which has a lower natural conversion rate.
Here are all the stats:
- 🥇 #1 Product of the Day
- 🔺 1,428 upvotes
- 🌐 6.2K website visits
- 💳 164 sales
- 💵 $4,212 revenue
- 💸 $69.63 refund
What I did to drive traffic
It’s important to get as much traffic to the launch in the early hours as possible.
When your product is at #1, more people will see it. Then your product will likely get more upvotes, which will keep it longer at #1, etc. 🔄
Because of that, I tried my best to drive as much traffic to the post as early as possible. Here is what I did:
- In the last 3 months, I have been communicating with 4,600 beta users via email frequently. Every time there is a new update to Xnapper, I will send an email to notify people about the change log. Usually every 1 or 2 weeks. This keeps the mailing list warm and has a high open rate!
- 1 week before the launch, I tweeted that I would launch next week. This made my audience aware of the launch. Some people will remember and come back to support. I also asked people to reply with a wave emoji “👋” under the tweet if they wanted to be notified via Twitter DM. Then, over the next few days, I tweeted a few more times about the launch to make sure people were aware of it even more.
- 3 days before the launch, I announce the exact date of the launch on Twitter. Also ask people to reply “👋” if they want to be notified (many people did! If you are one of them, thank you! 😊).
- 1 day before the launch, I pushed a new Xnapper update with new features, improvements, and bug fixes. In the email, I also share with all the beta users that I’ll launch Xnapper in 24 hours on Product Hunt. This gives people the awareness and time to prepare (if they decide to support the launch). A lot of people are very supportive and spend the time to come back exactly at launch time!
- On the launch day, I sent another email to 4,600 beta users, announcing the launch was live. I think this is the most important part and the reason why the launch has gained 381 votes in the first 2 hours (which is a lot!).
- Also on the launch day, I posted a “launch tweet”. Then, I send that tweet to all the people who have replied “👋” in the last week via Twitter DM (all manual, yes it takes time, but I enjoyed it because I don’t get to do this very often 😂).
- Still on the launch day, I send yet another email, this time to my newsletter’s subscribers. I have about 3,000 subscribers in my monthly personal newsletter, which I think is very interested in this launch. You can read that email here.
- Then, I spend the whole day replying to people on Twitter, DM, Product Hunt, and my email. Lots of typing on that day 😂
- After a few hours, I decided to post Xnapper to Reddit, trying to gain some more traffic. The post gained 138 upvotes on Reddit, which is pretty good! I didn’t post on Hacker News as I thought this app was not very relevant to that audience. I didn’t post on Indie Hackers either, as I was too busy to write up something useful to go with the self-promotion plug (until now - this post😄).
I think that’s pretty much all I did to drive traffic. I also shared the launch with a few friends, but that’s quite a small number compared to the rest 😄
How did I recruit 4,600 beta users?
Well, firstly, I had 45K followers when I started all of this.
Because of that, a few of my early tweets get a lot of traction.
For example, this one got 712 likes.
Every time I post an update related to Xnapper, I ask if people are interested in joining Beta testing by replying with a “👋”.
Then, I use Gumroad to:
- Collect the email address
- Deliver the app (people can download it via Gumroad)
- Send updates about the beta and collect feedback/bug reports
(Here is the Gumroad link if you want to take a look)
Just by doing this, plus the fact that some of my “build in public” tweets were doing very well, I was able to recruit a lot of beta users.
This tweet was the best one. 1,718 likes.
How did I get 45K followers on Twitter?
Around this time last year, I only had ~1,000 followers on Twitter.
I started using Twitter around April 2021 with only ~200 followers.
Since then, I have learned about the indie hacker community and the “build in public” movement. So I started to work on building my audience.
It has been a wild 12 months for me! I even quit my job in the progress (I’m now a full-time solo indie hacker).
So, back to the question, how did I get 45K followers on Twitter?
The short answer: it’s a combination of spending a lot of time engaging with people on Twitter, sharing content (coding, threads, meme, giveaways, jokes, advice), and some luck.
The long answer: I have documented my entire story since the beginning in two places:
- My monthly newsletter (since May 2021 to now, 20 issues in total)
- My Twitter journey from 100 → 30K followers (tweet collection)
It’s a long read (sorry! 😅). If I have more time, I’ll try to write a condensed one to summarize it all.
I hope this post has some useful info for you!
If you would like to support me, please subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on Twitter (or both!)
By the way, Xnapper is ~500 votes away from breaking into the #1 Product of the Month category. I still have until the end of the month to reach this goal. If you can support Xnapper on Product Hunt, that would be awesome!
If you have any questions, please comment below. I’ll try to answer everyone!