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NotionForms was Product Hunt’s Product of the Day on January 29th, 2022.
Ahead of the launch, Julien reached out to Ben Lang, a long-time member of the Product Hunt community and the Head of Community at Notion. Ben has a section of his website that’s dedicated to contacting him, and he was immediately receptive to Julien pitch.
Julien gave him the date of the launch and started preparing a Notion page with a demo of NotionForms to show how it worked. This meant that users could simply click a button to see how it worked.
He also created a discount code for Product Hunt users who wanted to purchase the premium version of NotionForms.
When you do a successful product launch, you usually get a bit more traffic and some new users, but it’s usually just a one-time spike.
Julien summarized the five factors that helped him to succeed.
- Finding a hunter that matches the product is right at the top.
- Having an audience at the time of launch is “almost like a cheat code.”
- Being “pretty chill” reduces stress. As he added, “Remember that you can always launch later.”
- Creating some decent visuals, ideally by using video.
- Creating a demo so that people can see the service in action.
I was confident because I already had a lot of users, as well as a rather large audience on Twitter and people in the Notion community.
NotionForms is a specialist tool that provides forms for Notion, a productivity app and workspace that’s designed to adapt to its users’ needs.
Notion has a lot of powerful functionality as default, but it doesn’t have a good way to build forms. Some people get around this by using other form builders and then routing the data into notion via Zapier, but NotionForms helps to simplify the process.
Julien has built the company from the ground up and is still the only full member of the team, though he sometimes hires freelancers to help out. It began as a side project and has started to become his main gig, although it’s not quite there yet.
I semi-randomly picked the date. I launched on the weekend, because there’s less competition during the weekends and my product is pretty niche.
Built using Notion’s API, the decision to launch came after people kept suggesting that Julien should release it. NotionForms actually launched twice on Product Hunt, the first time with their MVP. It was the second launch that was so successful.
Julien says that he didn’t have any specific goals, although he did want to rank first on the site because it would help to give NotionForms more credibility.
Before the launch, they had around 8,000 users, which Julien says mostly came from Notion users and from sharing it on Reddit, Facebook and Twitter. Once those initial users deployed their forms, it created a kind of viral loop because each form linked back to NotionForms.
Even now, most of our referrals are purely organic. There’s a word of mouth effect, but it’s also very good for SEO because people embed the form on their website and on their Notion page.
Julien didn’t send an email out to his current users because he didn’t want to bother them. Instead, he tweeted about it and asked his friends to vote and share. He says that even though he only has 1,500 followers, most of them are members of the Notion community, adding, “Many of them were kind enough to retweet and share.”
On launch day, he woke up and grabbed a coffee and was planning on getting some breakfast to be ready at his keyboard for the launch. Then he looked at his phone and saw that his notifications had blown up and that the launch had happened three hours earlier, while he was asleep. He had friends asking him why he wasn’t talking about it on Twitter.
And so he spent the rest of the day on his laptop, trying to catch up. It goes to show that with all of the planning in the world, launch day can still be unpredictable, but that you can still go on to rank first on Product Hunt.
Thanks for your insights Julien.