Launch of BeforeSunset: How a B2B SaaS became the most discussed product on Product Hunt

Elif & her team made their startup go viral on PH by leveraging community. Here's how they did it

A quick intro about Before Sunset

BeforeSunset is a work management tool, which lets you collaborate with your team, track time for different projects and bill them seamlessly.

Even though it was their first time launching on Product Hunt, the team behind BeforeSunset managed to generate a huge buzz in the PH community and ranked #3 on an extremely competitive day. All credit goes to their foolproof social media strategy and highly motivated team.

Launch Performance:

  1. Upvotes: 1,216
  2. Day Rank: 3
  3. Website visitors: 1,300

Let’s unlock all their launch strategies and secrets from its founder, Elif 👇

Maker Interview

Hi Elif, could you tell us a bit about yourself and how you started “BeforeSunset”?

I was working as a quality assurance engineer in a software company for two and a half years. That’s when we got the idea to build a time-tracking tool that tracks our time spent on different projects for different clients & makes it easier to bill clients.

So, we created BeforeSunset. It was a time-tracking tool at first, but it got bigger and evolved as a work management tool.

Why did you choose to launch on Product Hunt?

We wanted users to test & give feedback about our product. So, we started looking for platforms to launch BeforeSunset. We initially tried to promote on Quora but after seeing poor engagement there we started searching for a new platform.

Then one day, we found Product Hunt. Some of our team members started communicating in product Hunt discussions and we were shocked by the amazing response from the community.

That’s when we knew Product Hunt was the right platform for our product feedback. So, we launched BeforeSunset on Product Hunt. And, we launched it for free, as we wanted more users to sign up.

When did you start planning for the launch? And What is your launch strategy?

This is our timeline

  1. One month before: We launched a free guide to understand how Product Hunt works.
  2. Following 2 weeks: Some of our team members started posting questions in PH discussions. The community response was amazing
  3. Next 1 week: All our team members started posting in PH discussions.
  4. Last week: We created an upcoming page and started sharing it with our connections and in our product hunt posts. Also, all of our team members changed their profile’s background colour to Yellow (BeforeSunset’s colour) to improve brand recall.

Your team was very active in the Product Hunt discussion. Did it help the launch?

Yeah, Product Hunt discussions were our main traffic source for the launch. It’s not just posting a post and replying to comments. There is a lot of work that happened background.

We built a system like this 👇

  1. Our team members start a discussion on Product Hunt.
  2. When people reply to our discussions, we reached out to them on Twitter & LinkedIn and asked for their feedback & support.
  3. Then we made a list of all the people who agreed to support us.
  4. And we DM’ed them on launch day asking them to upvote.

In addition to this, we also supported other launches and connected with those makers. Then we asked for support in the BeforeSunset launch.

You launched a productivity guide before launching BeforeSunset. Is that a lead magnet?

Actually, we launched the productivity guide just to understand how Product Hunt works. In fact, from creating a PH account to launching the guide, we did everything in 2 days.

However, in the end, that turned out to be a good lead magnet for us. We got a bunch of users from it that supported BeforeSunset launch.

You created an upcoming page for BeforeSunset’s launch. How many people signed up for the waitlist and how did it help the launch?

We created an upcoming page for BeforeSunset, and we got it featured by purchasing the Ship subscription. It performed well, and we got 300 subscribers in a week. I feel if we had done this earlier we would have got even more subscribers.

Also, Product Hunt lets you export the subscriber’s email address. So it will help with lead generation for your product.

You launched BeforeSunset on Wednesday. Any particular reason behind that?

It is one of the biggest questions for the Product Hunt launch (laughs 😂). As said previously, our goal from the Product Hunt launch was to get feedback on our product. And to get the right feedback, you need more users to test your product.

So, we considered Wednesday and Thursday, as they’re high-traffic days. Since Thursday is very competitive, we felt it would be difficult to get on the featured page. That’s the reason we finalised it on Wednesday.

What were your tasks on the launch day?

We did a very detailed plan for the launch day. We divided our team into 3 groups and distributed the tasks between us.

Group 1: Reply to the comments and reviews on the product hunt page

Group 2: Make a list of all the upvoters with their Twitter & Linkedin profiles

Group 3: Reach out to people on our list (who we reached out to on Twitter & LinkedIn) and asked for an upvote.

What are the tools & integrations you used for the launch?

  1. Webflow – Landing Page
  2. Ship – Upcoming landing page
  3. Product Wars – Product hunt real-time stats
  4. Figma – Product images
  5. PH-Slack integration – We integrated slack into the Product Hunt upcoming page so that we can receive a slack notification whenever someone subscribes to our launch.

What are the challenges you faced while launching BeforeSunset on Product Hunt?

One of our competitors got 300 upvotes in minutes and jumped to third place. We reported to Product Hunt as we felt that they were cheating. Product Hunt pushed them down and we were given 3rd position.

But at the end of the day, it happened again and they got back to the 3rd position. However, this time Product Hunt sensed some shady hack with their upvotes and deleted some of their upvotes. So we finally got the #3 badge (relief 💃)

What is the advice you would give to first-timers?

  1. Read our blog (laughs 😂)
  2. Engage in the community
  3. Launch a side project before launching your main product. That’s how you learn how ProductHunt works.

You put a lot of effort into the launch, but you still ranked #3 on the day and not #1. Any reasons or learning from that?

Our competitors (laughs 😂). They’re so big!!

On a regular Wednesday, you can be the top product with just 600 upvotes. But when we launched, we ended up in 3rd position even though we got 900 upvotes. So, it all comes down to the people who are launching on that day and how big they are.

Thanks a lot, Elif and Gizem for sharing your Product Hunt strategies and secrets with us.

Checkout Before Sunset for more details.

Are you Launching on Product Hunt?

Get the Product Hunt Workbook, a step by step blueprint to rank on top of Product Hunt 🏆
✅ 125 launch tasks followed by top makers of 2023
✅ 99 communities to share your launch
✅ 63 done-for-you posts for social media, and mails

More resources to nail your next PH launch

A beginner’s guide to know ins and outs of a Product Hunt launch in 2023
List of 45+ subreddits to share your Product Hunt launch & get support
Write a highly attractive tagline that captures the attention of Product Hunt visitors.