Startup marketing: how to attract thousands of users from all over the world without spending $ 200

    Today I will tell you how to prepare a startup for launching Product Hunt, what steps should be taken before that, and how to foster interest in the project on the day and after publication.


    For the last couple of years I have been living in the USA and have been promoting startups on English-speaking (and not only) resources. Today I will share the experience of attracting international users for IT startups with minimal investment. Mainly suitable for this are content marketing tools. Many of them are free or almost free, but can bring good results.

    So, here is where your startup should be promoted if you want to attract international users.

    Show hn

    Hacker News has long been one of the most popular technology and startups in the niche. If a project manages to get to its main page for at least a couple of tens of minutes, this can already lead to a surge in traffic - it is easy to get several hundred clicks to the site.

    This resource has a Show HN section - here project creators or ordinary users can share useful links. Promotion is worth starting with this resource - it's free, and if successful, you can get a good result. Most likely, you will not succeed in getting to the main one, and the audience on HN is not always very friendly, but the link to the site from a reputable resource will not be superfluous anyway.

    Betapage and Betalist

    Two resources working on a similar model. These are startup startup directories. For a fee, the project description falls into the listing bypassing the general queue (which does not move fast), can be fixed on the main page, these services also include a link to the project in their mailing lists.

    The price tag of Betapage at the time I used it for the last time was:

    • One day on the main page: $ 28
    • Two days: $ 48
    • Three days: $ 68
    • Four days: $ 88

    Subscribing to the newsletter costs another $ 30, so this figure should be added to the final price. Our experience of using paid listing on this site cannot be called successful - hundreds of registered users did not give us one day on the main plus mailing list.

    Betalist posting costs higher - $ 129, but there is also the possibility of free publication. In the latter case, it will take about a month to wait for the placement, but if there is a task to save, this is quite an option. During the most recent project, we chose this option and received only 452 users, while the surge fell on the day of the announcement.

    In general, the main costs were incurred by Betapage and Betalist, and in our case they were at least partially justified only in the second case.

    International content marketing

    Since we planned to attract not only users from English-speaking countries, we decided to experiment in this direction. We already had some good articles in English, as well as descriptions on Betalist and Product Hunt.

    With the help of Upwork, we found Hispanic editors who not only helped us with the translation, but also advised on where and how to share links to published materials. I must say that the cost of translating one blog post from English to Spanish usually does not exceed $ 10.

    As a result, we selected two main resources for “sowing” the content:

    • is a popular aggregator site in Latin America, somewhat similar to Reddit, with more than 21 million visitors.
    • - 9.5 million visitors.

    In addition, on our own, we selected a number of sections on Reddit, where the residents of Hispanic Latin American countries communicate:

    The result exceeded all the wildest expectations - we not only received registrations and comments on Reddit, likes on Meneame, but the project was noticed by Latin American journalists and bloggers. In particular, after a review on the popular Argentinean IT resource wwhat's new, several thousand people came to us in a couple of days.

    But the main event was, of course, the placement on Product Hunt.

    Product hunt: launch guide

    The network has a lot of guides and stories about how best to run on Product Hunt, so I will not write very much, I will focus only on the main points.

    First of all, you should read the startup guide from the PH command itself. Here are three main points of the document:

    • You can not look for a hunter who post the product . Now this makes less sense - before, subscribers of a popular user were sent emails about the products they published, now this is not there.
    • You can link directly to the product post, and not to the PH home page. According to urban legend, PH fines projects for which users click on the direct URL and not find it through the main page. It is not true.
    • You can’t ask for likes - they’re fined for it . Therefore, all communications associated with the launch should contain a clear message: “We published on PH, here is the link, come in, comment, ask questions!”

    These are the points that many still do not know about. There are a few more points that are important to highlight.

    • Hunter is better to find . This is more a fashion moment, if this person publishes a link to your post on PH in their social networks, this will be a plus. But if such a character is not sought for a long time, then you can do it.
    • Running on PH is 24 hours work . The countdown of a new day starts at 00:00 U.S. West Coast time. You must be online 24 hours to respond to comments in a timely manner.
    • After 24 hours, you also need to work . Getting into the list of top products of the day gives a bonus - you are also mentioned in the newsletter, but if you did not succeed, there are other ways to further use PH. For example, the site has the opportunity to ask questions, the answers to which may be recommendations of a particular software. If you fall into such a selection, you will get more traffic.

    As a result, we did not get on the list of top 5 projects, but users voted for us for at least another week - this allowed us to remain on the main one, since it displays about 10-15 products for each day. The more days passed from our launch, the further it was necessary to scroll to find the product, but this did not interfere with the transitions to the site.

    The main secret of such a long-playing accommodation is that you should maintain interest in it. This means preparing and periodically publishing articles mentioning links to your listing, doing newsletters, etc.

    Example: a project blog post that calls to go to the product page on PH and a built-in badge with a like counter.


    The activities described in the material cost us about $ 200, it took a couple of weeks to prepare and implement them. As a result, we got thousands of clicks to the site and hundreds of registrations. You can copy these techniques for your startups, I'm sure this will help get the first international users.

    If you have any questions - write, I will be glad to answer.

    Also popular now: