September 14, 2017

Introducing Ship by Product Hunt

We just launched a suite of tools to help makers and startups generate demand, build an email list, communicate with their audience, and ship product. Signup for free here.

It’s never been easier to build product. 13-year-old students from India and 81-year-old bankers from Japan alike can design, build, and ship products around the world, thanks to the rise of open-source, free online resources, and vibrant communities (to support them). Servers and technical infrastructures that were once unaffordable to most are now available for free.

While it’s a great time to be a maker, it can be difficult to get visibility for your product in an increasingly saturated market as technical risk to launch has lowered and more products fight for attention.

Many start thinking about discovery and distribution the moment they launch publicly, enlisting the services of a #GrowthHacker or community manager often after the product’s shipped. While there’s no right way to startup, we believe audience and community-building should start on day 1.

We believe those that build product alongside their users stand a better chance of building something people want and establishing a base of evangelists to help spread the word. Don’t underestimate the power of 1,000 true fans.

So, we built a suite of tools to help makers find and communicate with their users, all in one place. Ship is useful for anyone building a product: pre-launch, at launch, and post-launch — because, after all, launching is not a one-time thing.

So, what is Ship?

For the past several weeks, we’ve been using Ship to build Ship (meta!), beta testing with a few hundred awesome folks, from indie makers like Zach Holman to big companies like Shopify. With the help of everyone’s feedback, here’s what we’ve built:

Upcoming Landing Pages 🚀

Makers often spend several days building a landing page for their upcoming product launches to measure interest and collect emails. This time is often better spent building the actual product.

The team that created Rapportive is building a new email app, offering VIP access to the Product Hunt community

With Ship, you can create a landing page in a few minutes. Even better: unlike traditional landing pages, discovery is already built-in. Every new subscriber helps spread the word, sending a notification to their followers within the Product Hunt community.

The page is completely customizable, including the copy, images/videos/GIFs, color theme, and more. Email addresses that interested users provide are yours, available for export anytime.

Email Messaging 💌

Your subscribers want to hear from you, so we’ve made it easy to communicate your audience.

Ship Messages make it easy to broadcast updates, solicit feedback, and build your community all in one place. Messages are delivered to your subscribers’ email inbox and include a link to join a discussion, where they can ask questions and discuss feature ideas.

Here’s Richard’s first Message to his subscribers

While you can still export your email subscribers into a 3rd party newsletter tool, doing so requires constant management and lacks the discussion component that’s so important for gathering feedback and bringing your users into the development process. For this reason, we’re seeing makers move their existing email lists to Ship to benefit from these features and send email updates to their users for free, saving thousands of dollars on other alternatives.

Embeddable Widget 📣

The Ship Widget is a simple way to inform your existing audience about your upcoming product launch and capture emails from your own site, blog, or web app. As an extension of your Upcoming Landing Page, emails collected from the Widget are yours to keep.

Check out Leo’s site. He even included a video.

We offer a few variations, including the friendly face popup (as shown above) and a more traditional email capture box that you can embed and customize to fit your site design.

And more…

We’re also introducing paid Pro plans that unlock more awesome tools, including:

✏️ Surveys and Polls* — Gather insights from your community to build a better product.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Group Messaging* — Send targeted email messages to specific users such as designers, men between the age of 18 to 35, people living in Paris, and more.

🗓 Scheduled Product Launches* — One of the most requested features to date, schedule your product launch in advance.

🔍 A/B Testing* — A/B test the imagery and copy used on your Upcoming Landing Page to increase your audience. Even the smallest changes can make a big impact conversion.

📈 Reports and Analytics* — Unlock more insight into how people are engaging with your Upcoming Landing Page and Messages.

🌐 Custom Domain* — Host your Upcoming landing page on your own .com (or .pizza) domain.

📣 Product Promotion — Get your product in front of more people.

🎣 Webhooks — Setup notifications and advanced triggers when people subscribe or unsubscribe from your Upcoming Landing Page.

*These features are shipping soon!

Come on-board

Today, we’re opening Ship to the public, on-boarding a few hundred makers each week. We’re also offering a 20% discount on Pro plans for the next few days with this super secret link. You’ll also get to skip the waitlist. 😸

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