How HelpDocs Used Product Hunt And Driftbot To Jumpstart Their Growth


Meet Jake Peters.

Jake is the CEO of HelpDocs, a company he started in 2016.

And like many founders, Jake’s company was born out of a problem he had experienced first-hand.

See, after Jake struggled to make great product documentation (like help docs, technical docs, and FAQs) for his last company, Jake decide to do the entrepreneurial thing and take matters into his own hands as an engineer.

Business had been going pretty well since launching earlier in the year, but Jake and his co-founder Jarratt were ready to fire up their growth after spending a few months polishing the product and improving the customer experience — so they turned to Product Hunt.

Launching HelpDocs On Product Hunt

After having a friend “hunt” HelpDocs (that’s what the Product Hunt crowd calls it when someone posts your new company) bright and early on a Tuesday morning, it was go time.

Help Docs Launch

Jake’s initial comment on Product Hunt

HelpDocs went on to receive over 200 upvotes from the community on Product Hunt — and they finished the day as the #9 product in tech.

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Not too bad for a two man team entering a pretty crowded market.

And those 200+ upvotes helped drive 3,000 people to the HelpDocs website from Product Hunt, including 1,800 on the first day alone.

That’s enough traffic to make or break an early stage company on launch day (the excitement of a launch can evaporate quickly if the product and website don’t hold up).

But Jake had a plan.

In anticipation of the spike in traffic from Product Hunt, Jake wanted to give new visitors an easy way to get in touch with the HelpDocs team — instead of directing them to a traditional “contact us” form.

“People want to interact with other people,” Jake said. “It should be obvious, right? But traditional contact forms and old-school messaging apps have made it hard.”

So Jake used Drift to publish a simple message with his smiling face on the HelpDocs homepage asking people the same question he would ask if they were talking in-person: “anything I can help with?”

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“Forms add friction to people getting in touch,” Jake said about the decision to use a messaging app on his homepage. “If people have a question, they expect an answer right away today. And if you can’t deliver and respond to leads quickly, they might disappear forever. We didn’t want to miss out on sales from Product Hunt because people had unanswered questions. Using Drift meant that we could talk to our leads in real-time and resolve their concerns immediately.”

And Jake took things a step further to make the experience even more personal for people visiting the HelpDocs site.

Whenever a link gets posted to Product Hunt, they automatically add this ref=producthunt tag so companies can easily track the referral traffic they get:

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So Jake was able to target the traffic from that link by creating a simple rule in Drift:

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And then he created a custom message that only appeared for the people who came from Product Hunt — and sweetened the deal with a coupon code:


But having conversations with hundreds of people live on his website in real-time sounds kind of…crazy, right?

Especially on a launch day with so much happening. It’s not like Jake and Jarratt could afford to sit at the computer and react to questions all day.

Well that’s exactly where Driftbot (our chatbot here at Drift) helped manage some of the chat volume.

Scaling Customer Communication With Driftbot

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Driftbot helped out a ton by managing and triaging our inbound leads” Jake said. “Rather than leaving people waiting without a response, Driftbot kept them in the loop with what was happening. He asked if people were looking to talk to sales or support, then routed the conversations to the right person on our team.”
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And even though Jake was online, sales conversations would automatically get routed to Jarratt since he’s focused on customer success (while support conversations were routed to Jake, since he’s the engineer):
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And in addition to helping Jake and Jarratt manage conversations, Driftbot was also able to hop in and answer questions for them:
“Driftbot helped us out with our logged in users too. When they got in touch with technical questions, Driftbot used the HelpDocs integration to fetch articles from our knowledge base that might help. The bot did a great job of keeping our paying customers happy while we were dealing with a higher-than-usual volume of conversations from Product Hunt.”
So what’s the impact of having one-to-one conversations with customers like HelpDocs did on launch day?
“By breaking down the barriers of communication with a platform like Drift, users stay happier for longer,” Jake said. “And that’s going to have a huge impact on our business, from lead generation all the way through to retention.”

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