The right audience is mandatory
I often read that ProductHunt is necessary to reach a broader audience, and having your product not reach the top 5 is considered a failure.
But this doesn't apply to everyone. You need to consider which audience your product is targeting and focus there.
Granted, if you can reach the top #5 in ProductHunt, you'll get great visibility that is always welcome, but that won't necessarily translate to quality users or even paid users.
(If you did a successful launch but got no paying customers from PH, raise your hand).
Let me share a history of why targeting the right audience is important.
This was a 35x from my usual number of daily visitors.
You would believe that going from ~215 daily visitors to ~7,500 would also generate a spike in the number of new users, but it turns out that the audience wasn't the one interested in converting HTMLs to PDF, so the number of new users didn't follow that 35x increase:
Don't get me wrong here. I'm very happy that @staticmaker1 mentioned PDFShift in their tweets. This brought some great visibility for PDFShift and planted the name in the mind of many people that might think of PDFShift in the future. I'm really thankful they mentioned PDFShift 🙏
But the result proves that the appropriate audience is a key aspect when getting recognition for your product.
If @TomCruise writes a tweet about your product (I'm mentioning him since he's getting the headlines with his upcoming movie :D), you'll get a TON of visitors, that's for sure, but not so many will convert to actual users. And in these users, most of them will be lost and won't understand what you are offering. They aren't your appropriate target, that's all.
For this reason, ProductHunt isn't always necessary. And failing to finish on the top 5 isn't a fatality for your product if it isn't the right audience.
So, repeat after me: "The right audience is mandatory when sharing your product"