When I first got the job at Mint before they launched Aaron Patzer (founder) told me I had to get Mint.com 100,000 users 6 months after launching. Shit, I was a bit nervous. This is common in most startups, fortunately Mint had over a million users after 6 months.
How did that happen?
First off, the product was awesome. That makes marketing less about “marketing” (whatever that is) and more about educating and sharing with people. Still, there is always that annoying quote about if a tree falls, blah blah you know what I mean.
Instead of doing “social media marketing” and flailing around with random posts throughout the web we needed a framework and a new approach to pre-launch marketing.
Quant Based Marketing.
Work backwards to the solution of what you need and map it in Excel. Dave McClure is an Excel / PowerPoint guru if you ever need some inspiration.
Here’s an example for Mint:
Target: 100,000 users in 6 months.
This is they KEY to any pre-launch marketing you are doing.
Most people have the tendency to wait for their thing to launch, email a few friend, tweet about it and get on their knees to pray it works.
There are two columns, total users and confirmed users. When you setup your metrics on the pre-launch like above and then confirm the marketing channels you cannot fail. Only confirmed matters!!
You must confirm the marketing ahead of time: blogs, twitterers, ad buys, etc… Don’t leave it up to chance.
- Make your target list prior to launch.
- Figure out your target list through: wefollow.com, google searches, pick specific niches (at Mint it was Personal Finance, geeks (Paul Stamatiou) and GTD people) and other wild ways
- Track with the Google Spreadsheet to know what’s working and what’s not.
- Consider testing 2-3 different messages to people to see which get highest responses.
- Use new methods to get a hold of people. Don’t be like everyone else
- Oh yea, build a great product.
Follow me on Twitter if you like this and want more.
Thanks Jason Baptiste for reviewing.
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