How Mint Grew from 0 to million users in 6 months

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Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash
We grew Mint from 0 to 1 million users in 6 months. 2 years later, Mint sold for $170 million. Here’s how we got those first million users👇
But before I get there, here’s the quick background: • I joined as employee #4 • #1 personal finance tracker • Mint sold to Intuit for $170M in 2009
I found Mint and was like… “HEY this is dope!” So I pitched the founder on why I should be his Director of Marketing. He laughed at me. “You’ve never even worked in marketing.” Good point.
But I wrote out a 6-month Mint marketing plan and launch strategy. He hired me on the spot. If you want a job, show don’t tell.
We had a problem though. We had no product and 0 users. My 1st job? Get 100,000 users in 6 months. Here’s how we did it:
Step 1: Deadlines are everything Yes, your 5th grade Math teacher was right. I also learned this from Zuckerberg. → Always set measurable deadlines For Mint: 100K users in 6 months Then you can reverse engineer how to get there.
Step 2: Who is the customer? Ok, you’re probably thinking @noahkagan this one is obvious! Everyone is the customer because everyone wants more money. Wrong. You need to make this super specific.
So I went to a million coffee shops and asked people questions. Examples: • Current financial strategy? • Need help with most of your finances? • How would your ideal personal finance tool work? Our target customer: Young professionals + personal finance nerds
Step 3: Make No Product Look Sexy We didn’t even have a product. But I needed to build hype somehow. Hype = Collect emails from people that fit our demographic Here’s how we did this:
3) Can I pay you $1,000? At the time, no one was sponsoring smaller finance blogs. So I’d email the writers with sponsorship offers for $1,000. It worked well and drove lots of email sign-ups. Lesson: Search for undervalued marketing channels
The result? When we launched we had 100,000 people on our email list. In 6 months, we crushed our 100K goal to the tune of 1 million users.
Follow me @noahkagan for more threads about marketing and helping build AppSumo from $0-$85M in revenue.
To recap: 1) Set measurable deadlines 2) Talk to customers: who are they and what is the problem? 3) Build hype (or collect emails) by targeting places where they hang out online Bonus: Use undervalued marketing channels like niche influencers

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