What are Some of the Most Successful Low Budget Startup Marketing Campaigns You've Seen?


I'm curious if anyone has great examples to share of their own startups or others achieving highly successful and visible media attention, customer attraction or general brand awareness. A few that have impressed me over the years include:

Hoping to get inspired!


asked Oct 12 '09 at 13:26
1,001 points
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  • +1 for OkCupid! Also fantastic question... these are the times I wish I could up-vote twice! – Jason 15 years ago
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4 Answers


Peldi from Balsamiq Studios got 100 product reviews in under a year and tons of press in the first six weeks of life.

He also generously wrote a detailed post on how he did it, including even the email templates he used for bloggers.

Almost a year later he updated all the points in that post with what he's learned in the meantime in this interview I did recently.

answered Oct 12 '09 at 14:12
16,231 points
  • Top notch example - thanks Jason! – Randfish 15 years ago


I believe no such list would be complete without mentioning 37signals ' release of Ruby On Rails under an Open Source license.

It generated such an attention -- even if it grew rather slowly compared to a traditional campaign --, it's hard to imaging whether any traditional method could have had the same lasting effect. Also, their web design as well as their advocacy of a more substainable business model influenced a whole generation of start-ups. The later is still good enough to create media attention, occasionally.

answered Oct 13 '09 at 20:00
Claus Schwarm
1,599 points


I'm not advocating that this is still a "good" guerrilla marketing technique, but SquareSpace had a giveaway where you were entered by simply putting #squarespace in your Tweets.

I'm not affiliated with SquareSpace, but being the tech contact for a lot of friends and associates, I had people calling and asking ME about SquareSpace, what it was, and if they should use it for their website for about a week.

This technique is somewhat considered Twitter Spam, but the point I have is, original ideas are still out there.

Now, if SquareSpace had known that other tech's would be contacted regarding their marketing, they may have created another level to their marketing to inspire people like me to send our customers to their service.

answered Oct 29 '09 at 03:39
Ben Mc
421 points


A gadget giveaway (iphone or ipod, etc) is generally a great way to get lots of activity and interest. if you can get enough people/feedback/attention/whatever, the cost could be peanuts.

$500 for lots and lots of people to participate in whatever you are doing is pretty low cost IMO.

answered Oct 29 '09 at 00:28
Tim J
8,346 points

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