How I converted 20,000 users, with a $50 budget in 1 month


Our StartUp has managed to reach over 20 000 registered users within only one month, by completely focusing on Facebook marketing. Cheap, straight forward, neglecting all other common marketing advices and strategies.

Generally, gaining a social reach with a small and limited budget is a major problem, every Tech-StartUp has to face and conquer. Usually a lot of effort goes into finding the right marketing techniques.

Simply type in „StartUp-Marketing“ into Google and you will find SlideShares, that list useful tools, offline solutions and articles about how important a Facebook, Youtube and Google+ pages are.

My advice to all StartUps out there: FORGET ALL THAT SHIT! 


The no.1 marketing technique, we used was highly frequented Facebook group posting!Sounds rough…and it turned out: it is!

As our target group are students, as well as young professionals, we explicitly focused on study groups, starting at 100 members, going up to 5000 active users.

The best marketing of a website is always the content itself. Hence, one can argue about the sustainability of this method. Though, it allows StartUps like us to get a decent user base. And every CEO of a StartUp knows how important & difficult that is!

“The right content for the right target group”

Besides constantly adding groups to our accounts (btw. we noticed very quickly, that no more than 300 groups can be added to fake-account), we created content for every sub-target group, with the intention of increasing the probability, that users won’t regard our posts as spam – sometimes successful, sometimes not!

“Facebook is intelligent”

After joining about 150 groups within 10 minutes, Facebook tells you, that you are misusing this feature and asks you to type in your phone number. Managing 15 fake accounts and only 6 people in our team, we were in desperate need for phone numbers, that we could use to verify our accounts. THE SOLUTION:

Prepaid simcards became very cheap over the last years, allowing us to buy simcards for 8$ each. This resulted into an office desk that looked like this:


“1200 unique visitors / hour”

Applying this technique brought us up to 1200 unique visitors / hour. The Google-Analytics screenshot below nicely illustrates the steep increase of unique visitors. On that day, we started our posting session at 12:00am and went on for one hour!


On an average day like below, we  that day we had almost 500 registrations, resulting from one hour of work and a 50$ investment on phone numbers! That’s what I call a good return on investment!


About Andreas Altheimer

My Name is Andreas Altheimer (Head of Marketing @ MercuryPuzzle). On this Blog I post about experiences with different marketing techniques!MercuryPuzzle is a young tech-StartUp, that links talents with matching jobs & companies.
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9 Responses to How I converted 20,000 users, with a $50 budget in 1 month

  1. Alejandro sagt:

    How was the message you send to the groups i would like to know more about the copy text you share on groups. young enterpreneur bootstraping a bussiness.

  2. Matt sagt:

    I’m also curious as to what you sent out and HOW you sent it out. Did you post on the group’s wall? Message members directly? etc…

  3. funnypict678 sagt:

    that is impressive. thank you for sharing your success and technique.

  4. I am very impressed, so much so, I have to try it!!

  5. Very impressive. Nice work arounds and good job understanding your target buyer persona and where they were hanging out.


  6. James sagt:

    Am I misunderstanding the site? If you have 20,000 unique users on the site I would expect to be able to see my match to at least a fraction of these users… however after substantial efforts I only seem to be able to connect with about 35 different people… 20,000 vs 35… please explain?

  7. Pingback: Good and Bad Decisions 5-23-13 - Mind Your Decisions

  8. Spook SEO sagt:

    Amazing post. I love reading success stories like these. Not only is it inspiring to other marketers, its got TONS of golden nuggets in them too.

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