Startup Marketing
Minimum price
Suggested price

Startup Marketing

Unlocking Startup Growth

About the Book

Your startup will fail or succeed based on your ability to profitably acquire, convert and monetize customers. The Startup Marketing Blog was created to help you avoid wasting time, effort and money as you tackle this challenge.

While few will admit it, even experienced marketers don’t know where to begin building a startup’s customer base.

After running marketing at two startups from launch to IPO filings I decided to focus 100% of my entrepreneurial energy trying to answer this key startup customer question: What are the initiatives needed to drive customer traction/growth at startups and when are they important?

Figuring this out has not been a solo journey. Many successful entrepreneurs have shared their insights with me. The most influential has been Steve Blank, who authored the fantastic book “The Four Steps to the Epiphany” based on his experience building multiple successful startups. I’ve also had the privilege of working directly with incredibly talented and scrappy CEOs and founders at Dropbox, Xobni, Eventbrite, Lookout, Grockit, , 20×200, Outright, Songkick and many others. Finally, I’ve led discussions about my finding in large group settings with entrepreneurs in San Francisco, Boston, Tokyo, London, Dublin and Edinburgh.

Instead of hoarding my startup marketing discoveries, I’m sharing them through this blog. It’s the only way to ensure that I keep evolving quickly – and there is still so much for us all to learn. My goal with every blog post is to map actionable recommendations to the big picture of your startup’s ultimate success. I only post articles when I believe you’ll get a good return on your time invested reading them. You are too busy to waste your time reading theory loaded with jargon. If you find me slipping into theory/jargon mode, please bust me on it via comments. Also, please share your experiences that validate or conflict with my findings.

This article on the Startup Pyramid provides the best overview of my findings to date.

Thanks for reading,

Sean Ellis

  • Share this book

  • Categories

    • Startups

About the Author

Sean Ellis
Sean Ellis

Sean Ellis is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of a new stealth consumer startup. Previous roles include leading marketing from launch through NASDAQ IPO filings at both LogMeIn and Uproar and later bringing Xobni to market as Interim VP Marketing. In addition to these marketing roles, he served as the President of European Operations at Uproar Inc, a publicly-traded provider of online games, until it was acquired by Vivendi Universal, Inc. Ellis has also served as a marketing consultant or advisor to 14 freemium businesses including Dropbox, Eventbrite and Lookout during their transitions to high growth companies and he publishes the popular marketing blog

Sean Ellis’s Specialties:

- Transitioning startups to massively scalable growth - Figuring out creative, cost-effective ways to grow startups - Startup metrics - Funnel conversion optimization - Pricing optimization - Positioning on core user perceived value - SaaS business model - Freemium business model - Customer development - VC fundraising

Table of Contents

  1. December 2008
  2. 10,000 Hours of Go To Market Experience: Who Will Get There First?
  3. Is “Go To Market” Mastery Really Possible?
  4. My Favorite Online Marketing Tactic - Doesn’t Work
  5. Y Combinator is Dead?
  6. January 2009
  7. How to Determine the Optimal Price for Your Web Service
  8. 6-Month News Vacation
  9. Update to 12in6 Methodology Presentation
  10. The Startup Marketing Launch Process is Broken
  11. Hire a Mathematician to Run Marketing
  12. What Makes A Great Startup?
  13. February 2009
  14. What is a Perfect Startup Launch?
  15. Don’t Hire a Marketer for Your Early Stage Startup
  16. More Customer Development Cycles
  17. March 2009
  18. Startup Theory VS Reality
  19. Social Media Marketing Strategy for Startups
  20. Iterating Without Understanding?
  21. April 2009
  22. The Right Business Model for Your Startup
  23. User Growth Vs Revenue (Why “Free Only” May Limit Growth)
  24. Indifference is Your Real Competitor
  25. To Pay Or Not To Pay To Acquire Users?
  26. Fast Vs Careful Decision Making in Startups
  27. May 2009
  28. The Lean Startup Era?
  29. Keys to Unlocking Startup Growth
  30. What is the Lean Startup Approach?
  31. Free Customer Development Help –
  32. June 2009
  33. Big Picture Customer Development Revisited
  34. July 2009
  35. The Startup Pyramid
  36. Great Resources for Achieving Product/Market Fit
  37. September 2009
  38. When Should a Startup Start Charging?
  39. Quick thoughts from TC 50: ToonsTunes
  40. Quick Thoughts from TC50: ToyBots
  41. Quick Thoughts from TC50: SeatGeek
  42. Seedcamp in London
  43. October 2009
  44. Founders Make the Best Startup Marketing Leaders
  45. My Slides from Steve Blank’s Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Class
  46. More on CEO’s Role in Driving Growth
  47. December 2009
  48. Milestones to Startup Success
  49. Audio Interview on Venture Hacks
  50. January 2010
  51. When PR for Your Startup?
  52. 12in6 Projects (Updated 1/10/10)
  53. Bringing Your Product to Market
  54. March 2010
  55. Optimization Mistakes that Kill Startups
  56. April 2010
  57. My Presentation at Lean Startup Circle in SF
  58. A Lean Start is Smart
  59. Sneak Preview: KISSmetrics
  60. Early Detection is Key
  61. Steve Blank’s SLL Keynote – It’s a “Must Watch”
  62. Dropbox – The Power of a “Value Based” Startup
  63. May 2010
  64. Key Elements of a Massively Scalable Startup
  65. June 2010
  66. Figuring Out Your Way to Startup Success
  67. Deconstructing Startup Growth
  68. My Mixergy Interview
  69. July 2010
  70. Getting to Product-Market Fit
  71. Find a Growth Hacker for Your Startup
  72. The Startup Team
  73. August 2010
  74. Bringing a Network Effect Business to Market
  75. September 2010
  76. I’m Founding a Startup
  77. The 3 Keys to Success with Freemium
  78. November 2010
  79. Vision Synching in a Lean Startup
  80. March 2011
  81. Ideal Ratio of Product Vs Marketing Spend for a Consumer Startup
  82. Wasting Time Validating Assumptions?
  83. May 2011
  84. Launched CatchFree at TechCrunch Disrupt
  85. November 2011
  86. The Cult of “Great Product”
  87. December 2011
  88. Great Guidance on Pricing from Zoosk CEO
  89. March 2012
  90. Chasing Problems?
  91. Key to Sustaining Rapid Growth

The Leanpub 60-day 100% Happiness Guarantee

Within 60 days of purchase you can get a 100% refund on any Leanpub purchase, in two clicks.

See full terms

80% Royalties. Earn $16 on a $20 book.

We pay 80% royalties. That's not a typo: you earn $16 on a $20 sale. If we sell 5000 non-refunded copies of your book or course for $20, you'll earn $80,000.

(Yes, some authors have already earned much more than that on Leanpub.)

In fact, authors have earnedover $12 millionwriting, publishing and selling on Leanpub.

Learn more about writing on Leanpub

Free Updates. DRM Free.

If you buy a Leanpub book, you get free updates for as long as the author updates the book! Many authors use Leanpub to publish their books in-progress, while they are writing them. All readers get free updates, regardless of when they bought the book or how much they paid (including free).

Most Leanpub books are available in PDF (for computers) and EPUB (for phones, tablets and Kindle). The formats that a book includes are shown at the top right corner of this page.

Finally, Leanpub books don't have any DRM copy-protection nonsense, so you can easily read them on any supported device.

Learn more about Leanpub's ebook formats and where to read them

Write and Publish on Leanpub

You can use Leanpub to easily write, publish and sell in-progress and completed ebooks and online courses!

Leanpub is a powerful platform for serious authors, combining a simple, elegant writing and publishing workflow with a store focused on selling in-progress ebooks.

Leanpub is a magical typewriter for authors: just write in plain text, and to publish your ebook, just click a button. (Or, if you are producing your ebook your own way, you can even upload your own PDF and/or EPUB files and then publish with one click!) It really is that easy.

Learn more about writing on Leanpub