The first step of course is to have a compelling product. In this case, Mint.com definitely delivers. The next step is to launch with a bang. Mint is obviously could be defined as a Web 2.0 company, though it does not say anything to that effect on their website. They launched during TechCrunch40 and won by being the best presenting company. Now they are on Lifehacker, Digg, and a host of other sites. This means they have a lot of traffic and their new users are going to have above average technology skills.
So what do we have
- Great application
- Great Launch Platform
- Wide scale exposure for free
- An initial class of users that will help improve your product
- Oh and don't forget the $50,000 they won by being the best presenter
See marketing is not hard and does not have to be costly. Just be good at a few things and use them to your advantage. In this case, the founders have great presentation skills and a compelling enough product to warrant entrance to the event. Now they have had a successful launch that should lead to profitability if their business model is sound.