The growth of Dropbox from 1 million to 500 million in 7 years

August 27, 2020

Dropbox is currently one of the most used digital platforms across the globe with a total of 500 million users. Its usage has been growing steadily ever since. In only 7 years, Dropbox was able to achieve growth from 1 million to 500 million users. Much of this dramatic growth was fueled by online marketing.

As an online service, Dropbox’s online marketing was absolutely important. Its users were already there — it just needed to find a way to tap into its already existing clientele. This was done in a scalable, cost-effective way by essentially recruiting its own customers. Dropbox encouraged customers to invite others through a variety of social media platforms, which turned the ordinary user into a brand ambassador.

Furthermore, Dropbox had to segregate its marketing campaigns with its ultimate goals being to serve to businesses who would be more likely to pay for a premium model.

This meant that Dropbox had to reach a certain saturation point. The more ubiquitous its product became, the more likely it would be that commercial enterprises would invest in premium services. This underscored the importance of fast, even chaotic, growth.

Key aspects of their marketing strategy included the following:

A Clean, Clear Landing

Dropbox’s landing page immediately describes its product in a clear and simple sentence and then prompts users to commit. As a free product, Dropbox yields the best results by encouraging users to test out their service.

Once users test out their free service, ideally they will be encouraged to pay for a premium version.

Built-In Marketing

Dropbox encouraged users to connect with others and promote Dropbox as a service by giving them more space for their files. By sharing content on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms, users could get an upgrade to the amount of space that they had.

This not only brought users closer to the brand, but it also made for fast-paced grass roots growth.

An Inspiring Market

In general, Dropbox had to reach a very large audience. It geared up for through a unique online marketing campaign that was designed to show its brand values. Customers started seeing the brand as standing for something, rather than being yet another software utility.

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