📢 Why Reddit Marketing is the next big thing, and how you can do it

There's a popular opinion that Reddit is a 'tough place' for marketing and advertising, and that's correct.

  • Reddit Ads are totally unsuccessful - talking from experience, because of the REALLY low conversion rate, and because the nature of the Redditors (over 80% of them, use AdBlock)
  • Managing an organic growth on Reddit (especially if you are an Indie Hacker or "serial entrepreneur") is really time consuming and is not really suitable for early stage startups
  • Have you tried commenting/posting in subreddits ? So, how long until you got banned from that subreddit ? 10-15 minutes?

All these red flags... but still, Reddit is a 'hidden gem', if you use it the right way!

🌌 There is a subreddit for nearly anything
There is a 99.9% possibility that part of your target group is on Reddit.
Different niches = different subreddits.

💬 Reddit has one of the largest communities
Reddit is big. Reddit is active. And you are probably not marketing there... (for now)

🍏 Reddit is Entrepreneurs' Garden of Eden
If you are an entrepreneur, then I can responsibly say that Reddit is the right place to start your research, analysis, idea validation and initial marketing

🎁 Reddit users are open for new and valuable things
The redditors are there for sharing knowledge and values, but also for gaining knowledge and values. If your product/service really brings value, it will be gladly accepted by the most of the community.
Don't sell to redditors, give them value and they'll come!

===== So, how can I start marketing on Reddit ? =====
As some of you already know, I've been developing
Howitzer - a marketing tool for Reddit, made for Entrepreneurs, Startups and Indie Hackers - people like you and me!

It is the ultimate (and only) solution for successful Reddit marketing, that actually worked for me.

Howitzer is basically a combination from Reddit's huge user base and direct marketing!
We implemented a simple technique for targeting Reddit users, and a totally remote solution for private messaging them, at scale.

Feel free to check my landing page, and join the waitlist if you think it can solve your problems! We'll be up & running in no time!


  1. 22

    Reminds me of the quote: "Marketers ruin everything", lol

    1. 14

      This isn't a marketer, this is a professional spammer creating a tool to send spam.

    2. 0

      I believe that in a world where it's really hard and expensive to market something, you've got to use everything you can to get your place under the sun :)
      That's the philosophy of growth hacking.
      We didn't create Howitzer with intentions of ruining Reddit's community, we just created a tool that helped us growth hack things, and shared with the world.

      1. 7

        Please, this isn't growth hacking. You are just spamming users, which is also illegal in many places.

        1. 0

          Thanks for opinion ashfame!
          I'll leave this here:

          According to Spamhaus (a supplier of realtime threat intelligence), an unsolicited message is spam if, “the recipient’s personal identity and context are irrelevant because the message is equally applicable to many other potential recipients.”

          1. 7

            This is literally example #1 on Reddit’s own article on spamming:

            The following are examples of behavior that may be considered spam and are subject to removal/suspension:

            Sending large amounts of private messages to users who are not expecting them.

            Keep in mind all it takes is for Reddit to revoke your API client ID and/or block requests from your user agent to instantly kill a product like this.

            1. 1

              We've considered the possibility of getting banned from Reddit (first, because we are their direct competitor), but we are doing everything we have thought of, to avoid it :)
              By using dynamic IPs, interchangeable Reddit apps from different administration account, and bunch of other secrets and tech words :)

              1. 9

                Dude, listen to yourself. That is absolute spammy horse shit. If you have to go around a site’s rules that much just to spam users then you should feel bad.

                1. 4

                  He has "considered" & "believe" this is not spam.

                  21 votes on this post, also speaks volume about the folks in community.

                  Let them figure out the hard way.

                  1. 1

                    This comment was deleted 8 months ago.

              2. 2

                So you admit that you hide what you're really doing.

                That's a very wrong business idea. Your whole operation can be completely shut down by Reddit. I can assure you it will happen sooner or later with such an approach. It's just a matter of time.

  2. 10

    I want to be supportive in this community. However with a name like Howitzer and phrasing like private messaging them at scale seems like an abuse of the community standards.

    Furthermore, leveraging the IH name in your marketing soils the brand and the rest of us. Redditors hate this kind of stuff.

    1. 3

      I agree, I think this is against Reddit's ToS anyway and DMing is very intrusive. You should only DM users that are directly asking for a solution that you happen to have the answer for.

      1. 0

        I understand your concerns, and we've discussed this numerous times before creating Howitzer.
        But, it's a growth hacking tool, so I believe that doing this kind of things in the early stage is really helpful.
        We have invested a lot in our Targeting Users part, so that we can "guarantee" that you'll be targeting only the redditors that are interested in your product (redditors who have asked/talked about that kind of product/service).
        At the end, it's really similar to cold e-mailing.
        Also, we are using Reddit's API and we strictly abide by their limits.

        PS: It's not spam if it brings you value or solves you a problem :)

        1. 4

          it's really similar to cold e-mailing

          Personally I am also against cold e-mailing, as it's literarily spam.

          1. 0

            Well, in that case, probably you are not a target group for Howitzer, and that's okay.
            Howitzer is made for growth hackers, for people who are ready to 'hack' their way to place their product in the market, for people who want to execute their initial marketing strategies with low budget.

            I believe that if you are an IndieHacker-type-of-entrepreneur in 2021, you can't succeed without growth hacking mindset.

  3. 7

    Could be an awesome product!
    But many redditors HATE spam, so I guess it'll depends of the targeted audience. But for gaming niche, I see many opportunities

    1. 2

      Thats what I'm thinking too. what's stopping them reporting your acct and banning you? Better to be banned from subreddits than to start the karma grind all over again.

      1. 0

        You don't need high karma accounts for executing these marketing strategies.
        By using Howitzer, you can execute strategies even using reddit accounts with 1 karma.
        We encourage this if you don't want to risk your high-karma accounts

    2. 0

      Well, many people hate cold e-mailing and it is still the most effective marketing strategy.
      I understand your concerns, I've had them too, but I really believe that Howitzer will be used for good things :)

  4. 4

    I love the concept, but I'm cautious about how this would work out IRL. Redditors are so adverse to advertising. I would imagine them being twice as upset about being targeted via DM.

    Do you have any numbers that back up how effective this strategy is? Perhaps conversion stats from your early users? Or numbers that compare direct outreach versus ads?

    1. 1

      Thanks alison!
      I plan to make a post about it these days.
      I'll cover one or two of the real life examples of Howitzer's usage (probably the one with Beermoney's marketing strategy).

      I haven't really measured (in details) Howitzer vs. Reddit Ads to tell you concrete numbers, but it's a good idea, and I think it will be really helpful to show concrete numbers with comparation to Reddit Ads on our landing page.
      Thanks for the idea!

      All I can say is that I've tried Reddit Ads numerous times, and the results were awful. Also, I don't know a growth hacking guy that has good experience with Reddit Ads.

      PS: One of the guys that used the alpha version of Howitzer said that it is 20x better than Reddit Ads, but I don't have numbers to support/validate this 20x better statement.

  5. 3

    I made a python script that does this and I can confirm it’s really effective. I didn’t turn my script in a product like this because I believe it’s a matter of time before reddit takes counter measures if this becomes a popular method of advertising. And I didn’t want to degrade the reddit experience. I was happy to keep it as my own secret growth hack trick. Well, it’s not so secret anymore. :p

  6. 3

    I was hoping this would provide more insights, rather than trying to sell your own tool.

    A value add here, would be to provide some details as to what people are currently doing on reddit vs how you would solve it (manually) as a user, and then introduce your solution as an even (easier / automated /whatever) way of doing it.

    1. 0

      Thanks for the feedback.
      You are right. I considered doing that, but the post became too long :)
      It's a material for a blog post.

      Also, I wanted to somehow announce Howitzer on IH.

  7. 3

    Also https://f5bot.com/ is pretty awesome for finding people talking about keywords across Reddit, Hacker News, and Lobsters.

    1. 0

      Thanks for mentioning it, will look at it! :)

  8. 2

    Let me cool down this ode to Reddit (based on my experience):

    There is a subreddit for nearly anything

    But 99.9% of them are super intolerant to ads of any case (including ads mimicking articles)

    💬 Reddit has one of the largest communities

    What is the point if we can't gain them.

    🍏 Reddit is Entrepreneurs' Garden of Eden

    This is totally true, especially for the research.

    🎁 Reddit users are open for new and valuable things

    But the same moment most of them hate when you try to tell (not to sell, just tell!) about your own products... and direct messages are very often against the rules!

    So, I would really appreciate, if you show us how your product overcome these problems. Thanks!

    1. 0

      Thanks for your interest in this.
      Howitzer, offers you an advanced targeting system, that allows you to find and extract the users that will be interested in your product.
      We analyze comments and posts, we run sentiment analysis (to determine if the user talked postitive/negative/neutral about the given topic) on each post/comment that is potential, we find potential users, and then we back-check their history.
      When we are sure that those users have high percent of being interested in your product/service, we return them to you.
      By getting this user list, you can be pretty sure that these people are going to be interested in your product, and the only thing left for you is to reach them.

      We've implemented message automation feature, that enables you to message the extracted list of users. We are doing this totally remote, so you just need to set and configure the messaging campaign (write the message, etc.), and we are going to message these users on your behalf, through your Reddit account(s).

      I've found out that we (redditors) hate when people are trying to sell/tell their own products, but we love when the products bring us value.
      I remember a guy who sent me a PM on Reddit, about a Flutter course... I became his subscriber :)

      Stay tuned, these days I'll write a post with concrete examples of successful Reddit marketing, by using Howitzer.

      1. 1

        Thanks for the comprehensive response, but I think there is the point:

        I've found out that we (redditors) hate when people are trying to sell/tell their own products, but we love when the products bring us value.

        As a redditor, I had promo messages and none of them yet brought me any value. So, if your product may help with finding people to send the messages to, can it also help with making them (the messages) not looking promotional and bringing value?

        1. 0

          Of course you can make the messages not look promotional or extra cold e-mailish!
          We implemented personalization variables, that help you access user's username, humanized form of the username (ex: converts SeaCat_123 -> to SeaCat), mentioned keyphrase, subreddit where the user posted about the given topic, etc, and use them in the message.

          Hey [username]! I noticed that you were talking about X in r/[subreddit] ...

          We are also working on implementing a spam checker for the message you want to send, so that you'll be sure that you are not sending something that makes you sound like a 'travelling salesman'.

          About the 'bringing value' thing, I personally believe that it should be left to the marketer/growth hacker, because we are not a marketing agency and we don't want to be too smart, by guessing this kind of things.
          It's up to you to make a valuable thing, we just offer a way to kickstart marketing it.

          Hope I answered your question.
          Also, if you want more info, check the 'Message Automation' section, in our landing page.

  9. 1

    Hey, quick question about your approach - I have a few ideas that I'm trying to pick between and was planning on creating a few different splash pages to validate the ideas.
    How is the "join the waitlist" approach working for you? Are you getting people to sign up or do they expect something more tangible before they join?

  10. 1

    In short this is a bot / robot that will work for you. Anyone who want to get a ban on Reddit should use it...

  11. 1

    I Just did an experiment here by submitting the text on this post at a sentiment analyser tool. Here what it comes out:

    "This text has a sentiment score of -38.9. This means that the overall sentiment or tone of this text is somewhat negative / serious."

    and here it is how they do the math:

    "This free tool will allow you to conduct a sentiment analysis on virtually any text written in English. The system computes a sentiment score which reflects the overall sentiment, tone, or emotional feeling of your input text. Sentiment scores range from -100 to +100, where -100 indicates a very negative or serious tone and +100 indicates a very positive or enthusiastic tone."

    Here it is the tool for the seek of clarity & transparency :-) https://www.danielsoper.com/sentimentanalysis/default.aspx

    1. 1

      Yes, this is just one tool for doing it.
      It doesn't mean that it's the best/ultimate tool, right ?
      Different tools give different results. There's Google NLP Sentiment Analysis tool also, compare the results

  12. 1

    As someone that has delved into reddit + reddit advertising, let me chime in for a bit:

    1. The reddit advertising per se, is beyond stupid. It's as if reddit advertising doesn't want your money -- if you make an ad on late Friday, it will be reviewed by the ad team on Monday. Man, these people are idiots.
    2. While I subscribed to your tool, I really think you should re-focus it. Basically, after you've found the users I'm interested about, for each user, you should show me info about why he'd be interested in my product. Then, I should be able to target that specific user - sort of, a bit like cold email. Otherwise, it won't be long before your tool will be banned. I know reddit has an API for automation, so if enough users report messages sent with your app, you'll be banned forever - very likely along with the accounts you've sent this from.
    1. 1

      Thanks for presubscribing CinematicStudio!

      1. I agree with your opinion on Reddit Ads, completely,
      2. That's exactly what we are doing!
        After you find your users, we show them in a list, with a table view where you can see each user, their post/comment, title, info, sentiment, etc.

      And yes, you are targeting/contacting them through private messages on Reddit (like cold e-mailing).

      We've considered the possibility of getting banned from Reddit (first, because we are their direct competitor), but don't worry, we are doing everything we have thought of, to avoid this :)
      By using dynamic IPs, interchangeable Reddit apps, and bunch of other tech words :)

      PS: Maybe I should record a video where I'm explaining Howitzer and showing off a real life example of it?!

      1. 1

        After you find your users, we show them in a list, with a table view where you can see each user, their post/comment, title, info, sentiment, etc.

        This sounds cool! In this case, I could actually use it similar to cold-emailing.

        We've considered the possibility of getting banned from Reddit (first, because we are their direct competitor), but don't worry, we are doing everything we have thought of, to avoid this :)

        Clearly you'll be doing that :D I think this might be your biggest obstacle - doing this in a way so reddit won't ban you. Because I believe if they figure it out, they'll be able to ban you once you change tactics.

        PS: Maybe I should record a video where I'm explaining Howitzer and showing off a real life example of it?!

        That might certainly be a good idea ;)

  13. 1

    How do I tell about product in subreddit. do you any specific suggestions?

    1. 0

      If you have a lot of karma and you are REALLY active (or mod) in that subreddit, it would be much easier to post about your product. The negative side is that this usually takes a lot of time and effort (few months), and requires you to constantly provide value to that subreddit.
      If you try to talk about your product in a subreddit, and you are not a moderator or REALLY active, it's most likely that you'll get banned or your posts will get deleted.
      Reddit hates self-promotion.
      I haven't found a way to successfully talk about my product in a specific subreddit.
      The only thing that worked for me was private messaging the users (if you want to address small number of redditors you can do the whole process manually, without Howitzer)

  14. 1

    Good pitch bro. I actually got a DM from someone trying to market me an accountability system, I think? Maybe they used your program? Or just found me in a subreddit. Interesting thought.

    But, is this considered spam as well?

    1. 0

      I don't think someone used Howitzer for marketing an accountability software, but it's the same technique.

      Well, it's a spam if you didn't talk or show interest in accountability systems somewhere in Reddit.
      If you've shown intentions of buying/looking for that kind of system, I believe it can only bring you value

  15. 1

    I am developing a mobile multiplayer board game, where players compete on subjects like geography, biology and etc..
    But my target group is kinda specific people.
    How can your product help me ?

    1. 0

      Interesting question.
      Well, I don't have enough info about your multiplayer board game, so let's assume that it is a digital board game (playable on smartphones).
      You can target users from r/digitaltabletop, r/boardgames and similar subreddits, who have been talking about multiplayer board games and the specific keywords 'geography', 'biology' etc.
      Another idea is to target the users of your competitor. If you have a competitor multiplayer board game, target the Redditors who have talked negative about that specific game.
      Howitzer offers a simple GUI for creating the queries for extracting Reddit users (you can target by keyphrases, keywords, sentiment about the given topic, posts/comments, upvotes, time, etc.)

      1. 1

        How would you know that they talked negatively about 'that' game?

        1. 1

          We use sentiment analysis on each comment/post that is connected to the given topic.
          If you are specifically looking for redditors who have talked negatively about the given topic, we'll return only the users whose posts/comments expressed a negative opinion about the given topic

          1. 1

            sounds awesome, sentiment analysis is a pretty cool feature :)
            I joined the waitlist

  16. 1

    I remember seeing this somewhere few months ago when it was in pretty early stage.
    Makes sense, hope it will work!
    signed up +1

  17. 1

    This comment was deleted 8 months ago.

Trending on Indie Hackers
I will promote your startup to 50K+ people 72 comments I made Session, a productivity timer that makes $5K/month in net profit, AMA! 32 comments I'm Rich Tabor — creator of CoBlocks & ThemeBeans (both sold to GoDaddy), and other products in the WordPress space. AMA! 11 comments Only 30 days! We finished a great Etsy products research tool 10 comments #1 on Product Hunt with an open-source project 8 comments This or this? 3 comments