He met his fundraising goal, says his campaign. Photographer: Jay Paul/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Ted Cruz

This post has been updated. 

Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential campaign had a goal after it officially launched Monday: raise $1 million in a week.

Turns out it only took a few hours.

The Texas Republican's campaign says it met its fundraising goal at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday -- just a little more than 24 hours after he announced via Twitter that he would be running for president. Cruz made a formal announcement Monday morning at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

As of Thursday night the campaign has raised $2 million, about $500,000 of which came from large-money bundlers. The rest came from online donations.

[Read: Ted Cruz: ‘I am running for president of the United States’]

Cruz is the first major contender to enter the nascent 2016 race, an announcement that was timed to garner headlines and get a jump on fundraising before others officially declared. The strategy seems to have worked, so far. Cruz is modeling his campaign - and his fundraising operation - on his Texas Senate race, which harnessed grassroots support. The vast majority of donations have been small-bore; 96 percent of the people who gave to Cruz online donated less than $250.

Cruz's campaign rollout was a slow burn: press stories Sunday, a Tweet from the candidate Sunday night announcing he had big news to announce at midnight, when he Tweeted a video announcing he was running for president, the Monday speech and a blitz of television appearances in the next 36 hours. The strategy was one that maximized the fundraising potential, the campaign said, and spread the opportunity for people to see Cruz and give him money.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) announced his intention to run for president in the 2016 election during a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. (AP)

For example, Cruz appeared on "Hannity" on the Fox News Channel the night he announced, and 39,000 people gave money during the segment, according to the campaign.

The most donations came from Texas, but Cruz also did well in California and the East.

Cruz's campaign says it employs 10 data and behavioral scientists to gauge real-time donor reaction to certain ads. About six were working during the campaign rollout, according to an adviser. They monitor whether someone clicks through an ad, how long they look at it, and what types of ads work. Republicans, the adviser said, had typically advertised using a topic like gun rights, but only showed one image to illustrate their point; Cruz's campaign will use a number of different images and see how people react.

"We are targeting people with different messages, and we’re reacting to their reactions," a campaign adviser said.

Cruz isn't just going after the small-dollar donations, as evidenced by where he went immediately after announcing his campaign:  New York City, where he attended two fundraisers this week. Cruz will go on a 10-city fundraising tour in the next month that will take him back to New York, to San Diego and a number of cities in Texas. Cruz 's advisers say he has been doing "spadework" with large-dollar donors in New York, California and Florida over the past few months ahead of his presidential run.

Cruz's campaign knows it won't continue to raise money at the clip it did during the announcement, but says it will benefit from the fact that no one else has yet formally entered the race. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is expected to announce that he will run on April 7, giving Cruz a few weeks as the lone major declared presidential candidate, and the chance to try to harness as much money as possible from that.

"We’ve got clean air here. Nobody’s in our way," a Cruz adviser said. "I just don’t see anybody announcing until Easter, so I think we've got 10 more days.”

The campaign reached the $2 million mark Thursday - and didn't think it would make it to $1 million in a little over a day.

"I know for us, we would have never dreamed of that and we believe it had something to do with luck, something with the strategy of our launch and something to do with response," this person said.

Sen. Ted Cruz has declared his candidacy for president. The Texas Republican is known for his fiery oratorial style. Here's his take on immigration, Obamacare and, well, green eggs and ham. (Gillian Brockell/The Washington Post)