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How This Entrepreneur Made Customer Acquisition Easy Like Never Before He acquired customers over a cup of tea

By Sandeep Soni

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Customer acquisition has never been easy for businesses, particularly if you are an app and literally have to jostle for a space in your customer's smartphone. But Karan Saharan perhaps had his inspiration coming from the tagline "A lot can happen over coffee' for his personal assistant app DoneThing. And boy! A lot did happen.

What's Wrong?

DoneThing, which raised $300k from Brand Capital in March this year, does life's daily mundane tasks like booking tickets, buying daily need items, getting laundry done, home services such as cleaning and repairs etc., on user's behalf. The app focuses on two target groups – homemakers and officegoers. While homemakers are their de facto customers, the latter too make up for a great customer base. And reaching out to them organically is in itself a task. "You don't get to talk to them face-to-face," says Saharan. Social media though still works but DoneThing figured out a much cheaper and faster way to reach out to such customers.

What's Right?

Eventually, Saharan one day fina1lly had his moment of enlightenment. And it came from among the most obvious things in the daily life of Indians – our morning and evening cups of tea dipped in chit-chats. So, he decided to get a bunch of his team members offer a hot and "interactive' cup of tea to people moving out from their offices during lunch or evening breaks. Total 22 activities in Delhi NCR's office complexes in the January-February 2017 were organized. "People usually come out from offices during breaks and we offer them a free cup of "kadak chai' in lieu of their five-seven minutes of time to explain to them about DoneThing. They don't mind knowing about us over a cup of "free' tea," says Saharan.


And whoa, what results Saharan had! DoneThing saw around 17,000 downloads out of which around 9,000 were direct downloads out of the campaign. The price paid too was petty. Fixed cost in terms of payroll was Rs 1,000 per person (two members per activation involved) and giveaway cost (for a cup of tea) was just Rs 7 per cup. If not this way, then Saharan would have had to talk to each of the offices' human resource teams or building administration. This could have involved a permission fee up to Rs 15,000. On Social media, running a cost-per-install campaign costs Rs 30-40 per install that doesn't guarantee app installation.

(This article was first published in the November issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

Sandeep Soni

Former Features Editor

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