How 24 donuts got us 700+ likes and 400+ app installs

ROI for a $23.87 budget campaign “Get a donut in 60 seconds”

Narayan Babu
Code valley.
Published in
5 min readJul 12, 2014


So we were launching our new app knock. Unlike our other apps, we wanted to get growth city by city. Since we were in Bangalore, we wanted to start from there.


We wanted to get evangelists who could drive downloads through them. Being a communications app, it can subsantially drive virality. And tipping point was if user has over 3 friends and 5 knocks sent he will become our loyal user.

The campaign

If you are in Indira Nagar (area in Bangalore where our office is) and if you send us a knock knock joke from the app we will come and deliver you a donut at your place.

The user would have to

  • Install our app
  • Like us on Facebook
  • Send us a knock (a message from our app)

Once they send us a knock we would interact with them through the app, asking for their choice of donut, asking for their location etc. So total number of interactions was over 6 knocks (Knock-knock joke itself had 3 conversations). Sharing location and getting yes/no answers are the core features of our app.

So in the process we almost created a loyal user, onboarded him onto the app and created a high possibility that he will invite his friends. The last part is further emphasised since he likes our page, we created a delightful experience for him (since a team from our office would personally go and give him a donut, click pictures etc).

Getting the word out

The next challenge was to get the word out about the campaign. We tried facebook promotion of our campaign posters, but only to see them get rejected each time. (The posters had lot of text, QR code, Facebook like request etc). Then we tried promoted tweets. It really helped us get the word out. We also got Yourstory (one of the popular startup blogs in India) to write about the campaign.

The Result

The result was nothing short of phenomenal. Our total cost was

  • Around $20 for Krispy Kreme donuts.
  • $53.87 on twitter promoted tweets. We had a free $50 ad credit on twitter so effectively we spent only $3.87.

We got over 6.78K views and 352 install clicks on our twitter campaign

Twitter campaign on #60dessert

On facebook we added over 700 likes with this campaign (still counting) and got over 430+ people talking about us.

Facebook stats on #60dessert

We added over 400 users yesterday. Hopefully word of mouth from these delighted users will get us more in the coming days.

As an icing on the cake (donut) we got a lot of positive comments and praise for our novel campaign from twitter and facebook. We got featured in product hunt, at the 9th position. We got covered in a french blog (no idea how it happened).

We were in 9th position in

Why this worked

The campaign helped users know the app and understand the use case at the cost of eating a donut. The process was tailored to educate our users with all of the key (and delightful) features of knock. Even though we only gave away 24 donuts, lot of people from all over India sent us knocks, just to see if it worked. The campaign was simple and people could relate to it. We were ready (and still are) to give anybody a donut and coffee if they visit our office.

What is knock?

If you are still reading this is what knock is.

Our campaign poster (got rejected for promotion in facebook)

Knock hits the sweetest spot between a message and call.

  1. You send your friend a message (“Where are you?”, “Is the movie plan on?”, “Did Brazil win the game?”)
  2. He gets an (simulated) incoming call with the message overlaid on the screen.
  3. Instead of answer/reject he will have options “Yes/No/Share location”.
  4. He can with one swipe respond to your question.

How does knock work?

Knock works in situations where you want instant response, at a very low effort. Once you send a knock the your phone will have a 60sec countdown when the phone will be ringing for the other person. If he doesn’t respond within the time, the knock dies and it shows “missed knock” in his phone.

For the receiving person answering is just a matter of a swipe, even if he is in a meeting or watching a movie instead of cutting the call (as we do normally) he can give reply. Knock brings the urgency of a call with the simplicity of a message.

How we got the idea for knock.

With our dialer app (dialapp) which has around a million users and have done millions of phone calls through it, we found that around 65% of calls made daily are status update calls. Calls which can be answered with a yes/no/location. So we wanted to make it super easy for everybody to get answers without having to go through a phone conversation.

Tweet to me if you think we did something nice. Retweet this blog if you liked our endeavour.



Narayan Babu
Code valley.

I love engineering, I love product more. So, end up building stuff. I generally fall @android first.