Alexander Rinke, co-CEO and cofounder of Celonis, sent handwritten letters to potential customers in order to cut marketing costs — and to discourage assistants from throwing their proposals in the garbage.
Celonis, which uses AI to quickly analyze a company’s computer network and find ways to make it operate faster and more efficiently, just raised $290 million in a Series C round that values the company at $2.5 billion.
Rinke and his co-founders Bastian Nominacher and Martin Klenk were students when they started Celonis as a college project in Munich. They wanted to help ease the burden of IT support teams, who often have had to deal with repetitive and sometimes confusing tasks.
“We used to call it IT ticket ping pong,” Rinke said. “One person would assign it to the next person and it would get sent back because they couldn’t figure out who was going to handle it.”
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Running a bootstrapped startup is tough, so Alexander Rinke, co-CEO and co-founder of Celonis, tried a quirky way to cut marketing costs: send handwritten letters to would-be clients.
They also figured it could be more effective, thinking a typical formal letter to a top exec would routinely be opened and thrown in the garbage by an executive assistant.
“We thought if we hand-write the letter and the address on the envelope an executive can’t just open it because it might be a personal letter, from a grandmother, a father-in-law or somebody,” he told Business Insider.
The plan worked. They sent 1,500 handwritten letters to executives of German businesses, dozens of which turned into solid sales leads.
Nowadays, Celonis, which uses AI to help businesses evaluate and fix IT processes, doesn’t have to worry too much about using offbeat cost-cutting tricks. The startup, whose process-mining tools are used by major companies …read more
Source:: Business Insider