Interviews Madison Startups

Has Karma: Get Better Referrals

Has Karma

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What is Has Karma?

Has Karma provides a web based referral app for local businesses that helps them grow offline sales without incurring advertising costs. Businesses can add anyone as a member of their referral program with an email address. Members receive a unique link to the business’ current promotion. When a member wants to send the business a referral they simply share their link. The referred customer provides the business the unique code from the link in order to receive the promotion. The business can optionally send a reward they set to the referrer. Rewards are sent via Dwolla.

Who is your target user?

Has Karma works for any offline business that currently has a referral program. Has Karma eliminates all of the paper work and hassles of managing referrals. Further, Has Karma provides all referrers a digital way to send referrals. Has Karma is ideal for home improvement businesses (we started with replacement window companies), furniture retailers, and service businesses, such as web developers.

Why did you build Has Karma? What problem are you taking on?

Has Karma recognizes the inherent value of referrals to most businesses. While many businesses depend on regular promotion and direct response marketing they often overlook optimizing their referral programs. Has Karma optimizes referral programs while minimizing the efforts required by businesses. Further, paid advertising is expensive. We believe referred leads are more valuable than random leads and evidence supports this. Has Karma allows businesses to get referred leads for free and only pay when they actually have a sale. The combination of minimal effort to optimize and total control over cost solves many marketing issues for local businesses.

How is Has Karma different from what is currently available?

Primarily, Has Karma is similar to affiliate marketing tools but built for local (offline) businesses. Other tools for local businesses require monthly fees and often the paid actions still take place online – such as clicks. Has Karma is the first product to allow businesses to pay for referred sales only when they feel the reward is warranted. Has Karma works for offline sales and offers businesses 100% control over costs.

Tell us your founding story. Was there an “ah ha” moment?

The Has Karma team was thinking about the idea of affiliate marketing for offline businesses for sometime. Through our experiences working with local sales organizations we knew how valuable referrals were and that we could never get enough referrals. The “ah ha” moment that led to development was when we asked what if referral software was free and the business could pay when they want. At that point Has Karma was born because we realized if the referral program works, the business will want to pay for referrals in order to get more referrals – hence our name; Has Karma. If the referral program didn’t work, the business wouldn’t need to pay for advertising that didn’t result in sales.

Tell us about your founding team and their backgrounds.

Our team has all run small businesses. We have founded other successful startups and worked on small projects. We all grew up in the same small town in Wisconsin.