How to Instate Brand Ambassadors With Email

As a rule of thumb, only 20% of customers make 80% of their sales. Sometimes the supporting segment is smaller – Coke Zero’s is 3%, according to marketing strategist Joseph Jaffe. Your brand has it’s own ambassadors. They purchase loyally and refer their friends to you. You’re part of their lifestyle. Those ambassadors are your best bet for growing your business. But how do you find out who they are? And once you do, how can you encourage their support? With email, of course!

As a rule of thumb, only 20% of customers make 80% of their sales. Sometimes the supporting segment is smaller – Coke Zero’s is 3%, according to marketing strategist Joseph Jaffe.


Your brand has it’s own ambassadors. They purchase loyally and refer their friends to you. You’re part of their lifestyle.

Those ambassadors are your best bet for growing your business. But how do you find out who they are? And once you do, how can you encourage their support?

With email, of course!

Find Your Ambassadors

Many marketing emails contain social share buttons. Readers can click to automatically share the message with their networks.

By tracking clicks on those buttons, you can see who’s hyping you on social sites. AWeber users, you can see this in your QuickStats. Start by clicking on a recently sent broadcast.

On the left, choose the option to display click stats.

Then scroll down and find the data for your social share links. (Design – replace image with example)

See that number? Those are the subscribers who are so excited about your brand, they’re already converting others.

Sharing one email isn’t necessarily an indication of deep loyalty. To get a clearer picture, use your Subscriber Search page to find people who shared not just one, but several of your emails.

These people have already taken it upon themselves to advocate your business. Imagine what you could accomplish if you..

Team Up To Grow Your Brand Together

Your next step is to contact these people. (You can do this by creating a broadcast for them, then selecting the segment you created above to send to.) Let them know they’re your top customers and ask if they might be interested in participating in some special initiatives.

Give them five minutes of fame

Buy them lunch and ask for their thoughts in return. How do they feel about your service? How do they use your products? How is their life better because of your brand?

Then put together an email featuring their story. Send out a broadcast with inspirational ideas from these customers. Present them as the valued commodity they are.

You’ll have creative content. Your readers’ interest will be sparked. And the featured customers will feel more invested in your brand than ever.

Bring them on board

When designing a new offer or product, ask these your brand ambassadors for their reaction. If you can, use Nikon’s strategy and let them try it out.

If not, email them an exclusive sneak-peek and ask them for their reactions. To really get ideas flowing, link to a forum where invitees can build off each other’s ideas.

Thank them for their feedback with a fun token and sincere gratitude. Figure out which suggestions are feasible and wise and implement them. Then send another thank-you email for each idea you used.

When your customers see their ideas in action, they’ll gain a sense of ownership, increasing their loyalty to your brand. And the improvements that appealed to them are likely to attract similar consumers, growing your customer base.

Customers: Your Best Investment

Michael LeBoeuf, author of How to Win Customers & Keep Them for Life, agrees with the idea that customers can have a powerful impact on a brand’s reputation:

“Smart companies go the extra mile for the customer and show them just how dedicated they are to making sure that they feel good about doing business with them,” he says.

How can you invest in your customers in ways that will convert them to ambassadors?

10 Comments

  1. Kris Lannum

    3/3/2011 10:43 am

    Great info! Thanks for sharing! I will put this info into play today!

  2. Lydia Sugarman

    3/3/2011 1:07 pm

    What’s with the headline? Instate? I have a well-developed vocabulary and I had to Google that term to try to understand your intent.

    Instate – Definition from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
    Definition of INSTATE. transitive verb. 1. obsolete a : invest, endow b : bestow, confer. 2. : to set or establish in a rank or office

    Is it really good business practice to use obscure and “obsolete” words? Needless to say, I haven’t read the article.

  3. Amanda Gagnon

    3/3/2011 1:39 pm

    Lydia ~ Thanks for the feedback. Definition 2 fits here: “to set or establish in a rank or office.” Was trying to keep the headline short – will be more careful about word choice in the future.

  4. Aaron Schulman

    3/3/2011 3:45 pm

    Are you saying to archive the broadcasts through Aweber- then use the “add-this” to post the button in the newsletter that goes to the Aweber archive (where people can clearly opt-in)?

    I am trying to get this straight- it seems like a great idea-

    Another note-

    We recently had a logo contest that others were giving feedback on- you suggested a few tweaks to the “directions” and it was more clear.

    However- we used this same concept in follow ups to keep people active and some did return to post more follow ups-

    Here==> http://www.aimadvantage.com/content/phase1

    Basically- at the end of each day- we would make some tweaks on logos based on feedback, and grab teasers from the newest logo feedback and say “Keith or so and so just gave new feedback on the logo that you commented on – what are your thoughts?”

    And a few kept returning to read others’ responses, see the logo variations, and then would give updates based on the new thoughts or the new designs we tweaked based off their feedback-

    Worked well – but how could we integrate this contest idea with the broadcast archives with this “add this” feature in future contest?

  5. Lillybeth

    3/3/2011 3:54 pm

    I’d say ‘recruit’ but they were already recruited…instate is to make it more official (at your end anyway). I understood but it did snag in my mind as I read.

  6. Atul Rana

    3/6/2011 9:29 am

    This is cool but the problem we have is that our mailing list is tiny. Only 100 odd people so it is hard to get the momentum to start doing these type of things. The people that are clicking on links are random.

  7. Fernando Landim

    3/10/2011 7:45 am

    Excelent idea!

    If Aweber offers a way to analyze multiple broadcasts would make it much better and more precise.

  8. Codrut Turcanu

    3/14/2011 4:49 am

    Fernando, it looks like you’ve “read” my mind 🙂

  9. Alan

    3/26/2011 7:36 pm

    Great Idea! Thanks

  10. V

    9/10/2011 4:45 am

    Thanks for the tips Amanda.