We live in the age of influencers. Running a digital ad on Instagram is better than running an ad on national television for most companies. Both in terms of outreach and costs. Social media allows us to target specific groups of people more precisely than ever.
But how can you get a piece of this pie? How can you turn social media influencers into ambassadors for your Shopify store? In this guide, we're going over 6 ways to grow your ambassador program. Starting from the easiest and ending at the hardest.
Adding links to your website is the easiest way to turn website visitors into ambassadors. You can add a link to your header or footer page that links to your ambassador portal.
I recommend the Main menu, but it depends on the layout and styling of your store - so you'll have to decide what makes sense for your business.
If you need help adding a link to your Shopify navigation, check out this guide here.
Think of any other websites you can add this to! Do you have a blog? A Facebook Page? YouTube video description box? The more links, the more ambassadors!
After adding links to your websites, the next thing to do is to reach out to your existing customers. Your happiest customers make the best ambassadors. This is because they've already bought your product or service and love it!
You may be surprised that some of these customers are already recommending you to their friends and family. Asking them to become ambassadors will be an easy sell - now they get to make money for promoting you!
If you don't already know who your happiest customers are, you can check your Shopify admin panel.
Go to Customers section in your Shopify admin. On the right-hand side, you can Sort by Amount spent (high to low).
This will list your customers from the highest amount spent to the least. The customers who spend a lot of money on your store are likely good ambassador candidates. Send them an email with a link to your ambassador portal.
Another good place to look for happy customers is your customer support system. Check for support tickets where the customer is very happy or has had a good interaction with your staff. These customers could also be good ambassador candidates.
Your email newsletter is a great place to announce the launch of your ambassador program. Although not all your newsletter subscribers are customers, many of them are.
It's also quick to do and Shopify even has a built-in app with branded templates. To send an email campaign, go to Marketing > Campaigns in Shopify. Then click Create Campaign.
Here you'll have a list of options, select Shopify Email. Choose your template and modify the email to your liking. Remember to attach your ambassador portal link :)
Social media is another great option if you have a following. Instagram swipe-ups stories are a great place to get ambassador sign-ups. YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, WeChat, TikTok, Twitter, or anything else your company uses are great places to gain more ambassadors.
Another option that's less obvious is to look at your mentions or hashtags related to your brand. On Instagram, there is a tab to check your mentions and you can also search for your hashtag. Most social media platforms have something similar.
The users that tag or hashtag your brand could already be promoting your brand! These users are perfect ambassador candidates. I recommend reaching out to them with a direct message.
Cold outreach or cold emailing is the oldest way to gain sales. It's been used since the beginning of time, and it's only changed a little bit. These days instead of phone calls, most cold outreach is done in direct messages ("It goes down in the DM").
To find influencers that could be good ambassadors, search for a relevant keyword or hashtag. A list of posts will come up and then you can select one that you like. On Instagram, you can "Follow" this influencer and Instagram will automatically suggest new accounts for you to follow. By continually following the recommended accounts, you can get a list of 100+ potential ambassadors very quickly.
An important part of cold outreach is attitude. Cold outreach response rates are low, conversions are even lower - remember they've never met you before! Keeping a good attitude is key here - just do the work ("the grind"). This is a numbers game. Nobody is "above" cold outreach, everybody does it, so don't feel bad about doing it.
Here are a couple tips to increase your conversion rates:
Paid advertisements are the hardest and most expensive option for gaining ambassadors.
Each of the social media platforms has options for paid advertisements. I recommend the options where you can provide a link that they can open up. Instagram swipe-up stories are a good example of this. Be sure to include what's in it for the ambassador, the commission percentage!
Paid social media ads could be an entire course, so I'll summarize some key points here:
There is no silver bullet to paid advertisements or any of these other methods. You'll have to discover what works best for your brand.
This last section applies to all the methods discussed in this guide. Increasing your conversion rate is usually far cheaper than increasing the number of leads. Here are some ideas to increasing your chances of somebody converting to an ambassador.
It's important to highlight your current ambassador team, it gives candidates somebody to look up to and shows that you support them. Repost their content on your social media feeds, give them a shoutout when they reach a milestone.
If you offer gifts or freebies when an ambassador reaches a sales target, be sure to post about it on social media. Try to create a "FOMO" (Fear of missing out) feeling with your candidates.
If you offer photo shoots or content creation for your ambassadors, be sure to shoot behind the scenes footage to share.
Freebies or "swag" are great ways to show appreciation for your ambassadors. They don't have to be expensive either! Simple laptop stickers, postcards, or keychain trinkets work great. Your ambassadors will also probably show them off on their social feeds as well!
Money talks. Literally.
This might seem obvious - offer a higher commission and ambassadors will be incentivized to sell more.
Here's a tip, offer a higher commission when you launch to sign up many ambassadors, but lower it to later on to grow profits.
That's it for this guide! Best of luck growing your ambassador program.