For smaller online stores, the Ambassador referral software probably hasn't been on your radar. It doesn't have a direct Shopify or Bigcommerce app, and the main customer base seems to be large companies like Logitech, Zillow, and Hulu. That said, plenty of lesser known brands are also utilizing the referral software, and there are integrations with platforms like Shopify (even though you can't get them in the public app stores).
Overall, Ambassador is a powerhouse referral marketing system meant to create a customized referral program for your business and push real results to your website.
Quite a few other modules and features are included with Ambassador, so if you're interested in a high-powered, revenue-centric referral platform to integrate directly into your online store, keep reading.
Ambassador Review: What's It All About?
Although it's mainly sold as a referral marketing tool, you actually get several solutions packaged into one suite of products.
The first is for referral marketing, which convinces your customers to share your product or service with anyone. This could be friends, family members, and coworkers. In return, the customers get rewards for all of the people they recommend.
The second part of Ambassador is the affiliate marketing, which is more catered to the people who are going to be writing about your products and services. All successful online stores need brand ambassadors and online influencers who rave about what you're selling. In fact, you're often better off partnering with bloggers, podcasters, and Youtube influencers than you are sending out a press release. The reason for this is because these people have hyper-targeted followings, so you're able to find the ones that relate to your product the most.
Third, we have partner marketing. This type of marketing allows you to team up with agencies, resellers, and referral partners who are then able to capture leads for you and type in the lead information on your CRM. Ambassador takes the information typed in by your partners and automates revenue sharing and commissions.
Fourth up is the influencer marketing module, which is best for reaching out to experts in certain subject matter. This might be a social media star or a blogger. Ambassador provides those people with automated emails, white-labeling, and links so it's much easier for them to promote your brand.
Finally, the brand advocacy marketing tool from Ambassador lets you interact with your customers to ensure that the right content is being shared on the right channels. This system seems to give more power to your referrers, with options for viewing their rewards, tracking progress, and giving feedback.
Ambassador Review: The Best Features
What's great about Ambassador is that both B2B and B2C online stores are seeing success with the platform. Not only that, but it doesn't matter how big your store is. Ambassador seems to have something for everyone, even if it's a basic referral program for a startup. That said, when Ambassador says a program is “basic,” this is still going to be far more advanced than what you would generally get from a Shopify referral program app.
Quite a few features are provided with Ambassador, and it depends on the pricing plan you decide to go with. You can find everything from smart segmentation to multiple campaigns, and like mentioned above, five suites are offered for setting up different systems for referrals, affiliates, partnerships, and more.
Although we're not going to highlight all of the features from Ambassador, here are some of our favorites:
Your referral and partner programs become far more effective when you can segment the communications to separate partners. For instance, you might have two types of partners: bloggers and YouTube influencers. Both are interested in affiliate links, but they're not always going to be the same format and message. Bloggers may want banner ads for the affiliate links, while the YouTubers might be more interested in a short video clip. This is a rough example, but no two partners are the same.
Email and CRM Integrations
If you're running a site with a specific CRM, integrating with Ambassador is no problem. The same can be said for your email portal, considering you need to constantly remain in contact with your partners.
Quick Payouts and Coupons
When you find brand ambassadors, affiliates, and referrers, it might feel like you're offering them more than what they're giving back–so you don't have to think about them that much. However, these referrals are the lifeblood of your business. Therefore, you want to make your partners happy by sending out fast, automated payments. Ambassador has both, along with multi-currency support, multi-language tools, gift cards, and custom rewards.
Ambassador Review: Pricing
When it comes to pricing, you'll have to contact Ambassador to schedule a demo and receive a quote. Usually, this means that they have a pretty hard sales pitch for you, but it also often demonstrates that this is a serious company that is more focused on catering to your individual company needs.
Therefore, one company will call in and most likely get a different quote than a completely different company. In my experience, this is typically a good thing, since you're receiving the best service possible, and hopefully you're only paying for what you plan on using.
What we do know are the types of plans provided for Ambassador users:
- Starter Plan – This plan is designed for startups and smaller businesses with the need for a simple affiliate and referral program. From the looks of it, any smaller ecommerce store would enjoy this plan, especially since you can then upgrade if your store begins rapidly growing. A visual editor is included so that you can manage and view real-time changes.
- Professional Plan – Medium and large companies go for this plan, considering it's for managing all of your business relationships and ensuring those partners are provided the best tools possible for talking about your brand. The goal is to set up one or more programs, customizing each of them for the different partners you have.
- Enterprise Plan – This is a completely customized referral program that can be used on an omni-0channel network and created so that it has a global reach. It's also a white-labeled solution so that there's not a hint of the Ambassador branding on it. Overall, the Enteprise Plan is the ultimate solution for segmenting your affiliates and partners so that they all have varying experiences and materials for promoting your brand.
It all depends on the plan you decide on, but Ambassador states that some of the following features are available to choose from:
- Omni-channel capabilities.
- Influencer programs.
- Advocacy programs.
- Smart segmenting.
- Phone and email support.
- A success coach.
- Ecommerce integrations.
- Email and CRM integrations.
- An Open REST API.
- Much more.
Ambassador Review: Customer Support
As you may have noticed in the pricing section, phone and email support is available for all Ambassador customers. This type of dedicated support is a must-have for any growing business interested in getting a powerhouse affiliate and referral program like this. Some of the plans also provide a designated success coach to guide you along your way and provide tips on how to boost the success of your brand ambassadors.
In addition to that, Ambassador walks you through the onboarding process so that you don't have to figure out everything yourself. Technical implementation support is also provided, which is often the support team doing most of the work for you.
Ambassador also provides a wonderful blog for reading articles about how to improve your referral programs. We also like the Resources Center, since it has a wide range of articles, eBooks, reports, and webinars, sending you through a crash course on how to utilize your brand ambassadors to their fullest potential.
Overall, Ambassador seems to have all of its bases covered when it comes to customer support. It would be nice to have a live chat option, but I don't see that anywhere on the website. Also, the knowledge base is great for completing your own research to solve some problems, but a user forum would be nice to speak with other Ambassador users as well.
Who Should Consider Ambassador for Referrals?
It's tough for startups to decide on a referral program (or any store integration for that matter) without knowing anything about pricing. However, Ambassador caters to large, medium, and small stores, with solutions made for boosting your sales, engaging your referrers, and getting the word out about your company.
If you're running a startup and you need a referral or affiliate program, I would highly recommend signing up for a demo with Ambassador. If you currently run a small to large online store, and you think it's time to graduate from your present referral app or software, Ambassador is a logical next step that is most likely going to render better results than a Shopify app.
If you have any questions about this Ambassador review, let us know in the comments section below.