Success Story Snapshot
These are Drew’s results after using Buzzbassador’s ambassador marketing strategy for just 1 month:
Increase in Monthly Sales
Average ROI for Ambassador Campaigns
God The Father is a Christian streetwear brand based in Vancouver, Canada. Founder Drew Uruqhart says that since launching 9 months ago, the brand has seen wild successl, growing their monthly sales from $5,ooo to $85,000. But how? According to Drew, it was all due to his brand ambassador success.
Drew, a Vancouver native and graduate of the University of Vermont, has a lot of experience with Shopify and digital marketing. He has run several stores before, mostly all powered by Facebook Ads. But he says he never saw the level of success that he had with God The Father until he struck gold with this new marketing strategy: a combination of brand ambassadors, Facebook Ads, and a certain influencer marketing automation tool. (😉) With this strategy, his sales went from $5000 per month to $85,000 per month — a 1600% increase.
Now Drew has even started a digital marketing agency where he helps other brands scale using this exact marketing strategy. He says that out of the 22 stores that he’s working with, not a single one hasn’t been profitable from it.
Buzzbassador co-founder, Shelby, recently sat down with Drew to ask him more about his story and what exactly this “golden strategy” entails. Watch this full video of their discussion to hear more about Drew’s success story. You can also read the full interview transcript below.
Shelby: Okay, so today I have the pleasure of sitting down with Drew Urquhart. He is an awesome business owner, and we’re super excited to have him talking about his business and everything that he’s done with ambassador/influencer marketing strategy up until this point and how that has helped him grow. So, Drew, I’m going to let you start– take it away, introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about your business and kind of how you got to where you are right now, and a little bit about your story.
Drew: Yeah, so I started up my business– a clothing line called God The Father Apparel– right around nine months ago now. I mean, I’ve run a couple [Shopify] stores in the past, so I know my way around Facebook ads, and I know my way around how to create a Shopify store. Another bit about me is that I’ve worked for bigger [digital marketing/Facebook Ad] agencies in the past, and I run my own digital marketing agency now. So that’s kind of a short background on me in terms of the last year.
Shelby: Awesome. Remind me, where are you in your stage of life? Did you go to college? Are you out of college? Where are you right now?
Drew: Yeah, I graduated [from college] two years. I started out in 2014, went to the University of Vermont for four years, and graduated with a degree in business and entrepreneurship.
Shelby: Okay, cool. So your current store, God The Father: what is it? What’s your brand? Tell me a little bit about what you sell, who you’re targeting– just give me the rundown of your business.
Drew: Yeah, so it’s it’s Christians who are looking to spread God’s name and God’s word with the world without having to open up their mouth– that’s kind of the reason why I started it. I’m a Christian, but I’m not an outspoken Christian– I’m not one to go and talk someone’s ear off. So for me, I wanted there to be a way where my friends could know that I was a believer, and I could kind of get that message across without being awkward or pushy. I feel like that’s always the line that Christians have to walk.
I think clothing is a great way to speak without speaking, and it has resonated pretty well in the Christian community here. It has been nine months, and it has grown quite fast. So it’s been great, we’ve stuck to that brand message pretty wholeheartedly.
I’m not very “streetwear”, I’m not very apparel-driven, but I know how to do my research, and I found some designs that work well and that people like.
Shelby: Yeah, that’s awesome. I can definitely relate. You’re from Canada, right?
Drew: Yeah, Vancouver.
Shelby: I don’t know how much you know about the South of the U.S.– The Bible Belt is what they call it– but we’re from Mississippi, so I live in the Bible Belt. I know everything you’re saying about the wall that Christians face in that way, so I think the idea behind your clothing is really cool. As you said, it’s a more like gentle and subtle way to be bold in your faith than coming across as pushy. I really like that idea– it’s a cool story that you have behind your brand.
You’ve worked with Buzzbassador, you’re obviously running some type of influencer marketing or ambassador marketing strategy, so how does that tie into your brand— how do you have it set up and how are you using that to grow?
Drew: I went down the influencer route where you send people free stuff, and you hope to get [results] back, and that never worked out for me well, so for me, it was all micro-influencers. If you can flick a switch in a customers mind where they don’t necessarily feel like they’re purchasing from you, but they’re almost investing in themselves, and they’re invested in the brand, and they feel like they’re a part of the team— a part of the brand— it’s a lot easier to get that purchase. So ambassadors were perfect for that.
Essentially to take you through the funnel, I run ambassador ads where the call to action is to apply to become an ambassador, and then we accept almost 99% of them. Then the ambassadors will purchase at a 20% discount to start their time in the program. Running those brand ambassador ads has given us almost a 15-20X ROI.
And then [the ambassadors] are invested because we give them an option to then make money back. They get a code, and when they share that code and people use it, we pay them instead of paying Facebook essentially. We found some pretty solid people who bring in some good money. Basically, the money we would have paid to Facebook, we just pay right to them. Diversifying that is really important because Facebook Ads are wishy-washy. Sometimes they’ll randomly block you for a week, and then your sales go to nothing.
I think we have around 4,000 ambassadors now. Having those people to constantly push when we’re having launches– that’s probably the coolest thing. When we have big launches– we try to do limited drops– those ambassadors will see it, and our Instagram will blow up on days of launches. So many people are adding us and trying to make their codes known. The ambassador program has just been absolutely game-changing. It has definitely kept us afloat and kept us growing.
Shelby: That’s awesome. Do you have any numbers that you’d feel comfortable sharing of the growth from before using ambassadors to now? It can be revenue, customer count, anything that you’re comfortable sharing.
Drew: Yeah, so the first month [of the business] I think we brought in around $5,000, and I think we spent like $15,000 to generate that. So obviously that came out as a loss. The first four months were kind of that exact template, except slowly making more than we were spending. But the second we turned on the brand ambassador ad, it changed. Our cost per purchase was around $20 before, and the second we turned on [the ambassador ads], day one, it was around $4.50 for a purchase. So obviously that’s a massive cut in our spend– our ROI went way through the roof.
The first month we did [brand ambassador marketing] we brought in around $50,000, so obviously $5,000 to $50,000 on a very similar ad spend is game-changing, in a good way.
[The growth] actually brought up a lot of problems because I was running this business out of a spare bedroom in my parents’ house at the time, so I was pressing every shirt by hand, I didn’t want to order bulk inventory because I didn’t have space for it. I ordered a heat press; I did transfer, vinyls, and I cut them all out by hand– I literally pressed t-shirts for 10 hours a day. I quickly figured out that that was not sustainable.
Just last month, we got a warehouse in Downtown Vancouver, which is cool to say. I mean, it’s crazy because we’re moving to this warehouse now out of what used to be my parents’ spare bedroom, all because of ambassador ads. It’s insane.
This month we pulled in $85,000, and we spent $15,000 to get that, so the ROI is pretty darn good. Definitely profitable.
Shelby: Yeah, that’s incredible to go from $5,000 to $85,000 per month, and pretty much all you changed is ambassadors, right? You just turned on ambassador ads? Is that the bulk of your marketing strategy right now?
Drew: Right now, it’s almost all of it. I mean, we’ve tried Google Ads and different Facebook Ads, but when you know that something’s bringing you back a 15-20X ROI, and then this other thing isn’t, it almost just feels like you’re wasting money at that point. I think about 95% of [our marketing] is all this ambassador thing right now. We do some email marketing, we have a lot of drip campaigns, but a lot of that is automated. We do two big emails per month, so that’s the other 5%, I guess.
Shelby: That’s really amazing. So I’m sure growing that much in what seems like a fairly short amount of time and going from zero to 4,000 ambassadors, it’s probably super hard to manage all those people. I’m assuming that’s why you started looking for a solution like Buzzbassador, so walk me through that thought process. What was it like when you scaled that quickly and all of a sudden you had all these people and things you needed to do? What was going through your head?
Drew: That’s a really good question, because like you said when you spike so fast, you don’t have anything implemented. So I was kind of bootlegging it, and I purchased this massive discount app, and I was able to put a lot of discount codes in, but I’d have to pay $1 every time I wanted to do it. I would send [the ambassadors] through Google Forms to get them in the program, and it was just– the moving parts were way too much. To have everything that you have to remember on top of running a business, I drove myself insane having all those different avenues. Like, sometimes I’d forget to do something, and then there would be 30 emails.
Buzzbassador essentially brings the entire funnel– the sign-up, the codes– everything I needed into one platform, and it automates a lot of it. So Buzzbassador was awesome for that. Form sign-ups, keeping track of whose codes are used, creating the actual codes, the ambassadors’ accounts– seven or eight different avenues– [Buzzbassador] brings it all into one app instead of having to purchase seven or eight apps, or keep track of seven or eight different funnels.
Shelby: Yeah, that’s awesome. I’m so glad that Buzzbassador helped you when you were going through all that struggle and trying to scale everything so quickly.
What makes you recommend Buzzbassador to others? What’s your favorite part about it?
Drew: Well, first, I think it’s so well-branded, so props to you guys. Many of those apps on Shopify do three of– like I was saying earlier– three of the seven or eight things that I need an app to do. And [the other apps] weren’t super customizable, so I’d have to link two different apps into one. Buzzbassador came across as #1, the most trustworthy– it was well-branded, and the [featured product] video [on the Shopify app store listing] really sold me. And #2, all the customizable features. You guys sold me on those seven-ish features. It’s an app that can do everything that I need it to do, so it was a no-brainer for me.
Shelby: That’s awesome. I’m so glad to hear that. Last question, we’ll leave on this. For people that might be watching this who are in e-commerce– whether they’ve been doing it for a while or they’re just now starting out: if they hear this interview and they’re like, “okay, he scaled huge with ambassadors, that sounds like something I need to do.” What is your advice to those people who are just getting started?
Drew: First would be to find an app– obviously I would recommend Buzzbassador– that can do everything that you need. [An ambassador] needs to be able to fill out a form, create a code, be accepted, and then purchase. So if I was a new store and wanted to set up this funnel, Buzzbassador is essentially going to do that for you. So if you can install Buzzbassador and then combine that Facebook Ads strategy, you want to get your form filled out hundreds of times per day. Even if you’re just spending $20 per day [on Facebook]; Just figure out Facebook Ads and install Buzzbassador and essentially just combine those two things. I mean I’m doing that for 22 stores right now, and I haven’t had one store that’s not been profitable with [that strategy]. I don’t say it’s guaranteed, but it’s almost guaranteed: if you can figure out the Facebook Ads and Buzzbassador combination, you’re golden.