You know that feeling – the skip in your step – when you’ve just made a purchase you’re excited about?

For me, it was buying my first Macbook Pro. I left the Apple Store and couldn’t walk fast enough back to the train to head home, charge my new gizmo and get playing!

The endorphin hit we receive in the act of shopping is well documented, and addictive. In the world of ecommerce – where there is often a delay between purchase and receipt – how does a brand make the most of this euphoric high and turn customers into fans and advocates while they wait for the product to be delivered?

I think this is where the boutique design and clothing business, Ugmonk, does a brilliant job and believe other brands can learn from the great things they do.

Great website experience from the get-go

Everything from the rich, visual way you can browse their catalogue, to the story behind the brand, builds the excitement of owning your first Ugmonk design.

Because you feel you know the inner workings of their business, it feels like you’re doing much more than simply buying a t-shirt. So, when it’s shipped, you’re already excited about it arriving, as you know how much work goes on behind the scenes.

How other brands can learn: Here’s an example of how advocacy starts well before the user becomes a customer. How you communicate, how you let your customers browse your products, how you engage with users on social media, all create a connection to the brand. Making a connection with your users before they purchase is very powerful.

Turning the delivery period into a journey

In addition to the standard transactional emails, Ugmonk uses email communication to maintain the post-purchase high. One of my favourite emails was entitled: “Where the magic happens.”


The email provided a short visual tour of the designer’s workspace, really showing the product you’ve purchased is the end-point of a lot of love and attention. This heightens the anticipation of your product’s arrival and continues that good post-purchase feeling by reaffirming your decision to buy a design.

How other brands can learn: Complimenting your transactional (order receive, dispatched) messages with emails telling the story behind the product, or introducing the people involved in its conception, are two simple ways to create a memorable connection with the brand.

Provide exclusive content (even if it’s not)

Another email I enjoyed receiving whilst awaiting delivery contained a behind the scenes video showing how a new design had been conceived and made.

The email made it feel the content was just for me, even though it lived on the homepage of the site. The video itself was well produced and, again, increased the excitement and expectation of receiving my first design.

How other brands can learn: 90% of the marketing content you produce never gets seen by its intended audience (source: IDG). Including your most engaging web content in your post-purchase email communications is an effective way to ensure it gets seen.

Ask for and incentivise advocates

After the design had been delivered, I received another email. Here’s what it said:

“Even though our culture seems to promote fast growth as the way to success, our goal is to build a loyal fan base one person at a time.

 That’s why I rely on you, Adam. Your personal recommendation is the most effective way to introduce new people to Ugmonk, and it’s what allows me to keep doing what I love to do (without selling out to some nameless ad agency).

 I’d love it if you would help me out by sharing Ugmonk with your friends, and what’s easier to share than some free money. (Oh, and you could get some too.)


 For every friend that places their first order, you’ll receive $15 towards your next order.* (There’s no limit to the number of friends you can refer.)”

I think this is very clever. Not only am I now riding on the feel-good of buying the design, I also get to have another hit of endorphins by being able to give a little something to my friends.

Ugmonk win by creating a closer bond with me. My friends win because they get a huge discount. I win because I get to look trendy by introducing my friends to a great brand and I get to use my discount to buy more of the stuff I already love. Endorphins are now in overload!

How other brands can learn: Your current customers are your most effective marketing channel. If you know how much it costs you to acquire a new customer through channels such as display, social or affiliates, you can turn this ‘cost per acquisition’ into an incentive for your current customers to promote your brand. As with the Ugmonk’s scenario, this tactic is often a win-win.

But what if you’re not selling cool t-shirts?

Granted, Ugmonk have an advantage. Their product is cool, so people will be intrigued as to how it’s made.

But if you’re thinking, “my product just isn’t cool enough for people to be interested in it,” you’re doing your current customers a disservice. They buy from you for a reason so do everything in your power to figure out what that reason is, and put it at the heart of your advocacy strategy.

  • If you sell based on trust – show us what you do to keep us trusting you.
  • If you sell based on price – show us how you keep your operation effective.
  • If you sell based on know-how – show us how clever you are.

What do you do to encourage advocacy? Let us know on @rocketmill.