What is the ROI? ” is the question that usually follows announcements of new marketing activities. No matter how creative your marketing initiative might be, if it does not result in benefits larger than the initial investment, it is worth a revision. 

ROI of Customer Evangelism The ROI question has now long been part of the conversation about inbound marketing , email and social media . Yet, it remains less visible in the realm of another marketing channel— customer evangelism .

Customer evangelism is a type of word-of-mouth marketing in which a company develops a loyal base of customers who voluntarily spread positive messages about it. As “evangelists,” happy customers engage others in positive communication around a specific service or a product in order to “convert” them. Though word-of-mouth promotion existed before the emergence of digital media, its power has now been reinforced by this new platform.

But what is the ROI of customer evangelism?

A 2008 study by BzzAgent , a Boston word-of-mouth marketing agency, showed that the return on investment reaches about 400 percent. If a company spent 50 cents on generating a discussion, it would profit 38 cents every time a consumer engaged in an eight-minute conversation about the brand. ( Tweet this )

Though this piece of data is optimistic, it might not be entirely useful for your business needs. You will need specific metrics in order to measure the success of your customer evangelism. And though tracking customer evangelism might be a difficult task, it is certainly not impossible. Here are three major ways in which you can do that:

Measure Social Media Following

If you are creating customer case studies, make sure to track their views on different social media platforms like YouTube , SlideShare and Facebook .

Track Referral Submissions

If you have forms that encourage product sharing within an existing pool of customers, make sure you track the success of these initiatives. How many of the visitors actually filled them out?

Survey Your Sales Team

Consider launching a monthly survey in which your sales department can rank the performance of case studies and testimonials overtime. Once you receive the feedback, work based on it to keep producing such content or shift efforts elsewhere. 

For more insights about the power of customer evangelism, download our free eBook and sign up our webinar, Digital Word of Mouth: Let Customers Transform Your Marketing .

Originally published Aug 23, 2010 11:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016


Customer Success