17 Servant Marketing Tactics to Humanize your Marketing Plan

Updated: Jun 23, 2020


Servant marketing means marketing to serve before marketing to sell. A servant marketing strategy means taking a humanistic approach to everything you do, and letting your customers take the lead. While you really need to adopt a high-level strategy first (learn 7 Servant Marketing Principles to live and do business by here) there are countless servant marketing tactics you can inject into every aspect of your business to increase engagement and conversion rates. Whether it’s in your email subject lines, product packaging, blog posts, or social media strategy – you can always connect with your customers on a more human level…


1. Delight your customers with an unexpected surprise

How can you surprise and delight your customers? Add something into your product orders that your customers will love but is totally unexpected. Nostalgic candy, a fun koozie, unique stickers? It’s best when it ties into an emotion or feeling you want your brand to portray. If someone cancels their subscription or returns a product try automating a confirmation email that gives them a free digital product. Can you unexpectedly personalize their name on your packaging?

2. Create content and ads with real customers

Set up an automated survey that asks for customer reviews or opinions. Pick the ones that resonate and send them a follow up email asking if they’d like to be featured on your site or ad.


3. Turn a sour critic into a raving fan

Follow up on negative reviews by reaching out to them privately and giving them the royal treatment. You’ll blow their mind and they may even blow up your social media with gratitude.

4. Provide value before you ask for anything from your customer

This can be as simple as adding a video jam-packed with educational value to your squeeze page, or as intricate as a retargeting strategy where there is no ask from the customer on step 1. Try adding a free whitepaper to your sales page, or a freebie to your core offer. Try making your sales experience all about delivering value instead of a transaction and see what happens.

5. Collect feedback and do customer research as much as possible

Launching a new product? Ask your customers for their opinion, or better yet, let them help design it (this will also generate buzz and excitement)! In disagreement with your creative director on what messaging your new brand should use? A/B test it and let the results speak for themselves. Designing a new t-shirt? Create a t-shirt battle and let your customers pick the annual design.

6. Start a real conversation with your customers

Try sending an email that simply asks customers to reply. No button, no link, just an authentic conversation. See what happens. Ask your prospects why they haven’t bought your product yet. It may be ugly and painful, but it will make you better.

7. Send a handwritten note

I can’t express enough how powerful this can be. Thank them for something, wish them a happy birthday, anything. Just make sure it’s true to your brand voice!

8. Use personalization to create a more personal tone

If you have the data, use it! Using their name to greet them in subject lines, email salutations, direct mail pieces, etc. is usually the easiest, but try these tips to take your personalization game to the next level:

  • Use their location info to send them relevant content for their area

  • When a tragedy happens use geographic location to send a heartfelt note to those it hit closest to home

  • Use their birth date to send them something on their special day (it could just be an automated email)

  • Use geographic data to play into regional sports fans

  • Use their birthdate to target your content for millennials, gen X, and baby boomers differently

  • Use products they’ve bought to check in on how it’s going, and put a light-hearted twist on it. Ex. How much dog hair have you vacuumed with your PetXZooom so far?!


9. Have a personalized content marketing strategy

Don’t just blast your content to everyone, make sure it’s relevant to where they are on their journey. At the very least make sure you’re sending them intro/welcome language when you first peak their interest, send them a survey to collect data on what they’re looking for, and send them relevant content to that.

10. Have a jaw-dropping guarantee

You can read the studies online, having a great guarantee is proven to increase sales without boosting cancellations and returns. Offer a guarantee so jaw-dropping that it shows your brand character. Give them an entire year to try your product. Let them make returns most companies won’t. This will set you apart from the competition, and win over the hearts and loyalty of their customers.

11. Turn loyal customers into brand ambassadors

What a better way to promote your community then by turning your most loyal fans and customers into brand ambassadors? Create a program that allows them to spread the good word on their own time, in their own way. This will help you reach new audiences with a “salesman” that already speaks their language.

12. Start a community giving program

This is great in a lot of ways – you can sell more while making a big difference in the lives of others. Choose a charity or program that’s aligned with your brand and near and dear to your customers’ hearts. You can do the buy-one-give-one method, round up orders to the nearest dollar amount, or do one-off promotions. Helping customers feel like they’re contributing to something bigger than themselves while buying the products they love is an incredible way to increase sales, happiness, and customer loyalty.

13. Interact with your audience live

This is so important in this age! If you want to create a truly authentic connection with your audience get on your social media platforms and talk to them live! Answer their questions, provide exclusive training, share a personal story, do a giveaway – the options are endless.

14. Understand what your customers really want to know

Head over to AnswerThePublic.com or use keyword research tools to learn what questions people are really asking about your product, service, or industry. Get on forums like Reddit and Quora and search for topics relevant to your business. Hear their biggest questions first hand, and take a minute to drop some knowledge bombs on them! Do quick surveys on your Instagram or facebook asking your audience what topics they want you to cover. Use all of this to build out your content strategy and see engagement rates skyrocket.

15. Set up a unique photo op at your next event

There’s nothing people love more than taking selfies, right? At your next event, or outside your store (whatever’s relevant) set up an eye-catching photo op experience. Something special, that people can’t help but take a photo with. Create a special hashtag for them to share on social media with it and watch your brand impressions soar (tie a giveaway to sharing the photo and you’ll see even more engagement)!

16. Send your product to influencers in your industry

Whether it’s for Instagram, Facebook, or Tiktok there’s nothing better than an authentic review that’s not being paid for. Send your product out to influencers in your industry and ask for their honest feedback. This can give you a ton of organic impressions, but you better be sure you provide a quality product!

17. Perform a PR-worthy stunt

What can you do in the spirit of creating an unexpected and world-class experience for prospective customers that’s headline worthy…? This totally depends on your industry and product, but here’s a few examples:

  • Give out free tacos at a big event with your brand on the tortilla

  • Do a 24-hour livestream full of free content

  • Randomly place an extravagant and conspicuous photo-op experience in the middle of a crowded area

  • Create a viral-worthy app or video ad