As an agency leader, you’re likely always considering new ways to expand your offerings to your clients, enhance campaign performance, and continue striving to be better today than you were the day before. We’ve been there, and we respect the mindset.
If your search for the next mode of leveling up your agency has led you to consider a white label partnership with an agency like ours at Conduit Digital, you’re likely (and understandably) wondering if you can create a pricing model that works for your business goals. Of course, when you entrust some or all of a client’s work to a partner, cost does come into play.
White label pricing is designed for scalability. Instead of managing multiple vendors with their own price points or hiring and training in-house team members that also require additional overhead, white label digital marketing agencies give you a single payment channel to expand your in-house capabilities so that you can stabilize costs, bandwidth, and capacity to focus more on what you love about running your agency.
If you’re wondering how to create a predictable pricing model to integrate white label services into your agency’s day-to-day operations, this guide is for you. Today, we’ll cover everything you need to know to ensure that your pricing remains predictable and scalable when you join forces with the right white label solution.
First Steps: White Label Digital Marketing Pricing Models
White label digital marketing refers to services where a company provides digital marketing solutions (like Conduit) that another business (like your agency) can brand and sell as their own. In turn, this allows your agency to keep greater control over brand continuity and the information that you present to your client. Essentially, think of it like hiring another agency to support your own.
Each white label provider will price their services differently, but they generally fall into five distinct categories that include:
Monthly Retainer: This is usually used to maintain constant access to the white label agency for reporting, dashboards, communication channels, and all of the other infrastructure that underlies the rest of the partnership. Typically, most agencies will pay this out of pocket as part of theirregular monthly expenses.
Management Fees: These are most common for campaigns like white label Facebook ads, TikTok, or Google Search. The white label charges a sliding-scale fee that can be marked up or down from the client’s budget.
Wholesale CPM: Wholesale cost-per-mile (CPM) pricing is the cost that the agency pays for every one thousand impressions or views in a programmatic advertising campaign. Your agency then marks up above the wholesale price.
Custom-Scope: Custom-scoped campaigns are most commonly used for organic campaigns like white label SEO or social content management. The pricing is determined through an audit process and leaves room for your agency to determine the right markup when billing your clients.
A La Carte: These are typically one-off deliverables that an agency can purchase for a fixed price. They can range from items like sales support documents to one-off pieces of creative work like a landing page design or blog post. Unlike the others above, this type of payment is not intended to be ongoing.
As an example, for a management fee-based service, let’s use a white label Google Search campaign. Your client wants to invest $10,000 on a paid search campaign, and your agency charges a 20% management fee. You then create a revenue share model where you pay your white label partner $1,299 for elite-level media buying, and your agency would make $701, typically used for front-end monthly client services.
Most of these pricing models can vary based on overall budget size and volume. Be sure to use your white label partner’s rate card as a financial lifeline when pricing new campaigns for your client.
Can You Afford the Pricing?
The next step beyond understanding the pricing models is to see how they’ll translate to your agency’s actual finances. If you are interested in a specific white label agency, ask them to provide you with their rate card if they do not already have it on their website.
The rate card provides a complete picture of the pricing and what it will look like for your campaign. From there, you can run the numbers yourself or consult with your financial department to determine the costs of launching a campaign across any channel that your partner offers.
It also never hurts to communicate your desired spend per campaign with your white label agency ahead of submitting an insertion order. They have priced out countless campaigns and can help you determine what it would look like for your agency to markup their services to your clients.
For instance, at Conduit, we perform an Agency Alignment Assessment to make sure a potential partnership can work financially. This also enables us to create transparency and guidance for how you can create a predictable pricing model using a white label partner.
Making a Predictable Pricing Model
Start by Finding the Right White Label Partner
Before you can build a pricing model around white label digital marketing services, you need to find the right white label partner that truly enables your agency to scale.
As you’re considering your options, keep the following traits in mind:
Transparency - How transparent is the white label agency about their services, deliverables, pricing, and personnel before you book a discovery call with them?
In-House Performance - Look for a white label that does not further offshore or outsource the work that you have outsourced to them.
Proof of Performance - Does the white label team have any case studies or success stories they can share with your agency to show how they’ve performed on campaigns in the past?
Geographic Similarity - Look for a team that shares relative geographic similarity to your own. For example, if you’re in North America, select one also based in North America.
Scope of Solutions - Does the white label partner have the digital channels you need right now, as well as ones that you could expand into as you scale?
Agency Deliverables - Does the white label partner provide you with deliverables that make managing your accounts easier, like in-depth reports or sales support materials?
Communication Style - Do you communicate well with the white label partner’s team?
As you’re narrowing your list of potential partners, keep the above in mind. Not every white label is the right fit for every agency, and vice-versa. As our CEO, Tim Burke, says, “Finding the right white label partner isn’t speed-dating.”
Determine the Channels You Want to White Label
Some agencies prefer to white label one or two channels while others might outsource a significant amount of digital campaign work to their partner. In turn, this will also affect the types of pricing models that you will be working within.
From there, gather the rate information by referencing your white label agency’s rate card for each channel that you are going to utilize their team for. You can start to piece together a foundational framework for how you onboard new campaigns for your white label team.
Create Standardized Client-Facing Pricing Models
Creating client-facing pricing can be a delicate task that requires transparency, clarity, and the ability to convey the value of your services. Here are some tips for effectively presenting pricing to clients:
Clearly Define Services: Provide a clear breakdown of the services included in each pricing tier. Clients should have a precise understanding of what they are paying for.
Highlight Value: Emphasize the value your services provide. Explain how your solutions can solve their problems, meet their goals, or improve their business. Help clients see the possible return on investment (ROI) they can expect.
Use Simple Language: Avoid technical jargon or complex terminology. Explain pricing in simple, plain language that clients can easily understand.
Offer Multiple Options: Present clients with different pricing options or packages. This allows them to choose a plan that best suits their needs and budget.
Anchor Pricing: Use anchor pricing to influence perception. Present a higher-priced option first, followed by the option you want clients to choose. This can make the latter seem like a better deal.
Tiered Pricing: Consider tiered pricing with clear differentiators between tiers. Clients can then choose the level of service that aligns with their requirements.
But Also Prepare for Clients that Don’t Fit the Mold
While many clients will certainly appreciate the predictability of your own tiered pricing structure, there will be others who have larger and/more more complex needs that cannot fit within the models you create. For example, you may land a whale of a new client with a budget that far exceeds the majority of your entire client roster. In these cases, use your white label agency’s rate card to create custom-priced campaigns that will be designed to deliver maximum performance for the client’s investment.
Build Better White Label Pricing with a Conduit Partnership
If you’re looking to make your costs more predictable at your agency, and avoid financial surprises, let’s talk. At Conduit, we partner with North America’s most established and successful local agencies to deliver elite performance and operational excellence through a single partnership that grants your agency access to 17 channels managed by elite U.S.-based analysts.
Schedule your call with us today to learn more about how Conduit can help your agency scale!