Retainer Pricing For Digital Marketing: Pros and Cons

There are many agency pricing options, however, if you are looking for stable output and predictable expenses Retainer pricing is a good option. This model ensures the agency gets a monthly payment, transferring most of the risks and advantages to the client.

The Retainer Pricing Model is about a commitment. The agency commits to providing consistent service, while the client promises a consistent payment. This creates a long-term relationship where both parties understand expectations and can focus on delivering and receiving value.

Retainer Pricing for a digital marketing agency: pros and cons

Advantages of the Retainer Pricing

For the agency

  • Stability: A predictable monthly income stream facilitates financial planning and consistent client servicing.
  • Stronger Client Relationship: Continuous engagement lets agencies understand client businesses better, including their seasonal patterns and income trends.
  • Long-term Thinking: With a well-defined long-term strategy, it becomes possible to allocate resources toward future gains.
  • Time Efficiency: The agency can pivot between monthly projects, offering the clients diverse results.

For the client

  • Budget Consistency: Fixed monthly fees mean no surprise costs.
  • Consistent Team: Engaging with a familiar agency team that truly understands the client’s business makes all the difference.
  • Priority Service: Retainer contracts often come with the perk of priority service over one-off projects.
  • Flexibility and Partnership: The agency evolves into a strategic partner, allowing project alterations without constant budget negotiations.

Potential Challenges with the Retainer Pricing

For the agency

  • Financial Ceiling: Exceeding expectations in your job doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll receive a higher salary.
  • Over-dependence: Relying heavily on retained clients can spell trouble if contracts end abruptly.
  • Worth Validation: The constant need to demonstrate the worth of their retainer to clients.
  • Lack of Profit: If clients ask for more than initially agreed upon, it can decrease earnings.

For the client

  • Complacency Concerns: There’s a risk of the agency becoming too comfortable and not pushing boundaries.
  • Uniform Payments: Slower months don’t mean reduced fees.
  • Value Perception: If there is no proactive communication, clients may feel they are not receiving the total value of their investment.

Summary on Balancing Risks and Rewards
with Retainer Pricing

#1. The retainer model offers steady revenue and long-term results for agencies. On the other hand, relying on few clients can lead to financial issues. So, agencies must maintain a well-balanced portfolio to ensure their stability.

#2. For clients, the retainer pricing assures increased profits and efficient services, thanks to the agency’s deep comprehension of their business. However, they must ensure consistent value from monthly outcomes and be ready for the financial expenses, regardless of immediate results.

Ideal Scenarios for Retainer Agreements

  • Long-term endeavors like SEO campaigns, content marketing, or branding initiatives
  • When clients prefer diverse inputs from an agency over time, and they want to avoid constantly negotiating budgets.

When the Retainer Model Doesn't Work

For the agency

  1. The client expects the same retainer will cover everything. 
  2. When the agency charges less for a retainer, it reduces its ability to be profitable and stay in business.

For the client

  1. If the agency is not delivering results worth a retainer. 
  2. The agency is not communicating or becoming complacent.

Let’s delve into a real-life digital marketing campaign example. It will help us better understand how retainer pricing can bring significant results for the agency and its clients.

Spotlight on Success: A Real-Life Retainer
Model Collaboration

The Client Profile

CareNet, a network of primary care providers with regional clinics spread across the country. Their aspiration wasn’t only to be another name in the healthcare but to establish a digital presence, becoming the top choice for potential patients in need of primary care.

The Challenges of CareNet

  • Boosted Digital Presence: Although their in-person services were praiseworthy, their digital presence was significantly lacking.
  • Expanded Patient Base: They wanted to move beyond word-of-mouth referrals, tapping into the vast pool of potential patients online.
  • Optimized Appointment System: Reducing administrative strain and enhancing patient experience by streamlining appointment bookings were pivotal.

The Retainer Proposition

Roman Agency, known for its versatile strategies in healthcare marketing, proposed a comprehensive $10,000/month retainer-based pricing. This fee covers: 

  • SEO: Detailed search engine optimization of CareNet’s website to increase search rankings and attract organic, relevant traffic.
  • Paid Ad Management: Crafting, managing, and optimizing ad campaigns on platforms such as Google Ads and social media, ensuring CareNet’s name appeared in front of the target audience.
  • Marketing Automation: A system designed to automate appointment bookings, send reminders and follow-ups, and collect invaluable patient feedback.

the Benefits

For Roman Agency

  • Predictable Profits: The retainer assured a monthly income, simplifying financial forecasts.
  • Deepened Relationship: Continuous collaboration paved the way for an in-depth understanding of CareNet’s operations and goals.
  • Optimized Efficiency: With regular insights into CareNet’s performance, the agency could tweak real-time strategies, maximizing outcomes.

For CareNet

  • Consistent Service: A dedicated Roman Agency team meant constant effort tailored to CareNet’s specific needs.
  • Predictable Budgeting: No unexpected costs, just a fixed monthly expenditure.
  • Holistic Digital Strategy: A seamless integration of SEO, ad campaigns, and marketing automation covered all digital fronts.
  • Flexibility: As seasons changed and business needs evolved, CareNet had the flexibility to adjust its focus areas without renegotiating the contract.

The Remarkable Outcome

Roman Agency, a healthcare digital marketing agency, helped CareNet achieve thei goals: increase website traffic, acquire new patients, manage ad campaigns, and improve marketing automation. This investment fostered patient satisfaction, all without the need for an in-house marketing team.

Final Thoughts from Roman Agency

Real-world applications like CareNet’s partnership with Roman Agency highlight the potential of the Retainer pricing. It’s not just about predictable budgets or consistent services; it’s about forging a partnership that thrives on mutual growth. 

If this success story resonates with your aspirations, it’s time to explore what a retainer partnership can do for you. 

Roman Zilvenschi
Chief Storyteller

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