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3 min read

5 Reasons to Use Retainer Agreements

5 Reasons to Use Retainer Agreements

It’s only natural to feel nervous about entering into a retainer agreement with a marketing agency. You may worry about whether it’s a long-term trap and whether it will be difficult to make adjustments as the needs of your business evolve.

You know the importance of implementing an effective marketing plan to grow your business, but you’re worried about a long-term investment and whether there are any guarantees. 

By using retainer agreements, rest assured you shouldn’t feel shackled. In fact, you’re actually allowing your business to execute a campaign that’s much more hands-on. 

Below, we’ll review the potential benefits that inbound marketing retainer agreements have, especially over the more traditional task-driven arrangements. We’re certain you’ll find that retainer agreements have several benefits that were not initially apparent, leaving you with peace of mind that the marketing of your company is in good hands. 


Reason 1: There's No More Nickel & Diming


Unlike the more traditional task driven agreements, retainer agreements are a more inclusive arrangement. That means no more nickel and diming to death because of overage charges, add-on charges and beyond the scope of work charges. 

Because retainer agreements are based on results and not tasks, all of the work that is required to reach the project goals is usually included in the agreement from the beginning. 

Think of it like a vacation. If you opt not to choose an all-inclusive experience, and decide to vacation on your own, all of a sudden expenses here and there like Mimosas by the pool and a round of golf add up. Don’t forget breakfast, lunch and other activities. Do this every day of your vacation, and all of a sudden you’re out a couple of thousand dollars you may not have planned to spend. 


2 Mimosa’s by the pool $22
A round of golf $120
Water Skiing $75

Dinner for Two




Times 7 Days



Much like all-inclusive resorts, a retainer agreement takes all these extra charges and includes them in the agreement from the beginning. No more surprises, no more nickel and diming. 

Our article, How A Digital Marketing Agency Can Increase Your Revenues, further explores some of the strategies inbound marketing agencies use optimize results and save you money. 


Reason 2: Retainers Are Predictable


Because you know what to expect from the beginning, it’s much easier to calculate and maintain cash flow. Hiring agencies on either a per-project or per-hour basis, on the other hand, makes expenditures hard to predict on a month-to-month basis. 

That’s because you know exactly how much you are spending each month and what you are getting for that money. There are no hidden fees. The amount of content to be created, as well as timetables and responsibilities, are all spelled out in the agreement so that all parties feel comfortable about who is responsible for what. 

Signing a retainer agreement with an agency also can provide a level of comfort, especially if the agency has experience working in your industry. Working with someone who understands your brand not only leads to better content, but also saves time as well. 


Top 5 Most Critical Lead Generation Mistakes Businesses Make

Reason 3: An Abundance of Resources


retainer agreementsIn order to implement an effective inbound marketing strategy, you’ll need to put together your own team of designers, bloggers, content creators, graphic designers, social media experts, website developers and publishers. 

This can take a lot of work, and be costly. In fact, in addition to a salary for each employee you bring on, the cost to you for employment taxes and benefits typically is about 1.25 to 1.4 times the base salary. So an employee making $50,000 really would cost you between $62,500 and $70,000.

If you decide to hire different companies to manage various parts of your campaign instead, this can still prove to be problematic. When working with different companies, it can be difficult to maintain cohesion and fluidity. With retainer services, it’s much easier for everyone to stay on the same page and focus on the same end-goal. 

A retainer model provides you with all the resources you need in one place, at a cost you can afford. This type of model allows you to work with one agency, while effectively collaborating and controlling the process more efficiently by working closely with the people who are actually creating everything for you. 


Reason 4: Accountability is a Priority


Everything that is done using inbound marketing strategies and methodologies can be tracked and analyzed. This is an excellent advantage for clients, who can see exactly how well their agencies are performing. 

Hiring agencies to perform one or two tasks can leave you with an empty feeling and no real knowledge of what your ROI is. However, dedicated account managers assigned to your company can ensure you’re seeing a plan come to fruition through analyzing traffic, conversions and sales. 

Many agencies have project management platforms that clients can access and see exactly what is happening on their accounts at any given time. This is just one example of how a retainer model creates a relationship between the agency and client, establishing trust, credibility and accountability!


Reason 5: Inbound Marketing is a Marathon, not a Sprint

Inbound Marketing typically begins to deliver a return on investment after seven to nine months, and continues to grow from there. That’s why you’ll need a long-term partner who’s in it for the long run with you.

The only way to ensure success over the long haul is to analyze, plan and strategize to make sure your business goals are being met. 

The retainer agreement is like a marriage … you both are committing to each other for the foreseeable future. It’s up to the agency to make sure you don’t get a divorce. 


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