Oct 26, 2020

How We Price Inbound (And Why We Do It Differently)

By: Sheridan Prince

Inbound Marketing

If you’ve been looking for an inbound marketing partner, you’ve probably seen these 3 words before: 

“Prices are custom.” 

Not very informative, is it? You probably already know that inbound marketing is an investment that leads to proven returns in the form of future customers. But when it comes to choosing a specific partner, you want to make sure that you know exactly how much investment to make and what the return on that investment will be. 

We get it. In fact, we don’t see the point of keeping our pricing shrouded in mystery either. That’s why we’re going to give you a step-by-step explanation of how we price inbound marketing programs for our clients.  

1. We Start With Your Goals 

The first step in pricing is to identify what your current results are. How many new leads are you getting from your website each month? How many new clients? We work with you to find out how you measure success, and get a firm grip on the KPIs that matter most to you. 

Once we’ve established this baseline, we start looking ahead to one year in the future. We come up with a clear set of performance goals we can achieve for you using our proven approach for developing a lead generation and customer acquisition funnel

This will include specific estimates for increases at every stage of the pipeline: traffic, marketing qualified leads, and sales qualified leads. This will give you a clear picture of your potential growth in each area. 

We’ll also work with you to identify the true value of each client: what is the average one year revenue you’ll receive from a new client? What is their long term value (typical five year revenue)? 

Once you have a clear understanding of long term value, you’ll also have a measuring stick to evaluate how much to spend on marketing per new client. As a rule of thumb, we’ve observed that companies get the best results when they spend about 10% of that long-term projected revenue increase on sales and marketing.

Why do we start with this assessment? Because it allows you to see the true value of starting a retainer relationship with us — it’s a clear picture of the cost and benefit of turning strangers into loyal customers. 


2. We Structure Pricing to Simplify Budgeting

Our Inbound Marketing Retainer is an all-in-one inbound marketing system. Check out this post for an overview of the tactics we use. Before you commit, we want you to have the chance to get to know us first, so you’ll have the option to try one or two small projects to prove out our capabilities (think producing a lead gen offer, or creating a batch of blogs).  

When you buy a retainer, we ask for a one-year commitment, and that’s for a couple reasons. 

First, inbound marketing requires a time commitment to be successful. Much of the heavy lifting happens in the startup optimization stage (also known as the first 90 days), while the results often start to emerge a few months later. You can read more about that in this post.

Second, a year-long retainer allows us to level out the cost of those cost-intensive first few months into a flat monthly rate. Our goal here is to simplify your budgeting process and prevent those crucial first months from becoming cost-prohibitive. 

One more thing: we offer our clients the option of a 90-day no-cost cancellation. In other words, we intentionally put ourselves on tryout with you every step of the way. Why? Because we think it leads to better work, more honest conversation, and better results. 

3. We Determine Pricing Based on Your Needs

We’re a fixed-fee agency. This means that everything we do has a set cost that’s based on hourly estimates of how long we know it’ll take to get it done. 

How will we determine the cost of your monthly retainer? Here’s a breakdown of how we identify that number: 

  1. We start with the cost of marketing platform software, which you’ll pay directly to that platform. We want you to own your system and your data, regardless of whether you continue to work with us or not. 
  2. We identify which combination of specific tactics (blogs, webinars, premium content, digital media, etc.) will most efficiently achieve your performance goals.
  3. We’ll add up the set cost of each tactic and then determine what your fixed monthly retainer will be. 

Our experience working with clients tells us that one year of serious (and successful) inbound marketing requires a minimum commitment of $100,000. At the end of that year, you can expect us to deliver quantifiable results, not just a laundry list of tactics. In fact, one of the biggest benefits of a retainer is that it allows us to constantly evaluate which tactics are working and iterate our approach — without any additional cost to you. 

So, are prices custom? Well, yes. But we think the best way to build a relationship with our clients is to be transparent about how we price inbound, commit to achieving results, and then deliver. It’s as simple as that.  

To learn more about our proven system for generating qualified leads for B2B companies selling a high-value product, download our ebook Generate the Right Leads, Build Trust, Achieve Breakthrough Growth

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