Has this happened to you – you get a call from a client saying that they are (or are considering if you’re lucky) switching to another company for their internet marketing needs because they just received the most amazing, you’d-be-crazy-to-pass-it-up kind of offer? Perhaps you are a business who has received a solicitation with one of these includes-everything-you-could-possibly-want-for-an-unbelievable-price offers? Some of the big players are trying to do just this – like the various Yellow Pages companies, as just one example.
How can you cut through the hype and figure out if it truly is a great or once-in-a-lifetime type of opportunity or a disaster in disguise? Step one, of course, is to take a deep breath. After that, you will need to examine exactly what is being offered. Here are some helpful questions to ask if you or your client is approached by a company offering the sun, the moon and the stars at a seemingly amazing price point:
What EXACTLY is included?
For instance, if the offer includes “PPC Management” insist on a detailed explanation of what that entails and how it will be executed, managed and evaluated.
- On which networks will they be advertising?
- Will they create custom campaigns based on your input or will they create the campaigns without your input?
- Where will the keyword lists come from?
- Will the campaigns send traffic to your web site or somewhere else?
- Who will be responsible for creating landing pages for the campaigns?
- What is the scope of the work that is included in the contract – set number of campaigns, ad groups, total number of hours, etc.?
- What are the parameters for ongoing management of the campaigns? How much time will be spent & doing what?
- Will there be special domains purchased for this project? If so, why and how will they be utilized?
Who is in control?
- If you have existing accounts on various networks – will they be setting up new accounts or wanting to use your existing account(s)?
- Will you have any access to the accounts to review them or will you only receive reports on performance from the provider?
- Who will determine what will constitute a conversion?
- How will the success of the campaigns be measured?
- What tracking capabilities will be available?
- If tracking telephone numbers will be utilized, how will the calls be routed to you or your client?
- If additional domains are purchased and utilized for the campaigns, will they redirect to you or your client’s primary domain?
What are the actual costs & billing structure?
- What is the upfront cost to get the account started?
- Are there other pre-determined billings?
- What is that billing cycle?
- Will you or your client be billed directly for the clicks? If not, what will the billing method be?
- What about calls? Will you or your client be billed additionally for any calls generated? If so, at what rate?
General contractual questions
- What is the term/length of this agreement?
- Who owns the work product?
- If tracking telephone numbers were utilized, will they be transferred to you or your client at the end of the contractual period?
- If additional domains are purchased and utilized for the campaigns, will they be transferred to you or your client at the end of the contractual period?
- What if you or your client are completely dissatisfied? Can the contract be terminated?
- If the contract can be terminated, are there termination fees or penalties that will be assessed or imposed?
- When the contract term ends or if the contract is terminated, will account administrative rights be transferred to you or your client?
It can be so tempting, when faced with a seemingly amazing offer not to bother to stop and ask questions. I get it – especially when that offer comes at a time when you could really use a break. But, you must always be diligent when starting a new business relationship. Failure to do so can have catastrophic results.
Have you or your clients been solicited with a “too good to be true” offer? What happened? As always, we welcome you to share your stories, insights and experiences!