Breaking Down The “Too Good to Be True” Offer – PPC Edition

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.

  1. On which networks will they be advertising?
  2. Will they create custom campaigns based on your input or will they create the campaigns without your input?
  3. Where will the keyword lists come from?
  4. Will the campaigns send traffic to your web site or somewhere else?
  5. Who will be responsible for creating landing pages for the campaigns?
  6. What is the scope of the work that is included in the contract – set number of campaigns, ad groups, total number of hours, etc.?
  7. What are the parameters for ongoing management of the campaigns? How much time will be spent & doing what?
  8. Will there be special domains purchased for this project? If so, why and how will they be utilized?

Who is in control?

  1. If you have existing accounts on various networks – will they be setting up new accounts or wanting to use your existing account(s)?
  2. Will you have any access to the accounts to review them or will you only receive reports on performance from the provider?
  3. Who will determine what will constitute a conversion?
  4. How will the success of the campaigns be measured?
  5. What tracking capabilities will be available?
  6. If tracking telephone numbers will be utilized, how will the calls be routed to you or your client?
  7. 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?

  1. What is the upfront cost to get the account started?
  2. Are there other pre-determined billings?
  3. What is that billing cycle?
  4. Will you or your client be billed directly for the clicks? If not, what will the billing method be?
  5. What about calls? Will you or your client be billed additionally for any calls generated? If so, at what rate?

General contractual questions

  1. What is the term/length of this agreement?
  2. Who owns the work product?
  3. If tracking telephone numbers were utilized, will they be transferred to you or your client at the end of the contractual period?
  4. 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?
  5. What if you or your client are completely dissatisfied? Can the contract be terminated?
  6. If the contract can be terminated, are there termination fees or penalties that will be assessed or imposed?
  7. 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!

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