Reseller Email Marketing: A New Revenue Stream For Designers?

Matthew Magain

If you’re a web designer who designs or sends email (either for yourself or for your clients), then you’ve probably at least heard of Campaign Monitor, the popular email marketing software application.

You’ve probably also heard that the team recently redesigned their application, combining what was previously two separate products (one for designers, one for the clients of those designers) into one comprehensive über-email testing and delivery suite. I’ve used it a few times since the new design was launched and have been seriously impressed at how intuitive it is to use (full disclosure: Campaign Monitor is an advertising partner at sitepoint.com).

Be Your Own Email Marketing Service

The feature that stands out for me about the new Campaign Monitor is the fact that you can now rebrand parts of the application to make it available to your clients. This includes not only changing the logo and colour scheme, but also hosting it at your own domain and billing clients in their own currency.

To top it off, you can set the rates that you decide your clients should pay for the campaigns they send. If you have a number of clients who prefer to send campaigns themselves (rather than entrusting you to do it, you can set them up with a limited set of templates, and away they go!) The premium that you decide to charge on top of the base fee goes in your pocket. If your clients like emailing their customers, there’s a really exciting opportunity right here…

A New Revenue Stream?

Reseller web hosting has long been an easy option for web designers and developers to offer their clients. The ease that you can rebrand Campaign Monitor means that a whole new revenue stream that you may not have considered—reseller email marketing—is suddenly a viable option.

We’ve written before on the difference between offering services and products, and the need to look beyond a business model that is tied to your hourly rate. Expanding the services you offer your clients will always make you more valuable to them.

But when the service is one that scales easily without much involvement on your part, suddenly you’re evolving from a straight service provider to one who offers a product as well—reseller email marketing that the client performs by themselves. Voila—you’ve added a new passive income stream.

What’s Next?

In addition to design and development services, many web professionals offer domain registration, web hosting and helpdesk support as part of their service offering, although the opportunity for adding a mark up to the cost of these services is limited. Reseller email marketing is another service that you could add to your arsenal to make your clients happy and make you look good, but because your clients are charged by the number of emails they send, it’s not tied to your time.

Are there any other service offerings that you provide your clients—especially ones that scale? Let us know in the comments!

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  • http://www.para-diddledesign.com somecallmejosh

    This is very interesting, Matthew. Is this different than Constant Contact’s reseller program?

  • http://www.torkiljohnsen.com/cv torkil

    My biggest hurdle when trying to get people to see the value in what they are paying for at Campaign Monitor, is that people in general seems to think that e-mail is and always will be a free service. Just starting out on the road to explain what benefits such survices have can be a real pain:

    Irritated customer: I have to pay PR EMAIL!?!? I might as well just use outlook to e-mail the people on my mailing list then!

  • http://www.magain.com/ mattymcg

    @somecallmejosh: Actually, I don’t know Josh, as I haven’t played with Constant Contact. Do they let designers rebrand completely as well?

    @torkil: Agree that this is absolutely a hurdle, especially when the list gets to be quite big.

  • cjbates123

    @torkil – I’ve been using CM a lot lately, and I’m pretty sure you could easily convince customers to abandon Outlook once they see some of the reporting and tracking features CM offers. You can get a lot of insight into customer behavior that you can’t get with one-way communications via a traditional email client. (And no, I don’t work for CM. They just have a cool product.)

    Matthew – this is a really interesting idea. I’ll have to explore this option.

  • http://www.site-o-rific.com Site O Rific

    How much of a revenue stream? I mean Gmail is so good and easy to use. Is it like hosting, which at this point you might as well just throw the hosting in as a carrot it is so cheap.

  • http://www.para-diddledesign.com somecallmejosh

    Thanks, Matthew. I’m not sure what you mean by “rebranding completely.” We can only change the masthead to a pre-fabbed background, and change the name of the account – text based. We didn’t notice an option to upload the company logo, or change the fonts to match our online font set. Perhaps I’ve overlooked the full branding feature set.

    I do like the simplicity of the system. For smaller campaigns, this seems like a good way to go.

  • plauditdesign

    At Plaudit Design, most of our clients use our Email Marketing System which we resell from SendStudio.com. It completely rebrands for us and offers quite affordable solutions.

    However, we do a lot of e-commerce sites so our users clearly require this services for their online services. It’s not a huge revenue stream for us at all, but sometimes it’s a deal maker when we offer all-in-one services.

  • http://www.para-diddledesign.com somecallmejosh

    @plauditdesign,

    What features of this system do you like over what’s offered by Campaign Monitor?

  • kim

    Thanks for this. I think email marketing is very important and we setup our clients with http://www.omnistarmailer.com they have a great reseller solution and a great product.