How To Write A Marketing Contract

Andi Wilkinson
Andi Wilkinson 8th July 2020
How To Write A Marketing Contract 1

If you are looking to enter into a partnership with a client to offer digital marketing services, then you want to get off on the right foot. A solid marketing agreement can help you do this. And we have included a handy template at the end of the article. Feel free to adapt it to your benefit. 

I always find contracts daunting and scary. Maybe that’s just me. But when I hear people discuss legally binding contracts, they are always in the context of things going wrong. For me, an agreement should be an act of good faith, a way to tell all parties whats expected—a way to say to the Client what they can expect from you when running their marketing campaigns.

If you have a solid marketing plan from the outset, then you can hopefully save any misunderstandings down the line. For more on that plan we wrote this post on how to create a digital marketing brief

So without further ado, let’s break down all the essential components of an excellent marketing contract. In the text below, I use grey sections in italics to explain the different parts of the marketing contract. The plain text is what we would include in the agreement. 

Introducing Yourself 

I always think it’s polite for a marketing agency to make an introduction, so we start with this: 

Thank you for choosing Made By Factory as your digital partner. We want to make sure we can provide the best possible service within the scope of your plan. This document outlines what you can expect from us, in return, our expectations from you. 

Personalise the contract to your Client. A generic one might not make much sense. If you refer to some terminology that you haven’t explained yet, then tell your reader where to find it. 

By agreeing to this document. <COMPANY> has retained Made By Factory Limited to provide the Services (as defined below) is subject to the terms & Conditions set out In this Agreement and in accordance with the retainer limit. 

Aims and Objectives Of The Marketing Contract

This is where we usually explain the overall aims of a marketing contract. Its an overview and not specific, so it doesn’t go into detail about the actual steps, we will carry out to meet these goals. We do that later in the contract. 

It’s a no brainer that marketing any online business is supposed to provide a boost to things like traffic and online presence, but its good to give a general overview. 

The aim of the agreement and what we will deliver (where applicable)

  • Boost traffic to the Client’s website at <website> to raise your brand profile
  • Improve/protect your brand online
  • Improve the speed and functionality of your website
  • Improve conversion rates of existing traffic to boost sales.
  • Identify and monitor client competition and introduce new ideas that could be beneficial to your online visibility
  • Provide consultancy advice on marketing related issues, such as cost-saving.

Current vital metrics will be benchmarked upon the commencement of this agreement. Continual comparisons are drawn throughout the term of this agreement, (where applicable) including but not limited to sessions, conversions, conversion rate, session duration, average order value. 

To achieve this objective, Made By Factory will undertake the work set out in Section 3 Scope of Services, set out below. Made By Factory will produce a ranking. Traffic and progress reports for you at the end of each month.

You accept that the achievement of these aims and objectives also rely on the mitigating factors detailed in section 2. (below)

Mitigating Factors

Make Sure you outline any mitigating factors early on in your agreement

The work undertaken by us, Made By Factory includes on-site optimisation recommendations, direct on-site work (where access is provided) to us. It may consist of an off-site link and reputation building where applicable. 

The majority of the on-site work can be completed internally by us at no extra cost and will form part of your plan. Where cost is involved, we will make the recommendations accordingly and carry out those works subject to agreement by you, the Client. 

For our aims and objectives to be met, full and timely implementation of all recommended work by the Client and any third parties is required. 

Scope Of Work

This is where you get specific on the services you plan to provide for the client. Dont be general here. There’s no point talking about reputation management for example, if you are only engaged to fix errors.

Although I’ve tried to include pretty much everything here, make sure you create a master marketing contract list for your own services

We will provide resources to undertake a range of services for you, in respect of <website> which may comprise of: 

  • Analysis Documents, Including Keyword Analysis – assessment of the current market demand 
  • Website Analysis – assessment of the website’s current state in respect of SEO, speed and the site’s current reputation around the web. If previous analytics are available, this will include an assessment of the site’s past performance. 
  • Competitor Analysis – assessment of the competitor’s website in the context of both keyword groups and social networks
  • SEO v PPC Analysis – to optimise any existing Google Ad Spend while maintaining an optimal level of traffic/conversionsSearch Engine Optimisation

Technical SEO 

  • Optimisation of all technical aspects of the website to ensure full accessibility and indexability by search engines.

Content 

  • Creation of content to be applied to the website
  • Optimisation of content

Reputation

  • Creation of content for third party websites as part of link building
  • Creation of links & social network profiles to drive visitors to the site
  • Ensuring the quality and relevancy of links 
  • Conversion Recommendations 

Monitoring of Google Analytics, Google Ads & other agreed reporting platforms to identify conversion issues and recommend/make changes. 

Reputation/Brand Management 

  • Research into and management of the company mentions around the web 

Email Marketing Design and/or Campaign Sends 

  • This agreement includes 3 template designs and the send of up to 2 campaigns per month.

Paid Advertising 

  • Identification and management of paid advertising opportunities 
  • Campaign Management where an additional PPC budget is made available.

Account Management & Consultancy 

  • Quarterly meetings including reporting against the aims & objectives of the project 

Search marketing and social media marketing consultancy 

General Advice & Consultancy 

  • Web Design/Development changes deemed minor 
  • Page template and layout changes 
  • Text and Image changes 
  • Security Issues and fixes where possible and deemed minor

 **Minor constitutes work that can be feasibly completed within the retainer limit and applies to modifications of current features rather than Introducing new features and functionality. Made By Factory will always clarify during communication with you before making any changes.

Excluded Services/Costs

So far we have done a great job of what’s included. Make sure you leave nothing to the imagination about what’s excluded. For example, make sure your client knows if their monthly fee includes Ad Spend. Mostly it doesn’t but some agencies do work on this model.

Let the client know if they have any third party costs like mailing software, special plugins and so on.

If a client provides you with content, make sure they know how to provide it.

This agreement does not include the following services which can be provided as additional services.

  • Web Design & Development Services not deemed by us to be minor
  • email marketing spend costs (dependent on client software) 
  • Third-party costs, e.g. Google Ads, review site charges. Third-party ad spend. 

Contract Of Work

Personally we work on retainer hours and percentage of Ad spend. We don’t have a minimum ad spend, but we do have a minimum management fee. This has two purposes.

Firstly we need the time to do the minimum amount of work for any account, so 15% of Ad spend only kicks in after a certain amount.

Secondly, the minimum management fee will deter those clients who are just dipping their toes into advertising with neglibile ad spends.

Made By Factory will spend a fixed amount of time per calendar month, providing marketing services, excluding PPC management.

 This period is called the “retainer limit” 

 in respect of PPC, Made by Factory will charge 15% of total ad spend as the monthly management fee, or a minimum of £XXX per month, whichever is the greater.

The Retainer Limit will be 10 hours per month. Full details of our services, including the monthly undertaking of the services, will be set out in our monthly plan. We will share the details of this with you. 

Made By Factory will retain the flexibility to determine and advise, which of the services are necessary to be prioritised. We will report to the Client during each account management meeting or report, the list of services recently completed. And the proposed Services for the following per1od. 

 You, the Client may at any time, determine the focus of the services to a particular area, for example, a set of keywords, focus on a company product or service, or a new launch. We can then carry out that work accordingly. 

Contract Period & Payment

This is fairly straight forward. When do you expect to be paid, and what are your payment terms?

This agreement will commence on <date> and continue until terminated in accordance with section 12

The amount payable each month by you is <amount – breakdown> 

These fees are payable in advance on the commencement of each month of the term of the agreement as set out in section 15. 

Contract hours & fees are subject to negotiation based on client requirements and suggestions made by Factory. 

Materials & Information

Make sure you have everything you need for your project. If the client provides copy and images, then specify if you will need time to rewrite it. Make sure its provided in a way you can copy and paste.

It may be second nature to you, but so many clients have sent me photographs of hand written text, it may not be obvious to them. Honestly, it often depends on the industry.

Where the Client Is required to provide content photos, data, etc., necessary for any projects, the source material must be clear and legible. The Client Is responsible for furnishing all pertinent information, and for furnishing accurate, truthful and complete information necessary for Made By Factory to perform or complete any services. 

Additional Work

Avoid dreaded scope creep. sometimes additional work is required. One example I can think of is the client may have a dreadfully slow website.

It may require work to put it right. They may even require a new website. I know we have already stated whats in the scope and what isn’t, but its good to mention this here.

The Client understands additional work beyond the scope of this agreement must be scoped and priced for separately. It will require separate approval or, purchase order. 

You, the Client, understand that we require fair and realistic written notice to attend to requests and projects outside the scope of the Services. You understand that we may require additional clarification of any extra work to meet your expectation and provide the best possible quality of work. 

Your Responsibilities

you might be the one carrying out the work, but the client may have responsibilities too. If your job depends on communications from the client and they aren’t forthcoming, then its going to be difficult for you to cary out your part of the agreement.

You, the Client, agree and understand that Made By Factory are not an employee, and that this will be a collaborative and professional relationship. 

The Client understands the Importance, of communication, especially via email, and agrees to respond to questions, requests and communications from us promptly. 

Account Management

Don’t forget to factor in account management. The client will want to see reporting and will probably want to speak to you about the work you are carrying out.

Its really important to specify this up front. We pride ourselves on being an agency who are great at communication, but if a client wants to spend minimum budget, but expects daily calls or weekly reporting, then you’re going to have problems.

Make it clear how much communication is reasonable, and how you prefer to speak. We are a remote agency and we don’t have front of house staff, so we prefer to schedule our calls. You can’t expect a client to know this, so make it clear
.

Made By Factory agrees to provide a regular monthly account management reporting as part of this agreement. This may be a meeting or a written report depending on the limitations of the retainer.

We will report on work completed, review requests from the Client and any proposed future work. Any account management meetings maybe by phone or video conferencing software and will be included in the retainer limit. 

 Request for additional meetings and phone calls outside of the scope of the retainer limit may incur additional costs. We will never bill you for a phone call or meeting, without first agreeing to this. 

 The Client understands and agrees that their retainer limit should dictate the number of communications that Made By Factory can reasonably and fairly be expected to undertake. 

Office Hours & Communication

I touched on this above, but communications also include what time you can be contacted at. Because we work from home or hot desk, We are fairly flexible about answering emails. But on occasion, some clients can expect round the clock availability. It’s best to state when you will respond to communications and when you wont.

It can be a good idea to schedule your mail communications to go out in office hours.

Made By Factory is a fully remote agency, without the need for office locations or front of house staff. Because of this, we ask our clients to understand and work with our mode of operation. 

Our ‘Client Hours’ are Monday – Thursday 9am – 5pm and Friday 9am – 1pm. This excludes national Bank Holidays. 

 We are only available by telephone during these hours. Any requests for calls or meetings after 1pm on Friday will be agreed in advance and are at our discretion and subject to the retainer limit. 

To best work with you and provide the best possible service, please schedule calls in advance via email, with details of what you wish to discuss. As we plan calls with our clients, we are not always available to answer calls immediately. If it is a simple request, please send us an email. 

Cancellation

Sometimes you aren’t the right fit. You should both have the right to cancel your agreement without tears. Every company is different and you may tie client into periods of time. We don’t because we don’t want to work with people if the synergy isn’t right.

Our agreement states you pay for the month you are in. Its always worked for us, because clients usually stay for the long term!

Sy signing this agreement, the Client commits to the initial period of three months. This is to allow for long term strategic planning, as well as the manifestation of results that are not instant. 

 During the term of this agreement, if you wish to cancel, you may do so by giving us notice within the current month. Termination will be at the end of the monthly period with no pro-rata to that month’s management fees. 

Confidentiality

I think this is pretty self explanatory. You keep the clients info confidential, whilst reserving the right to write a case study. You can say a lot in a case study without divulging private information.

We shall not divulge any information about your company, its customers, or finances to any third party. 

We may from time to time publish case studies or client feedback for which we will ordinarily liaise with the Client, although not necessarily seek full editorial approval. In the case of producing a case study, we may divulge statistics such as CTR or conversion rates, and improvements in traffic, customers and return. We will not disclose any information about revenue or turnover amounts without agreement from the Client.

Client Ownership Changes

Companies Change Hands. So have a clause in that states what you will do if this happens.

In the event, the Client’s business Is acquired by or transferred to another person (the transferee) 

The Client understands that this agreement will also be assigned to and assumed by the transferee. If this agreement is not assigned, the transfer of the Client’s business shall be deemed by the giving of notice of termination.

Should the transferee wish to renegotiate the terms of this agreement, any modification will be subject to section 14 below. 

Modification

Companies Change Hands. So have a clause in that states what you will do if this happens.

This agreement may be modified as deemed necessary by written agreement between Made By Factory Limited and the Client. 

Payment Terms

Companies Change Hands. So have a clause in that states what you will do if this happens.

The Client agrees to pay the Fees by Direct Debit, Standing Order or BACS before the 15th of the month contract which the Services are to be provided. Bank account details are on our invoices.

In the event of delayed or cancelled payments, we reserve the right to reduce or suspend services. Delay or cancellation of payment of fees does not constitute a cancellation of the agreement in its entirety. This is to be agreed separately.

We hope this has been a useful article. if you want an easy download of this template, you can download it here.

Andi Wilkinsonmade By Factory Digital Marketing

Andi Wilkinson is Creative Director of Made By Factory. UX Designer & SEO Nerd, Andi is also a board member of Manchester Digital, and speaks and writes on a variety of web-related topics.

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