Featured Customer

How the owner of this Ontario-based digital agency is boosting recurring revenue

Mat O’Flynn
Founder - Drip Email Templates

Whether you’re a consultant, freelancer, or agency owner, you’ve probably lived through periods of feast or famine when trying to earn income from the services you offer.

These ups and downs are especially common when you’re struggling to land your first clients and get your new business off the ground. Of course, when we’re just starting, most of us will take almost any project we can get to pay the bills and put food on the table.

And although it’s certainly better than the alternative (starvation), taking on gigs and other project-based work can have a risky downside; you could get caught up in a vicious cycle of hunting for new clients.

When you finally land a new client and project, you have to shift back into sales mode again quickly. Then, once you finish that project, you have to quickly shift back into sales mode again. And round and round it goes.

After living through one too many worry-filled, sleepless nights, you begin to wonder if you’ll ever be able to escape this vicious cycle?

Escaping the cycle

The good news is; the way out of this cycle of feast or famine is relatively straightforward. To generate consistent revenue, a consultant or agency can start offering new and existing clients retainer agreements, packages of bundled services, and productized services.

The key is to get clients on autopay. This way,  their company credit cards can be charged on a monthly basis.

Mat O'Flynn, the founder of Drip Email Templates, is an excellent example of an agency owner who has transitioned many of his clients from one-off gigs to retainer packages that generate recurring revenue.

Based in Ontario, Canada, Mat has positioned his growing agency as a full-service ConvertFlow concierge. They offer digital marketing services like lead generation design and integration, conversion marketing, and optimization, as well as ongoing campaign management. They also provide personalized websites and email marketing services.

It’s important to note that while many agencies bill retainer clients monthly, they can bring in larger chunks of cash by giving clients a discount if they’ll pay for their plan on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis.

It may come as a surprise, but many companies will happily opt for making larger advance payments if you offer them a 5 to 10% discount. This is especially true if they have plenty of cash on hand. Most consultants and agency owners would agree that getting more money now is better than waiting to get it later.

When done correctly, this simple approach lets consultants and agency owners like Mat enjoy the benefits of having more recurring revenue and helps them build up more cash reserves.

In search of the best solution

Although Mat has recently gone “all-in” when it comes to providing services that help his clients get the most out of ConvertFlow, he initially found it while looking to solve a specific problem.

As he puts it, “Opt-in forms are dumb. We wanted a tool that gave us the ability to dynamically update calls-to-action at the individual level.”

He continued, “After testing dozens of potential solutions, we chose ConvertFlow because it was the most powerful personalization and retargeting tool available. It was a bonus that it was also the easiest to use.”

“Opt-in forms are dumb. We wanted a tool that gave us the ability to dynamically update calls-to-action at the individual level.”
Mat O'Flynn, Founder - Drip Email Templates


Moving from complexity to simplicity

A wise man once said, “Although the human mind admires complexity, it rewards simplicity.” And that’s why simplicity and ease of use have always been a top priority for ConvertFlow’s UX design and development team.

As more and more marketing teams switch from older, less agile tools to ConvertFlow’s robust platform, they have ability to rapidly launch new campaigns and CTAs without coding. And without wasting precious time waiting for busy designers and developers.

“ConvertFlow's drag and drop call-to-action builder and visual campaign flows make it easy to convey complex ideas to clients,” explains Mat, “We love jumping on GoToMeeting screen sharing calls with clients and their teams to quickly ensure everyone is on the same page.”

“We use ConvertFlow to transform anonymous website visitors into customers for our clients, he adds; “It lets us survey and serve customers the experience they want. We also use it to preview our email template designs and encourage potential clients to get started.”

“After testing dozens of potential solutions, we chose ConvertFlow because it was the most powerful personalization and retargeting tools available. It was a bonus that it was also the easiest to use.”
Mat O'Flynn, Founder - Drip Email Templates

How Mat’s agency creates recurring retainer revenue

As mentioned earlier, Mat offers his clients the benefits of having an on-demand professional digital marketing team. By providing specialized services linked to popular platforms like Leadpages, Drip, and ConvertFlow, Mat has created a valuable synergy with the tools professional marketers and companies are currently using.  

“Since we started offering ConvertFlow concierge services, we’ve seen a boost in both recurring and project-based revenue,” he explains, “Our primary offering is a package of hours that can be used for a variety of development, design and marketing tasks, billed to the minute.”

Although it’s still a relatively new strategy, Mat is stoked about the results they’ve been getting so far. “This easy-to-digest approach has led to 35 retainer clients who often take advantage of extra services like website design, website hosting, search engine optimization, and more!”


“Since we started offering ConvertFlow concierge services, we’ve seen a boost in both recurring and project-based revenue.”
Mat O'Flynn, Founder - Drip Email Templates


The upside to building recurring revenue

For fast-growing agencies like Mat’s, having steady streams of recurring income means knowing how much money is coming in every month.

When you have a steady cash flow and know which services you have to deliver regularly, you’ll have more control over expenses and day-to-day operations.

Building recurring revenue through retainers and other kinds of packaged services also gives you the inner calm you need to focus on scaling your business without having to scramble all the time to cover your overhead.

Of course, you’re still free to take on project-based work, but having a nice percentage of your income rolling in regularly will give you the peace of mind you need to confidently grow your business while enjoying doing more of what you do best.


Achieving measurable results for clients

Although having regular streams of recurring revenue is ideal for growing agencies and consultants, if you want to retain those clients in the long term, you’ll need to show them consistent results. When you sell web design and other kinds of visual services, it’s usually easy to show clients what they’re getting in exchange for the gobs of money they’re paying you. Lol.

On the other hand, when you provide performance-driven services like SEO, lead generation, conversion marketing, and optimization, you’ll need to show clients measurable results. In other words, sooner or later, most companies will expect to see a clear ROI on their marketing investment.

In the case of Mat’s agency, they’re feeling good about the results they’ve been getting for clients. “We’ve consistently increased conversion rates to as high as 90% for clients using ConvertFlow,” he says.

Having the ability to show how many leads a client is getting, click-through rates, and other key conversion metrics is a simple way you can prove ROI and justify the amount a client is paying your agency. For this reason,  ConvertFlow’s reporting capabilities provide valuable conversion insights you can share with your clients, as needed.

“We’ve consistently increased conversion rates to as high as 90% for clients using ConvertFlow.”
Mat O'Flynn, Founder - Drip Email Templates


Getting more agency leads

Unless they’re like Gary V., speaking at conferences, writing best-selling books, and generally making lots of noise, most agency owners don’t get much traffic to their company websites. After all, most of them are focused on getting great results for their clients, and consequently, they tend to neglect their own marketing.

Is putting your own marketing on the back burner a good thing?

Absolutely not, but that’s what usually happens. And that’s why whenever a new visitor lands on your agency’s website, you need to do whatever you can to convert that visitor into a lead, and ultimately, into a paying client.

Every experienced agency owner knows that one solid client with a nice marketing budget can be worth thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars in current and future revenue.

Case in point, while Drip Email Templates provides ConvertFlow-related services to his clients, he also actively uses it on his agency’s website to capture more leads and boost conversions.

As he puts it, “Half of our clients have previewed at least one of our custom email templates, served by ConvertFlow CTAs. It's become an invaluable part of our agency's lead generation.”

“We also use ConvertFlow to transform anonymous website visitors into customers for our clients,” he adds, “It lets us survey and serve customers the experience they want.”
Mat O'Flynn, Founder - Drip Email Templates

Increasing lifetime customer value and retention

Once you’ve qualified a lead, given them a demo or consultation, and recommended the best solution for their needs, it’s time to convert them into a paying client and another stream of recurring revenue.
 
When we asked what other ways being a ConvertFlow agency partner has helped Mat grow his business, he told us, “ConvertFlow's business plan has created new conversion marketing revenue streams for our agency while still allowing clients to modify their messaging easily. This has resulted in more meaningful client relationships and longer retention.”

“Well-crafted ConvertFlow automations can serve our clients for years to come,” he says, “And as we implement more smart systems in our agency and our clients’ businesses, we're confident that growing faster than ever will be an inevitable byproduct.”

It goes without saying, Mat has a clear vision and understanding of what it takes to build a successful marketing agency. After all, every company’s success ultimately depends on its ability to cultivate meaningful (and profitable)  long-term relationships with its clients and strategic partners.

If you'd like to know more about Mat and how he and his team at Drip Email Templates are helping their clients grow faster, click here.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

1. To escape the dreaded cycle of feast or famine, start offering new and existing clients retainer agreements, packages of bundled services, and productized services. These can help you generate more predictable recurring revenue in your agency or consulting practice.

2. Focus on getting your clients on autopay, so that you can charge their credit cards on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. Much better than waiting days, weeks, or months for them to pay an invoice.

3. Bring in larger chunks of cash by offering clients a discount when they pay for their plan on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis.

4. Offer specialized services that help companies get better results from platforms like Drip, ActiveCampaign, ConvertFlow, etc. Doing this allows you to generate more revenue by leveraging the popular tools marketing teams, and companies are currently using.  

5. Growing a successful agency will ultimately depend on your ability to cultivate mutually-profitable relationships with your clients and strategic partners. Take advantage of the compounding effect of investing in relationships for the long term. You’ll be glad you did!

This story was written and published in collaboration with StoryOps

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