Simply put, a retainer is a formal agreement between a client and their agency that says:
“We will pay you X amount per month, and you will allocate X amount of time or services to our business”.
The benefits of a retainer from the agency’s perspective are relatively obvious – it’s guaranteed income agreed ahead of time, so it allows the agency to make important business decisions like hiring staff to meet their clients demands, with little to no risk attached.
Without a retainer, and without visibility of a client’s future support requirements, an agency would be silly to hire staff they might not need, just on the off chance that their client might at some point want some more work carrying out. The downside for the client is that if the agency is busy on other projects, and there’s no retainer in place, they may need to wait longer than usual for the agency to respond to their request.
Imagine for instance its Friday afternoon, and Instagram have just released a new update that has caused the image feed on your homepage to suddenly break without warning. With no retainer in place, there’s no guarantee this problem will be fixed before the weekend.
In almost all cases, retainers are beneficial for both the client and the agency:
The important thing to remember is that there is no one size fits all retainer. A website is a living, breathing entity and a valuable marketing tool for your business, so in all likelihood you will need some form of ongoing support after it launches.
At Mallard & Claret, we offer our clients a variety of monthly support packages tailored to their needs, budget and circumstances, with the most basic ensuring that their website remains safe, secure and always online, and our more robust retainer packages allowing our clients to make regular upgrades and improvements to their website every month.
If you have any questions about retainers and what’s right for your business, get in touch and say hi! via firstname.lastname@example.org