How to Get the Most from a Retainer Relationship with Your Web Design Agency


Retainer Relations, Web Development, San Jose

For B2B firms needing to keep pace with the demands of the digital marketplace, a maintenance retainer relationship with a web design agency can be a lifesaver. From managing platform upgrades to seeing smaller, impactful projects like custom landing pages to hassle-free completion, an agency partnership bridges the gap between your marketing team’s resources and the specialized work your business needs.

However, a successful retainer engagement requires careful planning to deliver the greatest return for your organization. From the beginning, you need to understand the complete scope of your needs to ensure you’ve chosen the right level of outside support. Just as importantly, your agency partner needs to be able to evaluate the work your business needs and help you set priorities that can make a timely difference for your organization.

Through clear and consistent communication, you can establish a foundation that will facilitate the best work for both sides of the engagement.

Maintenance Retainer Plans Versus Project-Based Collaboration

Once you’ve recognized a need for outside support to meet your digital needs, you need to define the scope of your agency collaboration.

retainer vs project-based, Web Design, San Jose

For example, if you’re looking to complete a large-scale project such as a website redesign, your business will be better served by the defined parameters of a project-based relationship. With a firm deadline and an established budget, you can ensure your project is completed on your terms.

But if your organization is operating with a more flexible timeline for new development, a maintenance retainer plan is an appealing option. Along with requiring less of an up-front investment than a project-based engagement, a well-established retainer relationship offers benefits that extend well past your organization’s bottom line.

The Right Web Design Maintenance Retainer Is Built on Transparency

When you’re short on web design resources, your website typically accumulates a robust list of needs. With a web design agency on retainer, you gain a partner who can help set your digital priorities with a plan based on a holistic view of your business.

At WebEnertia, our process includes early, in-depth conversations with clients that provide recommendations and insights for how web design and development maintenance retainers work and how they can be applied. For example, at higher tiers, clients gain dedicated resources to manage project calendars as the level of complexity grows in accordance with your organization’s needs. For organizations with less complex requirements, a plan based on fewer hours and schedule management will suffice.

Planning, Web Marketing, San Jose

Depending on what your firm is trying to achieve, the right agency partner can determine what retainer plan is best suited for you. Your agency should be able to highlight the benefits of adjusting your plan to prevent overages, which result when the hours needed to complete your work exceeds the agreed-upon monthly or quarterly total with your agency. Through open communication, you can gain a clear picture of the resources required for the projects you need as well as what your agency can offer.

Often, firms come to a web design agency blindly, knowing only that they need a certain amount of work delivered. When you’re working with the right agency partner, you’ll be able to identify the projects that will deliver the best bang for your buck within a timeframe that suits your budget.

Streamline Retainer Workflows With Maintenance Account Management

From completing quick ticket requests to designing and developing new site features, your web design and development needs can quickly multiply. With a maintenance retainer plan, your agency can help you prioritize the areas of your site that need attention based on how they will impact your goals. But as these projects add up, you need a consistent point of contact to streamline your requests.

From the beginning, you need to understand the complete scope of your needs to ensure you’ve chosen the right level of outside support.

In our retainer plans, a maintenance account manager serves as your consistent point person to track the progress of your various design and development projects. At higher tier plans, you’re assigned a dedicated project manager to manage the assortment of hours and scheduling needs that come with a longer list of priorities.

Communication Builds Better Performance from Your Agency Retainer Plan

No matter the scope of your retainer plan, you need consistent conversations with your agency. Along with allowing you to adjust priorities around multiple requests, a weekly check-in with your agency allows your creative partner to better respond to your short-term company goals and any new initiatives.

Comminication, Web Developers, San Jose

Flexibility is one of the core benefits of a maintenance retainer plan. For example, if your company experiences a strong sales quarter that results in new revenue to put toward your website, your agency partner can be a trusted guide for reinvestment into your digital business. As a retainer relationship progresses, your agency can view your website strategically and provide recommendations based on trending technologies or fresh design approaches.

As your agency works with you in a maintenance retainer plan, your marketing team shouldn’t always need to provide direction. Ultimately, as your agency grows more familiar with your B2B business, your partnership becomes a two-way street.

Web Design and Development Maintenance Retainers Can Evolve With Your Business

While a retainer plan is designed to provide your firm with design expertise for a set amount of hours, your terms aren’t set in stone. As your company and its competitive position evolve, you may find new opportunities where your agency can provide expertise in response to your needs. And, as the partnership goes on, your agency is that much better positioned to bring you closer to your goals.

Communication is critical to keep both sides of a retainer relationship open to pursuing these possibilities. For us, our Quarterly Business Review (QBR) provides an opportunity to review the results and performance of our collaboration with clients. Are there new areas worthy of exploring? Are other parts of your digital business being overlooked where your investment could be put to better use?

Business overview, Web Designers, San Jose

Through consistent discussions with stakeholders, your retainer relationship can shift to suit your needs. In addition to satisfying your short-term web design and development needs, a maintenance retainer plan also allows your organization to evaluate how well an agency works with your firm. If it’s the right fit, your agency will grow to understand your firm so well that they’re your first call when you’re ready to invest in a larger website project.

If this sounds like a way you would like to resolve your design and development needs by partnering with a web design agency, let’s talk.

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