As an agency owner, your aim is to provide everything your clients need to grow. So, having to admit there are certain services you can’t provide is tough. Equally, it’s hard to offer everything and hire more of the right people while balancing the finances.
SMBs are finding it more and more difficult to keep up with the constant growth of bigger companies who can offer the full package. And, nowadays, customers are expecting more from agencies – they want to go to one company and get everything they need in one tidy package. Ideally, they’d use a single, full-service provider and avoid vendor clutter.
But how do you scale your business and compete with the big players without investing huge amounts of time and money on new staff, resources and custom-built solutions?
More and more agencies are turning to white label solutions to scale quickly and cost-efficiently, enabling them to offer their clients the full package.
What are white label solutions?
White label solutions (also sometimes to referred to as private label, brandable or rebranded solutions) are fully supported products that are made by one company but sold by another. The purchaser customises their solution to match their brand, logo and identity, and then sells it on to their end users as if it’s their own.
White label solutions come in many different forms, from email marketing to SEO. The type of service you use will depend on what your customers are asking for.
In recent years, white labelling has grown in popularity amongst SaaS providers and marketing agencies in particular, due to their reluctance to invest the time, resources and funds needed to develop their own technology from scratch.
‘White label’ origins
The term ‘white label’ derives from the vinyl industry. Before a record company mass-produced new vinyls with fully designed covers, they would create promotional copies to send to DJs in a plain, white sleeve.
The DJs would then play these ‘white labelled’ records on the radio and in nightclubs to gauge interest in the new music, so that the record company could better estimate how many to make with the fully designed cover.
How does white labelling work?
White label solutions are created by one company but rebranded and sold by another to their customers. Here’s how the process works:
Company A, a white label software provider, sells their solution to Company B, an agency.
Company B then rebrands the software with their own logos and colours and sells it on to their end-users.
Company B usually pays a monthly or yearly fee to Company A for using their white label service. They can then markup this price in whatever way they want to sell it on to their customers – thus making a profit.
Benefits of white label solutions
White label solutions come with huge advantages to agencies and SaaS providers who are looking to expand their offering, increase customer retention and unlock reliable, recurring revenue. Here are the key benefits of opting for white label:
Add new products and services to your core offering and become a full-service agency in days with white label solutions. Skip the years of development, designing and testing and offer the fully-branded solution your clients are asking for.
White labelling enables you to add to your offering, become more attractive to your customers, and engage all new audiences – all with little-to-no legwork on your part. The extra months (perhaps years) it would take to develop your own tool might mean your customers go elsewhere for solutions – give them what they need quicker.
Software development, testing and maintenance is expensive. White labelling enables you to spare your business hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs while still expanding your offering and boosting your brand.
New reliable, revenue stream
White label solutions provide you with a new, steady stream of income. Most providers will charge you on a monthly or yearly basis, and you can decide how you want to mark-up your new service, based on how you want to sell it with your existing offering.
You may want to include your new solution in a package you already deliver, or alternatively offer it as an optional add-on – the choice is yours! Either way, you’re sure to unlock recurring revenue that will help you scale your business further.
Sales & support provided
If you develop your own solution from scratch, you’re likely have to hire new staff for the development and invest in sales & support resources too. When you choose a white label solution, these materials are provided for you, making onboarding new customers and training your staff much easier. Plus, you have your own support team to turn to should things go wrong.
Maintenance & updates covered
The best entrepreneurs succeed by tapping into others’ expertise. White label solutions allow you to focus on what you do best, while the development, maintenance and optimisation are taken care of by a specialist.
Get a head start by choosing a proven solution that’s been tried and tested and avoid making the mistakes others have made before you. White labelling reduces the likelihood of bugs and gives you the reassurance that if there ever were problems, they’d be resolved efficiently by the experts.
For even more benefits, combine white label solutions with productized services. Read our blog post to find out how this killer combination could help you scale your agency.
Examples of white label solutions
White label solutions come in many different forms, for different purposes. The solution you choose will depend on your existing offering and audience. Here are some examples of white label solutions in practice:
White label social media scheduling
It’s no secret that social media is a hugely powerful marketing tool, yet very time consuming. Social media management and scheduling is an ideal addition to your service portfolio, and wouldn’t it be even better if you had your very own, branded tool to offer your clients?
CoSend is the perfect white label scheduler for agencies and SaaS providers who are looking to offer a new service or integrate with existing systems.
Every detail of the tool is fully customisable to your brand; your logos & colours, creating a seamless experience for your clients from registration, through to email notifications and beyond. The system comes with the following features to offer your clients:
- Post calendar
- Media library
- Content discovery
- Post groups
All through a platform that’s branded and sold as your own.
White label email marketing
Email marketing is returning to the spotlight as a super effective way to onboard customers and generate leads. Rebrand and sell a white label tool as a place for your clients to manage their email marketing campaigns.
Our recommendation is Mailjet – easily offer a custom-branded email builder, contact database, template management, and sending infrastructure.
Their ‘building blocks’ approach allows you to pick and choose what features you want to offer, including:
- Advanced Statistics
- Multiple Languages
- Contact Management.
White label marketing & sales automation
This type of tool is perfect if your clients use multiple channels to reach their target audience. Set up automated campaigns and triggered email nurture sequences.
We recommend ActiveCampaign’s Enterprise plan for a great white label marketing automation option. You can switch to your own branding, pricing and domain while keeping the plaform’s powerful features and capabilities.
Here’s what you get with the Enterprise plan:
- Custom domain
- Logo rebranding
- HTML/CSS rebranding
- Add/remove buttons and other options
- Remove all references and links to Active Campaign
What to look for in a white label partner
If you’re considering using a white label solution to expand your offering, you need to make sure that the provider is the right fit for you. Here are some qualities to look out for in a good white label partner:
Shared goals & vision
Whoever you choose as your white label provider will be working with you towards a common goal – helping your clients grow and thrive. To make sure there won’t be any conflicts of interest or issues with your partnership, opt for a company whose vision aligns with yours.
You want to treat your white label provider as an extension of your own business, so don’t just settle for a platform because they’re cheaper and offer the features you need – this could affect you negatively in the long term.
Solid, powerful solution
Check that the product your potential partner is offering is full of valuable features, and will be able to deliver what your customers need through a user-friendly interface. Is it limited in its capabilities or is the price-tag too good to be true?
We also recommend you check for a roadmap or regular system updates. Ideally, you want to opt for a provider that’s continually updating and improving their product, so that it’s always optimised for your clients.
Good reputation & track record
Do the company appear transparent in their processes and attitude? Are there any negative reviews about the product?
It’s important to check what others have experienced before you to see if the solution is really as good as it claims to be. If there are testimonials and reviews that prove it’s worked well for other companies in the past, you’ll feel a lot more confident initiating a partnership.
Helpful & attentive support team
Many white label solution providers will provide you with onboarding and marketing collateral as part of your plan. This will save you and your team a lot of time and energy and will make integrating your new product in your existing system seamless.
If you’re struggling to get a response from the off, it might be better to steer clear. You need a white label partner that will be on-hand to support you with whatever you need, so you can fully support your own customers.
Clear, transparent pricing plans
If a white label provider doesn’t specify their pricing, it usually means you’d be put off if you saw them. Aim to engage with providers that are upfront about fees from the get-go, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
Ability to try before you buy
How will you know if a solution is right for your business and customers if you can’t try it out first? Make sure that whatever provider you opt for offers a free trial or demo period so you can gauge client interest and test the features out for yourself.
Check that when a company says their solution is white label, it really means white label. Some providers will allow you to add your logo to your system and call it a white label solution. Others will offer full customisation, including domain name, custom CSS and amendable dashboards – I know which one I’d prefer.
Integrates with your existing systems
Integration is another important factor to look out for when exploring white label solutions. Ideally, you want you new solution to fully integrate with your existing systems so that your customer experience is seamless and you don’t run into any inconsistencies along the way.
Look for providers that offer API, webhooks and single-sign on – these will be the ones that work best with your existing processes.
What to beware of with white label solutions
While there many fantastic benefits to opting for a white label solution, there are some risks you should consider when choosing your provider. Any issues that arise with your system will reflect negatively on your brand, since your customers won’t know you outsource it. So make sure that whatever provider you choose is reliable and their solution has a good track record.
Any poor communication you experience in the enquiry stage should put you off immediately. If the provider can’t communicate then, how can you be sure they will when you really need their help? In a white label partnership, good communication is key.
Also be wary of pricing that seems too good to be true – like with most products and services, this usually means it is and you’ll face the consequences of opting for the cheaper option in the long term.
Choosing your white label provider
White label solutions offer a great opportunity for your agency to scale easily and cost-efficiently, leaving the complex work to the experts and allowing you to focus on your core competency.
You’ll unlock all new revenue streams, expand your offering and increase customer retention; all without the huge expense and time cost of developing your own solution.
There are hundreds of great white label options out there, so make sure you assess all your alternatives before you make you decision. Get a good grip of your current business approach and how you want to move forward, then think carefully about the additional services that would be most valuable to both your existing and potential clients.
Once you’ve established the type of solution your looking for, you can start your search. Consider your budget, how you’ll markup the pricing and most importantly, whether the provider will be a good partner to your business.
Not sure how to get started? Trial our white label social media scheduler now.