Selling Campaign Monitor to Your Customers
At Left of Center Communications (LOCC) my primary target market is the boy and girl scouting communities. My flagship product, BadgeTracker, is designed specifically for scout camps and Sign-Up-Sheet.com was first developed to help my local scout troop. So when it came time for me to figure out how I was going to sell CM it didn’t take me long to decide I would target it to the scouting community and thus ScoutMailer was born.
I choose to resell CM because the deal is just too good to pass up. There are no monthly fees, annual licensing fees or recurring fees of any kind. The only real long term cost is management time which isn’t that much thanks to CMs intuitive interface. Also, this isn’t just some referral or affiliate program that pays 20% - 30%. You can charge your clients whatever you want for the product. CM will take care of all the financial stuff and send you your cut at the end of every month via Paypal.
At the beginning of every new project I typically sit down and come up with a task list of things that need to be done in order to bring a new product to market. When I thought about ScoutMailer there really was only 4 things to do:
- Design logo and promotional site for scoutmailer.com domain.
- Write website content.
- Customize CM interface with colors and logos.
- Promote through existing add channels using BadgeTracker and Sign-Up-Sheet.com.
I outsourced the design of the logo and website so the only thing I needed to invest in that task was money. Writing the promotional website content was reasonably simple after seeing what other companies had done. Customizing CMs interface with my colors and logo was a simple 10 minute thing. Finally, promotion and marketing has really just begun. But that was it… less than 4 tasks to bring a new product to market.
The Promo Site
The biggest part to reselling CM is developing your own promotional materials. This process is really the same with any product, whether your the developer or just the reseller. The good news with CM is that they have a lot of resources available in the form of screenshots and how-to’s to help you along. I would also encourage you to take a look at the customers section of their website to see what other companies have done.
After about 2 weeks and some back and forth between myself and the designer we came up with the ScoutMailer promotional site:
Most all CM promotional sites are pretty much the same. They have the same site structure and content, but I wanted to make mine stand out a bit. So, I added a resources section to my site controlled by WordPress. My intention is to eventually develop some tutorials and how-to articles specifically for my group of users. The thing to remember about the promo site is you need to speak to your specific users. Put the product in terms that they will understand.
Customizing the Interface
The folks over at CM have written a helpful article to walk you through the process of rebranding their product to fit your needs. This was really the only “gotcha” moment in this whole process for me. They provide a set number of color schemes to choose from and that’s it. You can’t define your own colors. As a heads up, you might want to review those options before settling on a color scheme for your promo site/brand for CM so that your logo and site design goes with the interface. I had a bit of an issue with their shade of red but I think everything turned out OK.
Overcoming the Language Barrier
One of the issues I knew I would have to address in the promo site, and will probably have to work through in support requests, is the e-mail marketing terminology. My particular target market isn’t interested in an e-mail marketing tool… they are more looking for a mailing list management solution and the two don’t necessarily mean the same thing to them. They want something that let’s them send plain text reminders from time to time and maybe the odd HTML newsletter every so often… but that’s it!
Another issue that I foresee moving forward is that my user base probably won’t understand that campaign = e-mail message. There is going to be a bit of a language barrier that I’m going to have to deal with so that they understand the process. It would be totally cool if CM allowed us to customize the terminology used in the app someday. But for now I’m relying on my promo site to steer users in the right direction. I’m also thinking about potentially developing a glossary and posting that in the resources section to help. But it’s something for you to keep in mind depending on what audience you plan on marketing CM to.
ScoutMailer officially launched just this past Monday. Marketing and promotion is still getting underway but it will be interesting to see if I get any takers. Another opportunity for selling CM to existing customers is integrating your existing products with the CM API. I’m going to look into this later this year to see if theres any value there. Keep watch for a how-to post on that in the near future.
That’s my story… do you have one? If you have been reselling CM for a while or just started, let me know what your experience has been in the comments.