TJ Kelly

What to Ask a Digital Marketing Agency BEFORE Signing a Contract

Marketing Agency Questions.An experienced and reliable digital marketing agency can help craft and improve your branding.

They can also help you overcome sales hurdles and help you with your growth objectives.

Their strategic and creative team members will take your marketing campaigns to the next level.

Here are some of the key questions that you should ask any digital marketing agency before you decide to hire their services:

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Marketing Agency Questions

How do you measure success?

Right out of the gates, the digital marketing agency should let you know about the goals of the campaign, the metrics that will be measured, and the benchmarks that need to be reached in order to consider the campaign successful.

SEO has changed online success for many businesses and, if it’s done right, digital marketing can really help a business thrive.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the crucial terms you need to ask about:


Your goals answer the question of what your marketing efforts and budget are designed to accomplish.

Usually, this would refer to sales or actual revenue.

For businesses that have very long sales cycles, this might include leads, email sign ups, or seminar registrations.

For non-profit organizations, this can mean a bigger digital presence and improved public awareness.


Metrics refer to data that can be measured and tracked. These should be directly linked to your goals.

Some examples are channel-specific traffic, bounce rates, total conversions, lead-to-close ratio, return of investment or ROI, and customer retention rate.

Check out this guide to social media marketing reports for examples of what these metrics can look like.


Your benchmarks refer to figures that would determine whether your marketing efforts are a success or failure.

For most businesses, this includes a target gross profit, or a minimum cost-per-acquisition.

When you interview a digital marketing agency, you should always ask about these three terms.

If they are unable to offer anything more detailed than just ROI, consider this as a major red flag.

Choose a digital marketing agency that will be able to provide a comprehensive explanation of their processes and how they will handle your business needs.

If you’re new at this, our longer guide may help: Essential things to know about SEO.


Marketing Agency Questions.

Have you previously handled clients in this industry?

Although there are plenty of digital marketing agencies that are qualified to take on your account, there is an advantage to working with a team that has a working knowledge of your particular industry.

This implies that they are up-to-date with the trends in your industry and can easily provide for your needs.

Ask if you can see their portfolios for the work that they have done for clients that belong to your industry.

Remember that entrusting your campaign to an experienced digital marketing agency reduces the risk on your part, since you can easily verify if they can deliver on their claims.

On the other hand, there is also nothing wrong with wanting to work with an agency that can provide a fresh perspective or bring new ideas to your campaign.

The decision is still up to you.

Just make sure that you are willing to take the risk on an innovative but less experienced agency.

Who will be on the team working on the campaign?

One of the main reasons why business owners choose to outsource their marketing is to benefit from specialized skill sets that they are unable to acquire from their own team members.

This is why you need to know the people who will be working on your campaign.

Make sure that you bring up these vital questions during your consultation with a potential marketing agency:

  • How will the work be divided?
  • Who will be in charge of which tasks?
  • How do their skills and experience match the tasks that they are assigned to?

The skills of their team members should match your goals perfectly.

For example, if your marketing goal is to improve your web design strategy, you should have someone on the team with solid skills and experience in this area.

If your goal is to boost your email list, you want specialists in the field of email marketing or inbound lead generation.

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Marketing Agency Questions.

How much do your services cost?

Many business owners shy away from enlisting the services of a digital marketing agency because of the high cost.

However, it is nearly impossible for a small business to succeed in digital marketing without at least some investment of time and money.

Good digital marketing services don’t always have to cost an arm and a leg.

There are three payment structures that you can choose from: hourly, monthly, and project-based.

Most digital marketing agencies prefer a monthly retainer, which usually costs around $1,000 to $3,000 USD per month.

Hourly rates, on the other hand, depend on the skill of the contractor.

The average is around $50 to $100 USD—compare that to website accessibility audit costs.

If you have several ongoing campaigns on different platforms or channels, it is more cost-effective to go with a monthly contract.

However, if you are only focusing on one channel, going for an hourly rate is probably the better option.

How long should the contract be?

In certain types of marketing strategies, you should be prepared to play the long game.

For example, with inbound marketing, you are unlikely to see any returns until after 3 to 6 months.

Even with fast-paced campaigns, remember that marketing involves building trust, which takes time to grow and develop.

This means that you shouldn’t jump ship immediately when you don’t see any returns after the first month.

A digital marketing agency needs to have a complete picture of the market if you want them to help you achieve your long-term goals.

This means that a one-month contract probably won’t give them enough time to drive sustainable and profitable leads to your door.

Furthermore, businesses are seasonal.

For instance, if you are a home builder, you probably won’t be getting leads during winter that you normally would during summer or spring.

Choose a contract that matches your business needs and properly outlines deliverables and when to expect them.



The questions listed above will give you a good idea about whether a digital marketing agency is the right fit for your business.

Whatever answers you get during your interview with potential candidates, make sure that you compare the results and choose the digital marketing agency that is a cut above the rest.

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